The Hurry Up: Coaches Use Open Week As Recruiting Opportunity, Four-Star Athlete Postpones Decision and Ohio State Offers Baltimore Defender

By Andrew Lind on December 1, 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.


While we must wait and see how it impacts Ohio State's bid to play in the College Football Playoff, missing out on the Big Ten Championship has had a positive effect on the recruiting front.

Coaches have been on the road meeting with commits and priority targets all week, an opportunity not afforded to those having to game plan for an upcoming conference title game. 

Head coach Urban Meyer made a stop at Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy on Monday to see defensive back commits Isaiah Pryor and Marcus Williamson and five-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent, one of the Buckeyes' top targets for the Class of 2018. 

Meyer then traveled to Texas to meet with Blinn College four-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield and make an in-home visit with running back commit J.K. Dobbins, where he was joined by coach Tony Alford.

Staying in the Lone Star State, Meyer, quarterbacks coach Tim Beck defensive and coordinators Luke Fickell and Greg Schiano also made two crucial in-home visits on Wednesday evening. The first stop was an in-home visit with five-star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, and the second with five-star linebacker Baron Browning

If all goes according to the staff's plan, we'll have more on that shortly.

Sheffield, meanwhile, was initially targeted by Ohio State while still in high school, but signed with Alabama in February 2015. He transferred after only one year in the program because of a reported lack of playing time.

Sheffield is a relatively new name on Ohio State's board this time around, but is a realistic option to replace Jacksonville, Florida, Trinity Christian five-star cornerback Shaun Wade if he were to flip to the Crimson Tide next month.

Wade was visited by defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs on Tuesday and will have an all-important in-home visit with Meyer next Sunday. It's believed he'll inform the staff of his decision shortly thereafter and make a public announcement at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. 

Coombs also made stops in Atlanta (five-star junior offensive guard Jamaree Salyer and five-star junior Derrik Allen), Houston (four-star junior Anthony Cook) and Detroit (five-star senior wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones) this week.

Wide receivers coach Zach Smith, meanwhile, was in St. Louis on Tuesday to see four-star junior wideout Kamryn Babb. He then traveled to Las Vegas on Thursday to check in on four-star commit Tyjon Lindsey following his surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. 

The staff will undoubtedly try to squeeze as many visits in as possible before the Dec. 12 dead period, so we'll continue to keep you posted on their travels.


Bridgeton, New Jersey, four-star athlete Markquese Bell planned to make a decision on his future today, but postponed his announcement following an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder is considered the seventh-best athlete overall in the Class of 2017. He holds nearly 20 offers, but Ohio State and Rutgers are considered the two most likely destinations for Bell. 

Had he committed today, I believe Chris Ash would have successfully kept the third-best prospect in the Garden State home. But in delaying his decision, Bell makes it clear he'll wait to see how things unfold with Ohio State's class in the next few weeks before making the call. 

As we saw with Antjuan Simmons' decommitment last night, the recruiting landscape can change rather quickly. 


Ohio State offered Baltimore, Maryland, Gilman four-star athlete Thomas Booker on Wednesday night.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is considered the ninth-best player in the state and the No. 253 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He currently holds nine offers from programs such as Maryland, Michigan, Pitt and Wisconsin.


Chicago, Illinois, Mount Carmel four-star offensive guard Verdis Brown was yet another highly sought-after prospect making his first game day trip to Columbus for Saturday's matchup with Michigan.

"The excitement leading up to the game [was my favorite part]," Brown told Eleven Warriors

The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder is considered the top-rated player in the state and the No. 8 offensive tackle in the Class of 2018. He currently holds double-digit scholarship offers from programs such as Florida State, LSU, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. 

Brown spent time on Saturday with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and fellow Chicagoan Jamarco Jones. And while he could see himself following in Jones' footsteps from the Windy City to Columbus, Brown isn't ready to say where the Buckeyes stand in his recruitment.


Jefferson Area running back Jeremiah Knight announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon he has been extended a preferred walk-on opportunity at Ohio State.

"It means the absolute world to me," Knight told Eleven Warriors. "It's been a huge dream of mine since I was 2 years old."

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior is not ranked by any major recruiting sites, but holds walk-on offers from Eastern Kentucky, Dayton, Marshall and Youngstown State. Knight rushed for 5,930 yards in his career with the Falcons, which broke long-standing school and county records. 

"[Recruiting analyst and walk-on coordinator Eron Hodges] got ahold of me and offered," He said. "He wants me on campus ASAP."

Knight, who will visit on Monday, said the offer is definitely something he'll consider. 

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