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.
BOSA ON TRACK
2016 Ohio State signee Nick Bosa suffered a knee injury in late October that cost him a chance to play in a third straight state title win, but it appears it's unlikely to stop him from being ready to line up for the Buckeyes when he gets to campus.
"(Nick is) right on schedule," John Bosa, Nick's father told Eleven Warriors. "He should be full go near camp time. Ohio State will evaluate when he gets up there and Dr. James Andrews will see him before he goes (to Columbus) in June."
Nick's rehab has, as you'd expect for an athlete of his caliber, been going very well. He's working hard day in and day out, according to his father.
"He's feeling very strong right now, he hasn't missed one knee therapy session. I'm sure when he gets there in June they will implement a plan predicated around his knee," the elder Bosa said of his youngest son. "(He) works upper body on all other days. He's 269 pounds and benched 225 pounds 29 times and could have kept going. He's a beast."
Good news, Buckeye fans, the Lil' Bear is on his way and it appears he'll be ready to go full-speed ahead.
STEPP ADDS NOTRE DAME OFFER, BUCKEYES SOON?
One of the top running backs in the 2018 class, Indianapolis' Markese Stepp visited Ohio State twice in 2015 (for the Western Michigan and Michigan State games), and was a two-time summer camp participant with the Buckeyes, but an offer hasn't come his way yet. After his newest offer, expect that to change, and soon.
— Markese Stepp (@markese_stepp) February 26, 2016
Stepp was offered by Michigan State on Wednesday, and today's offer from Notre Dame will change his recruitment. They are the proverbial "dream school" and unlike most cases where that term is lobbed around, it's worth watching closely here because Stepp is from Indiana and not from a state thousands of miles away.
As far as the Buckeyes go, Stepp says he had planned a trip to Columbus this weekend, but will instead head to Michigan State. The Buckeyes decided not to have a junior weekend yet, and with 15 of his former players in Indianapolis this weekend, it makes sense for Urban Meyer to not be in Columbus. He's talked to running backs' coach Tony Alford about an alternative date.
"(Coach) Alford wants me to come up there for a spring practice," Stepp, whose primary recruiter has been Kerry Coombs. "I was going to go there this weekend and I'm hoping to get there soon."
While the 6-foot-tall, 205-pounder doesn't deny his affinity for the Irish, he says he's trying to look at the big picture in his recruiting process and not let one offer this early sway him from checking all options.
"I'm just working to remain humble," Stepp said of what's sure to become a wild few months. "I need to just go with the process, take a look at all the schools and see what's the best fit for me. The academic side, what my family thinks, the whole thing."
BUCKEYES STILL MONITORING RICKY SLADE
Speaking of 2018 running backs, it's been a while since we've checked in on Woodbridge, Virginia's Ricky Slade.
The country's second-ranked 2018 all-purpose back, offered by Ohio State last year, has been staying busy in recruiting, including a recent trip to Penn State that made a big impact on the Slade family.
"The whole (Penn State) staff ate lunch with him and walked around the facilities," a source told 11W. "They made him and his dad feel welcome."
If you recall, Slade–from CD Hylton High School–is a former teammate of Ohio State redshirt freshman lineman Matt Burrell, who was very high on Penn State at one point in his recruiting process. The Buckeyes are hoping that relationship and Larry Johnson's impact can keep Slade looking in their direction.
"Dad loves Larry Johnson," the source added. "He and Matt are still very close. He wants to visit Columbus on a day that's not a junior day, he's aiming for a spring practice."
HUGE WEEKEND FOR PENN STATE
Tomorrow, a trio of Ohio State’s top targets will be headed to Penn State for the Nits’ Junior Day festivities. Defensive backs Amir Riep and Lamont Wade are scheduled to join Princeton, New Jersey defensive tackle Fred Hansard and a slew of other recruits in what is expected to be Penn State’s premier event for current juniors.
The Nittany Lions are one of about twenty schools who have extended offers to Riep in recent weeks, and the Cincinnati (Colerain) product is expected to check out Notre Dame and Tennessee in March. As for Lamont Wade, Penn State has some catching up to do if they want to keep the state’s top defensive back away from the likes of Ohio State and Pittsburgh. The five-star was on hand for Buckeyes' Junior Day in late January and is expected to check out the Panthers following Saturday’s Penn State visit.
Despite having two of the nation’s top tackles in the fold already, the Buckeyes are still looking to add some more talent to the interior defensive line. At 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, Hansard is one of a handful of candidates to help fill that need. Right now, the four-star’s 247sports.com crystal ball is split between Rutgers, Penn State, and Michigan.
Along the offensive line, Maryland’s Jordan McNair was contemplating making the trip, but it sounds like the visit may not be happening. McNair’s crystal ball currently reads 100% in favor of the Buckeyes.