The Hurry Up: Defensive End Sets Commitment Date While Michigan Lands Pair of 2019 Targets

By Andrew Lind on July 30, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Jayson Oweh
Jayson Oweh

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.


Though there was speculation about a possible announcement during or shortly after his visit to Columbus for Friday Night Lights, Blairstown, New Jersey, Blair Academy four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh instead announce his college intentions during the Under Armour All-America Game in January 2018.

He'll most likely choose between Ohio State and Penn State, with Notre Dame lingering in the background of his recruitment.

The 6-foot-5, 236-pound Oweh is considered the sixth-best strong-side defensive end and No. 177 prospect overall in the Class of 2018, despite having only played eight games in his high school career. He's quickly become one of the most sought-after prospects in the country after stellar performances at the The Opening Regional and the Under Armour camp series in New Jersey this spring.

With his decision, Oweh — who also attended the Penn State's Lasch Bash and Notre Dames' Irish Invasion in the last few weeks — will now have the added benefit of time on his side.

Instead of rushing into an emotional decision based on those visits, he'll be able to make an informed decision based on the possibly of earning early playing time and see how how his relationship evolves with each staff. He'd previously mentioned the team that was most patient with his recruitment and his learning curve would ultimately be the one that gains his pledge — and I fully expect defensive line coach Larry Johnson to be the factor that swings this one in the Buckeyes' favor.

Ohio State is certainly at a disadvantage, though, when it comes to the number of defensive ends they'll potentially end up with in 2018. With Brenton Cox and Andrew Chatfield already in the fold and the staff in hot pursuit of Micah Parsons and Tyreke Smith, there could be a bit of a numbers crunch down the line. Neither the Fighting Irish nor Nittany Lions are expected to take as many players at the position as the Buckeyes, and that'll undoubtedly be something that other programs will preach in their courtship of Oweh.

Of course, there's already talk of Chatfield flipping his pledge down the line. With Florida having already extended an offer and the other top Sunshine State schools like Florida State and Miami likely to show interest, it'll be a story line to pay close attention to.

It's possible Ohio State lands all five — with Chatfield playing more of a hybrid defensive end/linebacker role — but highly, highly unlikely.


Amid constant rumors, Ohio State four-star safety commits Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor announced on consecutive days last week they were both shutting down their respective recruitments for good. That — hopefully — means no more talk of a flip to Oklahoma or USC and no official visits this fall.

Not to be outdone, though, four-star linebacker commit Teradja Mitchell followed that up with an announcement of his own.

“Threw my lil' two cents in,” Mitchell told Eleven Warriors with a laugh.

The 6-foot-2, 243-pound Mitchell — considered the second-best inside linebacker and No. 41 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — picked the Buckeyes in early June over Florida State. He said at that time he wasn't going to entertain any other offers and didn't plan to take visits, and that feeling about his recruitment remains the same today.

“That's exactly what it means: You're done,” Mitchell said.

The Virginia Beach native hasn't been to campus since his announcement, but will take an official visit sometime this fall. I plan to attend Bishop Sullivan's homecoming game during Ohio State's open week on Oct. 21, too, so I look forward to bringing you all an update on Mitchell then.


Though he included Ohio State in his Top 10 last month alongside Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Stanford, Tennessee and Texas, Louisville Trinity four-star defensive end Stephen Herron Jr. committed to the Wolverines following the program's BBQ at the Big House recruiting event.

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Herron is considered the fourth-best weak-side defensive end and No. 34 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he racked up 38 tackles, 17 tackles for a loss and four sacks to help the Shamrocks to the state championship last season.

Herron has been to Columbus twice before, most recently for a spring practice in early April. But with the Buckeyes set to take only one or two defensive ends in next year's cycle and five-star Zach Harrison right up the river at Olentangy Orange, it's not as if the staff made him a priority.

Not to mention, Lexington four-star outside linebacker Cade Stover — another heavy Ohio State lean — may eventually develop into a defensive end at the next level.

Though he ended up with the Wolverines, it'll be hard for you to root against Herron — you may recall he started a non-profit organization to collect clothes for youth shelters in the Louisville area.  


Michigan also landed a commitment earlier in the day from Akron Archbishop Hoban four-star offensive tackle Nolan Rumler.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Rumler is considered the fifth-best player in the state and the No. 142 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he was named first-team all-Ohio after leading the Knights to their second-consecutive Division III state title last season.

While there's no denying it's a huge win for Michigan and head coach Jim Harbaugh on the recruiting trail, let's not act as if they beat Ohio State for Rumler's pledge. Though the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship in mid-May, and he was always expected to end up with the Wolverines — he was born in Michigan and his parents are big fans of the program.

An unfortunate and certainly untrue narrative that has emerged in the day since Rumler's commitment is that Ohio State missed out or was never given serious consideration because of how the staff seemingly forced one-time Buckeye commits Danny Clark and Todd Sibley out of town. But, again, it was always going to be an uphill battle if the staff truly wanted to land his pledge regardless of how things unfolded with his former high school teammates.


After making a pair of trips to campus last fall, Bowling Green, Kentucky, South Warren four-star defensive tackle Jacob Lacey said his relationship with aforementioned Johnson gave Ohio State a chance to land his pledge.

“I can tell he wants the best for his players,” Lacey told Eleven Warriors. “He's not just selling stuff, he is real.”

But months went by with the staff extending a scholarship offer, and the 6-foot-2, 300-pound Lacey decided to move forward with his recruitment and commit to Notre Dame on Saturday.

There's a long way to go before Lacey, the eighth-best defensive tackle and No. 126 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, signs his National Letter of Intent. I expect the Buckeyes to eventually offer, and they probably would have if he made a trip to Friday Night Lights instead of attending a family reunion.

Is it enough for Lacey to seriously consider changing his mind? I'm not going to speculate on that given he just made his commitment and Ohio State hasn't offered yet. But it's still something to pay attention to once the Buckeyes switch their focus from the 2018 to 2019 recruiting cycle.

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