Ohio State lands four-star wide receiver Jayden Ballard in the Early Signing Period.
Ballard comes from Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio. Eight miles away from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Massillon has produced many NFL stars, including the legendary coach Paul Brown himself.
According to 247Sports Composite, Ballard is the 66th-ranked player in the country, the eighth-ranked wide receiver in the country, and the third-best recruit from Ohio. The Buckeyes are keeping their top four in-state recruits, including Ballard, Jack Sawyer, Mike Hall, and Reid Carrico.
Ballard chose Ohio State over Penn State, Michigan State, and Notre Dame.
Ballard is 6’2″ and 175 pounds who runs a 4.60-second 40-yard dash. He also ran a 10.89-second 100 meter dash on the track team. Ballard is also a basketball player for the Massillon Tigers.
Though he could still bulk up, Ballard is great at making contested catches. He does a great job of tracking the ball in the air and attacking it at the height of his jump. Currently, Ballard is mostly a deep ball threat who can run smooth routes and make great catches. After he puts on a little more muscle and develops more routes, he has number one receiver potential.
In 2020, Ballard only had 36 receptions for 573 yards and seven touchdowns. In his junior season in 2019, he had 68 receptions for 1,202 yards and 18 touchdowns. Those 18 scores he had is a Washington High School single-season record. Over the last three years, Ballard has caught 140 passes, gained 2,626 yards and scored 37 touchdowns for the Tigers.
Ryan Day started recruiting Ballard himself when he was the Ohio State quarterbacks coach. Brian Hartline also has a hand in landing Ballard, and will look to develop him into a starting receiver in Columbus.
(Photo courtesy Elevenwarriors.com)