Ohio State commit Paris Johnson Jr. visiting Notre Dame this weekend

Carter Karels
South Bend Tribune

Two Ohio State commits backed out of their verbal pledges after Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer announced his retirement last week.

Notre Dame is hoping Paris Johnson Jr. will be next. ND Insider confirmed that Johnson, an OSU commit and the nation's No. 1 offensive tackle for 2020, is in South Bend for ND's junior day weekend. 247Sports first reported the news.

ND Insider confirmed the 12 junior day visitors, which can be found here. Johnson may be the most intriguing. The 6-foot-7, 285-pounder is making his first reported visit since Meyer's announcement.

Johnson committed to the Buckeyes on June 28.

"Paris Johnson is the number one tackle in the class of 2020," said Tom Lemming, a CBS Sports Network analyst. "At this stage, he's better than (former Notre Dame All-American) Ronnie Stanley coming out of Las Vegas. Great length, super quick feet, tremendous technique."

The Irish circled back with a few targets considering Ohio State. Cincinnati Princeton's Darrion Henry and Jaheim Thomas — both 2020 recruits — are visiting ND this weekend. 247Sports' crystal ball projects both to land at OSU. Johnson and Henry visited for a junior day in early March. Both of them left with offers.

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy's Lejond Cavazos, a 2020 cornerback that decommitted from OSU last week, earned an invite to ND's junior day but could not make it due to final exams. Marietta (Ga.) High's Jake Wray, a 2020 offensive lineman, also decommitted from the Buckeyes.

ND offensive line coach Jeff Quinn and defensive line coach Mike Elston visited Johnson's school, Cincinnati St. Xavier, on Thursday. While Johnson's situation is uncertain, his mother, Monica Johnson, expressed concern following the Meyer news. 

"Today was totally unexpected," Monica told WCPO Cincinnati after Meyer's announcement. "It has been an overwhelming day for our family ... We are disappointed with today's announcement; we are continuing to process the news."

Johnson rates as a four-star on 247Sports but is the site's No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 8 overall player. Rivals rates Johnson as a five-star and ranks him as the No. 1 offensive tackle and No. 7 overall player. 

Four-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. (left) and four-star defensive end Darrion Henry, both 2020 recruits, visited Notre Dame in March. They are both back for ND's junior day event this weekend.