The Hurry Up: 09/02

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 2, 2014 at 9:30p
We're Coming at You, Bro.

Good evening 11-Dubbers and welcome to The Hurry-Up. This column, which will run every night Sunday through Thursday, will serve as your last stop for recruiting news and notes nightly, and generally around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. Though the exact time may vary depending on the substantiality of the news and/or notes to be discussed, the idea won't change. 

In this space we'll take some time to recap the day that has happened — in a vein similar to Gene's loved "Quick Bits" — to preview the days that are coming up and to share any other noteworthy happenings, rumors, etc. Whether it's four item, five items or more items, we'll try and recap the important parts of the day in Ohio State and all of college football, and occasionally basketball, recruiting.



Although most of you are here for football — and I don't blame you — it's always worth discussing when one of the country's best basketball players resides in Ohio and drops the Buckeyes from his list of potential schools. That's the scenario with Carlton Bragg, the 14th-ranked player from Cleveland, and unfortunately now an ex-Buckeye target for the class of 2015. Bragg cut his list to five schools: Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Arizona and UCLA. 

While the Buckeyes lost out on Bragg, they're still working hard to land Shaker Heights forward Esa Ahmad, one of the fastest-rising prospects in the country in the last year. As you recall, the Buckeyes' 2015 class took a small hit two weeks ago when Mickey Mitchell decided to reopen his recruitment


On Sunday I talked briefly about a leg injury suffered by Buckeye offensive line commitment Grant Schmidt. After talking today with Schmidt, the news, as he'd hoped is good.

"It's all soft tissue damage," Schmidt said. "It will hurt, but I can play this Friday and I probably will."

Crisis: averted.


Ohio State 2016 wide receiver target Steven Smothers has the Buckeyes at number four on list, according to the Reisterstown, Maryland standout. 

"Ohio State is very high on my list still," Smothers told 11W. "They're number four behind West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida State."

Smothers, who holds an offer from each of his top four schools, plans on visiting the Buckeyes this fall and his plans indicate a savvy beyond his years. He's aware who his audience is.

"I'm definitely going to get up there for a game this fall," Smothers said. "I'll be there for the game against 'The Team Up North.'"


Another rising prospect visiting Ohio State this coming weekend is 2016 WR/DB Jonah Morris, a 6-foot-4 athlete from Akron Hoban. Morris visited Ohio State and camped with the Buckeyes on June 8th, impressing many in attendance with his size and speed combination (he ran a 4.5-40 at 190-pounds). 

Since then, Morris has been waiting for his time to come and it appears that time is now. Tonight, he picked up his first scholarship offer (Kentucky) and this weekend he'll make a visit to Ohio State following his game against Akron Buchtel. He says he grew up a Buckeye fan, and it's clear that if Ohio State's interest is legitimate, he's a prospect worth paying attention to in a loaded class within the Buckeye state in 2016.



Don't be surprised if Ohio State is watching Lakewood St. Ed's wide receiver Alex Stump very closely over the next few weeks. The Kentucky commitment is still on their radar and the Buckeyes are eager to see him a bit more up-close-and-personal. 

Stump had six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in a nationally-televised game on ESPNU. 


While only the most ardent Buckeye recruitniks are intimately aware of who Bruce Judson is, those that know his name have been expecting a Buckeye commitment from the 2017 Florida star. Why? Because he's said a commitment was coming before his sophomore season would begin, but it appears that has changed.

"I'm going to take it easy a bit with recruiting," Judson told 11W. "I don't need to hurry and make a commitment. I'm not sure when I'll decide at this point."

Judson went on to say he spoke with Ohio State last night, so the contact between the two parties isn't slowing down, even if his decision-making process is.



buckeyehub's picture

sad to hear about bragg, but lets get ahmad! great write-up as always, birm

“Anyone can run the option. I can run the option.” - Urban Meyer
Let's beat the snot out of *ichigan.

+2 HS
ibuck's picture

Having Esa for several years would be better than Bragg for only one season. Buckeye Nation seems to love players more when they stick around.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed on all fronts - Esa would be a very nice get for Thad

Jeremy - you never disappoint - Looking so forward to this unbelievable weekend.

