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COLUMBUS — A Toledo native will not play football at Ohio State for the first time in years this fall.
Former Central Catholic star and freshman safety Jayme Thompson is leaving OSU, his father, Deon Thompson, told The Blade.
Thompson was granted his release from the program Wednesday and intends to transfer, resuming elsewhere a college career that began with a hard-luck setback last season.
The former four-star recruit plans to visit Kentucky, Syracuse, and Penn State in the coming weeks. His list of prospective landing spots also includes Louisville, Virginia Tech, Missouri, West Virginia, California, and Texas A&M.
Deon Thompson said Jayme has already received several offers.
Thompson missed his freshman season after suffering a severe high-ankle sprain in the Buckeyes’ second full-pads practice last fall. He rejoined the team for winter conditioning and played well in Ohio State’s annual spring game Saturday, starting for the Scarlet team and finishing with three tackles and a pass breakup. It is believed coaches wanted him to stay.
But Thompson was not yet on the brink of cracking the fall rotation at a deep safeties position. Sophomores Tyvis Powell, Cam Burrows, Vonn Bell, and juniors Ron Tanner were ahead of Thompson, while more competition was set to arrive in incoming freshmen Malik Hooker and Erick Smith.
Thompson leaves Ohio State in good academic standing and plans to seek a medical hardship waiver that will allow him to play immediately this fall. If the waiver is not granted, Thompson will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting this season under transfer rules.
Barring a late roster addition, Ohio State will not feature a Glass City native next year for the first time since 2006. Former Central receiver Dane Sanzenbacher played for the Buckeyes from 2007-10, while St. John’s Jesuit graduate and left tackle Jack Mewhort completed a five-year run at OSU last fall. Both will be in the NFL next season.
Thompson is the third scholarship player from Toledo to leave the Ohio State program in the past two-plus years, though there is no common thread. Former Rogers defensive back DerJuan Gambrell was dismissed in 2012 after his freshman season, while former Whitmer defensive lineman Kenny Hayes left the same year on his own accord. Neither has resumed their careers.