Pickerington North defensive end Alex Williams has been steadfast in keeping his college choice to himself until the early signing period begins Wednesday, but his high school apparently let the secret out of the bag Tuesday when it announced he will sign with Ohio State, according to Dispatch affiliate This Week News.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Williams had been committed to West Virginia for a while. But when the Buckeyes lost five-star defensive end prospect Brenton Cox of Georgia, who decommitted two weeks ago, they turned to Williams, a late bloomer who is considered No.32 nationally among weakside DE prospects by the 247sports composite.
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At the moment, Williams is the only defensive end pledged to the OSU 2018 class, though the Buckeyes are still in pursuit of Tyreke Smith of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, among others. It’s not clear whether Smith, also sought by Penn State, will sign a letter of intent on Wednesday. He had been planning to reveal his college choice during the Under Armour All-American game on Jan.4 in Orlando.
Meanwhile, the big question one day away from major college football’s first early signing period is the choice of Jackson Carman of Fairfield, Ohio, considered the No.1 offensive line prospect in the nation. He went into this month with an apparent top three of OSU, Southern California and Clemson but is believed to be down to OSU or USC. He has a signing ceremony set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at his school.
It was revealed late Monday night by Bucknuts veteran recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic that the Buckeyes stopped their pursuit of quarterback Emory Jones of Franklin, Ga. Jones had been committed to OSU since the summer of 2016, but in recent months had wavered. Analysts now believe he will sign with Florida on Wednesday.
The Buckeyes gained a commitment two weeks ago from quarterback with Matthew Baldwin of Lake Travis High School outside Austin, Texas. Though he has a three-star rating at the moment, this is his first year as a starter at the same school that produced 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma and several other major college quarterbacks in the past 12 years. Baldwin has led his team to the Class 6A-Division 1 state championship game Saturday vs. Allen in the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.