James Mee's picture

Good work, but SO MANY PUNS!! 

Nutty's picture

Although most of you are here for football — and I don't blame you

I appreciate and love the fact OSU is a football school but the last 5 words of this sentence are a major reason the 5* of Ohio hoops often go elsewhere. The first 8 words would have sufficed. Don't be so quick to blame Matta when we lose out on these guys. He doesn't get anywhere near the help from our fanbase.

+2 HS
Txsbuckeye's picture

I agree. But i cant help how i feel. Football natl championship is worth like 10 in basketball


+3 HS
Nutty's picture

I'm not saying your opinion is wrong. I'm just saying the people wondering why Harris would consider UK over OSU should never criticize Matta when Bragg or Kennard choose to go a school other than OSU.

+2 HS
Gametime's picture

I disagree with that notion - I mean look at schools like Florida, Texas, UCLA, etc. We can have a great hoops program as well as a great football program. 

I've often thought that Thad Matta's offensive schemes were lousy and he really didn't let the kids play. All the greatest players were able to play beyond the system and take over games when necessary, but Matta's offense doesn't really allow for that (and neither does his recruiting lately)

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

-2 HS
Nutty's picture

We can have a great hoops program as well as a great football program.

Who said we couldn't? I strongly believe we can. I think we already have a great hoops program but not on the blue-blood level of Duke, UK or Kansas. Matta is getting it closer. At times it sounds like some OSU sports writers/fans feel they need to apologize for covering/supporting OSU hoops, like giving OSU hoops attention is somehow being disloyal to football. I proudly support them both.

AndyVance's picture

Nutty, I agree with the underlying sentiment - that we should be more proud/supportive of our roundball squad - but the following is incorrect:

Don't be so quick to blame Matta when we lose out on these guys. He doesn't get anywhere near the help from our fanbase.

Recruiting these kids is Matta's #1 job. If he is truly an elite coach, he shouldn't need my help. "If you build it, they will come." Championships and draft picks draw top-tier talent. Gametime makes some great points about playing style, which are corroborated by Bragg's own comments: he said himself that Ohio State did not fit his playing style.

+1 HS
O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

I don't know what Bragg's style of play means. I do get that Thad's offensive style of play is not as well defined as some elite programs. I think it's because he has not had the consistent talent base to plug in year to year. Instead he's tried to adapt his offenses to the players on that squad. We can debate the merits of that approach, but there have been some years when the talent was depleted because of players jumping to nba. Which brings me to the point that Thad has really only been recruiting for elite players for about 10 years. At Xavier, it was more of a regional recruiting approach. With some of the misses he's had on the recruiting front here (Noopy, etc.), I think he now has a much better sense of the kind of person and player he is looking for. Either way, I love Esa's work ethic and I do expect Thad to prevail and win a national championship in the next 5 to 7 years. 

AndyVance's picture

I don't disagree with any of that, Owe-U. And the previous poster makes a good point, that Ohio State is still not viewed in the same echelon as a basketball program as schools like Duke and UK, and it will take winning titles and consistently getting guys drafted in the first round (yes, Matta's guys have done the latter for sure) for more young hoops stars to come to Ohio State instead of one of the blue-blood programs.

Basically, I'm not a recruitnik so I don't get worked up about any "miss" in the recruiting game, but disagreed with the premise of the post suggesting that it's the fan base's fault if Matta misses out on a big-name in-state recruit.

Nutty's picture

I never said it was the fans' fault. I said Matta didn't have near the fan support that Urban/football has and that OSU fans basically dissing OSU hoops doesn't help. The fact he can't pull in every 5* from Ohio isn't the same as Urban pulling in 5* from Ohio. As for your comment about championships and draft picks bringing top talent I would say top talent brings championships and draft picks. Chicken and egg but championships and draft picks are much harder to come by with lesser talent. My main beef is with the fans who seem to think, for God knows what reason, that following basketball is somehow disloyal to football. OSU football will always get the support and attention of fans. No need to apologize for being a hoops fan as well. It isn't adultery. As much as I love OSU if I was a top hoops recruit I'd be drawn to the places where I would be the BMOC. Who wouldn't? In the end I'd end up at OSU but I'm not a 17 year old kid who is drawn to being a campus superstar at an elite hoops school.

