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.
A QUICK TURN OF EVENTS
Ohio State nearly landed an unexpected commitment on Tuesday afternoon, but Thomson, Georgia, four-star cornerback Christian Tutt instead announced his pledge to Auburn during his U.S. Army All-American Bowl ceremony.
War Eagle for Christian Tutt pic.twitter.com/dK00AnZKMS
— Kevin Faigle (@kevinfaiglewrdw) November 14, 2017
Nebraska was long perceived to be the leader for the 5-foot-11, 193-pound Tutt — who is considered the 25th-best cornerback and No. 221 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — thanks, in large part, to his relationship with defensive backs coach Donte Williams. However, the uncertainty surrounding the Cornhuskers' coaching staff and direction of the program seemingly steered him toward the Buckeyes and Tigers in recent weeks.
Ohio State offered Tutt two years ago this month, and he's been on campus three times since, including an official visit for the loss to Oklahoma in September. He's spoken with head coach Urban Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and assistant coordinator Kerry Coombs almost daily, and the Buckeyes were bound to be in his recruitment until the end as a result.
Ohio State has been actively looking for a second cornerback to join Florida four-star Sevyn Banks in the current cycle, with Texas five-star Anthony Cook the primary target. But with Cook seemingly trending toward Texas, the Buckeyes would have accepted Tutt's pledge on Tuesday afternoon.
Auburn, meanwhile, didn't crack Tutt's Top 11 back in August, but took a massive step forward this fall thanks to his relationship with defensive backs coach Greg Brown and area recruiter Travis Williams. During his official visit this past weekend, the Tigers pitched proximity, a chance at early playing time and the fact that they don't have any other cornerbacks committed in this class.
The timing alone was a good indicator of where Tutt was leaning, but it's still a credit to Schiano and Coombs for having the Buckeyes in such a position despite how little anyone's talked about him.
THEY'RE BETTER OFF NOW
Less than a month after Ohio State four-star offensive tackle commit Max Wray and his younger brother, Jake, were suspended and removed from the Franklin, Tennessee, football program after their family voiced concerns over the Rebels' coaching staff providing "perverse incentive" to conceal injuries — including concussions — their father, Sam, told Eleven Warriors the latter will transfer schools at the end of the semester.
The news was first reported by 247Sports' Barton Simmons on Tuesday morning.
This won't impact Max, who is set to graduate and enroll in Columbus following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in early January. But Jake and his parents will move to Marietta, Georgia, where he'll join a Blue Devils roster oozing with young talent.
“They are stacked,” the eldest Wray said.
Jake's transfer will give Marietta four prospects ranking among the current Top 100 prospects in the Class of 2020, as the Blue Devils are led by four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey — who has grown close to the Wray family through the National Playmakers Academy, a training and college prep program in the South. The team also features two very talented defensive ends in four-stars Arik Gilbert and B.J. Ojulari, whom Jake will face regularly in practice.
Jake holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas and UCLA. However, the move should have little impact on his recruitment, and I anticipate his desire to win alongside his brother — Franklin struggled to a 1-7 record with them this season — will be just another in a long list of reasons he eventually chooses the Buckeyes.
TOO EARLY FOR TED GINN COMPARISONS?
Ohio State welcomed St. Louis Cardinal Ritter College Prep four-star wide receiver Jameson Williams to campus for an unofficial visit during Saturday’s 48-3 win over Michigan State.
“I loved it,” Williams told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Williams is considered the 54th-best wide receiver and No. 364 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, but don’t let his rankings fool you — he has emerged as one of the Buckeyes’ top targets at the wide receiver position.
Williams racked up 1,261 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns for the Lions this season and holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Illinois, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan Sate, Missouri, Oregon, Penn State, TCU, UCLA and Wisconsin, so he’s probably in line for a serious ratings bump with the next update.
Williams speaks with Meyer, wide receivers coach Zach Smith and director of player development Mark Pantoni almost every day. He spent time with each of them on Saturday and got a campus tour from assistant Keenan Bailey, too.
“The environment and the people outside of football [really stand out],” Williams said.
There’s no doubt the Buckeyes lead for Williams’ services at this point in his recruitment, and he’d be one heck of a pickup, too. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball and has the speed of an elite track athlete.
Williams actually the Missouri state record in the 300-meter hurdle this spring with a time of 37.28 seconds, which was previously held by former Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott. He was also clocked running a 10.54-second 100-meter dash.
ON THE BIG STAGE
Ohio State four-star linebacker commit Teradja Mitchell was presented with his honorary jersey for the Under Armour All-America Game during his a ceremony at Virginia Beach Bishop Sullivan on Tuesday afternoon.
4-star Ohio State LB commit Teradja Mitchell celebrates Under Armour All-American selection.
— USA TODAY HSS (@usatodayhss) November 14, 2017
The 6-foot-2, 232-pound Mitchell — considered the second-best inside linebacker and No. 37 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — was one of more than 100 senior that have been selected to play in the 10th annual Under Armour All-America Game, which takes place Jan. 4, 2018, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
It will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.
There, Mitchell will be joined by several Ohio State commits, including five-star defensive end Brenton Cox, four-star running back Brian Snead, four-star lineman Matthew Jones, four-star dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones and four-star cornerback Sevyn Banks.