The Hurry Up is your nightcap of Ohio State recruiting news, catching you up on the day’s events with an ear on the ground for what’s next.
COMBINE PRESENCE ILLUSTRATES RECRUITING COMPETENCY
In case you missed it, earlier today the NFL released their list of draft combine invitees and it was literally covered with Ohio State players.
When you send 14 players the NFL Draft combine (16 if you count Jeremy Cash and Noah Spence, each of whom suited up for the Buckeyes prior to leaving the school for varying reasons) it means that you're doing two things very well: recruiting and developing talent, and it's abundantly clear the Ohio State staff is doing both of those things at an elite level.
The funny thing about covering recruiting is–from time to time–you may not even know how good a job you're doing. The scrutiny given to every star ranking, every player's composite rating, etc. breaks down all these players into numbers and that makes for excellent water-cooler discussion. That said, those lists and rankings can't take into account what happens to a prospect once he arrives on campus, and that's where the Buckeyes have truly excelled in recent years, as illustrated Thursday.
What happens next is where the cyclical nature of sports and business and all that merge: players from around the country take note that not only are the players in Columbus winning national championships, not only are they graduating at a higher clip than ever, but they're doing so while being prepared for the NFL in record numbers.
To win big, you recruit the best players but you also have to turn them into the best version of themselves, and the entire Ohio State staff is doing that at an amazing clip.
HARBAUGH'S HIRING ONCE AGAIN TURNS HEADS
All is fair in love, war and recruiting, right? Of course it is. That's why when Michigan hired Chris Patridge, then the head football coach at Paramus Catholic in New Jersey, to be a recruiting staffer a year ago, the general response was a hearty shoulder shrug and a big ol' "what can ya do?"
Partridge delivered the nation's top-ranked recruit in Rashan Gary, as well as a host of other players from the Garden State to Ann Arbor, and was summarily rewarded with a spot as a full-time coach with Michigan: he now is the linebackers' coach.
It had been rumored a while back, but now the reports from Ann Arbor–and Florida–are that Michigan is likely to hire former Flanagan High School head coach Devin Bush Sr. in some capacity. That isn't and shouldn't be surprising, right?
Flanagan coach Devin Bush is on the verge of joining the staff at Michigan where three of his Falcons -- son and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. and safeties Devin Gil and Josh Metellus -- have signed. Bush Jr. has already enrolled at Michigan for the spring semester.
If Bush is brought north as the drumbeats are hinting, Michigan certainly would have some help in trying to land more talent from Flanagan, including Stanford Samuels III, the country's 35th-ranked prospect in 2017. If you read the above article, you'll recognize that name as well.
One source said an announcement is expected sometime next week. Both sources said defensive coordinator Stanford Samuels would become Flanagan's next head coach.
Maybe there'll be a new administrative spot open in the Michigan football offices in 2017?
BIG OFFER FOR SHAUN WADE
Three prospects committed to Ohio State the day they took on Oregon for the 2015 National Championship and here we sit, 13 months later, and only of those players remains in the "Yes" column for the Scarlet and Gray: Five-star cornerback Shaun Wade.
Thursday, Wade added an offer from one of the few high-major programs that had not done so.
The challenges with keeping Wade committed are not new, and the Buckeyes are working overtime to make sure that despite the looks he'll take at other schools, including Bama, Florida State, Florida and well, everyone, their relationship with him remains the strongest. He made trips to Georgia and Alabama during the football season and Ohio State is hoping to get the country's 12th-ranked 2017 prospect back on campus sometime soon.
DO THE BUCKEYES NEED A SECOND QUARTERBACK IN 2017?
In an ideal world, at least in my opinion, it's prudent to take at least one quarterback in every recruiting class, which is what the Buckeyes have done since Urban Meyer's first full class in 2013.
- 2013 • J.T. Barrett
- 2014 • Stephen Collier
- 2015 • Joe Burrow
- 2016 • Dwayne Haskins Jr.
- 2017 • Danny Clark
So, it seems likely that the Buckeyes could stand pat for 2017 and ride it out with Clark, right? Yes, certainly and no one would argue too loudly that it's a "bad" play, especially with the potential for some pretty tight numbers in the 2017 class.
Yet, I think the Buckeyes should consider another quarterback in the class to complement Clark. Why? I'll try and break it down as simply as I can.
Ohio State is clearly hoping to move away from a quarterback who is "run first," which is evident from the names on the list above. While each of the guys listed, especially Barrett and Burrow, are more mobile than people give them credit for, none of them are going to win many foot races. I think that what we've seen in recent years is that when the offense breaks down a bit, there's still a reliance on the quarterback run game to spark things up and, in my opinion, finding a guy that can scare opponents with his feet as well as his arm is a worthwhile endeavor.
Secondly, as far as numbers go, after the 2017 season the quarterback room gets pretty thin on talent and exceptionally thin on experience. The more competition, the better in my opinion. Danny Clark, who has moved up to No. 264 nationally according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings, has been committed to Ohio State since December of 2013 and is one of the most fiercely competitive kids in the country and I don't think that the pursuit of another quarterback would throw him into a tailspin.
So, if I'm the Buckeyes–and I'm not–I start examining which other players out there fit the offense and the program and consider offering another quarterback in 2017.