+1 HS
Gametime's picture

...people wondering why Harris would consider UK over OSU should never criticize Matta when Bragg or Kennard choose to go a school other than OSU.

I was referring moreso to this brother. I mean all of Matta's great guards like Conley Jr. or Evan Turner were able to take over at any given time, solely because they were just that good. Since then, Thad has lost some key assistants who were the ones who really helped put together those balanced offenses we had when we had Sully, Threebler, and Co. 

I can't express how frustrating it is to watch teams like Wichita State or Butler have a balanced offensive attack and we have literally ZERO consistent threats from mid-range out last year. We need to balance the grit and defensive tough players with shooters, scorers, and rim protection and the misses on guys like Trey Mac & Amir Williams, lack of shooting from our guards, etc. has been killing us the last few seasons...

I still wonder what it would've been like to Craft, Sully, & Trey Burke on the same team...

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

I've often thought that Thad Matta's offensive schemes were lousy and he really didn't let the kids play. 

What's your basis for this? He doesn't let them play if they don't play good defense.  But the framework for offense is a lot looser, with a lot of freedom. As long as it's team play. It helps to have players with a burning desire to win, like Conley, Sullinger, or Scoonie Penn ( from an earlier era). He didn't have anybody like that last season.

It seems the players that don't want to play D hard, who are just interested in scoring, frequently their own, don't want to play for Matta. Good riddance. OSU doesn't need entitled prima donnas. Matta's consistency at winning, and winning the B1G, is testament to his system and defensive requirements. Recruiting may lag as assistants leave for head coaching jobs, and a lot of that has happened. But Thad's putting together really good classes again.  And no coach gets all the recruits he wants. And the B1G is a really tough league.

Our honor defend, we will fight to the end !

TossTrap's picture

You're posting at Eleven Warriors.

First and goal at the five and Arch is getting the ball.

-2 HS
SilverState's picture

Digging this idea. Can't. Get. Enuf. Cruitin'. Ever.

gumtape's picture

I wonder if there are multiple Birms, how else is he able to produce this much original content?

just another psycho, irrational, delusional Ohio St fan

Killer nuts's picture

Thanks for all that you do, Birm

Turtlebuster's picture

Wasn't OSU #1 for Smothers towards the beginning of summer? Given a few misses at the WR position, id love to see Stump get an offer. Seems like a solid weapon to add. Curious how he would respond to a late offer as kind of a plan B/C guy.

dubjayfootball90's picture

Well, have to respect a kid who takes it upon himself to slow down and not commit early, then change his mind.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
oregonianbuckeye's picture

Hurry Up is a great idea. Thanks, Birm, for making it happen. 

Buckeyeneer's picture

Thank you, sir. Good stuff as usual.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

BlackKeys's picture

Just a question guys, but I'd like your thoughts.....
what constitutes "improper benefits" when talking about Lebron "Recruiting" for Ohio State. Could he say that he would STAY friends with anybody who came to
The... Ohio State University and became a star? Is that improper? Just from my standpoint, if a 100+millionaire was being my buddy because I played at his college of choice I might look at that as an insurance policy all its own.

NH-IO's picture

Forget LeBron.  If we can get Smothers to commit and then get his uncles Tommy and Dickie recruiting for us....we'll turn college football on it's ear.

+4 HS
CALPOPPY's picture

+1 for the timely reference.

Yo-yos are cool.

but I did lol at this.

I'm a hurtin' buckaroo.

BlackKeys's picture

That being said, where does the "shady area" begin?

DenBuck's picture

Thanks, Birm. When is Sibley getting offered? 

Buckeye For Life

osubuckeye4life's picture

Thanks for the great content Birm!