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.
INSIDE TODAY'S DECISIONS
So, today was fun, right?
To recap: Ohio State landed three commitments today from three composite four-star players: wide receiver Binjimen Victor, quarterback Dwayne Haskins and linebacker Keandre Jones. We also looked at the impact that Victor, Haskins and Jones would make on Ohio State's recruiting class and football program in the future.
So, how did the Buckeyes pull off this trifecta? If forced to pick one word, the one I'd choose is: patience.
Dwayne Haskins Jr. loved Ohio State for a long time, but committed to Maryland in May when the appeal of being a "hometown" hero (hometown being subjective, since he was born in New Jersey and lived there until he was 14) in College Park won out –– thanks in part to Tristen Wallace being committed to the Buckeyes. When the chance, and need, to reconnect with Haskins presented itself, Ohio State didn't hesitate for a single moment. His recruitment received a major shot in the arm as he reconnected with Tim Beck, who was one of the first coaches to offer him a scholarship (over two years ago, when Beck was at Nebraska). Beck, combined with Urban Meyer, have outlined a plan for Haskins and the future of the Buckeyes' offense that has made the Haskins' family comfortable enough to disconnect from the Terrapins' plans.
After Haskins' visit to Ohio State in December, it became apparent to many that he would end up a Buckeye and he became a key component in the Buckeyes' chase of Michigan State signee Donnie Corley and has been active in talking with Binjimen Victor as well.
In June of 2014, Binjimen Victor and his teammate at Coconut Creek, Trayvon Mullen, came north to Columbus for a week-long camp visit and it was that trip, combined with a breakout performance at Friday Night Lights that summer that opened Ohio State's eyes. Ohio State stayed close to Victor, led by Zach Smith, and when the four-star wide receiver was scheduled to commit to Florida in June of 2015, it was a renewed push by Smith that led to a delay; from there it was all Ohio State in his recruitment.
Victor and the Buckeyes had a bit of a lull in communication at the start of this past football season, but he and Smith maintained a positive relationship and after his official visit in October, the writing seemed more on the wall than ever. Victor informed Ohio State of his decision last week and reiterated that choice Sunday following his visit to Tennessee.
Keandre Jones was a favorite of the Buckeyes' coaching staff for a while, and if you know how Ohio State works, if they like you–and I mean really like you–they never stop watching. When Jones committed to Maryland in December of 2014, Luke Fickell and Ohio State didn't stop paying attention. Rumors of some academic challenges caused a little slowdown in their chase, but staying with Jones through it all has paid off in spades because he's a player they felt was not a real option for much of the cycle.
Patience, in life and recruiting, is a major key.
KELLY-POWELL PLANS NOTRE DAME, OHIO STATE VISITS
One of the Buckeyes' 2017 defensive back targets, Detroit Cass Tech's Jaylen Kelly-Powell, has his next two recruiting visits planned. First up, according to the four-star safety, is a trip to Notre Dame.
Headed to Notre Dame this weekend. Look forward to seeing Coach Kelly and Gilmore again and kicking it with the fellas. #GoIrish— Jaylen Kelly-Powell (@JKellypowell) January 18, 2016
After that, it's back to Ohio State for the country's 23rd-ranked safety.
"I'm coming to Ohio State for the weekend of Jan. 30," Kelly-Powell told 11W. "It's an invite only weekend for offered recruits, same as Notre Dame."
Kelly-Powell continues to be one of Kerry Coombs' priorities at Cass Tech.
"He said he'll be in this week," he said of Coombs. "He asks me at least once a week when I'm going to commit."
The Buckeyes may be asking, but they're not pressing the 6-foot-tall, 185-pounder who also has offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Pitt among his 25. He says a decision is on his mind, but there's one school he wants to visit before he can seriously consider ending his recruitment.
"I go to Stanford in May," Kelly-Powell said. "I'm waiting until I see Stanford before I decide."
RIVALS 100 LOADED WITH OHIO STATE CONNECTIONS
The fine folks at Rivals.com released what appears to be their final Top 100 of the 2016 recruiting cycle and the Buckeyes' evaluations seem to be hand-in-hand with their way of thinking.
That tweet at 12:51 p.m. this afternoon was before the commitments of Dwayne Haskins and Keandre Jones, so here's the full, updated list of Ohio State pledges in the Top 100.
- No. 21 • Nick Bosa • DE
- No. 30 • Keandre Jones • LB
- No. 66 • Demario McCall • ATH
- No. 71 • Jake Hausmann • TE
- No. 78 • Jonathon Cooper • DE
- No. 91 • Binjimen Victor • WR
- No. 96 • Austin Mack • WR
- No. 99 • Michael Jordan • OL
- No. 100 • Dwayne Haskins Jr. • QB
Mack and Jordan, each of whom impressed during their Army All-American Bowl week in San Antonio, both moved into the Top 100 for the first time.
Ohio State target Sam Bruce comes in at No. 47 on the list while Rashard Lawrence, a 247Sports.com composite five-star, is not in the Top 100. Michigan signee Kareem Walker also fell out of the Top 100.
HARDMAN ADDS BUCKEYES TO LIST
Sources close to the Buckeyes indicate that they feel they did a good job of selling the program to Hardman during his official visit this past weekend and that they'll be in the mix until signing day for the dynamic athlete. His friendship with Austin Mack and recently-developed relationship with Zach Smith have led the way, and today's addition of Dwayne Haskins Jr. is another positive step for Ohio State.
Next week, Hardman will visit Alabama, a school that he listed as his leader recently. I think that if Ohio State has a legitimate shot here we'll know more following that visit. To pull off the coup, the Buckeyes will need to knock off the Crimson Tide and Georgia, a tall task for any non-SEC school.