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.
HILL DENIES RUMORS, BUT RUNNING BACK IS HIS GOAL
Multiple times over the last couple months, the rumors surrounding Ohio State's first 2016 commitment – Hubbard's George Hill – have swirled, repeatedly. Hill, "they" say, is looking at other schools, including Michigan State, and it's only a matter of time before he flips from Ohio State. The primary reason behind "their" opinion? Hill believes, apparently, that he was going to be the only running back in the Ohio State class, despite popular opinion being that only Kareem Walker is a "pure" running back for the Buckeyes. Hill, it's been said, will line up in more of a combination/hybrid role, similar to the one occupied currently by Ohio State's Jalin Marshall. If Hill's perceived unhappiness is related to Walker, that could come as a bit of a surprise.
"I haven't really talked to any of the guys (in the recruiting class) much, besides Kareem Walker" Hill told Eleven Warriors. "He's a nice kid. He's got his mind set on the prize, just like me."
Two of country's top prospects at running back, despite knowing they may have different roles in Columbus, means the pair has something to talk about.
"Kareem and I both want to play running back," Hill said of their discussions. "I am bigger and faster now than I used to be, so I want to play there because I think I can be good at it. But, they can use me at running back or slot or whatever they think is best, but right now, I want to be a running back."
What about the rumors surrounding Michigan State and a dissipating relationship with the Buckeyes?
"I don't know why (the Michigan State) stuff comes up," he said. "I'm not looking at them and I haven't been. I talk to (Chris) Ash weekly, and I've been talking a lot more to Coach (Tim) Beck, too. I was at Ohio State on the 28th of March and right now now I have no interest in visiting other schools."
Hill continues to say the right things, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out into the summer and beyond.
WALKER DROPS AFTER SUBPAR CAMP PERFORMANCE
Following Nike's The Opening regionals in New Jersey a few weeksago,247Sports.com has dropped Kareem Walker in their prospect rankings. Now the country's second-ranked back in the composite rankings, the explanation for the drop is simple and to the point.
Walker is still ranked as the No. 3 running back in the nation but he didn't show the kind of elite ability that we've seen from comparable backs that have been ranked in that Top100 or Top50 range. With his drop, there are only two running backs ranked in the Top100 nationally on 247Sports. Walker is now ranked No. 106 nationally.
Walker is not really the type of player who is ever going to blow away people in a camp setting because it doesn't really motivate him, fuel him or illustrate the strengths of his game; namely his aggressiveness and the physical nature with which he runs.
"I didn't see that they dropped me," Walker said. "But I don't really care, either. I care that my parents don't have to pay for me to go to college, I play for the scholarship opportunities not a ranking. Making a catch out of the backfield in a camp doesn't mean you're going to make a big catch with five seconds left in the fourth quarter and people put a lot of stock into that. Some guys are camp players, some guys are on-the-field players, I'll see where they put me when the season comes back around."
The tape on Walker doesn't lie, and there's a reason he was the top priority of the Ohio State coaching staff at running back from the time they saw him. He fits the Buckeye offense perfectly and is a player that they absolutely feel is a "must keep" moving forward.
MACK TAKES IN KNOXVILLE
In what is likely to be his final collegiate visit before a decision on June 7th, Ohio State's top wide receiver target for 2016, Indiana's Austin Mack, visited Tennessee this weekend.
"Tennessee was just a cool place," Mack said. "The weather is nice, and I mean just seeing their stadium. The entire culture down there is great."
Mack said the Volunteers being very clear that he's got a chance to step into the depth chart as a freshman and to play alongside one of the country's top quarterback prospects.
"Probably the opportunity to play early," Mack said when asked what the primary selling point was over the weekend. "They talked about Jarrett Guarantano a lot. He's been in my inbox pretty heavy lately."
Mack still hopes to camp at The Opening regionals in Columbus on May 31st, but it's unclear if he'll be medically cleared to participate as he recovers from a shoulder procedure.
BOSA TALKS WITH ESPN
One of the more reclusive prospects of the year, despite his Buckeye connections, is Nick Bosa, the country's third-ranked prospect and top-ranked defensive end in the 2016 class. Despite being a player who many suspect is a "lock" to the Buckeyes, Bosa is taking his time and giving due diligence to the recruiting process and, according to an interview with ESPN.com late this week, has a pair of visits ahead of him before a decision could be made.
“I’m just getting ready to take a couple of visits right now,” said Bosa. “I’m not ready to make a decision yet. I just want to visit Florida and Florida State, and then I will be ready to decide."
As I've said here a few times, barring a change in the status of Urban Meyer or Larry Johnson, Sr., it's hard to imagine Bosa ending up anywhere other than Columbus.
“The No. 1 thing is having a D-line coach [who] can help me play to my full potential in the years I am there. And just a guy that I have a good relationship with, and then stability with the coaches and coaching staff. That’s a big thing too.”
The rumbling around Bosa right now is that midsummer decision could be looming. When Joey committed to Ohio State, it was weeks before the start of his senior season and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Nick follow that timeline. He's been to Ohio State many, many times and the Buckeyes are the clearcut leader, but if he didn't feel he needed to check out other schools, he wouldn't. Could this pair of in-state visits just be a matter of "making sure" that Ohio State is the choice? Perhaps, and even likely. Recruiting in 2015 can be crazy, so anything can happen, but Bosa ending up anywhere other than Ohio State would be an all-time upset.