What head coach Urban Meyer and his coaching staff is doing is incredible. As hardcore college football fans know, you don’t win games on Saturday’s in the fall; you win championships at the beginning of the offseason on the recruiting trail. Ohio State Football got even better today when Jeffrey Okudah, the number one cornerback prospect in the country ranked by 247Sports, signed to play for the Buckeyes. According to SBNation, this is the Buckeyes SEVENTH five-star recruit for the 2017 class. That is astonishing.
Okudah is a game changer who can impact the game in all three phases. He was all over the field while playing high school ball in South Grand Prairie, Texas. At 6’1, 190 pounds, this guy is a similar athlete to Jabrill Peppers, who made his mark all over the field with the Michigan Wolverines. The difference? Okudah might have better ball skills as a pure defensive back. He dominated top wide receiver talent at The Opening, and has measurables that are off the charts.
He has unique instincts in finding the ball, and making plays in the air in the rare instance that a quarterback throws his way. This youngster is a player that can be both a true lockdown specialist on the outside, as well as a playmaking safety that has unlimited range. He is a natural playing at centerfield, as Okudah can read a QB’s eyes and react with elite speed to close passing lanes.
He can do play just about any position in the secondary, and he is more than capable as a shutdown corner. He thrives in space outside the numbers, but also finishes tackles in the box with authority and sound technique. Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs is going to have a field day with this guy if that’s where he lines up. Here’s a glimpse of what he did all over the field in his junior year:
What makes Okudah so special is the fact that however he touches the ball, he’s going to make things happen. He was able to average over 24 yards per catch in 2015, and had over seven yards per rush as a senior in 2016. His toughness and explosive quickness set him apart from other prospects, and wherever he gets his hand on the ball, there’s a chance he can go the distance.
This kid can return missed field goals or punts to the house at any time in the game. With Okudah, among many others on the defensive side signed in this 2017 class, the Buckeyes are going to have even more future NFL talent in the years to come. Watching these big-time prospects should be a lot of fun.
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