Yet another one of the Texas Longhorns’ top safety targets is now off the board.
Fewer than two weeks after Houston C.E. King star Bryson Washington took his talents across the Red River to the Sooners, Tucson (Az.) Salpointe Catholic product Lathan Ransom brought his recruitment to a close on his 17th birthday by announcing his pledge to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Marathon Continues... COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/E6HgycNHxF— Lathan Ransom (@L8thanRansom) July 16, 2019
In addition to Texas, Notre Dame was among Ransom’s final three options, while Oklahoma and LSU were previous inclusions in Ransom’s final five in early June.
A consensus four-star talent, Ransom released the latter list of June 4, just days after his first trip to the Forty Acres, which received raved reviews. Two short weeks later, Ransom was back around the burnt orange for an official tour on June 14; the fourth of his five official visits. Following his officials to Oklahoma (April 13), LSU (April 24), Notre Dame (June 8), and Texas, Ohio State received Ransom’s final official tour, and almost immediately, momentum swung entirely in favor of the Buckeyes in the form of multiple Crystal Ball picks.
“I think when I went there I said something that made it seem like I like them a lot,” Ransom told 247Sports. “Ohio State, I had a great trip there, but I also had four other great official visits. I guess because it was my last one, most people think that was my most powerful or most moving one. Ohio State was a great visit though and it was cool for my whole family to see it. It was a great experience.”
Of course, that momentum has since come to fruition, so despite a strong summer push, Texas finished on the outside looking in with the nation’s No. 4 safety prospect, per the 247Sports Composite.
Going forward, the hope for the Horns will be that Ransom’s decision doesn’t influence the looming Aug. 2 commitment coming from his teammate and priority Texas running back target Bijan Robinson. Unfortunately for the Horns, much like Ransom, Robinson’s recruitment has begun to trend heavily in favor of Ohio State.
Furthermore, there’s now increased pressure for Texas to secure a pledge from one of its few remaining targets at the safety position.
In this case, Duncanville star Chris Thompson Jr. is the priority. A teammate of Texas’ quarterback pledge Ja’Quinden Jackson, Thompson has long been considered a Longhorns lean, and that remains true as his Aug. 1 decision draws nearer, but Auburn, USC, and Ohio State loom as threats. Pearland Shadow Creek standout Xavion Alford remains on the Horns’ big board, as well. Alford is scheduled to officially visit Austin on Aug. 7 for the LSU game, and Texas will need to make the most of that opportunity in hopes of keeping the elite in-state talent away from the SEC.