The Hurry Up: Luke Farrell Readying Himself for Ohio State, Texas Struggles Helping Buckeyes, Malik Vann Checks Out Buckeyes

By Jeremy Birmingham on April 4, 2016 at 7:45 pm
2018 athlete Malik Vann at Ohio State on Saturday
Malik Vann

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.


After trips to Michigan State and Michigan, it was Columbus on Saturday for a pair of Fairfield, Ohio, 2018 stars, offensive lineman Jackson Carman and athlete Malik Vann.

We've talked about Carman multiple times here–he's a priority, the visit went well, yada yada yada–so let's talk about the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Vann, who added an offer from the Spartans during his stop in East Lansing, his seventh. This trip to Ohio State was one more for Vann, who has been on campus with the Buckeyes three other times previously.

"I was at Ohio State for a bowl practice and two camps," Vann told Eleven Warriors. "This visit was great. I got to speak to (Urban) Meyer, Kerry Coombs and (Larry) Johnson. I got a full campus tour and got to actually sit down with (Urban) Meyer."

Meyer's reputation as a straight-shooting, more-personable-than-you'd-think head coach was spot on, according to the country's 231st-ranked 2018 prospect.

"He showed us pictures of his family, his rings and it made him more ‘human’," Vann said. "It was really nice."

With the Michigan State offer under his belt, Vann says Ohio State was upfront with him about how they could see him working into their program. One key item: they see him as a defensive lineman, other schools, including Mark Dantonio's program, think he could be a linebacker.

"They want me to play defensive line –– add weight," Vann said. "I'm a linebacker by design. I'm 240 (pounds) they'd like to see 255-260."

Vann told 11W that he and Carman will be back in Columbus soon.

"Me and Jack will be there for the spring game," he said.


One of the reasons Ohio State can consider not signing a tight end in 2017's recruiting class is because, in 2016, they signed two pretty darn good ones from inside of their own state: Cincinnati's Jake Hausmann and Perry's Luke Farrell. The pair are working hard to make sure they've got a chance to participate in a surprisingly empty tight end room at the Woody Hayes. Rashod Berry has been moved to defensive end, redshirt freshman A.J. Alexander hasn't caught a pass in college and Marcus Baugh has the only game experience in Ed Warinner's group. Long story short? The chance to make an impact is there for the incoming freshmen to take.

"It is definitely exciting for us now that Rashod is back on defense," Farrell told 11W following a visit to campus on Saturday. "It's pretty much me, Jake and A.J. Alexander behind Marcus."

While watching Ohio State's practice this past weekend, Farrell says he and Hausmann were paying close attention to what goes on with every snap and that he's grinding to better himself.

"Me and Jake were trying to decipher the signals together," he said. "I run routes a couple times a week along with the workouts and going through film. I'm working hard on getting (physically ready), getting a little familiar with the playbook."

Farrell, who will be on hand for the Ohio State spring game, played basketball this past season, his final year at Perry, using the hardwood to get himself in shape after suffering a back injury in his final game of the football season.

"(My back) has been good, I've been squatting and everything, no problems," Farrell said. "(Basketball) helped with that."


Ohio State has a commitment from one of Texas' top 2017 prospects–running back J.K. Dobbins, ranked as the seventh best player in the state–and they're working hard to get more. 

Take a look at the players the Buckeyes are recruiting in Texas and you'll see a who's who of Texas prep football:

Recruiting Texas isn't traditionally easy. The University of Texas and Texas A&M have, for years, dominated the state. Though Oklahoma and others have made inroads, it's rare for a program from outside of the Plains to gain too much traction. Add in the developing powerhouses at Baylor, TCU, Houston and the revitalization project at SMU and getting the guys you want from Texas is becoming a flat out nightmare.

So how are the Buckeyes making so much headway? A national brand that spans the annuls of college football, a head coach that is absolutely secure in his position and competing annually for national titles helps, but so too do the struggles in Austin and College Station to play consistently good football. 

From national analyst Bud Elliott:

A large portion of the elite recruits in the Texas who have major out-of-state suitors are simply putting the Longhorns and Aggies on hold in order to see what is going to happen during the 2016 season, whether Charlie Strong or Kevin Sumlin will be at their schools in 2017 and if either will land Houston coach Tom Herman. It's as if there's a pause button, and that's weird in a state long known for its marquee teams locking up prospects early.

Texas' biggest schools are struggling, recruits are waiting to see if the coaching changes that have been bandied about for the last year or so come to fruition. The unrest in College Station last December as two five-star quarterbacks transferred certainly has given some pause about Kevin Sumlin's future.

Texas A&M recruiting reporters and analysts told me that the transfers have done major damage to the Aggies' reputation with recruits. It's become major negative recruiting fodder.

Can Ohio State capitalize even more than they have?


Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Virginia) defensive tackle Darnell Ewell has had the Buckeyes at the top of his personal list for months, and he says that the two commitments they have at the position aren't changing his mind.

"No, it doesn't make me step back," Ewell said about the commitments of Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage. "I'm definitely going to have to compete wherever I end up."

The country's 10th-ranked defensive tackle says he's still talking to Ohio State pretty regularly and that he's got plans to return to Columbus this summer.

"I've been talking to them," the former teammate of Buckeyes' sophomore Jalyn Holmes and 2016 signee Wayne Davis said. "I'm going back there sometime in June."

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