Ohio State landed a commitment from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood three-star athlete Kye Stokes on May 2, just six days after the Buckeyes extended a scholarship offer.
The 6-foot-2 and 185-pound Stokes was arguably the fastest-rising prospect in the country at the time of his pledge, as he had also picked up offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame, Tennessee and South Carolina during a two-week period in late April.
He believes the combination of what he put on tape during his junior season and his performance on the 7-on-7 circuit this spring are the reasons why he went from unknown prospect to hot commodity.
"I think it's because I'm an all-around athlete, I play everything," Stokes told SI All-American during the Championship 7v7 Battle Royals in Tampa over the weekend. "I play kickoff, punt, punt return, safety, receiver and I'm even at backup quarterback. I'm just an athlete and I bring a different type of aggression and passion when I play.
"It's been a crazy ride, but it's truly a blessing. It feels great to be wanted by so many programs and especially so many top-tier programs."
Stokes, who will play safety at the next level, could have taken his time with his recruitment, especially with the nearly 15-month long dead period coming to an end on June 1. But his growing relationship with head coach Ryan Day, defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs, secondary coach Matt Barnes and – particularly – running backs coach/area recruiter Tony Alford made his decision easy.
"I made the decision and I'm standing by it," Stokes said. "One, the relationship I built with the coaches. Even though it was quick, I got a very genuine feel for all the coaches that I've spoken with. And that's DBU. I feel like if I want to make it to the league, they have the program and developmental plan that I need. Plus, the intangibles they had, it was just something I wanted to be a part of."
Stokes does not plan to make any trips outside of his official visit to Columbus, scheduled for June 4-6. If that’s the case, his recruitment will mirror that of Ohio State’s pursuit of former Armwood running back Brian Snead, who committed and did not take another visit before signing with the Buckeyes as part of their 2018 recruiting class.
"I feel like that's the right way to take care of business," Stokes said. "I made my decision, I did the research necessary and I feel like I made the right choice for me so there is really no need to be interested in other schools."
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