The Hurry Up: Simmons Impresses in Chicago, Harris Talks Buckeyes, Leonard Taylor's Visit to Ohio State

By Jeremy Birmingham on March 29, 2016 at 7:45 pm
Jaylen Harris continues to be a top target for the Buckeyes

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.


The first in-person meeting between 2018 five-star Xavier Thomas and the Buckeyes appears to have gone very well.

Thomas, the country's fourth-ranked prospect in 2018, has a recruitment that's been–to this point–very Southern flavored, but it seems Ohio State could make themselves a player in his recruitment.

The Buckeyes are likely to only take one, maybe two defensive ends in the 2017 class so by the time they get to signing day in 2018 they'll be looking at 3-4 in that class, making Thomas a need.

After leaving Ohio State, Thomas will turn his focus back to the southern programs: he'll visit Clemson, South Carolina, FSU and Alabama in the upcoming coming weeks.

Eleven Warriors will have more on Thomas' visit soon.


Maybe he's not yet been penciled into a position yet in his high school career, but this past weekend in Chicago Ohio State commitment Antjuan Simmons showed that no matter what he does, he's got the talent to make an impact.

At the Chicago Showcase, it was Simmons, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder who stood out among the hundreds of participants. 

Simmons was named the "Alpha Dog" by 

Simmons was downhill in a hurry in cat and mouse drills quickly corralling running backs and in space he was one of the top linebackers in coverage.

A two-way player on Fridays, the thick 6-foot-1, 215-pound Simmons was equally elusive in those same cat and mouse drills when he was playing running back. His very first rep of the camp was a juke move that left him untouched as he quickly eluded the linebacker. He also was one of the quicker and better route runners.

Not to be outdone, the fine folks at also named Simmons their MVP, highlighting his work on offense.


Simmons is the country's 266th-ranked overall 2017 prospect but it'd be surprising if he didn't receive significant ratings bumps from the major recruiting services.


Ohio State hosted a pair of their top receiver targets for 2017 last weekend, one of them being Cleveland Heights' 6-foot-5 star Jaylen Harris.

Not surprisingly, the visit was a success.


Harris has been a Buckeye priority since last summer, and it's been his relationship with Tony Alford that's been the primary driver, but over the weekend he got a chance to get some attention from Urban Meyer and Zach Smith.

I talked to one source close to Harris' recruitment and they remain bullish on the Buckeyes' chances with the country's 16th-ranked wide receiver.

"We know he wants to take his time, see some other places and that's fine," the source said. "He's been to Ohio State a lot, he knows the people, he knows it there and he's comfortable and it'd be surprising if he ended up anywhere else."


One of only a few in-state 2018 prospects to hold a Buckeyes' offer, Springfield's Leonard Taylor made his first trip to see Ohio State as a prospect on Saturday. 

"It was a great visit," Taylor shared about the trip. "I loved it. The energy was great and you got to see all the guys got a lot of reps."

Taylor lines up at tight end and defensive end but is likely to wind up exclusively on defense in college. He took special note of Larry Johnson and his approach. It reinforced his already lofty opinion of the Ohio State defensive line coach.

"Larry Johnson made a real good impression," he said. "I think he is the best defensive line coach out there."

Taylor recently visited Michigan and said that right now they are even with the Buckeyes in his eyes, refusing to name a leader. He does have a return trip to Ohio State already scheduled.

"I sure am," when asked if he'd be taking a trip to the Buckeyes' spring game on April 16. "I think that's it for visits right now."


On Thursday, Ohio State will welcome 2017 commitment J.K. Dobbins and his mother for their first ever visit to Columbus. The four-star running back, who verballed to the Buckeyes two weeks after receiving his scholarship offer from coach Tony Alford, will arrive on campus on Thursday.

His head coach at La Grange (Texas), Matt Kates, talked with Tony Gerdeman from about his special tailback.

From TheOzone:

"One hundred percent, yeah," he recently told The-Ozone. "Me being a Fort Worth guy, my favorite player of all time is Emmitt Smith and he’s Emmitt Smith’s size right now, 5-9 and around 205. He’s just a little faster than Emmitt. Emmitt was never known for his speed, but if you go back and watch those ‘90s Cowboys, they never thought about having a third-down back. It was him all the time just because he could do everything that a back has to do, and that’s what J.K. can do."

That's a lofty comparison, but Kates says it's the speed Dobbins brings to the field that separates him–literally–from his competition.

"I had him hand-timed yesterday at a 4.30 40. That probably computes to a low 4.4 laser time. The most impressive thing is his vertical leap. He’s around a low 40” vertical leap. If you watch the NFL Combine, he’d be at the tops of the running backs right now. I don’t know what his ceiling is. He’s 17 years old. When he’s 21 he might look like that sucker that’s leaving y’all right now. He might be 225 and have every measurable that you could ever think of."

Eleven Warriors will have an update on Dobbins' visit later this week.


Bad news: Lamont Wade was not able to get to Columbus Tuesday.

The four-star cornerback from Clairton, Pennsylvania, hoped to make his way to see the Buckeyes for the day, taking advantage of his spring break, but couldn't arrange it.

"I couldn't find a ride," Wade told 11W. "I'm on spring break."

Ohio State will have one of their bigger spring football events this upcoming Saturday–Student Appreciation Day–but Wade already has plans.

"I'm going to (visit) North Carolina," Wade added about his upcoming weekend.

View 55 Comments