When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.
For about a year, the Thompsons Station (Tenn.) Independence four-star tight end stayed pledged to Ohio State, showing no signs of looking at other programs or considering a flip.
And then Alabama offered. When the offer from the Crimson Tide came through on July 29, the wheels started to go into motion about playing for coach Nick Saban and then just a few days later, Lockwood made the tough decision to flip from Alabama to Ohio State.
There’s no good way to lose the first commitment in a recruiting class, especially when they were a vocal class leader like Ty Lockwood was for Ohio State. Couple that with his decision to flip to Alabama and this one hurts pretty bad for the Buckeyes. The loss is made slightly better with the recent addition of Jelani Thurman to the 2023 class, but the perception that Ohio State is struggling with things on the recruiting front right now feels more and more real. – Austin Ward, DottingTheEyes.com
Sting factor: 8
Lockwood is a very talented tight end who was impressive working out for the quarterbacks at Elite 11 among other stops but Ohio State will be just fine. The Buckeyes recently landed a pledge from four-star tight end Jelani Thurman, who is definitely in the same ballpark talent-wise as Lockwood and might even end up being better. The decommitments of Johnson and Lockwood do not look to be a troubling trend in Ohio State’s recruiting class and as the Buckeyes shoot for a return to the College Football Playoff this season, they should load up even more to polish off one of the best classes in the country. Everything is fine in Columbus. – Adam Gorney, National Recruiting Director
Sting factor: 5