April 2, 2012

Thompson adds to dynamic secondary

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Follow Noon | Rowland | Givler | Birmingham

Throughout the years the Ohio State football program has developed an outstanding tradition of producing high-level defensive backs. If the early recruiting rankings are any indication, the class of 2013 has more than a fair chance to continue that tradition. The Buckeyes have already landed three highly rated defensive back prospects, the latest being four-star safety Jayme Thompson out of Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic.

The 6-foot-2, 184-pound prospect joins a secondary class that already contained two of the nation's top corners in Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern Regional four-star Eli Woodard and Dayton (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison five-star Cameron Burrows. For Thompson, the athletic safety prospect is eager to join his classmates on the field.

"As a safety, of course that's going to be great to have two great corners around you," Thompson said. "That makes my job easier and I feel like we're going to have a championship defense. That's definitely something I looked at (before making his commitment)."

Word of Thompson's commitment quickly spread to the other members of Ohio State's class, and the other defensive backs are ready to welcome him with open arms. For Woodard, Thompson's commitment was a missing piece to the puzzle in the secondary.

"I was real excited," Woodard said of Thompson's commitment. "It's great that we have a safety now and we definitely have a great DB corps. He's definitely going to be a great asset; I've already watched his highlight tape."

Though there is likely one more spot in Ohio State's class for a defensive back, Woodard is already excited about the talent that has been accumulated both in the secondary and the defense as a whole.

"Our defense I feel is going to be one of the best," Woodard said. "If we just work hard, with our talent there's no excuse for us to not have a great defense. I'm definitely excited about that."

In total, all three defensive back commits in Ohio State's class are ranked among the top 150 players in the nation by the Rivals.com national analysts. Midwest Analyst Josh Helmholdt commented on what he saw out of Thompson to give him his lofty ranking.

"When I first went and saw Jayme, I had certain expectations for him and I think he went way beyond my expectations," said Helmholdt. "First of all, if he absolutely flies around the field. I saw a lot of fast kids all year long and Jayme Thompson stood out as a kid that to me is a flat out burner."

"I also like his ability to play either corner or safety," he continued. "We didn't get a chance to see him play corner but just from watching him, he has the feet to play corner and he looks to have the fluidity in his hips to run with wide receivers. Very rarely do you get a guy that can play safety or corner so his versatility is very beneficial for him and Ohio State."

Helmholdt added that the skill set that each of Ohio State's three defensive back commits possess is very unique.

"What's really unique about this group and what I like to see out of defensive backs is that they can cover," Helmholdt explained. "With this group you've got three big defensive backs that are exceptional in coverage and that's really unique. Coaches are looking for that big cornerback that can flip his hips like a smaller corner or the safety sized kids that have the ability to stick wide receivers one-on-one and you've got all of that here. Those types are few and far between and Ohio State has three of them in the same class."


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