The Hurry Up is your nightcap of Ohio State recruiting news, catching you up on the day’s events with an ear on the ground for what’s next.
MCCALL FOCUSED ON BIG SENIOR SEASON
One of the country's most exciting and versatile prospects, North Ridgeville's Demario McCall, is preparing for another big year with the Rangers. As a junior, McCall had over 2300 yards rushing and scored 35 touchdowns, but he told NorthCoastNow.com he's excited for an improved offense for his team in 2015.
“Our offense will be better, no matter what,” McCall said. “It gives us more hope with Collin back. I’m sure he’s going to do a good job this year. We’re going to pass a bit more. We have a quarterback that can throw and receivers and backs that can run and catch. It should be a fun offense.”
McCall's focus is making the playoffs in head coach Luke Durbin's second year at the helm.
“I want to make a run at the playoffs, I’m really motivated for that,” McCall said. “That’s all I think about at practice. That’s all I’m working for. I’m not interested in individual goals right now. Now, I’m just focused on making a run at the playoffs.
“I feel like we do have more overall talent than we did last year. This year’s team is more athletic and skilled than last year’s team. We actually have more key players with speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball, and I think that will help. It definitely should also help being in Coach Durbin’s system for another year.”
The country's second-ranked running back in the 2016 class, McCall is on the verge of five-star status from the major recruiting networks and if his numbers and game are even close to last year's marks, he's likely to make that final step.
FUNDERBURK HEADING TO PREP SCHOOL
According to Cleveland.com staffer Tim Bielik, Lakewood St. Edward 2016 basketball star Derek Funderburk, Jr. is leaving the school and will enroll in a prep school for his senior year. The decision to transfer comes down to where he's most likely to make himself into the best player he can.
Funderburk has not yet picked a school, but said he has narrowed his choice to a few places. He doesn't know when he will make a decision, but said he plans to do so before school starts Aug. 20.
A big reason Funderburk decided to transfer was to help prepare him for his college career at Ohio State by playing against some of the best players in the country.
"I really think that I'll develop. Regardless of where I go, I'll develop," Funderburk said. "It wasn't anything about exposure. I have enough exposure."
Funderburk is a four-star prospect, the country's 51st-ranked overall player in his class, and a state champion for the Eagles. He's one part of a two-man Ohio State 2016 class and now both players – Micah Potter being the other – will play their senior year outside of Ohio. Potter will be heading to Montverde Academy in Florida, where D'Angelo Russell excelled before heading to Columbus. This kind of transfer is becoming more and more a part of "high school" athletics and, according to St. Edward's head coach Eric Flannery, something that you just have to deal with.
"Anybody that knows me understands that I'm the type of person that just kind of moves on," Flannery said. "It is what it is. We're going to be fine without him. Definitely it's a loss for us from a talent standpoint. It's something that we just have to readjust and it's another opportunity for the next guy that was behind Derek."
SLADE HOPING TO SEE OHIO STATE THIS FALL
C.D Hylton (Woodbridge, Virginia) provided Ohio State freshman Matt Burrell in the 2015 class and, as we've discussed in the past, is the home of 2018 standout Ricky Slade, Jr. A 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete, Slade has offers from a host of schools, including the Buckeyes, Florida, Michigan State, Clemson, South Carolina and others. He's one of the country's best prospects in his class and according to his father, Rick, it's been a pretty good summer.
"The summer was good, Ricky has been working hard," the elder Slade shared with Eleven Warriors."The rankings are nice but he's still got work to do and he knows it."
As far as Slade and the Buckeyes, a visit to Columbus this summer is likely, but as of now unplanned. Hylton assistant coach John Harris told 11W that he thinks a trip for the Penn State game on October 17th is a good bet.
"We've been talking about a visit," Harris said of his young star. "I'm hoping it will be for the Penn State game."
WHO GETS LEFT OUT IN 2017?
With Austin Mack in the mix at wide receiver for 2016 – and he may be the only one at the position come February despite the pursuit of Binjimen Victor, Donnie Corley and others – there's a lot of attention being paid to the 2017 receivers already.
There's a few names we know out there and in some ways it's almost safe to count Trevon Grimes, Jaylen Harris, Bruce Judson as in, despite Judson being the only currently committed prospect at the position for 2017. Other names like Ja'Vonte Richardson, Emmanuel Greene, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Keyshawn Johnson, Jr. and Tyjon Lindsey litter the talented landscape and it sounds like the Buckeyes will have some decisions to make. Fortunately for the prospects in question, and for the Ohio State staff, those decisions don't have to be made in any hurry.
Right now, the likely number in 2017 is four wide receivers. If we count the three as in, that leaves just one potential spot remaining. Who would you take and why?