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.
DON'T FREAK OUT
According to SEC Country's Chris Kirschner, Ohio State four-star quarterback commit Emory Jones is expected to attend Alabama's matchup with Ole Miss this Saturday. It's anicipated he'll be one of 16 committed prospects on the sidelines prior to the game.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Jones has long eyed an official visit to Tuscaloosa, but Kirschner reports this trip will be in an unofficial capacity. That means Jones will most likely return again later this fall, probably for the Nov. 4 game against LSU.
While some recruiting analysts will paint this visit as bad news for the Buckeyes, Jones and those close to him continue to say he's just going through the process in order to make sure Columbus is the right place for him. Such has been the case since rumors of a potential flip to the Crimson Tide first popped up this spring.
Heck, Jones was asked about his pledge just last week and shot down that narrative rather quickly.
“I am sick of [having to talk about Ohio State],” he said. “I’m committed. I’m still committed. That’s just it.”
As I said at the time, no matter how many times he repeats and reaffirms his commitment, he's constantly going to be asked the same questions by both national and local reporters so long as he insists on taking visits this fall. The key is that he remain open and honest with the Ohio State coaching staff about his intentions — no matter how much some sites, particularly those in the south, want to stir the pot.
Point blank: the Buckeyes aren't recruiting any other quarterbacks, a sign that the staff feels both confident and comfortable with Jones' desire to see other schools.
Sure, it's going to be difficult to see photos of Jones on the Alabama sideline on Saturday. But this visit, and any other hereafter, is more likely to make him feel comfortable with his commitment to Ohio State than it is to make him think twice.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Ohio State five-star tight end commit Jeremy Ruckert and Lindenhurst, New York, walloped division rival Connetquot, 45-12, on Wednesday night.
The 6-foot-6, 238-pound Ruckert got the scoring started for the Bulldogs, as he returned a tipped pass 12 yards for a touchdown while playing defensive end. He also added a 29-yard touchdown reception and a 31-yard field goal in the win.
After the game, Ruckert told 247Sports' Alex Gleitman he's 100 percent locked in with Ohio State.
“I haven’t been speaking to any other school. I’m all in and trying to recruit other guys. I’m not one to back out of anything,” he said. “I see a lot of things on Twitter, but I don’t follow on any of that. I just try to focus on making the best impact that I can next year. I’m not going early, so I’ve just been doing the workouts and trying to figure out how to make the best impact as early as I can.”
Ruckert will take his official visit for Ohio State's Nov. 11 game against Michigan State.
TIMING IS KEY
Because Blair Academy plays most of its games on Saturday afternoons, New Jersey four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh will be unable to attend any of Ohio State's remaining home games.
However, with the Buckeyes playing at Rutgers this weekend, the 7:30 p.m. kickoff has opened a small window of opportunity for him to see the program play in person one final time before he makes his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4, 2018.
Rutgers and OSU game might be the wave this weekend— Clout J (@JaysonOweh) September 27, 2017
It'll be a tight squeeze, as the Buccaneers kickoff their game about an hour and a half away from Piscataway at 3 p.m. But it's not as if another chance like this will present itself, so the 6-foot-5, 236-pound Oweh will try to make it work regardless.
As mentioned, this won't be the first time Oweh has seen Ohio State play this season, as he officially visited campus for the 31-16 loss to Oklahoma. Even with the result, he still raved about the experience.
“It was great,” Oweh told Eleven Warriors. “The atmosphere was electric and I had a lot of fun.”
Penn State, meanwhile, is viewed as Ohio State's biggest competition to land Oweh, and he was on campus for the Nittany Lions' win over Georgia State two weekends ago. He's set to take his official visit to State College following the season, so even if he can't get to Columbus, this weekend will be a great opporuntity to even the playing field a bit.
Now it's on Ohio State fans to show him how well the program travels.
THE EARLY LEADER
IMG Academy safety Lejond Cavazos told Eleven Warriors he'll return to campus for Ohio State's highly anticipated matchup with Penn State next month. This will mark his second time on campus, as he also attended the Spring Game in mid-April.
“[I'm looking forward to] a full game atmosphere,” Cavazos said. “I loved the Spring Game, but I'm sure that an actual game is way better.”
Like most prospects from the Class of 2020, the 6-foot, 185-pound Cavazos is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, but if his play for the Ascenders is any indication, he'll certainly be one of the top-rated players in his class. He actually got his first start in IMG's hard-fought win over Miami Central on Friday night, which is not something to take lightly given the Ascenders are loaded with talent at seemingly every position.
Cavazos — who transferred to IMG this summer from Cibolo, Texas, Steele — holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA and USC. Ohio State extended an offer during the aforementioned Spring Game visit, a two-day trip with his father.
In the months since, Cavazos has built quite the relationship with head coach Urban Meyer and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. In fact, he reaches out to them weekly, as NCAA rules prevent them from contacting him for another year.
“I would say that this is the best relationship with any college I have by far,” Cavazos said.
Though you may get the impression Cavazos is close to making a decision on his future, he plans to hold off until his junior season.
FINGERPRINTS ON EVERYTHING
Earlier this week, we first reported Ohio State three-star running back commit Master Teague III would likely miss the remainder of his senior season after he underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a peroneal tendon subluxation, a condition in which the tendon snapped out of place in his left ankle.
I wondered at the time if the Buckeyes could offer any support or medical advice to Teague, his family and/or his doctors, so I asked Meyer that question during his weekly press conference on Wednesday night.
“Our doctors talk to their doctors. We give great advice. Obviously our medical team, we feels strongly they're the best in America,” Meyer said. “It's actually going on right now. We're in dialogue with other doctors in other areas that — first off all — find out the extent of the injury, then give our advice. Our doctors are so good at that.”
A committed prospect is an investment, after all, so it makes sense the staff would be allowed to oversee any potential procedures or treatment.
Teague, meanwhile, will be in a cast for two weeks and a walking boot thereafter. He will be fully healed by the time he arrives on campus in January.