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.
THE OPENING REVIEW: BUCKEYE COMMITMENTS
As I mentioned this morning, there were nine Ohio State pledges scheduled to participate in this afternoon's The Opening regional camp at the WHAC. Marcus Williamson did not compete, he got a bit dinged up this past week, but the other eight showed up and showed out. How did they fare? Let's give a little synopsis of the day each day, shall we?
- Danny Clark // QB // 2017
Danny Clark looked good, and it's clear he's been working hard to improve his accuracy and consistency. Clark is going to be a 6-foot-4, 240-pound quarterback by the time he arrives on campus and if the improvement from last year to this is matched each of the next two summers, Ohio State fans will be in for a treat. I know the hype around his game and recruitment can be overwhelming, but Danny continues to work exceptionally hard and never skips a rep or fails to compete and that's a great sign.
- Demario McCall // RB // 2016
When he walks up to the camp, Demario McCall may not look like an All-American running back, but the minute the whistle blows, he blows you away. His lateral quickness and ability to accelerate to full speed are at an elite level. He's incredibly confident and he's got the game to back it up. McCall earned an invitation to The Opening.
- Todd Sibley // RB // 2017
Todd Sibley was surprising, at least to me, because he was much better put together than I expected him to be. He weighed in at 203 pounds and for one of the younger running backs in attendance, he consistently made himself visible by being towards the front of any line he was in. He has two years of high school football left and will get a lot of carries, so his body-type is important to note: he's going to need to be fresh by the time he gets to Columbus.
- Jake Hausmann // TE // 2016
Jake Hausmann looks, at first glance, like a college tight end already. Today, I saw an active, aggressive tight end who runs excellent routes, catching the football with his hands and away from his body. As a tight end at Ohio State, how he helps the run game is going to be a major part of his game, but that wasn't on display today. Overall, Hausmann, who was invited to The Opening, competed hard and didn't disappoint.
- Kierre Hawkins // ATH // 2016
There were few athletes in attendance today that looked better than Maple Heights' Kierre Hawkins, who at 6-foot-4 and 225-pounds is absolutely impressive. As a wide receiver (although he lined up at tight end today) Hawkins is a bit raw and had a bit of difficulty catching the football. Still, the tools are there and with a bit of refinement and a continued focus on translating athleticism to football skills, he can be a difference maker. An athlete of his stature could play wide receiver, tight end, or even defensive end if he puts on 20 more pounds before he gets to Ohio State.
- Michael Jordan // OL // 2016
If there's one Buckeye commit who had a "rough" day today, it might have been Michael Jordan. The Michigan native is a legit 6-foot-6 and 285-pounds, but I didn't see him involved much rep-to-rep and when he was there appeared to be a bit of lethargy. He has been active participating in Michigan's state track and field finals all weekend, and that could have worn the big fella out a bit, but overall I would have liked to see more fire out of him today. You can see the mold of a big-time offensive line prospect,
- Josh Myers // OL // 2017
Speaking of looking the part, only Notre Dame commit Tommy Kraemer compared to Ohio State's 2017 commit Josh Myers in that respect. Myers struggled a bit early in one-on-ones that I saw, but generally speaking these events are not really designed to work in the favor of an offensive lineman. He is only going to get better over the next two years and definitely is a likely candidate to keep his ranking as the country's top offensive tackle in the 2017 class.
- Jonathon Cooper // DE // 2016
I don't think many in attendance today would argue against Columbus native Jonathon Cooper being the overall MVP of the event. Cooper was absolutely dominating against each and every one of the offensive lineman he faced today, and he only took his reps against the best of the best. I watched the 6-foot-3, 230-pounder take at least a dozen reps and I didn't see him lose a single one and at times he embarrassed the guy he lined up against. One of the Nike folks told Cooper's parents after the event that it was the best performance they've seen from a defensive end this year and it's not hard to believe it: he was awesome.
I'll go over a few other players, including Ohio State's top uncommitted targets, tomorrow and Tuesday, so stay tuned.
LET'S TALK KAREEM WALKER...AGAIN
As mentioned yesterday, Ohio State commit Kareem Walker spent the weekend in SEC territory, checking out both Auburn and Alabama. Walker was a surprise visitor at Auburn's "Big Cat Weekend" and ended up spending the night on Saturday.
Today, he traveled west to Tuscaloosa and spent some time camping at Alabama. The reports from Auburn and Bama are about what one would expect: he enjoyed the time talking to the coaches, bonding with other recruits/commits, etc.
If you are someone who gets worked up about these kinds of things, then Walker's recruitment is one that you will want to steer clear of. We have said it many times and will say it again: Kareem Walker is going to take visits. He has already visited Rutgers, now Bama and Auburn, and he will almost assuredly make a trip to Tennessee later this month with the rest of the New Jersey crew.
Is that reason enough to worry over his status with Ohio State? Probably not, but the Tennessee visit is certainly something to watch. Jarrett Guarantano's commitment to UT could help them out with some of the Jersey talent, but it's way too early to say exactly how much it can help.
All of that being said, Walker still has plans to visit Ohio State this summer and the staff was made aware of his intentions to visit Auburn and Alabama before he made the trip this weekend. He is saying all the right things when interviewed and on Twitter, but Urban Meyer, Tony Alford and Ed Warinner will surely be spending a lot of time in New Jersey between now and February.
BIG CAT WEEKEND COULD BE BIG PAIN IN THE BUTT FOR BUCKEYES
As mentioned, this weekend Auburn hosted its "Big Cat Weekend," arguably their biggest recruiting weekend of the year.
In addition to the aforementioned Kareem Walker news, there were a few other noteworthy visitors and commitments that Ohio State fans should be aware of.
Since decommitting from Auburn, we have spent a lot of time talking about Nate Craig-Myers and his interest in Ohio State. It is generally very difficult for a school to sign a kid after he backs out of a verbal commitment, but NCM is definitely still looking hard at the Tigers. He and his half-brother, three-star 2016 defensive back Jayvaughn Myers, arrived in Auburn on Friday and took part in Saturday's Big Cat Weekend festivities. After the visit, Craig-Myers told Rivals.com that Auburn will always be at the top of his list and the decommitment hasn't made things awkward at all between he and the AU coaching staff. Ohio State is going to be in for quite a battle with schools like Auburn, FSU, and USC. Getting a visit from NCM this summer will be of the utmost importance. One thing that may complicate things even further? FSU and Auburn both offered Jayvaughn Myers this week.
On Saturday the Tigers secured two commitments that hold Buckeye offers - 2016 receiver Eli Stove from Niceville, FL and 2017 five-star offensive lineman Calvin Ashley from Orlando. Stove has been a long-time Auburn lean and many were expecting a commitment when he visited back in mid-April. Ashley had previously said some positive things about Ohio State and Luke Fickell was at his school in early May, but his commitment to Auburn is certainly more of a blow to a school like Florida State, who most thought to be in the lead for his services.
Defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson has been right at the top of Ohio State's DT board for some time now. The Ellenwood, Georgia standout has discussed his desire to visit Ohio State this summer, specifically citing his strong relationship with coach Larry Johnson. The Cedar Grove staff also has some Ohio ties that could work in Ohio State's favor, but Jackson was at Auburn this weekend and it sounds like the Tigers' staff may have turned the tide in their favor. Last night reports started surfacing that Jackson could be nearing a decision, which obviously would be bad news for Ohio State.
Jackson told Rivals.com that there is a lot of pressure for him to stay in-state and sign with the Georgia Bulldogs, but he won't let that pressure affect his decision. It will be interesting to see what Jackson has to say later this week after the allure of Big Cat Weekend starts to wear off.