The Hurry Up: Five-Star Linebacker Delays Decision, Ohio State Considered Leader for Former Notre Dame Commit and Offer Extended to Florida Tight End

By Andrew Lind on November 29, 2016 at 6:45 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, five-star linebacker Baron Browning had planned for several months to make a decision on his future today, but postponed the announcement following his much-anticipated official visit to Ohio State over the weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder is considered the second-best outside linebacker and the No. 9 prospect overall in the Class of 2017. He narrowed down his more than 40 scholarship offers to six earlier this month, listing Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, TCU and UCLA.

Browning's decision to delay his announcement is certainly good news for the Buckeyes, as I believe he would have committed to Alabama had he announced today. As a matter of fact, it's good news for anyone other than the Crimson Tide — and that includes Texas, which surprisingly found itself on the outside looking in just a few weeks ago.

Depending on how long Browning waits to make a final decision — it could be tomorrow or it could be at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January — the Longhorns could become a dark horse with Tom Herman at the helm.

And while TCU is also intriguing — his father played there in the '90s — it seems Browning is torn between Alabama and Ohio State. Both programs are perennial national championship contenders with a history of developing and sending players to the National Football League. Alabama offers the chance to play closer to home, while significant playing time might come sooner at Ohio State.

They're all things Browning must consider thoroughly before making his final decision.


Indianapolis, Indiana, Cathedral four-star linebacker Pete Werner decommited from Notre Dame on Tuesday morning, and Ohio State stepped in as the favorite to land the second-best player in the Hoosier State seemingly overnight.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Werner is considered the No. 17 outside linebacker in the Class of 2017. He committed to the Fighting Irish in March over more than two dozen offers from programs such as Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.

Werner was in Columbus for Saturday's 30-27 double overtime win against Michigan, which was immediately followed by an in-home visit from defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on Monday. The Buckeyes are actively looking to add another linebacker to the current class, and remain in the hunt for the aforementioned Browning and Plano, Texas, four-star Anthony Hines III.

Texas A&M is considered the overwhelming favorite to land Hines when he announces his college decision on Friday afternoon, meaning Werner could easily assume his spot in the class.


Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Nease three-star tight end Zach Sheffer announced on Twitter Monday afternoon he has received a scholarship offer from Ohio State.

“I'm very excited,” Sheffer told Eleven Warriors. “Great program, good fit offensively and great tradition.”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder is considered the 15th-best tight end and the No. 389 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He currently holds 22 offers from programs such as Auburn, LSU, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.

“Ohio State is way up there,” Sheffer said. “I haven't really established a Top 5 or anything like that. I really like Ohio State a lot and couldn't be more excited about the offer. I just need to find out more about them and take a visit.”

Sheffer had 45 receptions for 607 yards and five touchdowns while lining up at tight end, in the slot and at H-Back for Panthers this season.

“Everyone considers me a true hybrid tight end, which is pretty valuable to spread teams,” he said.

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