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.
After going nearly three months without a commitment, Ohio State seems to hearing up on the recruiting trail.
The Buckeyes have already added four-star safety Tyreke Johnson and three-star quarterback Matthew Baldwin in the last three days alone, and will attempt to flip St. Louis Christian Brothers College four-star sure receiver Cameron Brown from Nebraska during his official visit this weekend.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Brown is considered the 57th-best wide receiver and No. 336 prospect overall in the Class of 2018. He committed to the Cornhuskers for the second time back in August.
Ohio State offered him a scholarship during a one-day camp in June, which prompted him to reopen his recruitment the first time around. He made the trip with his teammate and fellow wide receiver target Kamryn Babb.
Assistant coach Zach Smith forged a strong relationship with Brown over the next few months, which put the Buckeyes among his Top 5 schools. He re-upped with the Cornhuskers in August, however.
As fhe program struggled to another subpar season under head coach Mike Riley, Brown began to look around again. He attended Ohio State's 48-3 win over Michigan State in mid-November, which was about the time the Buckeyes began seriously considering taking three wide receivers this cycle.
Brown remains committed to Nebraska, and appears excited about Scott Frost’s recent hiring. But if Ohio State pushes for a flip this weekend, I think the allure of playing alongside his best friend for at least four more years would be difficult to pass up.
Between Brenton Cox's decommitment and the uncertainty surrounding Emory Jones' pledge, Alabama has become quite the thorn in Ohio State's side these past few months. The Buckeyes sort of returned the favor earlier this week, though, when they offered a scholarship to Crimson Tide cornerback commit Javier Morton.
“It's straight,” Morton told Eleven Warriors. “I like Ohio State. Before I committed, they were in my Top 5. I know they specialize in sending defensive backs to the [National Football] League.”
Like most prospects in the Class of 2020, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Morton is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites. His size and speed compare favorably to recent Ohio State defensive back commit Tyreke Johnson, however.
Quarterbacks coach and area recruiter Ryan Day was in Georgia earlier this week, at which time he stopped by Stone Mountain's Stephenson High to meet with Morton's coaches. And though he committed to Alabama one week ago tonight, Morton is looking forward to getting up to Columbus for the first time and seeing what the program has to offer.
“Ohio State really has a lot of successful people in life after football,” Morton said.
Morton also holds early offers from Auburn, California, Florida, Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Tennessee.
A DARK HORSE?
Ohio State also welcomed Avon, Connecticut, Old Farms three-star defensive end Casey Rogers to campus on Friday for an official visit.
The Ohio State University— Casey Rogers (@caseyrogers99) December 8, 2017
“I can’t wait,” Rogers told Eleven Warriors before departing for Columbus.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Rogers is considered the 70th-best defensive end and No. 1,470 prospect overall in the Class of 2018, though he actually graduated high school earlier this year. He was a very talented lacrosse player and was committed to play for his father — an assistant coach — at Syracuse. But with few offers to play football at the next level, he decided to take a post-graduate year at Avon Old Farms this fall because he only had an offer from Western Michigan at the time.
California and Vanderbilt have offered in the last week, and Rogers is set to take an official visit to Alabama next weekend. With the aforementioned Cox’s decommitment, he may land an offer from from Ohio State by the end of the weekend.
If that happens, Rogers will undoubtedly be compared to his favorite player, current Buckeyes defensive end Sam Hubbard. He also played lacrosse in high school and turned down a scholarship to Notre Dame before choosing to play football at Ohio State.
JUST MEANT TO BE
In yesterday's edition of The Hurry Up, I introduced you to Ohio State's newest walk-on commit: Scottsdale, Arizona, Desert Mountain two-star Luke Donovan. He became the first out-of-state prospect to accept the opportunity, but has family ties to the Buckeyes.
“My dad was born and raised in Columbus and he graduated from Ohio State,” Donovan told Eleven Warriors. “So I have a lot of family in the area. My mom puts it as, 'I'm getting back to my roots,' and I like that thought a lot.”
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Donovan recorded 79 tackles, six pass break ups, two interceptions and one forced fumble for the Wolves this fall. He was invited to attend the Buckeyes' rain-soaked win over Illinois last month, and he fell in love with the program.
