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.
IN THE TOP 5, REALLY
Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star cornerback Jaden Davis included Ohio State in his Top 10 on Thursday night alongside Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Miami, Oklahoma, Penn State, Syracuse, Texas and Wisconsin.
You'll never know what I did for this pic.twitter.com/Q7whIOycd6— IV (@Jayd4_) February 9, 2018
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Davis is considered the 19th-best cornerback and No. 185 prospect overall, as he recorded 25 tackles, 5 pass break ups and 1 fumble recovery for a touchdown to help the Raiders to the state semifinals last season. He is one of nine players from Aquinas to hold an offer from the Buckeyes.
Davis has already set up two of his five official visits to Columbus and Norman this spring, but his trip to Ohio State will unfortunately come one weekend prior to the April 14 Spring Game. It'll be his first time on campus, and will offer the staff an excellent chance to make an impression leading up to his planned summer commitment.
As things stand now, though, the Gators are the presumed favorite in his recruitment.
FEELS LIKE AN ETERNITY
Whether it was of the in-home or on-campus variety, Ohio State was very strategic in how it conducted visits over the last few weeks of the 2018 recruiting cycle. No matter how much it truly played a role in a prospect's respective recruitment, it was important for the Buckeyes to have the late shot to sway his mind.
Such planning takes place throughout the process, as well, though head coach Urban Meyer said during his press conference Wednesday it's hard for one visit to have a lasting impression if the prospect is nowhere near making a decision on his future.
“If you start visiting those guys at a big, marquee game early in the season, and they're not going to decide until [National Signing Day], they forget,” Meyer said. “[It's] just the way it is. What have you done for me lately?”
You may recall, Ohio State welcomed prospects like five-star cornerback Anthony Cook and four-star defensive end Jayson Oweh for their official visits during the Buckeyes' loss to Oklahoma in September. They never made it back to campus after that and picked Texas and Penn State, respectively, during the Early Signing Period three months later.
Thanks to new legislation adopted by the NCAA Division I Council last year, prospects can now take official visits beginning in April of their junior year. And that's going to change Ohio State's recruiting strategy moving forward.
“We're probably going to try to minimize official visits for people that aren't going to decide for a while,” Meyer said, making sure those who do come to campus this spring are likely to make a decision by the end of the summer.
A DAY TO THEMSELVES
Even after landing commitment on National Signing Day from five-star Nicholas Petit-Frere, the overall lack of depth at the offensive tackle position remains an issue for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are hoping to take a big step toward addressing that by inviting some of the state's top lineman to campus this weekend.
The following prospects with offers are among those set to attend the unofficial “Offensive Line Junior Day,” where they'll be joined by four-star offensive tackle commit Doug Nester:
- 2019 Cincinnati Anderson four-star offensive guard Zeke Correll
- 2019 Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller three-star offensive guard Zach Carpenter
- 2019 Mentor four-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby
- 2020 Cincinnati St. Xavier four-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
- 2020 Michigan four-star offensive guard Justin Rogers
The staff doesn't typically design a weekend around one position like this, but it's clear they don't want to find themselves in a position where they absolutely have to land a prospect like Petit-Frere on the last day of the recruiting cycle. There's certainly a lot more talent close by this year, so why not take advantage of that?
In last night's edition of The Hurry Up, I mentioned how Ohio State — hoping to keep momentum on the recruiting trail — has been very active in recent weeks targeting prospects from the next few cycles.
“We already had a blitz, I want to say [Tuesday],” Meyer said. “I think we had 43 calls made in this office to the top [2019 prospects] in America for next year. So that's the paranoia I guess that I live with, [but it’s] how you top this year with next year's [class].”
The Buckeyes have extended offers to nearly two dozen underclassmen in the last 10 days, so I want to briefly highlight those I may have missed in that time period.
CARROLLTON, TEXAS, HEBRON FOUR-STAR RECEIVER TREJAN BRIDGES
The 6-foot-1, 184-pound Bridges is considered the 25th-best wide receiver and No. 141 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He committed to Oklahoma in September, but Alabama offered earlier this month and is actively trying to flip his pledge.
HOUSTON, TEXAS, ST. PIUS FOUR-STAR RECEIVER JALEN CURRY
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Curry is considered the 16th-best wide receiver and No. 88 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds more than 30 offers from programs such as Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and UCLA.
HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA, CHAMINADE-MADONNA FOUR-STAR RECEIVER JOHN DUNMORE
The 6-foot-2, 172-pound Dunmore is considered the 28th-best wide receiver and No. 152 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds two dozen offers from programs such as Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, UCF and Wisconsin.
AUSTIN, TEXAS, BOWIE FOUR-STAR RECEIVER ELIJAH HIGGINS
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Higgins is considered the 47th-best wide receiver and No. 326 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds nearly 30 offers from programs such as Auburn, Duke, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Princeton, Stanford and Texas.
CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA, FOUR-STAR RECEIVER MYCAH PITTMAN
The 6-foot, 195-pound Pittman is considered the 14th-best wide receiver and No. 76 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as California, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC.
GRIFFIN, GEORGIA, SALDIN FOUR-STAR RECEIVER ZION PUCKETT
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Puckett is considered the 38th-best wide receiver and No. 224 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Michigan State, Stanford, Tennessee and UCF.
