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.
I AM THE ONE WHO KNOX
Ohio State hosted several five-star prospects, half a dozen commits and a number of top targets for Saturday's 31-16 loss to Oklahoma. Among them, Tennessee four-star wide receiver Trey Knox.
“It was great,” Knox told Eleven Warriors. “It was even more wild [that my last game day visit]. The fans stayed in the game the whole time.”
There was an overwhelming belief for most of the summer that the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Knox — who is considered the 19th-best receiver and No. 105 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — planned to commit this weekend. But just last week, he said he wanted to visit schools like Clemson, Florida and Tennessee again before he makes a decision ahead of his senior season.
Saturday's visit with his family marked Knox's fourth trip to campus in the last year. And even with the result of the game, the atmosphere and excitement surrounding the program only solidified his thoughts on the Buckeyes.
“It does [strengthen my feelings],” Knox said. “Just to know that the fans will love you regardless.”
Quite simply, Knox knows where he wants to go. The staff would welcome his pledge at any time, too. It's just a matter of Knox making sure Columbus is the right place for him.
Springfield four-star tight end Leonard Taylor and four-star cornerback Moses Douglass also made their umpteenth trip to Columbus for Saturday's game.
“I always enjoy myself at Ohio State,” Taylor told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-6, 246-pound Taylor, who is considered the 14th-best tight end and No. 293 prospect overall in the Class of 2018, has flown a bit under the radar in recent months. Once thought to be a priority for the staff, his lack of a true position — he plays quarterback in high school and some schools are recruiting him at defensive tackle — makes it unclear how he fits into the Buckeyes' plans.
Taylor acknowledged the staff isn't recruiting him very much at this point in time, but Ohio State remains among his top schools nonetheless. And why wouldn't they? He's one of just a handful of in-state prospects with an offer from the Buckeyes, and he's in no hurry to make a decision.
Alabama, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin were all included in his Top 10 back in early July, and it's widely assumed he'll eventually land with the Wildcats. But Taylor hopes Ohio State still has room to add him to the class late in the process.
The Buckeyes are recruiting him along the defensive line, so it's hard to see a scenario where that happens. After all, Idaho four-star Tommy Togiai and Blinn Junior College's Antwuan Jackson sit ahead of him on the priority chart.
Douglass, meanwhile, has seen his recruitment take off with the change in the recruiting calendar that allows for juniors to be contacted by college coaches.
“I've been getting a whole bunch of love from them since Sept. 1,” Douglass told Eleven Warriors, noting executive director for football relations Tim Hinton is the staff member with whom he's had the most contact.
The 6-foot-2, 186-pound Douglass is considered the 10th-best player in the state and No. 287 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, and he already holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota and Tennessee. He hopes to land one from Ohio State sooner rather than later.
“I'm doing realy well. I've been really aggressive so far this season,” Douglass said. “[Hinton] just told me to finish the whole season strong.”
Should an offer come, Douglass will likely be a top priority for the staff, as he has all of the tools to become an elite defensive back at the next level.
AMONG THE LEADERS
IMG Academy five-star running back Noah Cain, meanwhile, is without a doubt among the staff's top priorities for the Class of 2019. He was on campus several times this offseason, but Saturday's unofficial visit marked his first Ohio State game.
"I enjoyed my time," Cain told Eleven Warriors. "The fans really stood out to me."
The 5-foot-11, 207-pound Cain is considered the top-rated running back and No. 12 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 holds more than 20 offers from programs such as Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, but has Ohio State among his current leaders.
"They're at a good spot with me because I've developed a tight relationship with the coaching staff [particularly running backs coach Tony Alford," he said.
Cain — whose 247Sports' Crystal Ball predictions are split among the Buckeyes, Hurricanes, Longhorns, Sooners and Tigers — is nowhere close to making a decision.
One prospect whose been a regular on campus this summer but still awaits an offer is Oak Park, Michigan, four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis. He returned again on Saturday, his third visit in four months.
"It was fun," Mathis told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-5, 195-pound Mathis, a one-time Iowa State commit, is considered the sixth-best dual-threat quarterback and No. 238 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. But whether or not he eventually lands an offer ultimately depends upon whether or not the staff goes all-out for Texas four-star Grant Tisdale, who is widely considered the staff's top priority at the position.
That said, Mathis — and most visitors on Saturday who weren't there in an official capacity — didn't get very much time with the coaching staff given the task at hand. He plans to get back to campus again this fall, though, and the quarterback situation could be figured out by then, too.