The Hurry-Up: Matt Burrell, Lawrence Cager, Utah Visits and Corey Malone-Hatcher

By Jeremy Birmingham on October 6, 2014 at 7:45 pm
Burrell remains THE guy for the Buckeyes

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.


With the bad news this weekend Tommy Kraemer chose Notre Dame, the negativity surrounding Ohio State's offensive line recruiting certainly isn't going to stop. While losing the top in-state talent for 2016 is a blow, it's not the end of the line for Ohio State because guess what? The 2015 class isn't close to over with and there's one lineman that remains at the top of the "must get" wish-list: Matt Burrell

The C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Virginia) star made his third official visit this past weekend, to Tennessee, as he continues to thoroughly explore each of his options. The Buckeyes, who've long been considered a front-runner for Burrell, see him as a vital piece of the puzzle in 2015 according to a source close to his recruitment.

"People keep worrying about the 2016 kid but the guy that matters right now on the offensive line is Burrell," our source shared. "He's a great player, but more than that is who he is off the field. The kid is a leader, people love him and he's a kid other people will follow."

The Buckeyes have offensive line commitments from Grant Schmidt and Kevin Feder, but would like to land at least one more in the 2015 class.


One of the bigger remaining 2015 offensive targets for the Buckeyes is Towson, Maryland's Lawrence Cager. The 6-foot-5, 202 pound wide receiver visited Rutgers this weekend, and while the Scarlet Knights are one of his final choices, the Buckeyes — along with Alabama — are the two schools at the top of his list. With zero true wide receivers committed for 2015, it's easy to see why Cager is a priority.

"People sleep on Cager, I think, because he's not the 'burner' Urban Meyer is known for recruiting. That doesn't stop Ohio State from making him their top guy left on the board," one source from the DMV said. "They are in a great position with him, and they've let him know that even with other offers that went out recently, he's their top guy."

Cager will visit Ohio State officially when they host Michigan in the regular season finale. The following two weekends will be the greatest threats to their recruitment of him: he'll visit Notre Dame and Alabama on back-to-back weekends. A decision is likely in early January.


Ohio State offensive line coach Ed Warinner took advantage of the off week with a little travel today. Warinner hit the road to Utah where he stopped in and checked on two 2015 prospects: offensive lineman Branden Bowen and linebacker/defensive end Porter Gustin. Bowen, a Utah commitment, said the visit went well and only increased his excitement about getting to Columbus in a few weeks.

"(Ed) Warinner was in the school today," Bowen told 11W. "He was just telling me he loves how high my 'ceiling' is, and that I could be a three-to-four year guy in their program and then move on to the NFL."

For Bowen, his official visit to Ohio State is planned and ready.

"I'm going there for sure on November 1st, when they play Illinois," he continued. "Plane tickets are official as of last week."

Gustin isn't sure of his official visit date yet, but he says the Buckeyes are still on track to get one. For him, meeting Warinner was a good start to his week.

"I think most of my trips will happen at the end of the season," Gustin told Eleven Warriors. "It's a lot more relaxing to take those trips when I have less on my mind. I took the Notre Dame trip, and it was great but it felt so rushed."

There was no talk about a visit today, just the chance to meet one more of Ohio State's coaches.

"I talked to Coach Warinner briefly," he added. "He met with my coach for a while. He seems like a great guy and a great coach. He told me that I'm one of their top priorities and that they like that I could play different positions."


One 2017 prospect who will see a lot of Ohio State football over the next few weeks is Corey Malone-Hatcher from St. Joseph's, Michigan. The Buckeyes are still the only school to have offered the 6-foot-3, 235-pound defensive end, and that distinction is something that keeps them firmly in his mind. This past weekend, Malone-Hatcher (forever dubbed CMH on this site moving forward) visited Notre Dame for the second time as the Irish came back to win in thrilling fashion against Stanford. On his visit, CMH spent a lot of time with one of the Buckeyes' top targets in 2016: Gahanna's Jonathon Cooper.

"The visit to Notre Dame was cool," Orlando Malone, Corey's father shared with Eleven Warriors. "Corey spent most of his time with Jonathon Cooper. They didn't offer, but they made it clear that he's a priority for them."

Ohio State offered Malone-Hatcher following a standout performance at Friday Night Lights in late July. Being the first offer, and coming straight from Ohio State's Larry Johnson, has earned the Buckeyes a special place in the recruiting "hearts" of his family. They'll see four different Ohio State games in the next eight weeks.

"We're planning on making two Ohio State home games," Mr. Hatcher-Malone added. "I selected the games against Rutgers and Michigan. But, we'll also see the Buckeyes when they play at Penn State and at Michigan State. 

Safe to say the Buckeyes are positioning themselves well for another top star from the Mitten.

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