Clifton Garrett, Johnnie Dixon commit

Updated: December 17, 2013, 7:07 PM ET
By Derek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren | ESPN.com

Two of the nation's top 40 recruits committed to national powers within an hour of each other Tuesday as No. 37 Clifton Garrett pledged to LSU and No. 39 Johnnie Dixon said he's heading to Ohio State.

Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South), the nation's No. 3 inside linebacker, chose LSU over Tennessee, Florida and Ole Miss.

"I just love Baton Rouge," Garrett said Tuesday. "The game-day atmosphere is amazing and the people down there are great. The school itself has great academics, and LSU is in the running to win a national championship every year."

LSU's addition of Garrett is significant; he's the only inside linebacker committed to the Tigers. LSU didn't sign an inside linebacker in its 2013 class, either.

For LSU, this could be the beginning of an incredible holiday season. The Tigers are in the running for several top-30 prospects, including No. 1 Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine), No. 7 Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), No. 8 Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr), No. 11 Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen) and No. 29 Gerald Willis III (New Orleans/Edna Karr).

[+] EnlargeJohnnie Dixon
Derek Tyson/ESPN.comReceiver Johnnie Dixon of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., committed to Ohio State on Tuesday.

With Garrett in the fold, the Tigers -- who have the nation's No. 13 class in the ESPN rankings -- have 16 verbal commitments, including 12 ranked in the ESPN 300.

Dixon (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Dwyer), a speedy receiver, gave the Buckeyes their second top-50 recruit in as many days. No. 12 Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) chose Ohio State on Monday.

It's no surprise that the Buckeyes coveted Dixon, as he will bring a ton of athleticism to their offense. He also has good size, which will present matchup problems for opposing Big Ten cornerbacks.

"[Ohio State] throws the ball," Dixon said. "They put it in the playmakers' hand, and Coach [Urban] Meyer knows what to do with his receivers."

Dixon is the 19th player overall -- and ninth in the ESPN 300 -- to commit to Ohio State, which is No. 8 in the ESPN class rankings.

Earlier Tuesday, DT Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln), the nation's No. 87 recruit, committed to Penn State.

Defensive end Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), the nation's No. 91 recruit, added to the busy day by committing to South Carolina.

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