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.
MERRY GO ROUND
IMG Academy has been the topic of much conversation since Texas head coach Tom Herman said he would discourage high school prospects — particularly those in the Lone Star State — from transferring to the private boarding school.
“It doesn’t matter whether you go to IMG or you go to Cartage High School, we’re going to find you,” Herman told those gathered at the Texas High School Coaches Association Convention last month. “I believe high school football is more than just getting recruited. It’s more than Xs and Os. It’s about community, especially in this state. That community starts to get torn apart a little bit because people want to come in and recruit other players. I’ve got a problem with that.”
We all know that why Herman said that, which is to keep the best players home and thus make it easier to recruit them. But we also know he's not going to stop pursuing elite prospects from IMG, either.
“As I said to the Texas high school coaches, playing football in our state is tremendously rewarding,” Herman said in a statement shortly thereafter, backtracking in the process, “but I also recognize the value for those who choose to pursue other opportunities.”
High school coaches are equally concerned with the rising number of transfers in the sport, as USA TODAY Sports reported on Wednesday morning.
Transfer merry-go-round speeding up for elite high school football players https://t.co/WQbFQ52iLO
— USA TODAY HSS (@usatodayhss) August 16, 2017
A quick glance of the top players in the 2018 class shows that 18 of the top 50 players in the 247Sports rankings are on their second school, or in some cases, their third.
Of course, there are various reasons for such a transfer, be it athletically or academically driven. But there is no across-the-board manner in which high school athletic associations deal with it, as some states have tight transfer rules where other's are almost nonexistent.
Until or unless there are, schools like IMG Academy are only going reap the benefits.
“The reason players are leaving is these kids are offered full scholarships to transfer to their schools. They are poaching kids out of good situations. IMG was one of the first ones to start it and St. Frances and St. John’s are in that realm.The parents of kids are so caught up in getting them a Division I scholarship that they’re willing to do just about anything to put their kid in a situation that will enhance their chance of getting a scholarship. I think that’s the driver.”
PREPARATION IS KEY
Speaking of IMG, the program landed one of Ohio's top junior prospects this summer when offensive tackle Charles Turner transferred from Canton McKinley.
“I made the move ultimately to prepare my mind and body for the next level because it's a lot like college here,” Turner told Eleven Warriors. “Also, I have the advantage to go against the best competition every day in practice and I feel like that will help develop me for the next level. There was a little hesitancy, but I knew that IMG's competition level would help me get a head start to where I need to be for the collegiate level.”
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound Turner is not ranked, but still holds offers from Akron, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Minnesota, Toledo and Western Kentucky. He'll surely see his stock soar playing for the Ascenders and be among the top-rated players in the Class of 2019 once recruiting analysts get an up-close look at him this fall.
Ohio State has been keeping a close eye on Turner, of course, since he attended the spring game back in April. He returned for a one-day camp in mid-June and is looking forward to the recruiting calendar allowing more contact with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.
“I plan on speaking to them a lot more when September comes around because it's kind of hard trying to communicate with colleges because of NCAA rules,” Turner said.
SIGN ME UP
This week, we've shared with you a number of prospects who landed a preferred walk-on offer from Ohio State. While most said they'd take some time to consider it, Berlin Center Western Reserve linebacker Jack Cappabianca quickly accepted his on Monday night.
Honored to have verbally committed to OSU as a preferred walk on. I look forward to the hard work & dedication to represent the Buckeyes. pic.twitter.com/zp1FOrNhoJ
— Jack Cappabianca (@jackc3699) August 14, 2017
“My family and I discussed the opportunity over the weekend," Cappabianca told Eleven Warriors, explaining how he was told by his head coach on Friday to contact assistant director of player personnel Eron Hodges first thing Monday morning. "He explained the preferred walk-on program and that the defensive staff had viewed my film and were wanting to extend a preferred walk-on roster spot to me.”
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Cappabianca was named honorable mention all-state after he recorded 58 tackles, six sacks, six tackles for a loss and one interception for the Devils last season. He picked the Buckeyes over a scholarship offer from Malone University in Canton.
“The opportunity to be a part of and contribute to the success of the Ohio State football team and obtain an education from the Ohio State University and the support of my parents are factors that made the decision to commit an easy one.”
LET'S BE HONEST, YOU CAN SKIP THIS
As expected, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star wide receiver Elijah Moore committed to Georgia on Tuesday night over finalists Miami, Ohio State and Ole Miss.
Thank You God ....... pic.twitter.com/zx66sNSjn7
— Elijah moore (@e_moore03) August 16, 2017
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Moore is considered the 38th-best wide receiver and No. 180 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. It's likely he'll team up in Athens with four-star wide receiver Kearis Jackson, who is set to choose among Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Michigan on Saturday afternoon.