Signed: Four-Star Safety Jayden Bonsu Brings Physicality, Versatility to Ohio State's Secondary in 2023 Class

By Griffin Strom on December 22, 2022 at 9:22 am
Jayden Bonsu

It took a little longer than expected, but Jayden Bonsu is officially a Buckeye.

The four-star safety from New Jersey didn’t sign with the Buckeyes on Wednesday morning as originally anticipated, but eventually made things official on Wednesday night, submitting his National Letter of Intent to Ohio State to secure his place in the Buckeyes’ 2023 recruiting class. His signing was officially announced by Ohio State on Thursday morning.

Bonsu, the No. 269 overall player in the 247Sports composite rankings, committed to Ohio State back on Aug. 14, citing a strong relationship with first-year safeties coach Perry Eliano. Bonsu also strongly considered committing to Miami, but ultimately chose the Buckeyes because of his relationships with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and safeties coach Perry Eliano.

“It was really close,” Bonsu said of his decision during his announcement. “But me and my family re-evaluated it and came down to a decision ... My relationship with Coach Eliano and Coach Day was second to none. Being in Columbus felt like home to me.”

The Bonsu File

  • Class: 2023
  • Size: 6-1/210
  • Pos: Safety
  • School: St. Peter's Prep (Hillside, New Jersey)
  • Star Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #269 (#23 S)

Bonsu burst onto the national recruiting scene as a junior when he racked up 62 total tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions and seven pass breakups in 2021. In two fewer games as a senior, Bonsu’s stats were no less impressive after committing to the Buckeyes. Bonsu finished the 2022 campaign with 70 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks, one pick and five pass breakups.

His numbers indicate Bonsu can make plays all over the field, and so does his 6-foot-1, 210-pound frame. Bonsu’s defensive versatility is an added bonus at the next level, and especially in a Jim Knowles system that requires safeties to know multiple positions.

“He’s big and physical, but he can still run really well,” Saint Peter’s coach Rich Hansen told Eleven Warriors of Bonsu. “Everybody is looking for those guys that kind of have the best of both worlds in terms of length and physicality but still have those unique types of skill sets.”

With an arsenal of tools that could allow him to play more than one of Knowles’ safety spots, Bonsu’s size and physicality could also make him a suitable candidate to play some linebacker if he continues to bulk up.

“He definitely does have a skill set to do both,” Hansen said. “He did play a lot of nickel snaps last year and a lot of snaps really close to the box. So there’s no doubt in my mind that he could do that. But a lot of safeties are used in those types of roles, so I’m not sure if it’s a matter of what position he plays primarily or solely. It’s just a skill set to do multiple things.”

As for Bonsu’s preference, he told Eleven Warriors in May that “I’d do anything to help the teams that I play for.”

After inking his NLI on Wednesday, Bonsu knows he will be suiting up in scarlet and gray to begin his college career, and there’s little doubt Knowles and Eliano will put the defensive playmaker to good use in the back seven come 2023 and beyond.

With Bonsu’s signing, Ohio State has now signed 20 players in the 2023 class. The Buckeyes are not expected to sign any additional high school recruits during the early signing period.

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