Ohio State missed out on 2021 offensive line prospect Jager Burton (Lexington, Ky./Frederick Douglass) Sunday evening, as the heralded guard decided to stay home and play college football at nearby Kentucky.
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Burton opted for the hometown Wildcats from his top-five list that also included national powerhouses Ohio State, Oregon, Alabama and Clemson. An SI All-American candidate, he had more than 20 offers and is arguably the top player in the state.
Burton had originally planned to commit on August 24, then announced in June that he would be delaying that decision in hopes of taking more on-campus visits, but has now moved forward despite the ongoing uncertainty of the NCAA Dead Period. He attends high school just four miles from Kentucky’s campus.
Like many recruits, he saw this process shaken up by the ongoing logistical issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Burton visited Ohio State in November of 2019 and was hoping to return this past spring for a second go-around.
UK was the only school among Burton’s finalists that didn’t yet have an interior offensive lineman secured in its class, while the others all had at least one top-10 prospect committed at the position. Burton is easily the highest-rated 2021 commit for the Wildcats and now gives the program three offensive linemen in this class, joining a pair of tackles from Ohio in David Wohlabaugh (Stow) and Paul Rodriguez (Mason).
Ohio State, recently securing a commitment from defensive tackle Tyleik Williams, is still narrowly ahead of Alabama for the No. 1 spot in the national team rankings for this cycle. The Buckeyes currently have 19 commits.
Ohio State does have two offensive guards already secured in that group of 19 by way of Donovan Jackson (Bellaire, Texas) and Ben Christman (Richfield, Ohio), a current tackle that will likely move inside. Jackson was recently named the No. 2 interior lineman by SI All-American and came in 31st on the Preseason SI99.