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 HEATING UP
As you know pretty well by now, Ohio State landed three of the top six players from the state of Texas in its 2017 recruiting class. So then it should come as no surprise — given the amount of talent in the Lone Star State year-in and year-out — that head coach Urban Meyer and several assistants, including defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs, were at Texas Southern's satellite camp in Houston this morning.
Among those who attended the event:
- 2018 Lamar five-star cornerback Anthony Cook
- 2018 Alief Taylor five-star wide receiver Brennan Eagles
- 2018 Lamar four-star wide receiver Al'vonte Woodard
- 2018 Heights four-star cornerback Jalen Green
- 2018 Dekaney four-star tight end Malcolm Epps
- 2019 Port Neches-Groves quarterback Roschon Johnson
- 2019 Stafford four-star wide receiver Jalen Curry
- 2020 Seguin safety Lejond Cavazos (though an injury kept him from participating)
The event was supposed to be co-hosted by Arizona and head coach Rich Rodriguez, but Texas' Tom Herman also made an appearance. And who can blame him for showing up unannounced with the battles about to take place between the Buckeyes and Longhorns in the years to come?
A source who attended the camp told Eleven Warriors a Texas assistant actually sprinted across the field to make sure he was the first one to talk with the 6-foot, 168-pound upon his arrival. Most believe Cook, who is undoubtedly both staff's top priority at the position, will ultimately choose between the two schools.
Clemson and LSU will be in the mix, too. But with the distance separating Columbus and Houston, this is exactly why Meyer — albeit reluctantly at first — is fine with satellite camps.
Cook, who made his first trip to campus for the Spring Game, is expected to return for an official visit this fall. I expect him to take all five officials before making a decision at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio in January 2018.
NOT THE ONE YOU WERE THINKING
Hundreds of top-rated prospects will make their way through the doors at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center over the next week and a half, but none may be more noteworthy than Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy four-star running back Noah Cain.
He'll be on campus June 16-18, though he's unsure at this time whether he'll compete in the Buckeyes' one-day camp on the 17th.
This will mark the second trip to Columbus in three months for Cain. He also attended a spring practice in early April, at which time he got to watch film and draw up plays with Meyer and running backs coach Tony Alford.
“I did everything last time, but I just want to keep getting comfortable with the staff,” Cain told Eleven Warriors.
The 5-foot-11, 207-pound Cain is considered the top-rated running back and No. 23 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as was named a MaxPreps All-American after he rushed for 1,683 yards and 22 touchdowns for Denton, Texas, Guyer last season. He transferred to IMG in January.
Cain, who holds more than 20 offers from programs such as Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA, said Ohio State is among his early leaders. He cites the competitive atmosphere as a big reason why the Buckeyes are certain to make his list of top schools when the time comes to narrow things down.
LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN, SHALL WE?
Several of the top-rated prospects in the Class of 2019 planned to make an eight-hour trip from Georgia to Ohio State for a spring practice in late March, including Grayson four-star linebacker Owen Pappoe and three-star safety Kenyatta Watson II. The visit was called off, though, when Watson's youngest brother got sick and his father turned the car around in Tennessee.
The 6-foot-2, 177-pound Watson committed to Florida State in the meantime, but Pappoe told Eleven Warriors on Thursday the two will attempt to make the trip again next weekend. This will be the third unofficial visit to Columbus for the duo, including the regular-season finale against Michigan, though they don't expect to work out at the Buckeyes' one-day position camp on Saturday.
“I'm just building relationships more now,” Pappoe said.
The 6-foot, 207-pound Pappoe is considered the 12th-best outside linebacker and No. 130 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he racked up 90 tackles, seven sacks, five pass breakups and one interception for the state champion Rams last season. He holds 40 offers from just about every big-time program in the country, including Ohio State, which offered during a camp almost a year to the day of his upcoming visit.
Watson, meanwhile, does not yet hold an offer from the Buckeyes. He committed to Florida State in April, joining teammates four-star offensive tackle Wanya Morris, four-star athlete Ronald Thompkins and three-star defensive tackle Tru Thompson as Seminole pledges.
Morris and Thompkins are also expected to make the trip with Pappoe and Watson.
BEST OF THE BUNCH, IN MY OPINION
About a month ago, I introduced you to Allen, Texas, four-star quarterback Grant Tisdale. He had just earned a scholarship offer from Ohio State quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, and could hardly contain his excitement.
“It was a surprise because it's coming from one of the best, if not the best college program in America,” Tisdale told Eleven Warriors. “Coach Day said he saw a lot of J.T. [Barrett] in me. Since I knew he came from Texas, that's a great compliment because J.T. is a great quarterback and has done a lot for Ohio State.”
The 6-foot-1, 204-pound Tisdale is considered the third-best quarterback and No. 168 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, but has flown a bit under the radar until recently, as he threw for only 522 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns as the Eagles' backup last season. Since the Buckeyes offered, programs such as Baylor, Houston, Illinois, Oregon, Oklahoma State and Tennessee have followed suit.
Now Tisdale, on the heels of an unofficial visit to Texas, will camp at Ohio State on Friday. He told me he arrived in Columbus this afternoon, and he's excited for his first visit to campus.
“[I'm looking forward to] just showing what I can do to all the coaches and enjoying myself with my grandfather,” Tisdale told Eleven Warriors.
Tisdale's recruitment could mirror that of 2018 quarterback commit Emory Jones, whom the Buckeyes offered last May and committed shortly after his second trip to Columbus for Friday Night Lights in July. With several other offers out to rising junior quarterbacks, this weekend will be an opportunity for Tisdale to separate himself from the competition.
CAMPS, CAMPS AND MORE CAMPS
Ohio State four-star offensive tackle commit Max Wray will also be in attendance on Friday. This will mark the Franklin, Tennessee, native's first time on campus since he pledged his services to the Buckeyes ahead of Spring Game in mid-April.
“I'm going to [work out] a little bit,” Wray told Eleven Warriors. “Still recovering from knee surgery, so I'm going to do what I can.”
For reference, the injury isn't new. The 6-foot-7, 289-pound Wray tore his patella tendon back in middle school and played through the pain.
“I'm doing well,” he said. “[I'm] ahead of schedule so far.”
You may recall Wray's only other trip to Columbus, a three-day trip with his family, changed the tide in his recruitment. This visit, for which he flies out this evening, is mostly about furthering his already established relationships with the coaching staff.
“I'm looking forward to working with coach [Greg] Stud[rawa] some more and I'm excited to see some of the guys again,” Wray said.
Other notable prospects expected to participate tomorrow include:
- 2018 Tennessee three-star running back Master Teague III
- 2018 New Jersey three-star defensive end Jayson Oweh
- 2018 Pennsylvania three-star cornerback Marcus Hooker
- 2019 North Carolina quarterback Garrett Shrader
- 2020 Arizona quarterback Jack Miller
- 2020 Maryland defensive end Bryan Bresee
There may even be a few surprise visitors that make the trip to Columbus, as well. I'll be in attendance, of course, so we'll have latest for you in tomorrow night's edition of The Hurry Up.