The Hurry Up: Analyzing Quarterback Commit Emory Jones' Decision to Call Off Alabama Visit While Pair of Top-Rated Juniors Discuss Recent Offers

By Andrew Lind on October 15, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Emory Jones

Emory Jones

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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.

YOU CAN BREATHE EASY NOW

As we first reported on Friday evening, Ohio State four-star quarterback commit Emory Jones did not take an official visit this weekend to Alabama. And it should go without saying it was a huge development in his recruitment., given the amount of speculation surrounding his pledge to the Buckeyes since he first visited Tuscaloosa following an offer from the Crimson Tide in March.

Jones, who has been committed since 2016, didn't say whether or not the Buckeyes' staff had a conversation with him about the potential visit. But it's a safe bet to assume they told him they would offer other quarterbacks if he made his fourth trip to see the Crimson Tide.

Ohio State has at least guaged the interest in the last few weeks of Kentucky four-star commit Jarren Williams and Virginia Tech four-star pledge Quincy Patterson II, hoping to set up official visits from both as a contingency plan in case Jones flipped this weekend or in the coming months.

Jones has never publicly wavered in his commitment, however, telling anyone who wanted to listen or that asked he was only taking other visits to make sure Columbus was the right place for him. After all, he made his decision ahead of his junior year, and his only other visits were to Georgia and Tennessee.

When Alabama comes calling — no matter how late or what schools you're committed to — you'd be stupid to not at least listen.

Coaches and fans alike told Eleven Warriors' own Kevin Harrish this weekend they didn't believe the Buckeyes had anything to worry about, though. And that was before Jones — who wore an Ohio State do-rag and gloves in Friday's huge win — said he wasn't making the trip, though it was widely reported one week ago he would.

Now, those conversations feel like a thing of the long-ago past.

Of course, there are still a little over two months until the December signing period and several game day weekends during which Jones could still take an official visit. But don't expect him to reschedule.

Jones is now set to take his official visit to Ohio State in two weeks when the Buckeyes host Penn State. And with several dozen top-rated prospects set to be in attendance, he'll once again put on his recruiting cap and retake his rightful place as leader of the Supreme '18 class.

Alabama, meanwhile, will likely go all-out in their attempt to flip Williams. And sources close to him have told Eleven Warriors they'd be surprised if he remained with Kentucky through signing day.

SINGLED OUT

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer rarely goes into a state like Massachusetts looking for top-rated prospects, so it goes without saying a recent offer to Everett four-star safety Lewis Cine is a big deal.

“It's a very big thing, both recruiting-wise and in the fact of knowing they want me,” Cine told Eleven Warriors.

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 played integral part of the Crimson Tide winning its 11th 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.

If he eventually chooses the Buckeyes, Cine will join former West Roxbury Catholic Memorial teammates Armani Reeves and Camren Williams as the only Bay Staters to play under Meyer. He recruited them both as part of his first class in Columbus.

Director of player personnel Mark Pantoni, who extended the offer last week, has been the only coach in contact thus far. Cine hopes to change that, however, when he makes his first trip to campus next spring.

THE NEXT GREAT ONE?

Roswell, Georgia, Blessed Trinity Catholic four-star athlete Steele Chambers, meanwhile, thought assistant coordinator and area recruiter Kerry Coombs was just calling to wish him luck during his game on Friday. Instead, however, the energetic coach offered him a chance to play for the Buckeyes.

“An offer from Ohio State is always huge, especially for a running back,” Chambers told Eleven Warriors.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Chambers is considered the 33rd-best athlete and No. 330 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he's rushed for 2,320 yards and 32 touchdowns in his two-year varsity career as a running back for the Titans. He's also added 153 tackles, five interceptions and 1.5 sacks as a safety.

Chambers holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Stanford and Tennessee. Some schools are recruiting him as a safety, but most — including Ohio State — have him pegged for running back at the next level.

As you can imagine, Chambers is often in contact with Coombs. He also talks quite frequently with Meyer, who can't help but to compare him to former Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott.

“[They] called me a couple weeks ago and said they were very close to making an offer,” Chambers said. “I know that the coaches have been evaluating my film weekly. [Running backs] coach [Tony] Alford reached out to me after the offer and told me he is excited to get to know me and my family.”

Chambers, who has also never been on campus, is currently working out the details to attend the Oct. 28 game against Penn State.

“I would like to meet the coaches face-to-face and see the facilities,” he said.

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