Buford, Ga., four-star safety Jake Pope included Ohio State in his top eight on Friday night alongside Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Oklahoma.
The 6-foot-1 and 190-point Pope is considered the 26th-best safety and No. 392 prospect overall in the class of 2022, as he recorded 63 tackles and four interceptions to lead the Wolves to the state championship last season. He hails from the same high school as Buckeyes junior center Harry Miller.
Pope landed an offer from Ohio State during a virtual visit with head coach Ryan Day, defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and secondary coach Matt Barnes in February. He’s never been to campus but will presumably visit for the first time when the recruiting dead period comes to an end.
Ohio State is looking to take one or two safeties this cycle, with Altoona (Iowa) Southeast Polk four-star Xavier Nwankpa and Las Vegas Bishop Gorman four-star Zion Branch at the top of the list. If the Buckeyes miss out on either, though, Pope and a host of other prospects like Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon four-star Kamari Ramsey; Argyle (Texas) Liberty Christian four-star Cristian Driver; and Orlando Evans four-star Markeith Williams would then come into focus.
That said, something for Ohio State to keep in mind moving forward is that Pope’s father, Brad, played for Clemson from 1993-96. The Tigers have not offered to this point, but it’s probably safe to assume that would be a game changer in his recruitment if/when they do.
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