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.
THE EBB AND FLOW OF RECRUITING
Though Penn State has been in the driver's seat for the last few months, it appears Cleveland Heights four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith is trending back toward Ohio State.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Smith is set to make his college decision during the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4, so the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions planned to make their final pitch this week. However, sources close to the Penn State program told Eleven Warriors Smith's official visit to State College didn't go as well as planned and he cancelled his in-home visit with James Franklin on Tuesday evening.
That's certainly good news for Ohio State, who was on the verge of seeing one of the state's top players choose a conference rival. It appears the lack of depth at the defensive end position and the chance to play someone like defensive line coach Larry Johnson has tilted things back in the Buckeyes' favor.
Franklin and defensive line coach Sean Spencer haven't given up, though, and are expected to be in the building for Smith's basketball game against St. Ignatius this evening. Meyer and Johnson will have the last visit ahead of the college football recruiting calendar dead period — which begins on Monday — and will watch the Tigers take on Lutheran East before going in-home with Smith and his family.
Those same sources indicate Meyer and Johnson have already won over Smith, and I changed my 247Sports Crystal Ball precition to Ohio State as a result. However, not everyone in his family seems to like the idea of him playing in Columbus, and changing their mind on Friday evening will be key.
JUST ABOUT TIME TO FIND OUT
Last week, I suggested Ohio State four-star quarterback commit Emory Jones may end months of uncertainty by flipping to Alabama or publicly reaffirming his pledge by Sunday evening.
As many of you pointed out in the comments in the days following, though, the weekend passed without so much as a whimper.
Now, with the Early Signing Period less than a week away, it appears we may not find out until Dec. 19. Sources close to Jones told Eleven Warriors earlier this week he’s planning a ceremony for the last day of school and he’ll announce his final college decision that morning.
So, what will he do?
There’s growing but cautious confidence inside the walls of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center that the Buckeyes will hold onto his pledge. After all, he’s remaining committed though every visit, and what’s the point of stringing along an entire program — one that you once referred to as your “dream school” — only to decommit right before you were supposed to put pen to paper.
That said, I don't believe Jones knows what he's going to do, even though his coaches, fellow commits and mother all want and expect him to end up in Columbus. It won't be much longer before we find out, though. And if he does flip, the Buckeyes are more than happy moving forward with three-star commit Matthew Baldwin.
TWO FROM MIZZOU
Ohio State has already landed a commitment from one wide receiver from St. Louis Christian Brothers College in four-star Kamryn Babb, but hopes to add another when Nebraska four-star commit Cameron Brown announces his final decision on Dec. 20.
I will be signing on December 20th at 12:15 @ CBC High School This crazy recruiting journey will come to an end soon #Blessed— Cameron Brown (@luh_cam_) December 14, 2017
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Brown — who is considered the 58th-best wide receiver and No. 339 prospect overall in the Class of 2018 — initially committed to the Cornhuskers in May, but reopened his recruitment shortly after the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship during a one-day camp in June.
After reconsidering his options, Brown recommitted to Nebraska in August. Ohio State was interested, but didn’t appear to have the room as the staff chased Babb and L’Christian “Blue” Smith.
That’s not the case any longer, and Mike Riley's firing last month, new head coach Scott Frost’s subsequent decision to not retain wide receivers coach Keith Williams and the Buckeyes’ desire to add a third receiver this cycle would suggest Brown flips his pledge next week. The two programs aren’t on the same level, and the chance to play alongside Babb for at least three more years would be hard to pass up.
A FULL TROPHY CASE
Ohio State five-star defensive end commit Taron Vincent and five-star offensive tackle target Jackson Carman were named on Thursday as two of six finalist for the Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year award, which is presented annually by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee to the best lineman in the country.
They're joined by uncommitted five-star offensive tackle Cade Mays, uncommitted five-star offensive guard Jamaree Salyer, Clemson five-star defensive end commit Xavier Thomas and uncommitted four-star offensive tackle Penei Sewell.
The 6-foot-2, 285-pound Vincent finished his senior season at IMG Academy with 53 tackles, 13 quarterback hurries and four sacks. The Ascenders finished without a loss for the third-consecutive year.
The 6-foot-6, 330-pound Carman, meanwhile, led Fairfield to its third-straight playoff appearance this season. He is set to choose among Clemson, Ohio State and USC early next week.
Ohio State offensive guard Wyatt Davis and defensive end Chase Young were among the finalists for the award last year, but Stanford offensive tackle Foster Sarell ended up taking home the award — which is named after the Hall of Fame offensive lineman who played 13 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals
Four-star defensive tackle commit Tommy Togiai, meanwhile, was named a finalist on Wednesday for the Glenn Davis Award, which is named after the 1946 Heisman Trophy winner and given annually to a player on the West squad who shows high standards of excellence in community service, education and athletic excellence. Offensive guard Wyatt Davis won the award last year.
The winners will be announced during the U.S. Army All-American Awards Show on Jan. 5, the evening prior to the game.