The Hurry Up: Defensive End Tyler Friday Finalizes Decision Date While Ohio State Offers Cornerback D.J. Brown

By Andrew Lind on January 16, 2018 at 6:50 pm
D.J. Brown

D.J. Brown

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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.

MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE

Ohio State is on the verge of filling one of its two biggest remaining needs in the current recruiting cycle, as Ramsey, New Jersey, Don Bosco Prep four-star defensive end Tyler Friday will announce his college decision on — none other than — Friday afternoon.

The 6-foot-3, 263-pound Friday recently narrowed down his list of nearly two dozen offers to Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State, with the Buckeyes widely expected to land his pledge. He planned to make a commitment last week, but opted to hold off on making a public decision as the Crimson Tide and Wolverines made a late push with in-home visits over the weekend.

Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson also conducted his in-home visit on Friday afternoon, the first day following the NCAA-mandated recruiting dead period.

Michigan has long been considered the leader in Friday's recruitment thanks to the program's ties in the Garden State. But an official visit to Ohio State for the rain-soaked win over Illinois in November seemingly shifted the tide in the Buckeyes' favor.

Friday was being recruited by most programs as a defensive tackle, but Ohio State's desire to move him to defensive end, the opportunity to learn from defensive line coach Larry Johnson and his growing relationship with defensive coordinator and area recruiter Greg Schiano paid dividends late in the process.

Once the Buckeyes knew they would miss out on fellow New Jersey four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh, who committed to Penn State during the Under Armour All-America Game earlier this month, the staff went all-out in their pursuit of Friday.

All that said, I placed my 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State earlier this month, and that's where it will remain. The Buckeyes would then have a pair of elite pass rushers in the class in Friday and four-star Tyreke Smith, with a project in three-star Alex Williams and a decision still to come from fellow New Jersey four-star Javontae Jean-Baptiste.

MAKING MOVES LATE

Ohio State offered a scholarship on Monday evening to Washington D.C. St. John’s College three-star cornerback Derek “D.J.” Brown Jr.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Brown is considered the 98th-best cornerback and No. 1,169 prospect overall in the Class of 2018, but has seen his stock soar following a strong showing in the Under Armour All-America Game earlier this month. He committed to Virginia last July, but programs like California, Clemson, Duke, Northwestern and South Carolina have all offered since and are pushing heavily for a flip.

Brown, who is admittedly looking around, has trips to Berkeley and suburban Chicago lined up for the next two weeks. That leaves the weekend of Feb. 4 as his only opportunity to see what Columbus has to offer, though he's also considering a trip to Columbia.

Ohio State landed signatures from four defensive backs last month, including four-star cornerbacks Sevyn Banks and Tyreke Johnson. But the late offer to Brown may indicate a current Buckeye intends to transfer in the coming weeks or months — though I won't even begin to speculate who that could potentially be.

It could also mean the staff is preparing to lose both Kendall Sheffield and Damon Arnette to the NFL after their redshirt junior seasons next fall, so stockpiling talent is never a bad idea. In either case, it appears Ohio State will be a real player in Brown's recruitment if he ultimately chooses to visit.

TOO TALENTED TO MISS?

Ohio State quarterbacks coach and area recruiter Ryan Day was in San Marcos, California, to meet with and watch four-star wide receiver Chris Olave play basketball on Monday night.

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Olave scored a game-high 18 points in Mission Hills’ 80-62 win over Southwest El Centro and the two spent some time together afterward. 

Olave, you may recall, garnered serious interest from the Buckeyes in the fall, but commitments in December from St. Louis four-star wide receivers Kamryn Babb and Cameron Brown seemingly ended all hope of him ending up in Columbus. That said, Day wouldn’t make the trip if Ohio State wasn’t still recruiting the underrated wideout.

Spots remain limited in the Buckeyes’ recruiting class, and with the program’s top six receivers from last year all returning next fall, there isn’t a need at the position. However, if Ohio State would have room close to National Signing Day, it’s clear the interest remains mutual. 

Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, UCLA has made quite the push under new head coach Chip Kelly. He’s coming off an official visit to Los Angeles, and I think Olave would work wonders in his offense. 

Nebraska, Oregon State and Utah are also in the running, but staying in Westwood makes sense — both in terms of comfortability and playing time.

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