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.
Ohio State searches far and wide for the best talent in the country, but one undeniable benefit that comes along with one of those players living in your back yard is that you can welcome them to campus anytime you or they please.
Such was the case with case with five-star running back commit Jaelen Gill, who routinely made the 20-minute drive to campus — even before he pledged his services to the Buckeyes — to watch practice and/or hang out with coaches. And the same thing has only continued with Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison this fall, as he returned to campus for the third time in as many months to watch Ohio State practice on Tuesday night.
5-star 2019 Defensive End Zach Harrison at Ohio State practice tonight pic.twitter.com/hRXG5qsBtH— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) November 21, 2017
As mentioned, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound Harrison — who was recently named the top overall player in the country for the Class of 2019 by ESPN — was also on campus for the Buckeyes' two premier home games this fall, Oklahoma and Penn State. And despite being relatively low-key in his recruitment, the general feeling in and around the Woody Hayes Athletic Center is that there's no way he ends up anywhere else.
Now Harrison, unlike most recruits, isn't the type of kid to be enamored with the pomp and circumstance that comes with unofficial — and soon to be official — visits. So his relationships with the staff and the program's ability to mold him into a man on and off the field will ultimately be what swings things in Ohio State's favor.
Tuesday's visit only helps with that.
BACK TO NORMAL
Just two months after he had surgery to repair a peroneal tendon subluxation — a condition in which the tendon snaps out of place — in his left ankle, Ohio State three-star running back commit Master Teague III began running on Wednesday morning. His father, Corey, shared the good news with Eleven Warriors.
“[He has] no pain at all,” the elder Teague said. “He said it doesn't feel like he lost much strength in his legs either. He is back to squatting and things like that. He did stay pretty busy, even when he had the splint and boot on, so I am sure that helped.”
As you likely recall, the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Teague suffered the injury in early September, but attempted to play through the pain until he and his family decided it was in his best interest to have surgery. After a succesful procedure, he wore a splint for about a month and then a walking boot for a few weeks after that.
Teague — who rushed for 711 yards and 10 touchdowns in a little over four games this year — remained active in cheering on his teammates in the meantime. There was hope he may be able to return this season if Blackman had a deep playoff run, but the Blaze unfortunately fell in the second round.
Typical recovery time for such an injury is 10 to 12 weeks, but it should truly come as no surprise to see Teague on the mend so quickly. I've long believed his work ethic is part of the reason he should be among the highest-ranked prospects in the country, and why he'll compete for carries as a true freshman at Ohio State.
Teague will sign with the Buckeyes during the Early Signing Period next month and enroll in classes in January.
GET YOUR SPATULAS READY
With two offensive linemen already in the fold in four-star tackle Max Wray and four-star guard Matthew Jones, Ohio State hopes to round out its top-ranked haul with at least two more linemen.
Five-star tackle Jackson Carman is without a doubt the top target, but there are plenty of options beyond him, too. Among them, Colorado three-star tackle commit Walker Culver, who took an official visit to Columbus for Saturday's game against Illinois.
The 6-foot-6, 273-pound Culver is considered the 86th-best offensive tackle and No. 927 prospect overall in the Class of 2018, but his versatility and ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line make him an intriguing option for the staff despite his ranking. Those close to the program have told Eleven Warriors they believe he's underrated and the staff would accept his pledge at any point in time as a result.
With that said, I made a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State for Culver on Tuesday afternoon.
Culver — who plays his prep ball Chattanooga's Baylor School — is set to take his official visit to Colorado on Dec. 8 and then return to Virginia Tech the following weekend, marking his second time in Blacksburg this fall. The Hokies were presumed to be a serious threat to flip him, but that was before the Buckeyes offered on Sunday.
After those visits, I believe he'll sit down with his family and come to the conclusion that Ohio State is where he wants to be. He'll likely put pen to paper just a few days later during the Early Signing Period.
I'M THANKFUL FOR YOU
Just a little heads up, there will be no Thursday night edition of The Hurry Up on account of the holiday. Please have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!