Dallas Gant, considered the No. 1 outside linebacker prospect for the 2018 recruiting cycle by 247Sports, announced Tuesday — his birthday — that he intends to sign a national letter of intent with Ohio State.

From Toledo St. John’s, Gant picked OSU over Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State.

“I just had longer relationships with Ohio State,” Gant told the Toledo Blade. “Coach (Urban) Meyer knows my family really well. My mom and him were texting and I was like, 'You're best friends with Urban Meyer? That's pretty cool.' The relationships meant a great deal to me because that's what helps you in the long run.”

Becoming comfortable with new linebackers coach Bill Davis after Luke Fickell left to become coach at Cincinnati was the key, said Gant, the first linebacker in the 2018 class.

“Look at that list (of finalists), those are Ohio State’s major rivals in the Midwest, either in terms of recruiting in the case of Notre Dame, to on-the-field Big Ten East rivals in the other three,” analyst Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts said. “That shows you the impact, because he was either going to be playing for the Buckeyes or against them.”

Gant, 6 feet 3 and 225 pounds, is the No. 2 overall prospect in the state according to 247Sports, and his composite rating from all major recruiting services is No. 5 among outside linebacker prospects.

Ohio State has 10 players committed to its 2018 class, ranked No. 2 nationally by 247Sports and No. 4 by Rivals.