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.
Monday, Ohio State will find out their fate with at least two–and maybe three–of their top remaining 2016 targets.
Sunday's Hurry Up will focus on the final picks and thoughts on those three players.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON JORDAN FULLER
Ohio State was, at one time, the clear leader for New Jersey four-star athlete Jordan Fuller. As the Westwood native moved into his senior season, it seemed that more and more schools were getting into the mix for his services and that the once large Buckeye lead had dissipated almost entirely after his official visit to Notre Dame in December.
As 2016 rolled in, most of the smoke around Fuller's recruitment had once again started blowing in Ohio State's direction. A primary target of the six Buckeye commitments that he played alongside in the US Army All-American Bowl, Fuller made an official visit to Columbus on Jan. 15 and once again it seemed that the Scarlet and Gray had moved into an almost insurmountable lead for his signature.
Fuller visited Michigan the week after his trip to Ohio State and upon returning to New Jersey, the 6-foot-2, 196-pounder promptly announced that a Feb. 1 decision would let the world know where he's headed.
The 247Sports crystal ball for Fuller reads 81 percent in the Buckeyes' favor and there isn't a single prediction that has been placed for either Michigan or Notre Dame, but those remain the two most toughest opponents for Ohio State at this time. For their part, Ohio State remains optimistic in their positioning, despite an obvious and concerted effort by the Michigan coaching staff to get their commitments to engage Fuller earlier Sunday. In fact, multiple people this past week have suggested that despite the Wolverines' push, Notre Dame still may be the biggest threat.
I've had the Buckeyes as my pick since he ended his official visit to Columbus and I'm sticking with it. We'll find out for sure tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON DAMAR HAMLIN
If there's one player that has been a target on the Buckeyes' defensive back board longer than Fuller, it's Pittsburgh's Damar Hamlin.
Since the summer of 2014, Hamlin has been to Ohio State at least 10 times, visiting the Buckeyes for games, camps, Junior Days and more. He's been a priority target for Luke Fickell, Kerry Coombs and the Buckeyes' defensive staff for a long time and there's never been a dramatic lull in communication between the two sides: it's been a long-standing, honest and direct relationship between a recruit and his family and his recruiters. At the risk of sounding corny, it's recruiting the way it should be.
Anywho, Hamlin, like Fuller, may have been leaning towards Notre Dame as recently as December despite everyone just thinking that, since he's from Pittsburgh, he's just going to have to choose Pitt. That's the way it goes, right?
Ironically, with everyone predicting that "Pitt is it!" for Hamlin, who will announce at 6 p.m. Monday, only 35 percent of "crystal ballers" have him pegged for the Panthers. Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes made their final at-home visit Thursday night and Hamlin took his official visit to Pittsburgh this weekend.
If Hamlin wants to win a national championship–and this isn't a shot at Pittsburgh–he'll choose Ohio State Monday night. If he wants to be a hometown hero at Pitt, which is a helluva legacy to have and ride through life and certainly a good choice as well, he'll choose Pitt.
My gut says Ohio State has a better shot than maybe we've let ourselves believe, similar to the way I felt about Rashard Lawrence, but like Lawrence, I think he'll choose to stay home.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON JAMAR KING
While it's not an absolute certainty that Mendocino College defensive lineman Jamar King is going to announce Monday, it's becoming more and more likely that his choice will come at basically any point.
The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, who visited Central Florida this past weekend, has been to Ohio State and Alabama in January. There have been questions about whether or not the Crimson Tide, and even the Buckeyes, have had room for King if he decided to pick their school. but I was told that, at least with Ohio State, that if he wants in, he's in.
Naturally there are going to be some who would complain that King's inclusion in the place of a player like Sam Bruce makes little sense, but it's worth considering that, at 26 years old, King would essentially be a one-year rental for whatever school he picks.
A Detroit native, King has lived a lot of life, more than most recruits and I don't think he's going to be impacted by location at all, although he certainly likes the idea of his family being within driving distance to Ohio State. The conversation around King has seemingly all but ceased on the Alabama side and no one seems to have a good handle on what the three-star JUCO star is thinking or feeling at this point.
I do not like being the guy who says "anything could happen" but there's just nothing one way or the other that gives a hint about where King is going and he's stopped talking.
So, here's my current prediction for Jamar King, whenever he decides: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
TIMELINES FOR WALLACE, BECKER AND PRIDGEON
Outside of the three aforementioned players–and Malik Harrison who announces Wednesday–making decisions this week, there are three other players that still could potentially end up in Ohio State's class and the timelines for their decisions are starting to come to light.
Kissimmee, Florida, defensive back Carlos Becker, who visited Ohio State last weekend, will make his decision on signing day, as well K'Von Wallace, who left his official visit with the Buckeyes today.
Another official visitor this weekend, Nassau Community College lineman Malcolm Pridgeon, could have a decision by Tuesday I'm told. He appears to be down to two schools: Ohio State and Baylor.
Buckle up folks, we've got an interesting few days ahead of us.