The Hurry-Up: Talking Big Visitors, How Coaching Changes Change Things and New Crystal Balls.

By Jeremy Birmingham on November 30, 2014 at 7:45 pm
Some of this weekend's key visitors.

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.

In the past few years, I've been fortunate to get to know a number of people inside the Ohio State football family. Although I've never met Kosta Karageorge, I'd not forgive myself if I didn't take what little platform I have access to in order to express my condolences to the Karageorge family and by proxy, the entire Ohio State football and wrestling communities. 

If you, or anyone you know is suffering from depression, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). 


With a huge weekend on tap, there's not a lot of time for pleasantries, so let's get to it. Small breakdowns from a few of the key official visitors on-hand this weekend in Columbus.

James, committed to UCLA, has gone relatively quiet since announcing that he would in fact visit Ohio State. He took his official visit to UCLA last week as the Bruins when they throttled USC and there was some talk that he might not even visit Columbus, but he did. Now, on the heels of his visit, what is the general mood within Ohio State about it? Cautiously optimistic.

Cager brought his whole family to Ohio State, who had been the leader in his recruitment a long time, and it was important that he do so. The Buckeyes, who excel in that environment, believe the visit has gone very well. Cager spent a lot of time with Ohio State commitments Justin Hilliard, Jashon Cornell and Matt Burrell, who make up a formidable recruiting trio.

That trio spent more of their time with Neville Gallimore than anyone else and every one who I've spoken with has been clear: it went as well as Ohio State could have hoped on Neville's visit. I hope to have more later on Gallimore's trip straight from the big Canadian himself.


Three of the bigger 2015 names Buckeye fans had hoped to see on campus this weekend — LJ Scott, Mike Weber and Drew Richmond — did not make it. 

For Scott, the Michigan State commitment, and Richmond, the Ole Miss commitment, it means sayonara as to any chances of a Buckeye "flip." With Scott, Ohio State couldn't convince him that they'd utilize him better than the Spartans will and with Richmond it appears both parties realized there were insurmountable obstacles in the way and was not worth pursuing. 

With Weber, it means essentially nothing. Weber has been to Ohio State many times and knows the school and the football program well. He's got great friends on the Ohio State roster and heading to Columbus next year as well. The frustration in Weber's absence is this: it removed a key opportunity for Ohio State to highlight how important the Cass Tech star is to them at this point. They want a running back in 2015 and he's been right near the top of the list for almost a year. 


One of last week's late additions to the official visit list was Nebraska commit Mirko Jurkovic, Jr. The Buckeyes, who'd been in contact with the lineman for the last few months, may have received a little help from the Cornhuskers when they fired Bo Pelini today

Jurkovic, who committed to Nebraska in July, was very close with the Cornhuskers' coaching staff and has been inundated with calls all day about how the news, on the heels of his Buckeye visit, will impact him. Here's how:

Jurkovic — who has also had a number of new schools calling him to try and enter the fray — is likely to take a little bit of time and see exactly who is retained at Nebraska. Then a possible decision about Ohio State or other visits can be made, perhaps to Penn State who reached out to him very quickly this morning.


I realize there's a few of you out there that are earnest Crystal Ball "watchers." Today, I made a few picks/changes so I figured I'd try and explain them here, if I can.

First, I moved Damien Harris and Lawrence Cager to Alabama, which is obviously disappointing on both counts. I believe that Harris, who's been to Alabama twice in the last three weeks, sees an opening in Tuscaloosa he doesn't see in Columbus, as it's likely T.J. Yeldon departs for the NFL and Nick Saban's sorcery  reputation has turned "the tide" in Alabama's favor.

As for Cager, I've talked to multiple people who spent a lot of time with him in the past few days and the common denominator from all of them was essentially this: Cager is smitten with Bama, despite having a great time in Columbus. The Buckeyes not really opening up the passing game on Saturday didn't help, but is hardly the death-knell in this recruitment. Ultimately, Cager has been told by many that Ohio State's wide receiver depth is "too much" and he seems to have bought into it. The Buckeyes won't give up that chase, because they're very fond of Cager and his game, but at this point, I'm thinking he's likely to end up elsewhere.

On the other side of the coin, I have moved Neville Gallimore to the Ohio State-side of the ledger. With every person I've spoken to regarding this weekend, the message has been exceptionally positive and it seems that the connections he made with the recruits on hand and Ohio State's coaches could have sealed the deal. Gallimore has long been reported to prefer a warmer climate, but heck, Ohio is warmer than Canada, eh?

I also moved Dwayne Haskins, Jr. from Penn State to "cloudy." The Saturday afternoon commitment of New York quarterback Jake Zembiec to the Nittany Lions makes that situation a bit murkier. 

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