The Hurry Up: Signees, Top Targets Check In at U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Under Armour All-American Game

By Andrew Lind on December 31, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Jaelen Gill
Jaelen Gill

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.


Nine Ohio State signees are en route to San Antonio today to check in for Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which means the Buckeyes will be the most represented team in the nation for the fourth-consecutive year.

Of this year's 21 signees, five-star running back Jaelen Gill, five-star tight end Jeremy Ruckert, five-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent, four-star receiver Kamryn Babb, four-star linebacker Dallas Gant, four-star defensive back Tyreke Johnson, four-star safety Josh Proctor, four-star defensive tackle Tommy Togiai and four-star offensive tackle Max Wray are set to play in the game.

This year's event is quite different than in the past, when several top targets remained undecided and some even announced their college decisions during the game. But thanks to college football's first Early Signing Period earlier this month, only 23 of the 90 players attending the game did not put pen to paper.

Among them, Florida four-star offensive tackle William Barnes and Maryland four-star Rasheed Walker, who both listed Ohio State in their top schools last summer. They put their respective recruitments on the backburner as they instead focused on their senior seasons, but now find themselves as two of the staff's top targets at a position of great need after five-star Jackson Carman picked Clemson.

Florida five-star cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. and Tyson Campbell, both of whom have long eyed official visits to Columbus, are also on that list. The Buckeyes only anticipated taking two players at this position this cycle, but with safety Jaiden Woodbey's flip to Florida State and Johnson's ability to play anywhere in the defensive backfield, it'll be interesting see if the Buckeyes will be able make a push for either.

Once the dead period ends next month, there will still be four weekends for official visits before the traditional National Signing Day. And as we've seen in the past, one visit can change a lot. If either one wanted to play his college ball at Ohio State, the staff would surely make the numbers work.

The same could be said of California five-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu. The Buckeyes already hold commitments from three linebackers in four-stars Teradja Mitchell, K'Vaughan Pope and the aforementioned Gant. But Tuliaupupu is set to take an official visit next month, and the Buckeyes are seemingly the only program that can pry him away from Southern California.

I'm heading back to Texas tomorrow to bring you as much coverage as possible from San Antonio through Saturday's game.


Simultaneously in Orlando, four Ohio State signees participated in their first practice for Thursday night's Under Armour All-America Game.

It'll be a great opportunity for four-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell to prove he's the best linebacker in the country and provide fans with a chance to see less-heralded signees like four-star cornerback Sevyn Banks, four-star offensive lineman Matthew Jones and four-star running back Brian Snead in action for the first time.

There's no doubt the game will be highlighted, though, by four-star defensive ends Jayson Oweh and Tyreke Smith making their respective college decisions between Ohio State and Penn State. Will both end up with the Buckeyes or Nittany Lions, or will they split between the two Big Ten nemeses?

I anticipate plenty of good news for Ohio State that evening.

As for the other 20 (of 108) players who remain uncommitted, the name that stands out most is Tampa four-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere. He was reportedly the best lineman at the first day of practice, and like the above-mentioned Barnes and Walker, is the type of player who would help ease the sting of missing out on Carman.

Naturally, Florida and Florida State are the biggest threat to Ohio State's chances, but defensive coordinator Greg Schiano has strong ties to his high school and the Buckeyes should get a visit because of that. They'll surely make a push if that happens.

We'll have full previews of both the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Under Armour All-America Game later this week, so stay tuned to Eleven Warriors for more coverage throughout the week. Until then, stay safe this New Year's Eve!

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