In the summer of 2016, Ohio State landed an unexpected to commitment from Seffner (Fla.) Armwood four-star running back Brian Snead, who then did not take a single visit elsewhere before signing with the program the following winter.
The Buckeyes are now hoping a similar story unfolds with Kye Stokes, a three-star safety who hails from the same high school as Snead, after he committed to Ohio State six days after he landed an offer from the staff in May.
“(I’m) 1,000 percent Ohio State. There's no doubt in my heart," Stokes told SI All-American. "The relationship I continue to build with the coaches, with the entire program and even some of the players that I've been keeping in contact with, it's making me even more locked-in and ready to start learning.”
Stokes made his first and only trip to Columbus for an official visit in mid-June, and is now looking forward to returning for this weekend’s game against Tulsa.
“(It) blew my mind," Stokes said of his official visit. "It was great. The facility was amazing, people were amazing. It felt like home for the next five, six years.”
“Now I want to see how the players handle the game day. You don't get to see that behind the scenes, like how they lock in before the game, how they handle it after the game. I want to be able to witness that first-hand.”
That said, other schools aren’t giving up on their pursuit of Stokes, including Florida, which sent secondary coach Wesley McGriff to his game on Friday night. He’s appreciative of that fact, but it doesn’t change his pledge one way or the other.
“(McGriff) told me he was coming," Stokes said. "I'm not burning any bridges so I tell them, 'Thank you for the opportunity.' As of right now, I'm 1,000 percent locked in.
"I'm not planning a visit to Florida and I'm not sure I'm going to see any other games. I'm still a high school student and I love college football, so I could go see a game, but if I did, it would be just to enjoy a college game."
In the end, it’s Stokes’ relationship with head coach Ryan Day, defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs and secondary coach Matt Barnes that sealed the deal for the Buckeyes. The two sides are in constant communication as he eyes being an early contributor once he arrives on campus.
“(Barnes) really just breaks down my film,” Stokes said. “He hits up me about every other week, tells me what I could have done better in the game and what I could work on. He says I'm still that versatile, everywhere player. I'm just trying to get my hips right, feet right, eyes better."
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