“It was even better than I expected,” Donovan said. “Leading up to the game, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do or how they would treat me as a preferred walk-on. But I was really impressed when they took the time to show me the facilities and sat me and my family down for about an hour talking football and family. After all that, I was hooked and knew that's where I wanted to be.”
Ohio State assistant director of player personnel Eron Hodges first got in contact with Donovan back in October and offered the opportunity at that time. Though he played all over the field at Desert Mountain, he'll be a safety at the next level.
“They said they love my quickness and transition speed,” Donovan said. “I lack in things like going up and getting the ball, but they know that's something they can teach me.”
Donovan joins Big Walnut’s Abe Myers, Piqua’s Ben Schmiesing and Dublin Jerome’s Cade Kacherski — all linebackers — as prospects who have accepted walk-on offers to Ohio State.
BRING IT HOME, BRIAN
Ohio State four-star running back commit will look to make it two commits — four-star safety Josh Proctor the other — who capped their respective careers with a state championship when Armwood (FL) takes on Miami Northwestern at 8 p.m. this evening in Orlando's Camping World Stadium.
The Buckeyes' newest commit, three-star quarterback Matthew Baldwin, meanwhile, will look to lead Lake Travis (TX) to the state quarterfinals with a win over O'Connor. Kickoff at the Alamodome in San Antonio is set for 4 p.m. local time on Saturday.
And just a heads up: With only two games this weekend, there will not be a Supreme '18 Tracker on Sunday morning. Instead, here are the final season stats for almost* every Ohio State commit.
|MATTHEW BALDWIN||QB||AUSTIN (TX) LAKE TRAVIS||O'CONNOR, STATE QUARTERFINALS|
|EMORY JONES||QB||FRANKLIN (GA) HEARD COUNTY||
2,200 all-purpose yards and 20 TDs
|JAELEN GILL||RB||WESTERVILLE (OH) SOUTH||
DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS
911 all-purpose yards and 12 TDs
|BRIAN SNEAD||RB||SEFFNER (FL) ARMWOOD||MIAMI NORTHWESTERN, STATE CHAMPIONSHIP|
|MASTER TEAGUE||RB||MURFREESBORO (TN) BLACKMAN||
711 yards and 10 TDs
|JEREMY RUCKERT||TE||LINDENHURST (NY)||
LONG ISLAND CHAMPIONS
1,094 yards and 13 TDs
|L'CHRISTIAN "BLUE" SMITH||WR||HUBER HEIGHTS (OH) WAYNE||
869 yards and 9 TDs
|MATTHEW JONES||OG||BROOKLYN (NY) ERASMUS HALL||CITY LEAGUE RUNNERS-UP|
|MAX WRAY||OT||FRANKLIN (TN)||DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS|
|ANTWUAN JACKSON||DT||BRENHAM (TX) BLINN COLLEGE||
70 tackles, 10 TFL, 9 sacks and 3 FF
|TARON VINCENT||DT||BRADENTON (FL) IMG ACADEMY||
53 tackles, 13 QB hurries and 4 sacks
|TERADJA MITCHELL||ILB||VIRGINIA BEACH (VA) BISHOP SULLIVAN||
CAN'T QUALIFY FOR PLAYOFFS
|K'VAUGHAN POPE||ILB||DINWIDDIE (VA)||
104 tackles, 16 TFL, 8 sacks and 1 INT
|DALLAS GANT||OLB||TOLEDO (OH) ST. JOHN'S JESUIT||
94 tackles, 7 TFL, 7 sacks and 1 INT
|SEVYN BANKS||CB||ORLANDO (FL) JONES||FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|MARCUS HOOKER||CB||NEW CASTLE (PA)||FIRST-ROUND LOSS|
|JOSH PROCTOR||S||OWASSO (OK)||
4 INT and 2 defensive TDs
|JAIDEN WOODBEY||S||BELLFLOWER (CA) ST. JOHN BOSCO||
3 INT and 2 defensive TDs
|DOUG NESTER||OT||HUNTINGTON (WV) SPRING VALLEY||STATE RUNNERS-UP|
*No statistics were kept for Max Wray and Matthew Jones, while efensive statistics were not recorded for Sevyn Banks and Marcus Hooker.