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.
BREAKING DOWN HOBAN AND TOLEDO CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Thursday night in Ohio Stadium, two future Buckeyes and a host of other talented prospects at Toledo Central Catholic and Akron Archbishop Hoban took their turn at football glory in the Division III state championship. Danny Clark and Todd Sibley led the Knights of Hoban to a 33-20 win over the Fighting Irish, who were playing in their third state title game in four years.
There were a lot of potentially big-time prospects on the field. Let's start with the new state champion, Akron Archbishop Hoban.
- Clark wasn't asked to win the game for the Knights, he was asked to play smart, efficient and winning football, and that's what he did. When he was needed to make a key throw or take advantage of Central playing man-to-man by hitting a deep ball, he did that too. His two touchdown passes were beautiful throws with pressure in his face and he once again showed himself to be a leader on the sideline.
- Playing at less than 100 percent, Sibley handled the majority of the Knights' offensive load, carrying the ball 33 times for 162 yards. He showed explosiveness on a first quarter 55-yard touchdown run and toughness with what seemed like 25 fourth quarter carries. Sibley, at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds, is going to get stronger and faster and he's turned himself into a Big Ten running back already.
The former Michigan State commitment, Morris played an excellent game for Hoban, impacting the outcome on offense and on defense. As a wide receiver, linebacker or safety, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Morris was one of the premier athletes on the field and outran Central's entire defense on a first quarter touchdown. I don't know that Morris was playing for an offer from Ohio State, but he definitely made a good impression on me.
Don't be surprised if makes an official visit to see the Buckeyes in January but his place in the 2016 hierarchy is still a bit unknown.
- The former Michigan State commitment, Morris played an excellent game for Hoban, impacting the outcome on offense and on defense. As a wide receiver, linebacker or safety, the 6-foot-4, 195-pound Morris was one of the premier athletes on the field and outran Central's entire defense on a first quarter touchdown. I don't know that Morris was playing for an offer from Ohio State, but he definitely made a good impression on me.
When you're 14 years old, you're not supposed to look like Nolan Rumler. The freshman right tackle, at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, is abnormal and if he continues on his career trajectory, we're getting an early look at a potential Top-10 overall prospect in 2019.
He's big, he's got excellent feet and aggressive hands and is a player to watch closely moving forward. He's a good candidate to be the first Ohioan in the 2019 class to earn a Buckeyes' offer –– he's already got one from Jim Harbaugh and Michigan is reportedly his favorite school.
- When you're 14 years old, you're not supposed to look like Nolan Rumler. The freshman right tackle, at 6-foot-4, 295 pounds, is abnormal and if he continues on his career trajectory, we're getting an early look at a potential Top-10 overall prospect in 2019.
- A 2018 defensive back and wide receiver, Bauer looks the part already at nearly 6-foot-1 and 185-pounds. He's going to likely add another inch or two to his frame and because of that I think his career path is likely going to be at wide receiver, but last night he was really good at cornerback for the Knights. He runs well, uses his hands well and although Hoban has had him focus on defense this postseason, he's a player that is going to be one to pay attention to in Ohio on either side of the ball. Look for him to start getting a lot of publicity next Summer.
Hoban is loaded, and Toledo Central Catholic has a lot of talent as well.
- Last year in the state title game, I watched the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Sandwisch–a West Virginia commitment–take shot after shot at current Ohio State quarterback Joey Burrow and came away incredibly impressed by his aggression, instincts and speed. Sandwisch missed his sophomore year with a knee injury, then sat out half of his junior season because of OHSAA transfer regulations and because of that, combined with his own apathy towards the entire process, his recruitment never really "took off" and to me that's a shame. I think he's the best linebacker in Ohio and a player that's good enough to play anywhere, including Ohio State where his father played baseball. Last night, Sandwisch was all over the field in run support and in pass coverage, playing through a torn labrum that he'll have surgically repaired next week. He's got the perfect head-down, hard-nosed approach you want in a linebacker. West Virginia is getting a good one.
If you were starting a high school football team, a guy who looks like James Hudson is exactly where you'd start. The 2017 prospect, committed to Kentucky, is a legit 6-foot-5 and 270-pounds and when he wants to be is usually going to be the best player on the field and last night he flashed that potential a number of times.
Hudson is going to be as good as Hudson lets himself be, and he's a guy that I think will end up at Ohio State if he decides to commit himself to his game.
- If you were starting a high school football team, a guy who looks like James Hudson is exactly where you'd start. The 2017 prospect, committed to Kentucky, is a legit 6-foot-5 and 270-pounds and when he wants to be is usually going to be the best player on the field and last night he flashed that potential a number of times.
MICHAEL WARREN, JR.
- I thought initially that there would be a decision to be made between Warren, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound three-star prospect who also is committed to Kentucky and Todd Sibley. After seeing them both last night you realize there's not much of a difference in talent and productivity between the pair. The junior runs incredibly hard and does all the little things you want to see in a leader. I don't know believe Warren will end up getting a Buckeyes' offer, but I'd be surprised if Kentucky is his ceiling.
Earlier this week, I mentioned that Ed Warinner would be in New Jersey and that he'd make a stop at Paramus Catholic where he'd no doubt talk with the country's top-ranked 2016 prospect, defensive lineman Rashan Gary.
I tried to let on a bit that we should expect to see Urban Meyer there as well.
...don't be surprised if Urban Meyer and Warinner try to arrange an at-home with Gary this week...
Meyer and Warinner did visit Gary and I've been told that this coming Monday it will be Larry Johnson who will head to New Jersey to meet with the five-star prospect in the hopes of convincing him to give the Buckeyes one of final official visits.
Ohio State is virtually always optimistic when it comes their chances with any recruit, and Gary is no different. They have seen him and his mother on campus a couple of times and they believe that if they can get them back for an official visit, where the school can be on display as much as the football program, that they have a shot to pull off the surprise and keep him away from Michigan.
A day after canceling their scheduled at-home visit with Daelin Hayes, signaling the end of that linebacker pursuit, Ohio State has offered Malik Harrison, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder from Walnut Ridge in Columbus.
Harrison has offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Pittsburgh and others. You should expect an official visit to Ohio State soon and a commitment shortly thereafter. I'm working to get a follow-up with Harrison soon.
WINT-ER IS COMING?
As the defensive backfield options have ebbed and flowed, it's time to start paying attention to every name that comes across the wire and one of them is Erasmus Hall (Brooklyn, New York) two-star prospect and Temple commit Jahsen Wint.
"An official visit is coming next week, after my game (Sunday) I will have everything (planned) out," Wint said about a plan to visit the Buckeyes. "Chris Ash and Urban Meyer were his this week, along with Pitt."
For Wint, 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, it was his first meeting with Meyer. He was impressed by his candor and surprised by...his height?
"Urban Meyer is tall (laughs), and he was very straight-forward," Wint said. "He told me he wanted me to take an official visit, to see if I like it over there."
Wint has been hearing good things about the Buckeyes from former Erasmus Hall star Curtis Samuel and I'd expect 100 percent for him to commit to Ohio State if an offer were to come during an official visit.