The Hurry Up: Defensive End Commit Tyler Friday Discusses Decision While Christopher Oats Re-Emerges As Possible Late-Cycle Addition

By Andrew Lind on January 19, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Tyler Friday

Tyler Friday

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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.

EVERYBODY'S LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WEEKEND

Ohio State landed a commitment this afternoon from New Jersey four-star defensive end Tyler Friday, who many perceived to be a shoo-in for Michigan the entire recruiting cycle.

“I fell in love with everything they had to tell me,” Friday told 247Sports' Brian Dohn. “When I first got there, they mapped out a plan for me from freshman year all the way to senior year, or halfway through my junior year if I’m lucky.”

The 6-foot-3, 263-pound Friday took an official visit for the Buckeyes' rain-soaked win over Illinois in November, and that changed the course of his recruitment entirely.

“I was just blown away,” he said. “My family was with me, and my mom and my dad said they would feel comfortable leaving me with someone there for the next four years. That says a lot to me, and I really trust those guys and I really think we can get something done.”

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson and defensive coordinator and area recruiter Greg Schiano played a vital role in Friday's recruitment, and the combination of their efforts and Ohio State's lack of depth at the defensive end position ultimately swung things in the Buckeyes' favor.

With Friday in the fold, Ohio State now holds commitments from 12 of the Top 100 players in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, as well as the nation's No. 1 junior college prospect. The Wolverines' highest-rated player, meanwhile, would be 15th in the Buckeyes' second-ranked recruiting haul.

The gap continues to widen.

WORKING HIS WAY BACK

All that said, Ohio State is far from finished with its 2018 recruiting class.

The Buckeyes are set to welcome Maryland four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker and New Jersey four-star defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste to campus for their official visits this weekend. Neither is expected to make a decision on the future this weekend, but will both likely hold off until the traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

The same can be said for Cincinnati Winton Woods four-star linebacker Christopher Oats, who was among the staff's top targets at the position until his academics got in the way. As long as he's corrected that, though, I expect he'll be a Buckeye when everything is said and done.

After sources close to the program told Eleven Warriors the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Oats is eyeing an official visit on the weekend of Feb. 2-4, I placed by 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State late last night. If that visit happens, it means he's either already in good academic standing or the staff feels he's on track to qualify.

Oats was one of the in-state prospects head coach Urban Meyer alluded to during his Early Signing Period press conference last month when asked about the balance between recruiting nationally and locally.

“We had some academic issues this year with some of the Ohio kids,” he said. “Yeah, that's a problem. What's the solution? Do the very best we can.”

Oats reportedly tried to commit to the Buckeyes in June, but was asked to hold off while he improved his grades. The staff has continued to keep in contact with him in the meantime, even with three other linebackers in the fold.

Oats is also considering Kentucky, but there's no doubt in my mind he'd choose Ohio State if given the opportunity again.

Additionally, California four-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu’s official visit for that same weekend remains as scheduled, despite reports to the contrary. That said, I still anticipate he chooses USC on Signing Day.

ONE LAST TIME

Virginia Beach Bishop Sullivan four-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell may have signed with Ohio State last month, but that doesn't mean his high school career is over just yet. He'll represent the U.S. Under-19 National Team against Football Canada in tonight's International Bowl IX, which will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and Watch ESPN at 9 p.m.

This marks the second postseason all-star game for the 6-foot-2, 232-pound Mitchell, who finished his senior year with the Crusaders with 162 tackles, 41 tackles for a loss, 12 pass break ups, five sacks, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, two blocked field goals and a defensive touchdown, as he also played in the Under Armour All-America Game earlier this month.

He was also named as one of five finalists for the USA TODAY Sports Defensive Player of the Year, which was ultimately won by the aforementioned Tuliaupupu.

Other notable prospects playing in tonight's game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, include Oklahoma linebacker Brian Asamoah (Columbus St. Francis De Sales), Penn State defensive tackle Aeneas Hawkins (Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller), Kentucky offensive tackle Darian Kinnard (Cleveland St. Ignatius) and Oklahoma running back commit Tavion Thomas (Dayton Dunbar).

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