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.
ALL SIGNS POINT TO A #BOOM
Though it’s seemed as if Ohio State has been held hostage for the last few months by the uncertainty surrounding four-star quarterback commit Emory Jones, the Buckeyes have made several contingency plans in case he eventually flips to Alabama.
Among them, Austin, Texas, Lake Travis three-star quarterback Matthew Baldwin, who decommitted from Colorado State late Thursday evening. The news was first reported by 247Sports’ Brian Perroni.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Baldwin committed to the Rams in July, but has seen his stock soar in his first season as a starter. He’s thrown for 3,198 yards and 38 touchdowns and rushed for 379 yards and seven scores to help the Cavaliers to the state semifinals this season, and he’s picked up offers from Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State as a result.
Baldwin, who attended and landed an offer during the Buckeyes’ 48-3 win over Michigan State, is well aware of the quarterback quandary in Columbus. He’s indicated Jones’ pledge won't impact his potential commitment, and sources close to the program have told Eleven Warriors quarterbacks coach Ryan Day is extremely high on him.
The plan is to get Baldwin back on campus for an official visit in the next few weeks, during or after which I anticipate he’ll commit to Ohio State. That means the Buckeyes will be guaranteed at least one signal caller in the class with a slight chance at two, whether that means holding onto Jones or flipping four-star Adrian Martinez from Tennessee.
THE PROS AND CONS
While Ohio State has been preparing for Saturday's Big Ten Championship game against Wisconsin, coaches from other programs have been traveling the country this week to meet with prospects and/or conduct in-home visits.
And though the Buckeyes would much rather be in the position they're in — competing for a conference title and potential spot in the College Football Playoff — there's no doubt the Early Signing Period puts them at a significant disadvantage.
“I don't believe it's fair,” head coach Urban Meyer said when asked during today's Big Ten Championship media opportunity if his staff will have to overcompensate in the coming weeks, “but I'd much rather be here.
"That's something that I have a whole recruiting staff [for]," he continued. "What's the answer? Work that much harder. And when this game's over, get on a plan and go do the best you can to keep going. But the best recruiting tool out there is for us to play well tomorrow.”
As I mentioned earlier this week, defensive line coach Larry Johnson will almost immediately board a plane following the game and head to Idaho to visit with four-star defensive tackle Tommy Togiai.
Meyer will follow that up with a visit of his own on Tuesday, while the rest of the staff will certainly be dispatched to all corners of the country to meet with their top remaining targets.
BEST LINEBACKER IN THE COUNTRY
Santa Ana, California, Mater Dei four-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu has been named the winner of the Butkus Award, which honors the nation's best high school linebacker.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Tuliaupupu beat out Ohio State four-star commit Teradja Mitchell and USC five-star pledge Palaie Gaoteote to win the award. Linebacker commits Dallas Gant and K'Vaughan Pope, meanwhile, were among the 16 semifinalists named in late October.
Tuliaupupu recorded 63 tackles, 12 tackles for a loss, four sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the undefeated Monarchs this season. They'll look to finish the season with a win in Saturday's California Interscholastic Federation State Championship against St. John Bosco and Ohio State four-star safety commit Jaiden Woodbey.
GET THOSE RINGS, GUYS
Several Ohio State commits will lace up their cleats and strap on their helmets for the final time at the high school level this evening, as they attempt to close our their respective careers with a state championship.
The full schedule:
|EMORY JONES||QB||FRANKLIN (GA) HEARD COUNTY||HAPEVILLE CHARTER (GA), STATE SEMIFINALS|
|JAELEN GILL||RB||WESTERVILLE (OH) SOUTH||SEASON OVER, DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS|
|BRIAN SNEAD||RB||SEFFNER (FL) ARMWOOD||ST. AUGUSTINE (FL), STATE SEMIFINALS|
|MASTER TEAGUE||RB||MURFREESBORO (TN) BLACKMAN||SEASON OVER, SECOND-ROUND LOSS|
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||LINDENHURST (NY)||SEASON OVER, LONG ISLAND CHAMPIONS|
|L'CHRISTIAN "BLUE" SMITH||WR||HUBER HEIGHTS (OH) WAYNE||SEASON OVER, FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|MATTHEW JONES||OG||BROOKLYN (NY) ERASMUS HALL||CURTIS (NY), STATE CHAMPIONSHIP (DEC. 5)|
|MAX WRAY||OT||FRANKLIN (TN)||SEASON OVER, DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS|
|BRENTON COX||DE||STOCKBRIDGE (GA)||SEASON OVER, QUARTERFINAL LOSS|
|ANTWUAN JACKSON||DT||BRENHAM (TX) BLINN COLLEGE||SEASON OVER, FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|TARON VINCENT||DT||BRADENTON (FL) IMG ACADEMY||SEASON OVER, FINISHED UNDEFEATED|
|TERADJA MITCHELL||ILB||VIRGINIA BEACH (VA) BISHOP SULLIVAN||SEASON OVER, CAN'T QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS|
|K'VAUGHAN POPE||ILB||DINWIDDIE (VA)||SEASON OVER, QUARTERFINAL LOSS|
|DALLAS GANT||OLB||TOLEDO (OH) ST. JOHN'S JESUIT||SEASON OVER, FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|SEVYN BANKS||CB||ORLANDO (FL) JONES||SEASON OVER, FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|MARCUS HOOKER||CB||NEW CASTLE (PA)||SEASON OVER, FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|JOSH PROCTOR||S||OWASSO (OK)||UNION (OK), STATE CHAMPIONSHIP|
|JAIDEN WOODBEY||S||BELLFLOWER (CA) ST. JOHN BOSCO||MATER DEI (CA), STATE CHAMPIONSHIP (DEC. 2)|
|DOUG NESTER||OT||HUNTINGTON (WV) SPRING VALLEY||MARTINSBURG (WV), STATE CHAMPIONSHIP|
As always, stay tuned to Eleven Warriors on Sunday morning for the final Supreme '18 Tracker of the season, as we'll recap the weekend's events.