The Hurry Up: Safety Commit Discusses Visit While Top In-State Prospect Shares Thoughts On Quarterback Situation

By Andrew Lind on September 12, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Jaiden Woodbey

Jaiden Woodbey

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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.

NOT EVEN CONSIDERING IT

Earlier this summer, rumors of possible flip from Ohio State to Oklahoma surrounded four-star safety commit Jaiden Woodbey. But he shut that talk down following an unofficial visit for Friday Night Lights in July. 

However, to no one's surprise following the Buckeyes' 31-16 loss to the Sooners on Saturday, which coincided with Woodbey's official visit, he's having to answer those same questions once again.

"I'm still committed," Woodbey told Eleven Warriors.

And why wouldn't the 6-foot-2, 204-pound Woodbey be? It's not as if one loss has a drastic impact on a prospect's thinking, especially when he said he was done with the recruiting process entirely. The unique aspect was that it was a game between the two programs truly vying for his pledge at this point in time, so the questions are certainly warranted. 

Of course, Woodbey was bummed by the result of Saturday night's game — "It didn't go too well," he said — but the experience of his first Ohio State game was everything he imagined it would be.

Woodbey doesn't have any other visits planned, and is set to graduate in December and enroll early.

How's that for shutting things down?

GIVING THEM THE PLATFORM

Fairfield five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman on Monday night became the latest recruit, joining Woodbey and five-star defensive end Micah Parsons, to take to social media and share his opinion that Ohio State should replace starting quarterback J.T. Barrett with backup Dwayne Haskins.

No matter where you stand on the subject — and if you follow me on Twitter, you've seen my opinion — it's rather interesting to see a number of highly sought-after prospects voice such an opinion, especially given Barrett is a fifth-year senior and will be gone by the time Carman, Parsons and/or Woodbey step on campus next year. They're all friends with Haskins, so it's not surprising, and they're certainly entitled to their opinions just like the rest of us are.

It's worth noting Carman and Woodbey haven't taken any of the flack that Parsons did, though most of that has to do with his reported lack of maturity and the fact that he was on an official visit paid for by the football program when he made the comment.

Now I can't imagine a situation where head coach Urban Meyer folds under the pressure placed upon him by a handful of recruits, but there's something to be said about the way the recruiting process is changing. Social media allows them to share these kind of opinions, and schools — not just Ohio State — will have to face tough decisions. 

Do they have a conversation to discourage prospects, especially those committed, from publicly sharing their thoughts on the program? That certainly has the potential to end badly.

Do they walk away from kids who are outspoken, especially when it comes to coaching and personnel decisions? Meyer has said they monitor social media behavior of players and prospects alike, and questioning his authority isn't something you want to do before you're even on campus.

Or, do they encourage it and understand the recruits are emotionally invested in the well-being of what will or may be their future team?

It's a fine line to walk, and one I'm glad I'm not having to teeter myself.

BACK AGAIN

Cincinnati Anderson offensive guard Zeke Correll has been a regular on campus this summer, as he attended a one-day camp in June and the aforementioned Friday Night Lights one month later. He was back in Columbus for Saturday's loss to Oklahoma, too, marking his first game since Ohio State offered in May.

"I had a lot of fun in the 'Shoe," Correll told Eleven Warriors. "The atmosphere of game day was crazy."

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Correll, who is considered the eighth-best offensive guard and No. 211 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, spent most of his time on campus with director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and recruiting assistant Ed Terwilliger. Some believed he might have been on commitment watch, just as most top-rated in-state players are any time they step on campus, but Correll is nowhere close to pledging his services to any program. 

"I can't make that decision because I haven't explored many other schools yet," he said. "I want to get to know some schools I may be interested in."

Correll holds a dozen offers from programs such as Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and West Virginia, so athletics won't likely be the deciding factor in his recruitment.

WEST BY GOD VIRGINIA

Ohio State already holds one commitment from West Virginia in four-star offensive tackle Doug Nester, but hope to make it two in the next cycle by landing Huntington four-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright, too. He was also among the dozens of recruits on campus Saturday.

"The visit was great. Really enjoyed my time there," Wright told Eleven Warriors. "The game atmosphere was unbelievable."

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound Wright is considered the 11th-best offensive tackle and No. 84 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. In addition to Ohio State, holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Saturday's trip marked Wright's second visit to campus, the last being the day he landed an offer from the Buckeyes during a one-day camp in June. He's grown close to offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and Meyer in the months since.

"Out relationships are good," Wright said. "I talked with both pregame a little."

Just like other recruits in attendance, Wright wasn't turned off by the loss. In fact, he appreciated the fight throughout.

"They just continued to play hard to try and get back into the game," Wright said.

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