The Early Bucks: Jamel Dean

An early commit to Ohio State, Jamel Dean has snuck under the radar a bit when it comes to Buckeyes in the class of 2015. But the cornerback from Florida has skill and was wanted by many top programs, as we find out in our Early Bucks profile of the three-star athlete.

Jamel Dean
6-1, 194
Cocoa, Fla.
No. 58 CB, three stars
Committed on Dec. 1, 2013

Dean's Recruitment: It was a short recruiting process for Dean, who has been committed to Ohio State for more than a year and was the second member of OSU's 2015 class.

Dean attended the Friday Night Lights camp at Ohio State in the summer of 2013, and by August of that year when he already had offers from two notable names -- Florida and Ohio State. The two schools were impressed by his length, speed and athleticism early on.

"Jamel is so long and so big for that position," head coach Johnny Wilkinson said at the time. "You don't find guys like that. And he's getting better and better as a pure cover guy. I expect him to be a major prospect when it's all said and done."

By the start of his junior season, Dean was up to five offers, but it didn't matter. By the time his campaign ended, he was in the midst of rehabbing a torn ACL, but he had already made the choice to attend Ohio State, making it official just after the end of the season.

"It was because I just felt that Ohio State was the right place to be for me," Dean said of his decision to choose the Buckeyes. "I had developed a sense of comfort with them because I had been there before and really fit in.

"Coach (Tim) Hinton really helped out because we had been in communication since the summer. He really picked up his recruitment of me once they saw me at camp. He always said I'd be a perfect fit for them and that I'd love it there if I played there. Now I get the chance. He loves Ohio State and I do too."

Dean never showed signs of reopening his recruitment, sticking with the Buckeyes as he got back on the field in 2014. At the end of the campaign, he earned a bid to the Semper Fi All-American Game, though he did not play because of a meniscus injury in his knee.

Early Impact: If Dean is healthy as he rehabs from that meniscus tear (which doesn't usually take a ton of time) he could be an interesting addition to the battle to replace Doran Grant at the cornerback spot. By all indications, he's fast, athletic and intelligent so he could throw his hat in the ring early, though he'll have to battle such players as Gareon Conley, Damon Webb and Marshon Lattimore for time. Still, there's no one guaranteed to take over that spot, and Dean will have a chance to get some reps and see what he can do as he takes part in his first spring at Ohio State.

Expert Take: "Well, he’s a captain this year and I think he’s made some strides in his leadership. He’s a quiet kid and doesn’t really say too much, but he leads by example. He realizes this year that he has to step up and become more vocal with his leadership style, because kids are going to follow him because of who he is and what he does. I think his leadership has definitely stepped up.

"He’s not a big talker. He’s not going to say anything. He just goes out there and plays and does whatever is asked of him. He returns punts for us, returns kicks and whatever we ask him to do is what he does. He doesn’t speak to the other team. That’s just the way he is. Quiet kid." - Wilkinson

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Jashon Cornell
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