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.
Exactly four months after he decommitted from Penn State, Kennesaw, Georgia, five-star quarterback Justin Fields pledge his services to the home-state Bulldogs on Friday morning. And while it should truly come as no surprise — he reopened his recruitment back in June because he didn't want to play too far from home — Field's pledge will surely have an impact across he recruiting landscape.
Schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and LSU were also hoping to hear their name called on Friday, and now must switch their attention on their respective second options. For the Crimson Tide, it's up for debate whether that's Ohio State four-star commit Emory Jones or Kentucky four-star pledge Jarren Williams. But, either way, the Buckeyes or Wildcats are going to have a fight on their hands.
As I mentioned in yesterday's recruiting mailbag, both quarterbacks visited Alabama last weekend. And though the Crimson Tide reportedly showed more “love” Williams, Jones is expected to return for an official visit on Oct. 14 — which would mark his fourth trip to Tuscaloosa since the spring. If that visit happens, Ohio State could make a move for Williams (but more on that in a bit).
If it doesn't, I anticipate Alabama will do everything in its power to flip Williams — and, really, who is turning down a chance to play for the Crimson Tide to get pummeled by them almost annually. Didn't think so.
Now, back to Fields, who announced his decision during a private outdoor ceremony at his high school. While some media outlets viewed the announcement from a helicopter high above, others asked Fields about his decision ahead of time. He was already working hard to recruit on behalf of the Bulldogs.
“I know I just committed and everything but I am hitting guys up and telling them to come and join me because I want the best players to play with me,” Fields told Dawg Nation this morning. “Each and every day at practice, I want the best defensive players there. I want to get them better and also make myself better.”
I have no doubt one of those players Fields is/will target is Ohio State five-star defensive end commit Brenton Cox, a Georgia native who chose the Buckeyes over the Bulldogs in April.
Whether or not he shows a renewed interest in the program with Fields on board is to be determined, though it should be noted a pledge in June from five-star running back Zamir White didn't move the needle at all for Cox, who has repeatedly said he remains 100 percent committed despite constant overtures from Alabama and Georgia.
FORMING A CONTINGENCY PLAN
If Jones were to attend next Saturday's Alabama game, I mentioned how Ohio State could make a move for the aforementioned Williams. If an offer is extended to Williams, it will speak volumes about how the staff feels with regard to a potential flip from Jones.
But, then again, there's also a good chance the visit never happens because of a conversation with the staff, Jones shows up in Columbus on Oct. 28 for his official visit and this feeling of uncertainty quickly becomes a thing of the past.
For just a second, though, let's say he does go to Tuscaloosa and the Buckeyes decide to look around, as well. Would the staff go all-in for Williams, or is there another name to keep in mind?
“He has been committed to Justin Fuente's squad since last February [but] Iowa, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio State and Oregon are a few of the programs that continue to eye the Chicago native,” Helmholdt said. “[He] is of the more physically well-developed high school gunslingers in all the land and boasts legit arm strength.”
The 6-foot-4, 232-pound Patterson, who you may recall pledged his services to the Hokies with a handwritten letter, is considered the 17th-best dual-threat quarterback and No. 406 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. It doesn't seem like he's interested in taking visits anywhere other than Blacksburg, Virginia, but an offer from the Buckeyes can certainly change a kid's recruitment in a hurry.
Ohio State four-star cornerback commit Sevyn Banks on Monday afternoon became the latest pledge to receive his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-America Game.
— Sevoo #7 (@BanksNiko) October 6, 2017
It’s something he’ll forever be able to share with older brother, Florida safety Marcell Harris, who played in the game five years ago.
“It means a lot to me,” Banks told USA TODAY Sports. “For me, I’ve followed my brother for the longest time, whether it be at The Opening or being named to the Under Armour game. I’ve wanted to follow in his footsteps, and it’s amazing how I’m developing myself as a player. I grew up watching my brother, some of his friends in this game. So it’s actually a longtime dream of mine.”
Banks, whose pledge in April seemingly came out of the blue, also talked about his decision to commit to the Buckeyes over the heavily favored Gators.
“I just felt like Ohio State can help me develop into the great athlete I know I can be,” Banks said. “Coach Greg [Schiano and] Coach Urban [Meyer], they can help take me to the next level.”
Banks hasn’t been on campus since the Spring Game, but will take his official visit for the Oct. 28 game against Penn State.
The Under Armour All America Game, meanwhile is scheduled for Jan. 4 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. It will be televised on ESPN2 at 6 p.m.
Banks will be joined in the game by five-star defensive end Brenton Cox, four-star quarterback commit Emory Jones, four-star lineman Matthew Jones and four-star running back Brian Snead.
ON THE DOCKET
It’s Friday again, which means there’s another slate of high school football games across the country this evening.
Quarterback commit Emory Jones remains off for the second weekend in a row, while Master Teague's Blackman squad gets a well-deserved week of rest — Teague, meanwhile, gets his cast off on Monday. Also of note, running back pledge Brian Snead hits the field for the second time this week, Owasso and Josh Proctor hope to rebound from their first loss of the season.
A full list of games:
|EMORY JONES||QB||FRANKLIN (GA) HEARD COUNTY||OPEN|
|JAELEN GILL||RB||WESTERVILLE (OH) SOUTH||@ OLENTANGY LIBERTY (OH)|
|BRIAN SNEAD||RB||SEFFNER (FL) ARMWOOD||@ TAMPA KING (FL)|
|MASTER TEAGUE||RB||MURFREESBORO (TN) BLACKMAN||OPEN|
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||LINDENHURST (NY)||PATCHOGUE-MEDFORD (NY)|
|L'CHRISTIAN "BLUE" SMITH||WR||HUBER HEIGHTS (OH) WAYNE||@ BEAVERCREEK (OH)|
|MATTHEW JONES||OG||BROOKLYN (NY) ERASMUS HALL||DEWITT CLINTON (NY)|
|MAX WRAY||OT||FRANKLIN (TN)||OAKLAND (TN)|
|BRENTON COX||DE||STOCKBRIDGE (GA)||@ WOODLAND (GA)|
|ANTWUAN JACKSON||DT||BRENHAM (TX) BLINN COLLEGE||@ ARKANSAS BAPTIST (AR)|
|TARON VINCENT||DT||BRADENTON (FL) IMG ACADEMY||@ VENICE (FL)|
|TERADJA MITCHELL||ILB||VIRGINIA BEACH (VA) BISHOP SULLIVAN||CANADA PREP (ON)|
|K'VAUGHAN POPE||ILB||DINWIDDIE (VA)||@ MATOACA (VA)|
|DALLAS GANT||OLB||TOLEDO (OH) ST. JOHN'S JESUIT||FINDLAY (OH)|
|SEVYN BANKS||CB||ORLANDO (FL) JONES||WEST ORANGE (FL)|
|MARCUS HOOKER||CB||NEW CASTLE (PA)||SOUTH FAYETTE (PA)|
|JOSH PROCTOR||S||OWASSO (OK)||PUTNAM CITY NORTH (OK)|
|JAIDEN WOODBEY||S||BELLFLOWER (CA) ST. JOHN BOSCO||@ ORANGE LUTHERAN (CA)|
|DOUG NESTER||OT||HUNTINGTON (WV) SPRING VALLEY||@ RIVERSIDE (WV)|
I'll be on the sidelines at Olentangy Liberty for Gill's game this evening, so make sure to follow me on Twitter for live updates. I'll also tweet out links for those games broadcast online this evening as they come in.
And, as always, stay tuned to Eleven Warriors on Sunday morning for the Supreme '18 Tracker, which will recap the weekend's events.