Skip to main content

4-Star LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste Told Nebraska Coaches He Was Signing With Them Before Picking Ohio State

A photo of Nebraska's Little Red mascot during a game.

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 24: Mascot Lil Red of the Nebraska Cornhuskers walks on the sidelines during the game against the Colorado Buffaloes on November 24, 2006 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska won 37-14. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Nebraska lost a tough recruiting battle today.

The Huskers were in it until the very end for four-star outside linebacker Javontae Jean-Baptiste. In the end, Jean-Baptiste signed with Ohio State.

However, Nebraska was close to landing the Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic star. Painfully close it seems.

According to Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald, Jean-Baptiste actually told Nebraska's coaching staff this morning that he would sign with them. Jean-Baptiste obviously changed his mind.

Incredibly, Jean-Baptiste spurning the Huskers at the last minute isn't even the toughest pill for Nebraska fans to swallow. It's the twist of fate that led to his final decision.

Per McKewon, Jean-Baptiste was supposed to sign early this morning, right around the time he had told Nebraska he was coming. But the weather didn't cooperate.

Bergen Catholic had to cancel school due to snow, meaning Jean-Baptiste had to make alternate signing plans. He didn't make his choice official until around noon.

By that point, his mind had changed.

So he [Jean-Baptiste] had time after he called Nebraska to think and talk with his family. And during that talk, Jean-Baptiste said he switched to Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer, who told the Big Ten Network that Jean-Baptiste had signed with the Buckeyes before Jean-Baptiste's actual signing ceremony inside a Bergen Catholic coach's office.

[ ... ]

Jean-Baptiste said he called Nebraska's coaches after he decided to flip to OSU. He said NU coach Scott Frost "was kind of not happy," but Jean-Baptiste understood.

Nebraska fans have to be hurting a little after reading that.

For what it's worth, the Huskers will have chance to show Jean-Baptiste he made the wrong choice when they take on Ohio State on Nov. 3.

[ Omaha World-Herald ]