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.
PREPPING FOR TORRANCE GIBSON'S BIG WEEKEND
Today, Torrance Gibson was visited by Miami head coach Al Golden and offensive coordinator James Coley.
Al Golden and James Coley stop by today!— Torrance Gibson (@quick_tg6) January 29, 2015
Ohio State was scheduled to see Gibson tonight, but instead will make their final pitch to their four-star commitment from South Florida tomorrow. The Buckeyes will send Urban Meyer and Zach Smith to Fort Lauderdale and it will be their last shot to see Gibson face-to-face before signing day. As things currently stand, it's safe to say the Buckeyes are concerned about Gibson's decision, and more so than even a week before. After making official visits to Auburn, LSU and now with this weekend's trip to Miami, the question of "who are we fighting?" has evolved into a "who aren't we fighting?" and that prevents the Buckeyes from knowing exactly what front to defend.
Earlier this week I was told that it may be LSU that could be the team that swoops in and steals Gibson, and that information received a bit of corroborating today when Demetric Warren, one of the more respected recruiting analysts in the South, put an LSU colored Crystal Ball in for Gibson. Les Miles and Cam Cameron did a great job selling Gibson on the depth chart at LSU being more favorable than Ohio State's and the concept of playing quarterback for in a pro-style offense, one that purportedly will better prepare Gibson for the NFL. Rumors are that Gibson's "camp" has recently warmed up to the idea of LSU for those reasons. The Tigers have junior-to-be Anthony Jennings, sophomore-to-be Brandon Harris and early enrollee Justin McMillan on campus, can they sell Gibson on the idea that he's going to be able to stroll in and start at quarterback? Can they convince him he's not the next version of former quarterback-turned-wide receiver Russell Shepard?
Can LSU, Auburn or Miami convince Gibson that Ohio State's loyalty to him in his toughest times doesn't matter? That's the big question. Although he's giving me — and all media right now — the cold shoulder, I know Torrance Gibson values trust and loyalty above everything. That's why I've always felt the Buckeyes were the team to beat, and that's why, despite the theatrics, I still believe Ohio State wins out.
MEYER VISITING ARNETTE TONIGHT
"Today's" big news was the information that Carlton Davis would not sign with Ohio State next week and would flip to Auburn instead. Of course, if you're a reader here you knew this was going to happen a few days ago because we've been beating that drum all week. The player most likely to replace Davis in the Buckeye recruiting class and in the Buckeye secondary is St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) three-star Damon Arnette. The 6-foot-2 Arnette will check out Ohio State starting tomorrow and tonight he has a pretty important Scarlet and Gray visitor.
Coach Myer on his way to the house— rico (@da_arnette) January 29, 2015
Now before he's too quickly mocked for a typo, Arnette immediately corrected his spelling and prepared for tonight's visit. As for the Buckeyes, they believe Arnette is a player who would fit nicely into their secondary, capable of being a cornerback or a safety much like Davis. The Buckeyes feel they're in a good position to land the South Carolina commit this weekend.
"He'll get a lot of attention this weekend," one source at Ohio State shared. "Distance isn't a factor because it's a flight to here or there, we have the last visit and there's that Ohio State/Aquinas connection. He has not said he's committing or anything, but there's a lot pointing towards him maybe flipping."
Arnette visited Michigan previously and right now this could be more of an Ohio State vs. Michigan battle than Ohio State vs. South Carolina, according to people in Fort Lauderdale.
OHIO STATE ALSO CHECKS IN ON KJ HILL
Prior to visiting Fort Lauderdale, Urban Meyer and Zach Smith were in North Little Rock, Arkansas to check in on recent visitor KJ Hill.
Good visit earlier pic.twitter.com/HZYBlFRorS— KMFJ (@KayJayHill) January 30, 2015
Alabama made their last visit with Hill last night and today the Buckeyes took their shot and according to all sides things went very well. There's still any number of ways things could go with the four-star wideout, but the Buckeyes could very well be in the driver's seat. Tonight, hours after Ohio State had left his home, rumblings around NLR were that Hill had committed to the Buckeyes.
Just heard on Drivetime sports that KJ Hill has committed to Ohio State...I'd say Urban Meyer's trip to NLR today was profitable— RJ Hawk (@RJHawk) January 29, 2015
I checked with with both Hill and sources at Ohio State who refuted that report, but clearly those reports don't happen unless there was something very positive that came out of today's meeting. More proof that potentially very positive news is coming for Ohio State? Hill's decision — at least temporarily — to stay home this weekend in lieu of a trip to Fayetteville where the Hogs of Arkansas were hoping to convince him to come back to the trough.
If that visit to Arkansas is off, then it's a good bet that the Razorbacks are out of the equation and things will come down to Ohio State or Alabama. I've got him predicted to Ohio State and I'm sticking with that.
Since we're at halftime of a big Buckeye basketball game, I'll not bore you with more of my personal thoughts on Mike Weber and his upcoming decision between Ohio State and Michigan. I will however leave this picture of Weber, from today and hope that it helps calm any of you who are still freaking out about where things stand.
Ohio State continues to feel they're in good shape with the country's 9th-ranked tailback.