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.
PUTTING IN THE WORK
Following his performance at Nike Football's The Opening Regional in Charlotte in early May, there was a lot of negativity surrounding Ohio State four-star linebacker commit Teradja Mitchell. He reportedly showed up heavier than expected and proceeded to run a 5.01-second 40-yard-dash with a vertical jump barely exceeding 30 inches.
"I worked hard this offseason," Mitchell told Eleven Warriors, acknowledging the role that camp played in his transformation. "I wasn't personally impressed with my numbers, so that played a part. Motivated me."
But in the months since, the 6-foot-2, 232-pound Mitchell has rededicated himself to getting — and staying — in shape. The results are obvious.
I had to get out of Hollywood and back to the trenches .. 5 months progress 232 pic.twitter.com/7YXT5cfIfs
— (@WhosThatNumber7) August 14, 2017
That looks like somebody who wants his fifth star back.
"[I'm] coming with a vengeance this season," Mitchell said. "I want to prove I'm the best linebacker in this country."
Mitchell has reportedly cut back on carbs, drank more water and worn a hoodie to offseason conditioning to help get in shape — and, believe me from experience, those Virginia Beach summers can get hot.
THINGS CHANGE, MOX
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, St. Thomas Aquinas three-star wide receiver Elijah Moore is set to make his college decision at 8:30 this evening, and he'll choose between Miami, Ohio State and Ole Miss.
Or will he?
— Elijah moore (@e_moore03) July 2, 2017
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Moore — who is considered the 38th-best wide receiver and No. 180 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — announced those three schools as his final three during The Opening Finals in early July. Sources close to Moore told Eleven Warriors he was set to commit to the Rebels before Hugh Freeze was fired just a few weeks later.
Georgia came out of nowhere in the meantime, and Moore named the Bulldogs one of two finalists during the Miami Dolphins' high school media day last weekend. Given the state of the Ole Miss program, it seems rather obvious which was this one is going.
That same source said Moore got the green light from Georgia as interest from four-star Josh Vann — a player with a similar skill set — wained.
So all that said, were the Buckeyes ever really a contender for Moore's services? No. With St. Louis four-star Kamryn Babb at the top of the priority chart at receiver and Huber Heights Wayne four-star L'Christian “Blue” Smith set to decide later this month, the staff didn't put much effort into its pursuit of Moore.
Just as they do so often anymore, the Buckeyes made Moore's penultimate list on reputation alone.
WILL THEY LAND BOTH?
With nearly 30 percent of Ohio State's roster constructed with walk-on players, it would be a disservice to ignore their respective recruitments altogether.
That's why The Hurry Up has featured several walk-on offers in recent days and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Among them, one went out this weekend to Cleveland Heights senior safety Zaire Webb.
Received a offer from The Ohio State University as a preferred walk-on today pic.twitter.com/SpOJNPTEpA
— Z Webb (@zaire_webb) August 11, 2017
“I was shocked at first. I wasn't expecting it at all,” Webb told Eleven Warriors. “It felt pretty good to know that my work has earned the eyes of one of the top programs in the country.”
The 5-foot-11,175-pound Webb is not ranked by any major recruiting sites, but holds nearly a dozen offers from schools such as Air Force, Army, Georgetown, Navy and Youngstown State after racking up nearly 3,500 all-purpose yards as a three-year starter on offense for the Tigers. He's been to Ohio State several times with his teammate and four-star defensive end target Tyreke Smith, though, so he's very familiar with the coaches and visa versa.
“I would think the staff loves that I'm fast," Webb said. "I play the game mentally and physically fast.”
Webb has the trophies to back it up, too, as he helped Cleveland Heights to the 4x100-meter state championship this spring. He planned to make a decision later this month, but will hold off until later in his senior season now that the Buckeyes have entered the race.
“It definitely threw a curve in my recruitment,” Webb said. “I have a strong relationship with some of the other programs, but Ohio State would always have to be a consideration.”
TWO IN A ROW?
Assistant director of player personnel Erin Hodges also extended a walk-on offer on Monday night to Hudson wade receiver Greg Mailey.
Very excited to receive an offer from THE Ohio State University as a preferred walk on pic.twitter.com/3qszbH17OB
— Greg Mailey (@Greg_Mailey) August 15, 2017
“It is really just an amazing opportunity to be offered a spot on — in my opinion — the best team in the country,” Mailey told Eleven Warriors. “When they first reached out to me, I was shocked and very excited.”
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Mailey is not ranked, either, but was named first-team all-Suburban League after hauling in 59 receptions for 907 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Explorers during his junior season. He holds academic and athletic scholarship offers from Hillsdale, Davidson, Dayton and Valparaiso, but said he'll strongly consider the opportunity with Ohio State, where he'd once again play alongside former teammate Alex Beck.
“That makes Ohio State a little more appealing in comparison to them, even as a preferred walk-on,” Mailey said.