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.
LATEST ON JARRETT GUARANTANO
Last night, I made a move on my 247Sports.com crystal ball and predicted that New Jersey 2016 quarterback Jarrett Guarantano would commit to Rutgers, not Ohio State, as I had been expecting since October. I said I'd try and give a bit more detail on why I made that switch, so here's what I know.
Last week, the day after signing day, Twitter was buzzing with the rumor that Guarantano was no longer going to be pursued by Ohio State; which was patently untrue. That evening, I had received a tip from a source who covers the East Coast that two things were happening. First, the source told me, Guarantano was not going to commit to Ohio State shortly after signing day as had been the plan between the country's 6th-ranked quarterback and Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes wanted to capitalize on a big month and securing Guarantano quickly would be a vital piece in catapulting 2016's already sizzling recruiting class into the stratosphere.
Why would he not be committing? Apparently the Bergen Catholic product, according to the source, was not expecting both Torrance Gibson and Joe Burrow to play quarterback at Ohio State and when he was informed each would get their chance to make an impact from the position in Columbus, he (Guarantano) began to feel the depth issues at Ohio State may be too steep. A Rutgers' legacy (his father played wide receiver for the Scarlet Knights), Guarantano then began to look harder at the idea of staying home, again according to my source.
As you know from above, when I spoke to Guarantano last Thursday immediately following those rumors, the 6-foot-4, 200-pound quarterback made it clear the Buckeyes were still recruiting him, but it was also clear that he had decided to back off of what his plan had been for some time. That plan, according to almost everyone, was to commit to Ohio State. Last night, Guarantano made a mid-week visit to Rutgers and the same source I'd heard from last week messaged again, and he was adamant that Rutgers had not only overtaken the Buckeyes, but would get a commitment soon from Guarantano.
"Not (last night), but soon is what I hear," the source shared. "Ohio State was so far ahead a week ago. If you have a crystal ball, I'd recommend changing it."
So I did. Today, I heard from sources in Columbus, and while the Buckeyes aren't feeling nearly as confident as they were a week ago, they believe there's time to right the ship with Guarantano. He's been their primary target for months and he knows it. The relationships he's built with Ed Warinner and Urban Meyer, and the developing relationship with Tim Beck, give the Buckeyes at least a thought they can turn it back around.
"We feel like there's still time to fix the situation," the source at Ohio State shared. "He's not committing anywhere just yet."
There are new names to watch for the Buckeyes at quarterback if they are to lose Guarantano, and we'll break those down early next week.
MIKE WILLIAMS UPDATES HIS RECRUITMENT
The country's 19th-ranked defensive tackle in the 2016 class, Mike Williams from All Saints Episcopal High School in Fort Worth, Texas, has been hearing regularly from Ohio State and new co-offensive coordinator Tim Beck.
I get the love from SMU and Ohio state daily and I love it— Uncle Julio (@mike_williams52) February 10, 2015
"He's a good dude," Williams told Eleven Warriors about Beck. "He gives off a good vibe. He tells me that I can help their team and that he knows I'd come up there and work hard just like Demetrius is."
"Demetrius" is Ohio State redshirt freshman offensive guard Demetrius Knox, who was a high school teammate of Williams'.
"I talk to (Knox) about every other day," Williams said. "He just talks to me about college life, but occasionally he'll try and recruit me, too."
TCU, SMU, Stanford, Ohio State and Texas are all standing out for the 6-foot-2, 280-pound Williams. He says he wants to make a decision before the start of his senior season.
"I'll probably make a decision before the season," he continued. "I really haven't started to break down the list of schools yet, to be honest. I need to get up (to Ohio State) to really determine how I feel about them."
MEET JOSH KAINDOH, A BIG-TIME 2017 PROSPECT FROM MARYLAND
Yesterday Ohio State, following Florida State's lead, became the second school to offer 2017 Essex, Maryland defensive end Joshua Kaindoh. Earning your first two offers from the last two national champions is a rare feat in recruiting these days, but Kaindoh is trying to take it all in stride.
"I believe it's a combination of my athletic ability and my grades, my character," Kaindoh said when asked what had prompted these two huge offers out of the blue. "I've been playing football since I was young, recruiting is what is new to me. The offers are just starting."
When you land offers from Ohio State and Florida State, it's expected that many more will follow, and soon.
"I was very surprised (at those two being first)," he continued. "I had also talked to Alabama's Tosh Lupoi (yesterday). He was very interested in me."
For the Buckeyes, it was defensive line coach and DMV legend Larry Johnson, Sr. who extended the offer to the 6-foot-6, 225-pound sophomore.
"He is new to me," Kaindoh said, acknowledging that Johnson offered but not being aware of his reputation. "He seems like a very great guy. I grew up not really watching football, but just playing it."
With a groundswell of attention headed his way, Kaindoh is going to try and focus on what's important about college.
"There's not really one thing I am going to be looking for in a school," he said of what factors will weigh into his decision. "I really want to make sure I get a good education. I plan on getting a degree in kinesiology. I want to be an athletic trainer or a physical therapist, something of that nature."
Until he needs to make a college choice, it's research time for the Maryland youngster.
"I'm going to do some research on my own, I don't know a lot about (the schools that offered," he concluded. "I will hopefully make some visits and keep in contact with Coach Johnson. I want to have fun with (recruiting) but also I need to treat everything like it's business. I'm going to remain humble and I don't want to get caught up in the media hype. I have business to take care of on and off the field."
WISE TO PAY ATTENTION TO SOLOMON?
Speaking of 2017 defensive lineman, Leesburg, Georgia's Aubrey Solomon is a big-time prospect that hasn't yet been seen by many. A 6-foot-2, 280-pound junior-to-be, Solomon plays at Lee County High School, a name that should be familiar to Buckeye fans as the alma mater of redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Collier.
Solomon has only two offers at the moment — from two SEC programs (Kentucky, Ole Miss) — but as an early four-star prospect and No. 79 in the 247Sports.com Top 247 for 2017, more are sure to be coming.