The Hurry-Up: Alex Stump the Player, the Person and the Pressures of Chasing a Dream.

By Jeremy Birmingham on October 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm

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.

Earlier today, Ohio State received their 17th commitment in the 2015 class as Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward wide receiver Alex Stump flipped his commitment from Kentucky to the Buckeyes. Tonight, in lieu of a regular version of The Hurry-Up, we're going to instead meld that story into a Birminology and discuss his pledge in a bit more detail.


One of the cool things about being involved, writing-wise, with the kids we cover is getting to know them before they become "big names." I first got to speak with Alex Stump almost a year ago, and since then, we've grown pretty familiar with one another, and because of that, he's always been pretty comfortable talking with Eleven Warriors openly and honestly. 

Over the last year, Stump has been very clear about two different things: his love for Ohio State, and his desire for Ohio State to recognize him as an elite talent in the state. He had camped in Columbus multiple times prior to this summer and felt he'd put his talents on display. The lack of an offer prior to September 21st was frustrating, but not in the "I've got a chip on my shoulder" kind-of-way. Rather, Stump realized he had a chance to play big-time college football in the SEC and decided early he was going to take it and then let the chips fall where they may. There was no bitterness, no irritation with the Buckeyes; just a kid who believed if his dream was going to come true, it'd come true regardless of whether or not he donned shorts and a t-shirt in Columbus for a camp.

It was mid-August when the Buckeyes really ramped up their pursuit of Stump, but since there was no offer yet, he remained quiet about it. In early September, he became more confident an offer was coming and at that point decided an Ohio State — whenever he could arrange it — was worth the trip. About ten days prior to the scholarship offer being officially extended, Stump was told by Urban Meyer "if you come here for a visit, the offer is coming." He did, it did. The decision was made by Stump soon thereafter. Not immediately, but within the next week, and the development/improvement by Kentucky made the decision harder than he thought it would be.


Now that Stump is official, it's time to check out how his decision affects Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class. The first true wide receiver in the Buckeyes' class, Stump is the big, speedy outside receiver that Zach Smith and Urban Meyer have been searching for. In the Mike Evans mold, Stump's size and speed combination is as rare and his football acumen is high. He's a complete wide receiver as comfortable blocking as he is running a route. 

Likely the first of two pure outside pass-catchers in 2015, Stump is the first Ohio receiver landed by the Buckeyes since Urban Meyer took the reins in 2012. Only Alabama's Derek Kief was offered by Ohio State at the position in that time, and he chose the Crimson Tide over the Buckeyes. Stump will be a natural fit to take over the role currently held by Mike Thomas on the outside for the Buckeyes.

"Stump is a totally different player than someone like Kief," one source close to the recruitment said. "Kief was a total project, a long wide receiver. Stump is much more athletic and more complete; tougher on the outside."

There's also another potenital benefit with Stump. The Northeast Ohioan is pretty close to another important Buckeye target: Jerome Baker.

Now that he's a Buckeye commit, Stump told 11W he's wasted no time trying to get familiar with Ohio State's targets. In fact, that effort began on Saturday afternoon.

"I spent some time talking with Neville Gallimore," Stump shared talking about the Canadian star. "He's a great guy. I talked up Ohio State quite a bit. I've also already been speaking with Joe Burrow, Lawrence Cager and a few others."

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