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.
Just one day after he met with Houston five-star cornerback Anthony Cook, Ohio State assistant coordinator Kerry Coombs flew to South Florida today to visit St. Thomas Aquinas four-star Asante Samuel Jr.
— Kerry Coombs (@OsuCoachCoombs) December 5, 2017
The 5-foot-10, 166-pound Samuel — who is considered the 10th-best cornerback and No. 55 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — had a lot of interest in Ohio State this spring and included the Buckeyes in his Top 5 before he committed to Florida State in April.
"They have been one of my old favorites, and guys that went to St. Thomas Aquinas [like defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Trevon Grimes] are recruiting me to come to their school," Samuel Jr. told Eleven Warriors in March. “[They're telling me] that it's a good organization and if you want to go to the NFL, come up there with them.”
A lot has changed since Samuel's decision, as Ohio State has since landed a commitment from fellow Florida four-star cornerback Sevyn Banks and are the favorite to land four-star safety Tyreke Johnson in the coming days. He remains committed to the Seminoles despite the departure of head coach Jimbo Fisher, as well, though I anticipate Willie Taggart's hiring today will only solidify his pledge.
— Asante Samuel (@godschild3_) December 5, 2017
It's worth noting Samuel is at least listening to other programs, as South Carolina also stopped by Aquinas this morning. He's reportedly considering an official visit to Ohio State, as well.
As mentioned, the Buckeyes plan to bring on only five defensive backs this cycle — with Banks; four-star safeties Josh Proctor and Jaiden Woodbey; and three-star cornerback Marcus Hooker already committed. Johnson would make five, but it's always important to keep in touch with other prospects in case one or more were to change their mind in the coming weeks.
LONG TIME COMING
Indianapolis Warren Central four-star wide receiver David Bell told Eleven Warriors last fall he grew up an Ohio State fan. So, I'm sure he was pretty excited when the Buckeyes extended a scholarship offer on Monday afternoon.
— David Bell (@TheRealDBell_) December 4, 2017
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Bell is considered the 12th-best receiver and No. 63 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he finished his junior season with 52 catches for 1,075 yards and 11 touchdowns. He holds more than a dozen other offers from programs such as Iowa, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Purdue.
Bell has been to campus three times in the last year, most recently for Friday Night Lights in July. If the staff will have him, it's hard to imagine him playing his college ball anywhere other than Columbus.
A MIXED BAG
Rivals updated its rankings for the Class of 2018 on Tuesday afternoon, marking the first time the recruiting site has shuffled the deck since August and most likely the final time it will do so before the Early Signing Period on Dec. 20-22.
— Rivals.com (@Rivals) December 5, 2017
Ohio State, which sits first in the overall team rankings and nearly 300 points ahead of second place Miami, placed the following prospects among the Top 250 prospects:
- No. 16 (15) - Five-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell
- No. 26 (35) - Five-star safety Jaiden Woodbey
- No. 27 (18) – Four-star quarterback Emory Jones
- No. 28 (27) – Four-star running back Jaelen Gill
- No. 32 (35) – Four-star wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith
- No. 33 (21) – Four-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent
- No. 34 (31) – Four-star defensive end Brenton Cox
- No. 59 (34) – Four-star running back Brian Snead
- No. 93 (83) – Four-star tight end Jeremy Ruckert
- No. 99 (94) – Four-star linebacker K'Vaughan Pope
- No. 130 (134) - Four-star safety Josh Proctor
- No. 146 (120) – Four-star offensive lineman Matthew Jones
- No. 218 (NR) - Four-star running back Master Teague III
- NR (245) – Four-star offensive lineman Max Wray
Linebacker Dallas Gant; cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Marcus Hooker; and junior college defensive tackle transfer Antwuan Jackson are all also unranked.
Teague, you’ll notice, was finally bumped up to a four-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite Rankings thanks to Rivals’ update. He was almost among the biggest movers in the rankings, despite an ankle injury that cut short his senior season.
“Teague is known for his straight line speed but he's also a very physical runner and plays bigger than his listed height/weight,” Rivals Southeast Recruiting Analyst Woody Wommack said. “He suffered an ankle injury midway through the season that hurt him statistically, but the combination of speed and power he showed when healthy made the Ohio State commitment an easy candidate for a move up.”
A SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
With college football’s first Early Signing Period just a little over two weeks away — Dec. 20-22 — a number of people have asked me when Ohio State’s 18 commits are going to put pen to paper.
That said, I’ve compiled the following list:
- M. Jones
- E. Jones
WILL WAIT UNTIL FEBRUARY
Of course, the Buckeyes are hoping to add several commitments during the early signing period. If and when that happens, those prospects would fax in their letters of intent that day.
Additionally, it’s important to remember not everyone singing early will enroll early. For example, Smith will be taking classes at a local community college to play high school basketball.
We’ll continue to monitor the situation with each commit, and keep you updated as the Early Signing Period draws closer.