Ohio State picks up pair of verbal commitments from Florida after spring game

Ohio State football wrapped up spring with a scrimmage Saturday and picked up two new recruits on Sunday.

Both Dijon Johnson and Bryson Rodgers are big-framed perimeter players from Florida.

Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound four-star cornerback from Tampa Wharton made his announcement first and became the third defensive back to join the class.

He was among the players to visit for the spring game and told 247Sports that Ohio State had always been his dream school.

“It just wasn’t an in the moment thing,” he told the site. “It was always like my top school.”

Jonson is the No. 265 prospect in 247Sports Composite rankings, 102 spots ahead of the other player to commit Sunday.

Rodgers, 6-2, 170-pound a three-star receiver, is the No. 73 prospect in the Sunshine State and the 49th-ranked player at his position at this time.

“I have dreamed of this day and saying these words since I touched a football,” Rodgers wrote in a social media post after thanking his parents and coaches. “With that being said, I am coming home. I am happy to announce my dream has come true, and I will be committing to The Ohio State University!”

Rodgers attends Wiregrass Ranch High School in Zephyrhills, but he is a native of Warren in northeast Ohio according to Cleveland.com.

With nine verbal commits for 2023, Ohio State has the No. 2 class in the country and trails only Texas Tech, which has started fast with 15 commits (five more than anyone else in the current top 25), on the national scene.

The class includes four players who attend high school in Ohio, including offensive lineman Joshua Padilla of Wayne and defensive back Malik Hartford of Fairfield.

Another four of the early commits come from Florida high schools. Prior to Jonson and Rodgers, Ohio State picked up commitments from Fort Lauderdale American Heritage running back Mark Fletcher and Cocoa defensive back Cedrick Hawkins.

Ohio State has recruited Florida heavily since the early 1990s, though the Buckeyes’ national recruiting has been more spread out over the past decade or so.

From 1990-99, Ohio State signed 1.8 players from Florida per year. That went up to 2.3 from 2000-09 and was 2.2 from 2010-19, but Ohio State also signed more players overall and many more from out of state since 2011.

In the last decade of the ‘90s, 21.2 percent of Ohio State’s out-of-state recruits were from Florida, and that rose to 28 percent from 2000-09.

From 2010-19, the percent of Ohio State’s out-of-state recruits from Florida dipped to 16.8.

The latter trend has continued over the past three years with only three players from Florida signing with the Buckeyes since 2019 (in the ‘22 class).

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