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.
DOING WHAT HE DOES BEST
Assistant coordinator Kerry Coombs has played a significant role in Ohio State top-rated prospects from the state of Michigan, which all began with safety Damon Webb in 2014. He's hoping to do it again in the next recruiting cycle with Belleville four-star cornerback Julian Barnett, to whom the Buckeyes offered a scholarship on Thursday afternoon.
“It means a lot,” Barnett told Eleven Warriors. “I've been waiting on this offer for a minute, and to finally get it is suprising.”
The 6-foot-1, 186-pound Barnett is considered the third-best cornerback and No. 60 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he finished his junior season with 28 tackles, seven sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. He also added 42 receptions for 836 yards and 13 touchdowns while playing offense for the Tigers.
Barnett — who holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State, Notre Dame — has been to campus several times, including the Spring Game, Friday Night Lights and Ohio State's loss to Oklahoma in September. While there, he's spent a considerable amount of times with Coombs, whom he's grown very fond of.
“He's a good coach,” Barnett said. “He taught me a few good things when I was at the camp. If I go there, I'd learn even more.”
Barnett was actually on the verge of making a decision, with most 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions having been placed in favor of the Spartans. That's not the case any longer.
“[This offer] changed a lot,” he said.
Ohio State was already on the verge of losing four-star safety commit Jaiden Woodbey to USC when he made an offhand comment on Twitter about how Florida State’s old staff never offered him a scholarship.
New head coach Willie Taggart caught wind of the tweet and offered by night’s end, and Woodbey was a Seminole eight days later.
“I always wanted the offer,” Woodbey told Rivals' Adam Gorney. “Whether I got it really early or really late, it was one of those things hopefully I get the offer so I could go visit. Visiting was everything I thought it would be. I grew up watching this team play and it’s kind of been my dream school. It exceeded my expectations when I got up there.”
It’s kind of crazy to think a team that doesn’t even have a defensive backs coach yet could enter the picture so late and succeed. But it was the perfect storm, as Woodbey admitted he had already planned to flip to USC when Florida State came calling.
That means Ohio State finished third for one of its longest-tenured commits.
“I believed in what coach Taggart was telling me,” Woodbey added. “This is a Power 5 program [and] they had a wobbly season last season, but once they realign things, they’ll be at the top. He was basically telling me when I go there, I’m going to have a great opportunity to play just like every other school was telling me. For some reason, I believe him more than anybody else.”
TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY
Four-star quarterback Emory Jones flip to Florida, meanwhile, was not a shock.
We reported Tuesday night Ohio State had moved on from Jones, and Meyer confirmed as much during his press conference earlier in the day.
Following his announcement, Jones gave his side of the story regarding how things fell apart with the Buckeyes.
“Throughout this, I told them I was committed and I was going to take visits, and they were alright with it,” Jones told 247Sports' Kipp Adams. “But then, when it got kind of close, they said I’m going to have to start taking other quarterbacks on official visits and all that. Obviously, I understand that, and then they always said they would tell me if somebody else was about to commit just to let me know so I can make a quick decision. They took the other dude and didn’t let me know anything. The communication kind of died down.”
That would explain the Thinking Face Emoji Jones tweeted shortly after three-star quarterback Matthew Baldwin committed to Ohio State earlier this month. He said he had very little contact with the staff after that.
“They actually texted me like a week after and they were just saying I never gave them my full word and they had to move on,” Jones said. “They said if I still wanted to come there I would have to have a conversation with coach [Urban] Meyer. I just didn’t feel it was the best place for me to be.”
In the end, Jones ends up in a good spot. He gets to play for the first coach to offer him a scholarship and in a system — not all that different from the Buckeyes' — where he should thrive.
“What [Dan Mullen has] done with past quarterbacks, I feel I can come in and ball, he can develop me into a complete quarterback and as a man,” Jones said. “He says I actually have a chance to come in and play if I come in and work hard and get to know the system.”
This morning, I switched my 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction from Penn State to Ohio State for New Jersey four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Oweh has been trending toward the Nittany Lions for a few months, but sources close to the program told Eleven Warriors things have swung back in favor of the Buckeyes following an in-home visit from Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
It appears Oweh was heavily influenced by the retirement rumors surrounding Johnson, which the coach emphatically shot down on Friday night. He even admitted earlier this week several schools were using that as ammunition against Ohio State.
“A lot of people were saying coach Johnson was going to leave, so you have to keep that in perspective,” Oweh said. “I talked to him about it a lot. He reassured me that he is not leaving. That's really important. I didn't think he was [leaving] at first, but then a lot of people started telling me he was old.”
Oweh, who hinted earlier this week he might fax in his National Letter of Intent during the Early Signing Period, won't announce his decision until the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4 — it would just be kept quiet until then. And when that time comes, I fully anticipate the Buckeyes will land him and Cleveland Heights four-star Tyreke Smith.
So much for those woes at defensive end.