The dead period instituted by the NCAA in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak has not halted the success for Ohio State on the recruiting trail.


On Sunday afternoon, the Buckeyes picked up a commitment from JK Johnson, the nation’s fourth-ranked cornerback, to bolster their top-ranked recruiting class for 2021.


Johnson, a native of St. Louis, revealed his decision in a tweet.


"1000% Committed," he wrote.


According to Bill Kurelic, who covers Ohio State football recruiting for Bucknuts.com, Johnson had planned to visit the school on March 28 for spring practice.


But official and unofficial visits were canceled last week as the coronavirus pandemic reached the U.S., prompting the NCAA to suspend all in-person recruiting through the national dead period.


The Buckeyes’ spring practices are also suspended through at least April 6.


Johnson visited Clemson earlier this month and his top-six finalists also included Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma and Southern California.


After the commitment, Buckeyes defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, who was Johnson’s primary recruiter, tweeted a variety of hashtags in celebration that included:


"#wecangetthingsdoneinanycircumstance


"#Buckeyefootballremainsopenforbusiness!


"#facetimenotasgoodasfacetofacebutweareworkingit!"


Eight of the Buckeyes’ commitments in their 2021 recruiting class are ranked in the top 100 of 247Sports’ composite rankings, including Johnson, who is rated as the 59th-best prospect in the nation and a four-star.


Listed at 6 feet and 168 pounds, Johnson is the first cornerback commit in the class, a position of need for the Buckeyes.


They are down to seven scholarship cornerbacks after Amir Riep was dismissed from the team last month following his arrest on rape charges.


They will lose at least one cornerback after next season in senior Marcus Williamson, and Shaun Wade, a fourth-year junior, is again eligible to enter the NFL draft after considering the possibly this offseason.


Johnson helped his high school, De Smet Jesuit, win a Missouri state championship last fall in the Class 6 division.


jkaufman@dispatch.com


@joeyrkaufman