Austin Ward of Letterman Row and Patrick Murphy of Bucknuts said the Ohio State freshman and former three-star recruit suffered a hard break this week when freshman safety Jaylen Johnson tore his cruciate ligament rupture while training. Johnson was a three-star member of the Ohio State’s 2021 Recruiting Class.
Ohio State offered Johnson in June 2019 after an impressive performance at camp. Johnson then visited the state of Ohio, along with the current Buckeyes in quarterback CJ Stroud, race back Miyan Williams | and kicker Jake Seibert, Middle of December. Johnson made his college decision and signed up to the Scarlet and Gray on January 7, 2020 through offerings from programs such as Indiana, Iowa State, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan State, and others.
Johnson was a three-star contender and the 30th Safety Place in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite, who came from La Salle High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was listed by the Composite as the 13th best player in Ohio in the 2021 class, but ranked 414th in the country.
Johnson was unlikely to get serious time in defense as a freshman, but he could have broken the special teams rotation.
Speaking to the media last week, Ohio State Defense Coordinator Kerry Coombs said he was impressed with the real cornerbacks of the newcomers to the roster. He delved into how that affects the rest of the secondary school.
“That means everything. Cam (Brown) played really well last year; people forget that. He had a good camp, he played well at Nickel and played hand-to-hand in some difficult situations, and he was playing really well,” said Coombs. “And so it was a heartbreaking injury for him. He worked hard to rehabilitate it and he has now found himself in good place.
“We’re going to be careful, we’re going to be careful (how many reps they give him at camp) because we should be. But at the same time he has to knock off the rust and be ready to play. But he’s fast, he’s nervous, and he’s going to go out and compete. “
Get the fastest results, stats, news, LIVE videos and more. CLICK HERE to download the CBS Sports Mobile App and get the latest on your team today.
Ohio State will open its regular season in Minnesota on Thursday, September 2nd. The Buckeyes were victorious the last time the two teams met, a 30:14 win in Columbus in 2018. The last time the two programs met in Minneapolis was in 2014 when the Buckeyes met with a 31-24- Got away with victory.
Bucknuts’ Patrick Murphy and Dave Biddle contributed to this report.