Better Know a Buckeye: Aaron Scott Jr.’s Length, Physicality, Instincts and Athleticism Give Him the Potential to Be A Lockdown Cornerback for Ohio State

By Josh Poloha on April 4, 2024 at 10:10 am
Aaron Scott Jr.

Better Know A Buckeye is our look at every member of Ohio State’s 2024 recruiting class and how they became Buckeyes as they prepare to begin their OSU careers this fall.

One of Ohio State's top targets in the 2024 class, Aaron Scott Jr. was not only a top-six cornerback (No. 36 overall) in his class, but he was also considered the top prospect in Ohio. That made his commitment one of the most important ones for the Buckeyes to land in the 2024 class – especially when you factor in who else was involved throughout his recruitment.

Aaron Scott Jr.

  • Size: 6-0/185
  • Pos: CB
  • School: Springfield (Springfield, Ohio)
  • Star Rating: ★★★★★
  • Composite Rank: #36 (#6 CB)

How He Became a Buckeye

The best in Ohio stay in Ohio. At least that's the saying, right?

An offer from Ohio State was always a dream for Scott and that became a reality after impressing Ryan Day and Tim Walton during a team camp in June 2022.

“I grew up watching them, my family grew up watching them. (His father) was in a meeting when he heard about (the offer), he jumped up and got very excited,” Scott said after receiving the offer. “We’ve just been talking about this for some time getting offered and now it’s finally here. I’m just blessed.

“Coach Day told me he liked my competitiveness,” he continued. “He told me he wanted to grow our relationship and that he liked how fast and athletic I am. I could have just came to camp and watched, but I decided to do one-on-ones anyway (despite the injury) and they told me they loved how competitive I am.”

Whether it was Ohio State's players and coaches or Michigan's coaches and the Wolverines' four commitments from Ohio in the class of 2024, both programs recruited Scott heavily. It proved that the rivalry isn't just a battle that takes place every season in late November, but one that also takes place on the recruiting trail.

“They talk about each other all the time,” Scott said of Michigan and Ohio State after the Under Armour Next camp last May. “Talking about they don't want me to go there. They’re definitely competitive and preach on going to their schools.”

Ohio State has always been the Scott family's favorite school and even though Oregon was his dream school as a kid, he couldn't help but imagine himself dawning the scarlet and gray. It just took a little longer for that to inevitably happen.

While Scott took official visits to OSU, Michigan and Oregon, the Buckeyes got the final visit and sealed the deal as the cornerback committed to the Buckeyes a week later in an announcement that faked out all of Michigan.

“That was the plan just to throw them off a little bit,” Scott told reporters in an interview session after his announcement.

High School Years

With his length, physicality, coverage instincts, knack for finding the ball and ability to be a lockdown cornerback, Scott used that combination to dominate the opposing wide receiver lined up across from him throughout his time at Springfield, becoming a standout cornerback on Friday nights.

Scott began his high school career as a quarterback but quickly transitioned to the other side of the ball. That said, he still played quarterback at times as a two-way player.

As a junior, Scott totaled 21 tackles, three tackles for loss, five interceptions (two pick-sixes), a fumble recovery and seven pass breakups while leading his team to the state championship game, the type of season he needed to show that he was one of the best cornerbacks in the class.

He followed that up with another 21 tackles, two tackles for loss and two interceptions as a senior, all while running for 257 yards and eight touchdowns and throwing for 155 yards and three quarterbacks in occasional offensive duty, to lead Springfield to the state final again.

Besides dominating on the football field, Scott also played basketball and competed in track and field throughout his time in high school. As a sophomore, he anchored Springfield's 4x200 relay team, which finished sixth at Ohio's state meet. He ran a 24.15 200 and jumped 5-foot-8 in the high jump as a freshman.

Immediate Impact

With Denzel Burke, Davison Igbinosun and Jordan Hancock all returning as starters and Jermaine Mathews Jr., Calvin Simpson-Hunt and Lorenzo Styles Jr. behind them on the two-deep, it'll be tough for any freshman defensive back to see significant playing time this fall.

This means Scott's first year as a Buckeye will be used to grow off the field along with developing on it as well, all while learning from some of the best cornerbacks in the country in order to prepare himself for a bigger role as sophomore.

Long-Term Impact

Scott might not see much playing time in year one in Columbus, but it might be tough for OSU to keep him off the field much longer than that. Given his 6-foot, 185-pound frame along with his ballhawking ability, length, physicality and instincts, he has the skill set to make an early impact in Ohio State’s secondary. 

If he can put on a little more muscle before his sophomore season, Scott should secure a spot on the two-deep and could very well earn a spot in the starting lineup as a sophomore with Burke, Hancock and Igbinosun all potentially playing their final collegiate seasons this fall.

Scott is disruptive at the line of scrimmage and uses his instincts and ball skills to shut down opposing cornerbacks in the open field. If things go as planned, the Springfield product will be one of Ohio State's starting cornerbacks in 2025 and 2026 and become one of the next OSU cornerbacks to be an early-round draft pick.

Player Comparison: Jeff Okudah

A lockdown cornerback who used his 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame to dominate opposing wide receivers, Okudah was Ohio State’s first cornerback to earn unanimous All-American honors and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

That’s a tough standard for Scott to live up to, but he has the profile to be an elite cornerback. It'll be up to his development both physically and from a technique standpoint to make good on that potential.

While Scott might not play nine games as a freshman like Okudah did given the talent that is returning for Ohio State in 2024, Okudah didn’t become a starter until his third year as a Buckeye and still went on to become a first-round NFL draft pick. Scott could find a similar trajectory in Columbus.

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