In what Urban Meyer described as one of the greatest recruiting performances he had ever seen by safeties coach Everett Withers, the Buckeyes went into SEC country (Georgia) and wrestled away the fourth ranked safety in the country, Vonn Bell. The Buckeyes fought defending National Champion Alabama and Tennessee for the 6’1″, 190 lb 5 star safety. Bell is the complete package at safety as he has great range, is excellent in run support and possesses great ball skills. With his size and athleticism, Buckeye fans should be seeing a lot of Bell this year, either on special teams or at safety. Vonn Bell was ranked as a 5 star by both Rivals and Scout and a 4 star by ESPN and 247.
Jayme Thompson is another hard hitting commit for Coach Fickell’s defense. Thompson is a 6’2″ 185 lb safety from Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio. Thompson is more of a strong safety prospect compared to the ball hawking Vonn Bell. He tends to play better in the box, where he is strong in run support and is a very good blitzer. Thompson may have to be coached up a bit by Coach Withers to improve his coverage skills, but he possesses great athleticism to play safety at a high level. He could be a candidate for a red shirt with three safeties already on the roster and Bell, but we shall see. Jayme Thompson was a consensus 4 star prospect by ESPN, Rivals, 247 and Scout.
Some have said that Vonn Bell was the most important player recruited by the Buckeyes, as it proved that Meyer could go down into the south and battle the SEC for a big time recruit. With injuries and inconsistency from the elder safeties, Buckeye fans could be seeing Bell earlier than expected, but if not he will get his chance to start next season. Thompson is a player who could play strong safety or the STAR position with his size and athleticism. Overall, Buckeye fans should be ecstatic with both players and especially Bell who could turn into one of the all-time Buckeye greats at safety if he lives up to the high expectations.