The Hurry Up: Safety Commit Shuts Down Recruitment While Ohio State Extends First Offer in the Class of 2021

By Andrew Lind on July 26, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Jaiden Woodbey
Jaiden Woodbey

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.


This spring, sources close to Ohio State four-star safety commit Jaiden Woodbey told Eleven Warriors he was seriously considering a flip to Oklahoma.

How close? We'll never know for sure, but it was just the latest chatter in the expected rollercoaster ride that comes with landing a highly sought-after prospect from the other side of the country.

Those same sources shared with us the Sooners' pursuit of Woodbey had take a serious hit when head coach Bob Stoops suddenly retired in early June. But Woodbey — who included Nebraska, Oklahoma and USC in his Top 4 before he picked Ohio State in February — continued to be asked about his interest in other programs and taking official visits this fall.

Throughout, Woodbey maintained his commitment to the Buckeyes. He took some time away from social media and the fans that constantly nagged him about his recruitment. A return trip to Columbus in March and then another for the Spring Game three weeks later quieted the talk for a little. 

That speculation ramped up once around the time of Nike Football's The Opening Finals earlier this month, where Woodbey was supposed to be focused on getting to know his seven future teammates on Team Vapor Speed. Instead, doubts about playing so far from home began to creep back into his mind. Woodbey set up another trip to Columbus for Friday Night Lights, and after a nearly a week on campus, he announced he's shutting down his recruitment entirely.

Sometimes, all you need is a reminder.

"Everything about the visit [made me want to say that now]," Woodbey told Eleven Warriors. "The doubts were basically me coming all the way out from California. It ended all of that."

Though Woodbey has twice previously said he was done with the recruiting process, this is the first time he's said he no longer wants to take any more visits. Instead, he'll focus on bringing St. John Bosco its second-consecutive state title, keeping Ohio State's current class intact and bringing more talent with him to Columbus. 


High school prospects are starting to make an impact earlier than ever, so it should come as no surprise Ohio State offered a scholarship offer on Tuesday afternoon to Houston Christian offensive tackle Donovan Jackson.

"I was ecstatic to hear the news because I grew up wanting to be a Buckeye," Jackson told Eleven Warriors. "I have lots of family in Ohio, and we're all Ohio State fans."

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Jackson is only entering his freshman year of high school, so he doesn't have a ranking from any of the four major recruiting sites. But I have a feeling he'll be one of the top-rated prospects in the Class of 2021, as Memphis has offered and schools like LSU and Texas A&M have also expressed interested early on in the process. 

"It's been a whirlwind," Jackson said, "but I'm blessed to be in the situation that I'm in. I have an amazing support group by my side."

Jackson made his first and only trip to Columbus for a one-day camp in mid-June, so his familiarity with campus and facilities certainly helps the Buckeyes get a leg-up in his recruitment. There, he spent time with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. But even with all that said, there's still a long way to go before you can even begin to speculate what kind of impact Jackson could have or what the staff's needs will be for his class. 


On a similar note, Ohio State has really made its presence felt in the Houston metropolitan area this summer, as it hosted a satellite camp at Texas Southern that was attended by more than 300 prospects.

Among them, North Shore running back Zachary Evans, to whom the Buckeyes offered a scholarship on Monday evening. 

The 6-foot, 180-pound Evans — a rising sophomore — isn't ranked yet either, but also holds offers from Alabama, Baylor, Houston, Kansas, LSU, Oregon, Texas and Texas A&M. He played a vital role in the Mustangs' march to the state title game last season, and you can only imagine how much more attention he'll garner when he's the team's feature back this fall.

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