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.
BATTLE LOOMS (IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE)
This weekend's game between Ohio State and Penn State is arguably the biggest game in college football this season, and it should come as no surprise given the way the programs have recruited under head coaches Urban Meyer and James Franklin, respectively.
There have been countless battles between the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions on the recruiting trail over the years, too, the latest coming in the form of defensive ends Jayson Oweh, Micah Parsons and Tyreke Smith and offensive tackle Rasheed Walker. But they surely won't be the last between the programs, either.
It's still early in his recruitment, but Damascus, Maryland, four-star defensive end Bryan Bresee already being heavily courted by both Ohio State and Penn State. He was in Happy Valley last weekend, and he'll return to Columbus this Saturday, as well.
Making my way up to Ohio State on Saturday #Buckeyes— Bryan Bresee (@bryan_bresee) October 25, 2017
"I'm very excited," Bresee told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Bresee is considered the top-rated defensive end and No. 1 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 by 247Sports, as he as he led Urbana in sacks last season. He transferred to Damascus after Hawks head coach Dave Mencarini left to become the director of player personnel at Maryland.
In addition to Ohio State and Penn State, Bresee holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Virginia Tech and a host of others. This will be his third time on campus, which most recently includes a visit for a one-day camp in June. It was then defensive line coach Larry Johnson extended an offer, thus making the Buckeyes the early leader in his recruitment.
“We talked after the camp for a while,” Bresee said. “He is just very honest about everything going on and I really appreciated it.”
Bresee has no timetable to make a decision, however, and I wouldn't expect it to come anytime soon given the number of top programs coming after him.
Ohio State seems set at safety with commitments from four-stars Jaiden Woodbey and Josh Proctor at three-star corner Marcus Hooker, who will most likely transition to the positions at the next level. But it’s always smart to work out contingency plans, especially with the speculation surrounding the first two.
Only for the Buckeyes, though, does a backup option come in the form of a five-star prospect like Jacksonville Trinity Christian cornerback Tyreke Johnson, who will take an official visit to Columbus this weekend.
Randy Wade, the father of Ohio State cornerback Shaun Wade, shared the news with Eleven Warriors on Wednesday afternoon. Wade and Johnson together helped lead the Conquerors to three-straight state titles and their fourth in a row overall last season.
“He loves Shaun and would love to be in Columbus,” the elder Wade said of Johnson.
The 6-foot-1, 191-pound Johnson is considered the fourth-best safety and No. 38 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He holds more than two dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.
This will mark Johnson’s second time on campus, as he also visited for a one-day camp in June 2016. The Bulldogs and Seminoles have long been the favorites for his pledge, but the Buckeyes certainly have a shot to make an impression this weekend that could pay dividends later in the process.
SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
I want to take this opportunity to discuss Ohio State four-star offensive tackle commit Max Wray, his younger brother Jake and the rumors that have flooded white and orange-tinted message boards since they allegedly quit the football team late last week.
Despite reports to the contrary, a visit from Buckeyes' running back head coach Tony Alford earlier in the week had nothing to do with the issue at hand — the concerns voiced by the Wrays are entirely their own. It's purely a coincidence Alford visited when he did, as Ohio State had an open week on the schedule and coaches were dispatched all over the country to meet with coaches and/or watch commits and top targets practice.
He also stopped in Murfreesboro to check on running back commit Master Teague III, Knoxville for Tennessee five-star offensive tackle commit Cade Mays and a host of others in the area.
Which leads me to my next point.
Since Wray committed to the Buckeyes in mid-April, the family has dealt with nonstop harassment from administration, coaches and members of the community who would have preferred him stay close to home and play for the Volunteers. As one source close to the family put it, “Max is public enemy No. 1 for not going to Tennessee.”
Franklin is not a small town by any means, with more than 75,000 residents. But it's still plagued by the issues of any tight-knit, football-obsessed community. And given the Volunteers' struggles this season, the pressure to keep top prospects in the state continues to mount.
There's surely a similar feeling across the state when it comes to Teague, as well, but I can say firsthand the coaches, faculty and community around Murfreesboro's Blackman High is full of exceptional people and would not stoop to such a level.
Additionally, the Williamson County/Franklin administration has decided to hide behind FERPA — the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a law that gives parents certain protections with regard to their children's education records, such as report cards, transcripts, disciplinary records, contact and family information and class schedules.
As a result, some have strongly suggested that grades are the issue. That is also untrue, as both Wrays currently sport a 4.0 grade point average.
With only one week remaining in the season — and Max's high school career — it's unlikely we’ll ever find out the entire story from both sides. Jake, meanwhile, will likely transfer to another school outside of the district and be better off as a result.