The Hurry Up: 5-Star Linebacker Sets Official Visit, Elite Tight End Talks Offer and Future Buckeyes Highlight ESPN High School Football Showcase

By Andrew Lind on August 26, 2016 at 7:15 pm
Baron Browning
Baron Browning

The Hurry Up is your nightly dose of updates from the Ohio State football recruiting trail, keeping tabs on the latest from commits and targets from around the country.


Kennedale, Texas, linebacker Baron Browning is set to announce his college destination on Nov. 29, and Ohio State will have the last opportunity to woo the five-star prospect. He told ESPN National Recruiting Analyst Gerry Hamilton that he will take an official visit to Columbus three days prior to his announcement.

“Right now, I have the USC vs. UCLA game locked in, and then I have Michigan at Ohio State,” Browning said. “I think I'm going to Florida State for the Clemson game, but that one isn't locked in yet.”

A one-time Baylor commit, Browning had been considered an Ohio State lean prior to his visit to Texas for their summer recruiting camp, Under the Lights. He likely won't take an official visit with the Longhorns this fall simply because he wants use them on out-of-state schools that he can't drive to.

“I have my opinion on [the schools], but seeing my parents' opinion is going to be important,” Browning said. “My mom likes TCU and Texas. She likes coach [Charlie] Strong a lot. She has been down to Texas two times with me, and when we are in coach Strong's office and he brings up points to me, she is always agreeing with him. [She] says, 'That's what I've been telling you.'

“They are double teaming me.”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder has offers from 40 of the top programs across the country, but announced a Top 10 list of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, TCU, Texas, UCLA and USC in early April. He had previously been scheduled to visit the Crimson Tide the day the Buckeyes host the Wolverines, which obviously plays in Ohio State's favor.


Less than a month after committing to South Florida out of the blue, four-star Tampa athlete Jermaine Eskridge has reopened his recruitment.

You'll recall that the week leading up his announcement was quite bizarre, as Eskridge initially revealed a Top 3 list of Alabama, Miami and Ohio State. He then added two more schools, Florida and Oregon, at his mother's insistence. Finally, a day after he was scheduled to take an unofficial visit to Coumbus, he committed to USF while on campus.

Eskridge, who is considered the No. 10 overall athlete in the Class of 2018 by 247Sports Composite, clearly made an emotional decision based on the fact that several other local Tampa kids pledged their services to the Bulls that week.

He was the 11th commit in a span of six days, which includes former Ohio State commit Bruce Judson.


Ohio State seemed content moving forward without a tight end in the current recruiting class. After all, the Buckeyes landed three players from that position in the last recruiting cycle.

That all changed though, when four-star Sacramento, California, tight end Josh Falo announced he had received a scholarship offer on Wednesday. And despite the fact he had previously revealed a Top 10 earlier this month, Ohio State looks to have secured a visit this fall.

Falo, who had previously taken trips to Alabama, California, Michigan, Oregon and Texas A&M, is not focused on making a decision anytime soon, however.

“I'm really focused on the season and making a college decision is not really in my mind right now,” he told The Subway Alum. “My expectations are helping the team get to a championship game and winning it. My school has never won one yet, and I want to be on the team that changes that.”

Considered the No. 5 tight end in the Class of 2017 by 247Sports Composite Rankings, Falo isn't a consistent part of the Inderkum High offense. He caught only 11 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns as a junior last season, while the Tigers rushed for more than 5,000 yards on their way to the state semifinals.


In less than an hour, ESPN and its family of networks will broadcast the first of 10 games this weekend as part of the GEICO High School Football Kickoff. Ohio State fans will want to tune in to five games in particular, which feature several commits and targets taking the field for some of the top-ranked programs in the country.

Bellflower, California, St. John Bosco, led by 2017 offensive guard commit Wyatt Davis and 2018 safety target Jaiden Woodbey, travels to Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium to take on St. Xavier. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

One hour later, fourth-ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida) takes on No. 2 Grayson (Loganville, Georgia) in the first top-five matchup of the evening. The Ascenders are chocked full of potential Buckeyes, including 2017 commits Isaiah Pryor and Marcus Williamson and 2018 targets Taron Vincent and Houston Griffith, while Rams are led by corners Jamyest Williams and Deangelo Gibbs.

Williams, who listed Ohio State in his final five, is set to announce his college decision just prior to kickoff.

Following the completion of the first game on the network, ESPNU is set to air Plantation, Florida, American Heritage's game against Colquitt County, Georgia. The Patriots' offensive line features two of the top offensive tackles in the country, but all eyes will be on 2018 cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr., who was extended a scholarship offer by the Buckeyes earlier this month.

The main course is the 9 p.m. showdown between No. 3 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nevada) and No. 5 Cedar Hill, Texas. The Gaels, quarterbacked by Ohio State commit Tate Martell, are aiming for their third-consecutive mythical high school national championship. Martell is joined by recent wide receiver commit Tyjon Lindsey and defensive tackle Haskell Garrett.

And last but not least, Sunday's lone contest features defending Florida state champion Trinity Christian and state semifinalist Cocoa. The Conquerors are led by cornerback commit Shaun Wade, while the Tigers will have the aforementioned Judson under center.

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