After signing the nation’s best defensive back haul in the 2017 recruiting class, Ohio State is at it again in 2018: 4-star safety Jaiden Woodbey has committed to the Buckeyes.
The country’s third-ranked safety prospect, Woodbey selected Ohio State over almost 20 additional scholarship offers, but in the end it was the Buckeyes ahead of USC, Nebraska and Oklahoma. His father, Donnell, played for the Trojans, but in the end, there was no place like Ohio for the 6-foot-2, 205-pound defensive back. Why? Simply put, Woodbey always felt the love from the Buckeyes coaching staff.
“I feel like it’s best right now because I know that I’m going to get the best out of Ohio State,” Woodbey told Land of 10. “They have been recruiting me harder than any other school, honestly. I feel like if a school really wants you, they would recruit you weekly and and you would be on the phone with them constantly and that is how it has been with Ohio State.”
4-star Jaiden Woodbey commits to Ohio State
THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE… pic.twitter.com/JP7oYDd8Wz
— I AM JAIDEN WOODBEY™ (@JaidenWoodbey6) February 7, 2017
The Buckeyes signed six defensive backs on National Signing Day and Woodbey is aware that may be used against them on the recruiting trail. But he says he’s not concerned about the roster breakdown.
“It was five cornerbacks, so I don’t care,” he said. “I know when I get there I’m shocking the world. (I’m) more of a Malik Hooker kind of (player).”
Woodbey named Ohio State the leader early in his recruiting process, and though it took him a while to make his first trip to Columbus, being on campus helped showcase exactly what makes the Buckeyes program the right fit for him.
“Ohio State has my majors,” said Woodbey, who wants to focus on business and marketing. “I can handle the weather and they have a ‘get it done no matter what’ mentality, which my parents and I both like.”
So why now? There’s no time like the present, that’s why. Woodbey thinks he’s got the right school and the timing is perfect for him, because he’s already had enough of the recruiting process. Months of travel and phone calls and being pulled every direction can take a toll.
“I have learned from the past that switching from school to school will give you a bad look so you have to do your research for everything,” he shared. “Honestly, I just wanted to knock it out and get the recruiting process out of the way. After signing day, I knew where I was really going to go and I don’t need recruiting to be a factor to me this season. I need to focus more on bringing Bosco a second state championship and second national championship. This recruiting process is already stressful as it is. I have been talking to my parents about this for the last two months.”
Including his father, who, Woodbey said, was thrilled for him despite the decision to go away from home and away from his alma mater.
“My dad was happy,” he said. “He didn’t mind where I went as long as it was a good fit for me. He was excited, just like Urban Meyer.”
The commitment from Woodbey is the third in Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class. All three verbals are from outside of Ohio. He is the second-highest prospect committed to the Buckeyes, behind No. 21-ranked Emory Jones, a 5-star quarterback from Franklin, Ga.