The Hurry Up: Alabama Continues to Offer Elite Ohio Talent While Buckeyes Focus on Out-of-State Prospects

By Andrew Lind on February 26, 2017 at 7:15 pm
Shane Lee
Shane Lee

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.


Just one week after it offered a scholarship to Dayton Dunbar three-star running back Tavion Thomas, Alabama continued its Ohio barrage by offering his teammate, four-star wide receiver Joseph "JoJo" Scates, and Fairfield four-star defensive end Malik Vann.

The trio was in Tuscaloosa for the Crimson's Tide's Junior Day on Saturday.

Neither Scates — a Michigan State commit — nor Vann have an offer from Ohio State, so once again, Alabama is forcing the staff's hand. They'd ideally like to hold off on offering in-state prospects until later in the process, but Scates and Vann would likely assume the Buckeyes aren't truly interested if they don't in the near future.

It's up for debate whether the offers are committable, but Nick Saban is certainly playing chess with Urban Meyer. This is arguably the most talented in-state recruiting class in years, though, so why not just admit the inevitable and offer while you still have a chance?


Less than a week after he took an unofficial visit, Ohio State offered a scholarship to Washington, D.C., St. John's College four-star linebacker Shane Lee.

“Coach [Larry] Johnson said he wanted me to call him every once in a while to build a relationship, so I called until I got ahold of him and he let me know the good news,” Lee told Eleven Warriors. “It's humbling. It means I'm headed in the right direction. I just have to keep my head down and stay true to who I am.”

The 6-foot, 240-pound Lee is considered the top-rated inside linebacker and No. 23 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina and Penn State, but is in no hurry to make a decision and has no leader.

Lee was named to the MaxPreps Sophomore All-American after leading the Cadets to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game, where they lost to Ohio State defensive end commit Chase Young and DeMatha. He spoke very highly of his visit and hopes to return this fall.

“It was nice. I learned a lot about the school academically, athletically and we also talked about life after football.”


Lima Senior three-star tight end Keaton Upshaw, meanwhile, was on campus for an unofficial visit on Friday.

“I got a chance to look around the facilities and campus and meet the coaches and experience how it is there,” Upshaw told Eleven Warriors. “I enjoyed every minute of it. It was amazing.”

The 6-foot-7, 200-pound Upshaw is considered the 26th-best tight end and No. 739 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He holds offers from Bowling Green, Pittsburgh and Toledo, but feels confident Ohio State will follow suit thanks to his relationship with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.

“I'm sure they will eventually. They're interested in me a lot,” Upshaw said, noting how much an offer would mean to him. “As a kid growing up in Ohio, you always dreamed of playing for the Buckeyes. It's home for me, and I've been watching them for a long time.”

Upshaw finished his junior season with 46 receptions for 786 yards and four touchdowns.

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