The Hurry-Up: Thoughts on Alex Stump, Jerome Baker News and more on Branden Bowen.

By Jeremy Birmingham on September 22, 2014 at 7:07 pm
Ohio State continues looking for new talent.

Welcome to The Hurry-Up, which runs Sunday through Thursday, serving as your last stop for recruiting news and notes nightly. We'll recap the day as it happened and preview the days ahead while keeping our ear to the ground on the Ohio State recruiting scene.


As the Buckeyes prepare for their second night game of the season, two big in-state prospects are preparing for key Ohio State visits. Today, 2015 linebacker Jerome Baker and 2016 offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer each confirmed they'll be on hand as the Buckeyes host Cincinnati this coming Saturday.

For Baker, the Florida Gator commitment, the day started with the probability of a visit as "pretty good." Those odds rose to "definitely," and did so quickly. 

"The chances of being at Ohio State this weekend are about 75-percent," Baker told Eleven Warriors via text message. The hold up? "I have to make sure my mom is going to be able to go."

No more than 10 minutes later, there was an update.

"My mom just texted me," he updated. "We're going for sure. I'm going to enjoy the process and make the visit. I'm 100-percent committed to Florida, but you don't know what life throws at you sometimes."

The visit for Baker is of the unofficial variety, and that is an important thing to note. If he decides to return to Ohio State again this fall, it could be and likely will be for an official visit. That is something I expect to happen fully at some point. Is there a flip coming? Not this weekend certainly, and I'd still expect that a change at Florida is necessary before he'll consider it in earnest.

Kraemer had hinted to 11W on Saturday evening that he'd likely be making a visit, but confirmed that he'd be at Ohio Stadium on Saturday. The visit is a big step for the Buckeyes' hopes of delaying a decision from Kraemer, who's reportedly leaning towards Notre Dame, despite his insistence that he's got no leader. He's scheduled to return to South Bend on October 4th and will be back at Ohio State for their regular-season finale against Michigan.


Late last night, Utah 2015 offensive lineman Branden Bowen, sent a message to me that he'd finally been officially offered by Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. Bowen, who had committed to Utah on Saturday, had been in talks with Ohio State about a potential official visit for a while now, but hadn't been able to arrange it one; yet. With the confirmation of an offer, Bowen was quick to point out that the Buckeyes still have his interest.

"I'm still considering Ohio State," Bowen shared. "I'm not shutting down my recruitment. Ohio State has always been a big deal in my thoughts. They have a great program, great players and great coaching."

You might think that Bowen, living in Utah, would be influenced by Urban Meyer's history at the helm for the Utes. That is not the case. Bowen was actually born and raised in Tennessee. Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are getting an assist from his trainer, however.

"I'm actually from Tennessee," he added. "I moved to Utah in June of 2005, so I missed Urban Meyer's career at Utah by about five months. My trainer, John Madsen, played for him though and he has only great things to say about Urban Meyer."


As mentioned last night, Ohio State offered 2015 Lakewood St. Edward's wide receiver Alex Stump, who committed to Kentucky in May. Once the offer happened, the questions started rolling in about "What does it mean for Lawrence Cager?" "Is it committable?" This. That. The other thing. Let's try and answer a few of them and get things cleared up, shall we?

Question One: Is the offer "committable?"

Answer: Of course it is. Ohio State was not holding off on offering Stump for fun. They weren't just biding their time, evaluating him over and over again over the last year only to "offer" him and put conditions on it. Ohio State offered Alex Stump because they like his game and his future, a lot. They've liked his game, and his future a lot, for a while. They'd just not been able to see him in person. They did, the offer came. 

Question Two: Is the offer to Stump an effort to try and "force" Lawrence Cager's decision? 

Answer: No. Not even close. If you're hearing, or believing, this sort of "analysis" please understand these two points: you're wrong, and you are wrong.

Stump's offer was based on much less convoluted premise. Right now, Ohio State has zero commitments from a true wide receiver in their 2015 class and they'd like two. If they were comfortable with idea of both Van Jefferson and Lawrence Cager together, why would not be comfortable with Cager and Stump? Stump and Cager are both aware of the Buckeyes' plans at the position. It's an insult to Stump's talent and his hard work to assume that an offer from Ohio State was based on anything but those two factors.

Question Three: Does the offer to Stump mean Cager is out? 

Answer: No. Cager is the Buckeyes' top priority at wide receiver right now (ok, maybe not ahead of Christian Kirk, but Cager is a different type of player/position and therefore in a different "spot" ) and he's making his decision on his own needs, not someone else's. For Ohio State to land Stump and Cager, they'll need to beat out Kentucky and Alabama, respectively.


Ohio State's most recent commitment, Lake Braddock, Virginia's A.J. Alexander left Friday night's game with a leg injury suffered in the first half. Before the injury, Alexander had returned a kick-off for a touchdown and taken a handoff 60-plus yards for another, showcasing incredible burst for a 6-foot-4, 225 pounder. On Sunday, he told 11W that his leg feeling good.

He's obviously a pretty tough kid, because today it was reported that Alexander suffered a torn ACL, and will miss the rest of his senior season. Alexander was scheduled to make his official visit to Columbus this weekend, and as of right now there's been no change in plans. 

Jamel Dean, the Buckeyes' second commitment in the 2015 class, tore his ACL last December and is back on the field at full-speed for Cocoa (Cocoa, Florida). Dean says his leg and speed is 100-percent.


The update you've been waiting for re: Torrance Gibson's official visit? Here it is. 

Big news for the Buckeyes and a great opportunity for Justin Hilliard, Jashon Cornell and others to get acquainted with Torrance Gibson and Jerome Baker, among others. 

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