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.
HASKINS PURSUIT COULD GET MORE INTERESTING
We talked at length last night about the chase for another quarterback in the 2016 class, specifically the scheduled visit to Columbus for Dwayne Haskins Jr. this weekend. That visit is, at present, still "on" but there's a definite push being made on the Maryland side of things (from coaches and commitments) to keep it from transpiring.
One of the major reasons Haskins has begun to look around (he has visited Florida officially and is still looking closely at LSU along with Ohio State) is that it was assumed that Mike Locksley would not return to Terrapins after being passed over for the head coach job that went to DJ Durkin. That assumption has been based on reports from the DMV area, but it does appear that at this point (at least for now) Durkin is working to try and retain Locklsey.
Rahim/Locks/London #Sheesh— Smooth (@dh_simba7) December 9, 2015
If Maryland is able to keep Locksley in the mix, things will certainly get more interesting, but I would expect the visit this weekend to happen regardless.
On a somewhat related note, if Maryland (or any school) is making a coaching hire based on the prospects of retaining/landing a high school football player, it's hard to see that as a good thing longterm for that program.
MEYER IN MICHIGAN
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, as well as a pair of assistants (Kerry Coombs and Zach Smith) spent their Wednesday in Michigan, checking in on a handful of recruits.
The Buckeyes stopped in Canton to see early-enrollee commitment Michael Jordan.
Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs are here at Plymouth. pic.twitter.com/bI50ZFEs1N— Evan Paputa (@EvanPaputa) December 9, 2015
They also went to Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School, where they visited with 2017 athlete Antjuan Simmons. Simmons has a Buckeye offer and has visited Columbus twice since September.
But the night's major target is Detroit Martin Luther King's Donnie Corley Jr. Originally expected to make his college decision Tuesday, Corley is reportedly deciding on an official visit this weekend to either Ohio State or Notre Dame. Sending a trio of Buckeye coaches Wednesday night means it's pretty clear Meyer's staff has not given up the hope of landing the country's 119th-ranked prospect.
If Corley does make a visit to Ohio State this weekend, don't be surprised if his teammate, former Penn State commit Lavert Hill, joins him. Ohio State likely trails both Michigan and Michigan State for Hill, but as they are searching for new defensive back options, they could take a pretty good-sized swing at the 11th-ranked 2016 cornerback.
RASHAN GARY VISIT UPDATE
Speaking of hiring decisions made in order to land one prospect, Ohio State did make their final at-home pitch to the nation's top-ranked recruit, Rashan Gary, earlier this week. The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Gary, linked primarily to Michigan (thanks to their hiring last year of his former high school coach, Chris Partridge), has continued to keep the Buckeyes in the back of his mind but at this point it doesn't appear they'll get an official visit from him, subsequently ending the renewed chase for Gary.
It's hard to identify exactly what the disconnect between Gary's side of things and the Buckeyes' side has been, but a number of people I've spoken with about it indicate that it's – not surprisingly – just a matter of being more comfortable with the staff and atmosphere at Michigan. While Gary does have interest, and has, in the Buckeyes, it's not a situation where the Ohio State staff – almost always confident with any recruit – feels they're really in the game.
If you're a Buckeye fan, the hope now has to be that Alabama or someone else swoops in and steals Gary or you'll be looking at him in Maize and Blue for the next three years.
MACK HONORED BY LOCAL MEDIA
Earlier this week, Austin Mack made a big move up the Rivals.com rankings, jumping from No. 149 to No. 113. That bump helped the Fort Wayne standout move from No. 91 to No. 78 in the 247Sports.com generated composite rankings, the industry's most reasonable metric for ranking prospects as I see it.
Mack, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound wide receiver, was also honored this week by a couple of local media outlets for his excellent senior season. First, he was named the Euell A. Wilson Award winner, presented to Fort Wayne's top senior football player.
Wednesday morning he was given the title of Offensive Player of the Year by IndyScout.com, a scouting agency–remarkably–in Indiana.
Mack will represent Ohio State in San Antonio next month as one of six Buckeye commitments playing in the US Army All-American Bowl.
Jeffrey Okudah, the country's top-ranked 2017 safety, has had the Buckeyes at the top of his personal recruiting list for a number of months and his highlight tape reveals exactly why the Buckeyes have had him at the top of theirs as well.
Okudah was scheduled to be in Columbus for the home game against Michigan State in late November but was unable to make it. He's yet to schedule his return visit but is one of a handful of players very interested in seeing who becomes the next defensive coordinator for the Buckeyes.