The Hurry Up: Mid-Atlantic Trio Set For Junior Day Tour While the Big Ten Continues to Expand its Recruiting Footprint

By Andrew Lind on February 15, 2017 at 7:15 pm
Jack Sanborn

Jack Sanborn

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The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.

THEIR OWN JUNIOR DAY TOUR

Unable to attend Junior Day because he could not catch a ride to Columbus, Mount Holly, New Jersey, Rancocas Valley Regional four-star athlete Iverson Clement is set to take an unofficial visit to Ohio State on Friday.

Clement will certainly be on commitment watch, seeing as he's called Ohio State his dream school from the time the Buckeyes offered November. But he'll also be joined by Camden, New Jersey, Woodrow Wilson three-star wide receiver Travon King and Washington D.C. St. John's College three-star quarterback Kevin Doyle on a three-day, five-school trip that also includes stops at Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Purdue.

“I'm looking forward to meeting the coaching staff and finding out how life is on campus and outside of football,” King told Eleven Warriors.

The 6-foot-4, 200 pound King is considered the 145th-best wideout and No, 952 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He holds offers from Army Houston, N.C. State, Rutgers and Tulane, but has begun to forge a relationship with Ohio State quarterbacks coach Ryan Day.

“A school like Ohio State is a prestigious football program,” King said. “For me to get an offer, it would take the coaching staff to believe in my abilities to be able to be an asset to their program. It would mean the same as every other offer. God has awarded me another opportunity to get a free education and a higher level of football.”

HAPPENS MORE THAN YOU THINK

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh took quite a bit of flack earlier this week when he hired Sunnyvale, California, The King's Academy head coach Michael Johnson Sr., whose son just so happens to be the top-rated dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2019.

This isn't the first time Harbaugh has dipped into the parent pool, and it certainly won't be the last. But he's not alone in finding ways to get ahead on the recruiting trail. Take Illinois, for example, which officially hired IMG Academy defensive coordinator Donnie Abraham as its defensive backs coach on Wednesday afternoon.

IMG is among the most talented programs in the country, and building a relationship is a smart move. But it's also a bit transparent, as Illinois' top target is none other than four-star cornerback Houston Griffith, whose father is former Illini fullback Howard Griffith.

It should be noted four-star offensive guard Verdis Brown, though he just transferred to IMG and never played for Abraham, is also originally from Chicago. 

GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Lake Zurich, Illinois, three-star linebacker Jack Sanborn will also be on campus Friday afternoon.

“I have always been a fan of Ohio State since I was young,” Sanborn told Eleven Warriors. “[I'm] looking forward to sitting down and talking with the coaches to see where I stand, but also just to see what the program is like and check out the facilities, since I have been a fan of them for so long.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Sanborn is considered the 11th-best inside linebacker and No. 370 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He holds nearly a dozen offers from programs such as Duke, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Syracuse and Wisconsin, and hopes to land one from Ohio State this weekend.

“I think it depends on what they think of me as a player from my film and if they think I can be successful in their defensive scheme,” Sanborn said, “but it would mean a lot if they did.”

Sanborn recorded 77 tackles and 14 tackles for a loss to help the Bears to the second round of the state playoffs. He is the son of former Oregon offensive lineman Paul Sanborn.

B1G FOOTPRINT

Ohio State's national recruiting approach has never been more evident than it is now. The Buckeyes signed only seven players from the state of Ohio, one fewer than their all-time low of eight in 1998.

We've examined on numerous occasions how this could leave the state ripe for the picking, but what if I told you the rest of the Big Ten already relies on Ohio to fill its rosters more than any other state?

From Reddit:

STATE 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 TOTAL
OHIO 57 41 34 39 30 201
FLORIDA 39 38 26 42 39 184
ILLINOIS 30 30 24 22 22 128
NEW JERSEY 29 25 15 21 25 115
TEXAS 15 18 22 16 20 91
MICHIGAN 16 18 16 16 21 87
MARYLAND 13 14 19 24 14 84
GEORGIA 16 17 14 14 20 81
PENNSYLVANIA 11 13 23 9 10 66
INDIANA 16 11 12 14 12 65
CALIFORNIA 14 8 18 12 9 61
WISCONSIN 12 12 6 8 12 50
IOWA 7 9 11 8 11 46
VIRGINIA 5 10 7 5 10 37
MINNESOTA 8 4 6 6 4 28
MISSOURI 3 7 4 5 6 28
NEW YORK 3 7 4 5 6 25
ALABAMA 1 6 4 6 4 21
WASHINGTON D.C. 8 4 4 2 3 21
LOUISIANA 2 4 5 3 1 15
NEBRASKA 2 3 2 4 4 15
KANSAS 0 6 2 2 4 14
NORTH CAROLINA 3 2 3 2 4 14

Ohio State nabbed six of the Top 10 prospects in the state this year and left the scraps for the rest of the Big Ten (and Kentucky), so it's not as if the Buckeyes are missing out on the kids they want. But it's clear to see why the staff wants the Class of 2018 and beyond to have more Ohio flavor.

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