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.
I hope Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has a travel-rewards credit card because he's already racked up a lot of miles during the Buckeyes' open week.
Just one day after watching five-star cornerback Anthony Cook practice and meeting with his coaches in Houston, Meyer flew to New Jersey (via Maryland) to do the same with four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh on Tuesday afternoon, Blair Academy head coach Jim Saylor told Eleven Warriors.
He was met in Maryland by defensive line coach Larry Johnson, and the two then made the trip to New Jersey together — but more on that in a second.
You may recall the 6-foot-5, 236-pound Oweh isn't set to make his college decision for more than two months at the Under Armour All-America Game in January. But given his recent offers from Florida and Michigan, as well as a visit from Penn State head coach James Franklin last week, it's no surprise the Buckeyes made it a priority to see him this week.
“[The] visit went well. Two great coaches,” Saylor said. “They just wanted to make sure they were doing what they needed to do to land Jayson. And they are. He feels confident in them as people to help him grow on and off the field. No better man than Coach Johnson. They truly want Jayson to be successful on and off the field.”
Oweh is among the three premier defensive end targets yet to decide on his future. But with Cleveland Heights four-star Tyreke Smith seemingly trending toward the Nittany Lions and the staff having backed off a bit in its pursuit of five-star Micah Parsons, Oweh has quickly become a can't-miss prospect despite his overall lack of experience playing the game of football.
Only adding to that, Oweh has missed some time with a high ankle sprain this season. He's played through the pain in a few games, but missed the Buccaneers' win over 41-0 win Mercersburg Academy on Friday.
“[He is] probably out this week with a high ankle sprain,” Saylor said. “[He] has not been on the field much, but [we're] looking forward to him getting back.”
Oweh will be needed, too, as Blair Academy has a tough matchup with The Peddie School in three weeks.
“They are loaded with talent, but our kids look forward to playing them” Saylor said. “I've got a great group of young men playing for each other.”
TALKING HIM DOWN
Before they made the trek to New Jersey on Tuesday afternoon, Meyer and Johnson were in Waldorf, Maryland, to see North Point four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker.
The meeting — which was first reported by 247Sports — comes just days ahead of his official visit to Penn State, one during which some prognosticators believe he may pledge his services to the Nittany Lions.
With four-star offensive tackle Max Wray already in the fold and the staff putting a full-court press on five-star Jackson Carman for much of the process, the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Walker was often a forgotten prospect. He's always been interested in Ohio State, though, listing the Buckeyes in his Top 6 alongside Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, Rutgers and Virginia Tech back in April.
Walker has been to campus several times over the last year, but the distance from his home isn't necessarily ideal. He admitted this summer the eight- to nine-hour drive has stopped him from visiting more often, and that's the biggest reason he's been linked most often to the Nittany Lions.
However, with Penn State already holding commitments from three offensive tackles, sources close to the Nittany Lions' program have rtold Eleven Warriors they are focused first and foremost on the talent they could potentially bring in on the defensive line in the form of Oweh, Parsons and Smith. Rescinding an offer from defensive end commitment Dorian Hardy following a fight at his school, however, now puts Penn State in a position where it could accept Walker's pledge this weekend and still chase the others through their respective announcements.
That is likely the biggest reason Meyer and Johnson made the trip. Walker is set to take an unofficial visit to Ohio State on Oct. 28, and that likely won't happen if he decides to end the recruiting process this weekend.
As mentioned, the Buckeyes hold only one commitment at offensive tackle at this point in time, yet hope to add one or two more this cycle. If Walker is off the board, that means Carmen and Nicholas Petit-Frere become must-get prospects or the staff will have to look for contingencies in the form of players like Kentucky commit and St. Ignatius three-star Darian Kinnard.
SHOULDN'T BE MUCH LONGER
Before he traveled to Maryland, Johnson made a quick stop in Mentor on Monday afternoon to watch three-star defensive end Noah Potter practice.The two couldn't meet, of course, but it's clear Potter is becoming a priority for the staff nonetheless.
— News-Herald preps (@NHPreps) October 16, 2017
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Potter is considered the 30th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 407 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, and holds double-digit offers from schools like Boston College, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Kent State, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Toledo.
It was his most recent offer from Penn State, though, that looks like it may accelerate Ohio State's timeline, as the Buckeyes typically hold off on in-state prospects until later in the process.
“Coach [Tony] Alford said, 'Be ready to be a Buckeye. We're going to go full steam ahead on you,'” Potter told Eleven Warriors. “So, hopefully something happens soon.”
Potter — the younger brother of Ohio State basketball center Micah — has been on campus numerous times in the last year, including the win over UNLV last month. He has an open inviation to attend every home game this season, and he will likely return for the game against the Nittany Lions later this month.
WHAT A STRETCH
Playing their fifth game in 19 days thanks to Hurricane Irma, Armwood and Ohio State four-star running back commit Brian Snead knocked off Florida powerhouse Plant, 27-7, on Monday night, ending the Panthers' 20-game regular-season winning streak.
It was actually a bit of revenge for the Hawks, who saw their own 34-game regular season win streak snapped at the hands — or paws, if you will — of the Panthers one season ago.
Plant took an early 7-0 lead on an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter, but Armwood's offense limited the mistakes thereafter by simply handing the ball off to Snead. He scored three times, from eight, 70 and 12 yards out, respectively. The second score was quite the escape act, too, as Snead got the handoff, stopped, then reversed field before racing away from defenders.
Snead finished the game with 140 yards on 15 carries, bringing his season total to 753 yards and nine touchdowns. He's also added a score through the air.
Armwood plays host to Brandon this Friday before resuming its regularly scheduled slate of opponents for the final two weeks of the season.