The Hurry Up: Buckeyes Lead for Top-Ranked Defender, Elite Safety Unable to Visit Columbus and Trio of Targets Head to Nebraska

By Andrew Lind on August 31, 2016 at 7:15 pm
Taron Vincent
Taron Vincent

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.


SEC Country's Chris Kirschner had the opportunity to catch up with a few of the country's top prospects following IMG Academy's weekend win over Grayson, Georgia, Ohio State commit Isaiah Pryor among them.

And though Kirschner seemingly asked every prospect about their interest in Alabama, top-ranked 2018 defensive tackle Taron Vincent only wanted to talk about the Buckeyes.

“[Defensive line] coach [Larry] Johnson, the atmosphere, the school … just everything about the school,” Vincent said. “Coach Johnson recruited my older brother [while he was at Penn State], so I've always been around him and kind of grew up with him.”

The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder has scholarship offers from nearly 30 Power 5 schools, but said Ohio State is team to be at the moment.


To the surprise of many, Cass Tech four-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell told Eleven Warriors earlier this summer that he would not taking an official visit to Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame or Ohio State. His reason?

“I'm not taking official visits to any school close [to home] or that I've visited many times,” he said.

Taking into account that colleges pay for transportation to and from their campus, lodging and other various accommodations, I don't blame any recruit that uses the process to travel to places they've never been.

Heck, I don't know why every recruit doesn't at least try to book a free trip to Hawai'i.

That said, the 6-foot, 175-pound Kelly-Powell — having already been to Columbus several times, including for Friday Night Lights last month — has set up official visits this fall for Alabama, Auburn, Nebraska and Oregon.

Michigan is the favorite to land the forth-best player in the state and the nation's No. 20 prospect overall, according to 247Sports Composite. But Kelly-Powell has a great relationship with Ohio State defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs, so the Buckeyes should not be counted out entirely — especially if a prospect like Grand Prairie, Texas, five-star safety Jeffrey Okudah opts to stay a little closer to home.

“I learn so much about the game and life from [coaches]. Good or bad,” he said. “The hardest part of the process is knowing that I can only play for one of them.”

Kelly-Powell's Cass Tech teammate, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, announced on Wednesday afternoon that he will also be heading to Nebraska this weekend. All signs point to Michigan, though, as the last dozen or so 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions have him landing with the Wolverines.


It seems as if Ohio State has made significant strides in the last few months with Calabasas, California, five-star cornerback Darnay Holmes. He was arguably one of the most impressive players at Friday Night Lights and is set to be on campus this fall for an official visit when the Buckeyes host Nebraska.

It's no coincidence, though, the visit will take place that weekend; Holmes is also high on the Cornhuskers and, like the pair from Cass Tech, is scheduled to be in Lincoln this weekend.

Ohio State was one of the first players in Holmes' recruitment, offering back in May 2014, but it's a long-shot at this point for him to play his college ball in Columbus.

Granted, that may change following his official visit or if the chips don't fall Ohio State's way on some other prospects. But, at this point, I think Holmes stays home and commits to UCLA this January.

If that prediction holds true, the Bruins would undoubtedly be getting one of the country's elite talents. In this past weekend's Great American Rivalry Series game against Agoura, California, Holmes hauled in seven receptions for 115 yards and three touchdowns on his way to Most Valuable Player honors.


Five-star safety Jaiden Woodbey has eyed an unofficial visit since Ohio State offered him a scholarship in June, just one week before his St. John Bosco teammate, Wyatt Davis, pledged his services to the Buckeyes.

The distance between his hometown of Bellflower, California, and Columbus has made it quite difficult for Woodbey to visit campus, however, so Saturday's game against St. Xavier in Cincinnati seemed like the perfect chance that to happen.

Unfortunately, Woodbey told Eleven Warriors he was unable to make the short trip up Interstate 71 this weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has a rather impressive list of scholarship offers from 17 of the top schools in the country, including Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and USC. Fifty percent of 247Sports Crystal Ball projects have him landing with the Trojans, for whom his uncle played.


Within the past week, the two linebackers left on Ohio State's recruiting board — Baron Browning and Anthony Hines — announced their intentions of committing to a program on the same day, Nov. 29.

Many believe the pair will choose the same school as a result, much like Ohio State commits Trevon Grimes and Tyjon Lindsey did last week, which is why Horns247 is reporting ($) that the Buckeyes are backing off their pursuit of Browning.

“The Buckeyes will receive an official visit, but they may no longer be even a distant third,” said recruiting analyst E.J. Holland. “Michigan has made a push, and TCU is hanging around. But at the moment, this still remains a Texas-UCLA battle.”

Browning, who announced a Top 10 list of Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, TCU, Texas, UCLA and USC in early April, is set to visit Columbus on Nov. 26 when the Buckeyes host the Wolverines.

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