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.
ALWAYS ON TARGET
It's rare for Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer to look for talent in a state like Massachusetts. In fact, he'd only handed out two offers there previously, eventually landing both defensive back Armani Reeves and linebacker Camren Williams from the same high school — West Roxbury Catholic Memorial — as part of his first recruiting class in Columbus.
The Buckeyes went back to New England on Wednesday, though, at which time the staff offered a scholarship to Everett four-star safety Lewis Cine.
— TWIN_TOWER_16 (@LewisCine) October 11, 2017
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Cine is considered the fifth-best safety and No. 56 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he was an integral part of the Crimson Tide winning the state championship last season. He holds offers from nearly two dozen programs, including Boston College, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Born in Haiti, Cine moved to Florida when he was five years old and didn't play football until his family moved to Everett at the age of 11. He's been described as a hard-hitting linebacker with the size of an elite defensive back.
A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION
Just over three weeks after he landed an offer from Ohio State, Clayton, North Carolina, four-star defensive end Savion Jackson included the Buckeyes in his Top 10 alongside Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
My Top 10 in no particular order pic.twitter.com/hbjnJ2F2b3
— Savion (@savionjac11) October 11, 2017
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Jackson is considered the fifth-best strong-side defensive end and No. 50 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he's recorded 72 tackles, 11 sacks and one forced fumble in his two-year varsity career with the Comets.
Jackson's never been to Columbus, and his interest in Ohio State at this moment may be based on prestige alone — it kind of reminds me a bit of fellow North Carolina defensive end K.J. Henry, who visited campus several times but recently dropped the Buckeyes from his list of top schools.
The Buckeyes are set to take as many as four defensive ends in the current recruiting cycle, so the position may not be among the staff's top priorities next year. With Olentangy Orange's Zach Harrison being a local can't-miss prospect and Lexington's Cade Stover likely to transition from linebacker at the next level, there might not be any room for Jackson either way.
DREAMS DO COME TRUE
With former walk-on players like Joe Burger, Craig Fada, Elijaah Goins and Zach Turnure playing a significant role for Ohio State over the last few seasons, I would be remiss if I didn’t share every opportunity given to those kinds of prospects, too.
The Buckeyes have extended a handful of preferred walk-on offers this cycle and have already landed commitments from Big Walnut’s Abe Myers, Piqua’s Ben Schmiesing and Dublin Jerome’s Cade Kacherski — all of whom are linebackers. The latest offer went out on Wednesday morning to Walnut Ridge linebacker Justin Vance.
— GOD First (@jvance4841) October 11, 2017
“It means absolutely everything to me,” Vance told Eleven Warriors. “Being from Columbus and growing up a Buckeye fan, the opportunity itself is a dream come true, honestly.”
The 6-foot, 220-pound Vance is not ranked by any major recruiting sites, but holds scholarship offers from Youngstown State and Western Illinois nonetheless. He committed to Leathernecks back in July, but admits the chance to play at Ohio State might be too good to pass up.
“As of right now, I'm still fully committed to Western,” Vance said, “but I'd be lying if I say I wasn't considering it.”
Assistant director of player development Eron Hodges was the one who identified Vance through his film, as he’s racked up 274 tackles, six interceptions and one sack in his varsity career.
“I believe it was how aggressive I was and my tackling,” Vance said. “Coach Hodges told me I was a good hitter.”
Vance plans to sit down with his family and discuss his options before making a final decision his future.
THE UNDERRATED LOCAL
Another local prospect who grew up rooting for Ohio State is Westerville North defensive tackle Jeremiah Burton. The junior camped with the Buckeyes this June, and hopes to one day land an offer from the staff.
“It was great,” Burton told Eleven Warriors. “I had a fun time competing with some of the best talent in the country. To get the chance to be coached and taught by one of the best defensive line coaches in the world was amazing.”
The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Burton is also not ranked by any major recruiting sites, but his play with the Warriors this season recently landed him an offer from Kent State. He's racked up 31 tackles and two sacks on the year, and programs like Buffalo, Cincinnati, Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Toledo have all shown interest, too.
As mentioned, defensive line coach Larry Johnson worked with Burton a lot during his visit. The two haven't talked as much as Burton would like since, but Johnson gave him some great tips that day.
“He told me that I had good hands and my hips were good, but he also told me to keep working and critiquing by game,” he said.
That said, Burton isn't too worried about his recruitment at this point in time. If an offer from Ohio State were to eventually come, he'd be thrilled.
“All I can control is producing wins and doing my job on Friday,” Burton said. “To get that chance to get recognized by college coaches in now a blessing.”