THOMPSON'S STATION, TENNESSEE, INDEPENDENCE FOUR-STAR RECEIVER T.J. SHEFFIELD
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Sheffield is considered the 37th-best receiver and No. 221 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech.
CHANDLER, ARIZONA, TIGHT END BRAYDEN LIEBROCK
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior is sure to see his recruitment take off sooners rather than later. He's picked up offers from Arizona State, California, Memphis, Nevada and Notre Dame.
CHESTERFIELD, VIRGINIA, LLOYD C. BIRD FOUR-STAR ATHLETE HAKEEM BEAMON
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound Beamon is considered the 32nd-best athlete and No. 341 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, though Ohio State is recruiting him as a tight end. He committed to North Carolina last June, but has since picked up offers from Alabama, Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA, NORTHSIDE DEFENSIVE END BILLY SONNIER
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Sonnier is considered the 26th-best weak-side defensive end and No. 376 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds double-digit offers from programs such as Arkansas, LSU, Miami ad Notre Dame and — interestingly enough — has tried to commit to both the Razorbacks and Tigers over the last week. It's yet to be recognized by any sites that cover either program, though.
MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, THREE-STAR LINEBACKER KEITH MAGUIRE JR.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Maguire is considered the 32nd-best outside linebacker and No. 494 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He's picked up more than a dozen offers from programs like Army, Maryland, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.
ALEDO, TEXAS, FOUR-STAR CORNERBACK JEFFERY CARTER
The 6-foot, 180-pound Carter is considered the 21st-best cornerback and No. 209 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds double-digit offers from Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M.
WATERBURY, CONNECTICUT, ST. THOMAS MORE THREE-STAR SAFETY TYLER RUDOLPH
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Rudolph is considered the 37th-best safety and No. 534 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He holds offers from more than a dozen programs such as Boston College, Maryland, Michigan, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.
POTOMAC, MARYLAND, THE BULLIS SCHOOL THREE-STAR SAFETY BRYSON SHAW
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Shaw — who attends the alma mater of Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins — is considered the 81st-best safety and No. 1133 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He committed to Wisconsin late last month over offers from Duke, Maryland, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia and West Virginia.
LAKELAND, FLORIDA, RUNNING BACK DEMARKCUS BOWMAN
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Bowman is only a sophomore, but already holds offers from 14 programs such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.
CATAWISSA, PENNSYLVANIA, FOUR-STAR RECEIVER JULIAN FLEMING
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Fleming is considered the top-rated wide receiver and No. 5 prospect overall in the Class of 2020. He holds offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
POWDER SPRINGS, GEORGIA, DEFENSIVE END MYLES MURPHY
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Murphy is sure to be among the top-rated prospects in 2020. He already holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia and Michigan.
CARMEL, INDIANA, DEFENSIVE TACKLE COLE BREVARD
The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Brevard is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, but with offers from Indiana, Louisville, Penn State and Purdue, he's well on his way to being one of the more sought-after prospects in the Class of 2020.
ROSWELL, GEORGIA, CENTENNIAL WIDE RECEIVER JULIAN NIXON
Like most prospects from the Class of 2021, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Nixon is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites. His only other offer is from Georgia.
CARROLLTON, GEORGIA, LINEBACKER CHAZ CHAMBLISS
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Chambliss holds early offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and UCF.
AN ABSOLUTE STEAL
With four-stars Jaelen Gill, Brian Snead and Master Teague III in the fold, Ohio State's 2018 running back haul is among the nation's most impressive. The unit got even better on Thursday afternoon, when Canal Winchester Harvest Prep running back Daniel Bangura accepted a preferred walk-on opportunity with the Buckeyes.
Our Warriors have a student athlete signing today to go to The Ohio State University. Congratulations Daniel Bangura for a tremendous career and accomplishment pic.twitter.com/RfT1r8MLdR— HarvestPrepAthletics (@HPSWarriors) February 8, 2018
“The opportunity was a blessing, really, and I looked at it from a bigger standpoint than just football,” Bangura told Eleven Warriors. “Being able to go The Ohio State University, you get good benefits and build good connections being on the football team. Graduating from there it’s just a huge path to success in life. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity and I will definitely make the most of it.”
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Bangura is the all-time leading rusher in the history of the Ohio High School Athletic Associaiton, as he accounted for 9,650 yards in his three-year varsity career with the Warriors. He also ranks first in career touchdowns (133), rushing touchdowns (124), touchdowns in a season (57), rushing touchdowns in a season (54), and is the only player in the state to have rushed for more than 4,000 yards in a single season.
Bangura — who finished his career at No. 12 on the national career rushing list — held offers from Ohio, Kent State and several Division II schools, but the Golden Flashes rescinded his offer after they fired head coach Paul Haynes in November and the Bobcats followed suit after he chose not to sign with the program during the Early Signing Period. Playing for Ohio State has been a life-long dream, though, and he'll get a discounted tuition since his father works at the university.
“In my 20 years coaching from Division I to Division VII, he's one of the hardest working and humble kids I've ever coached,” Harvest Prep head coach Milan Smith told Eleven Warriors last fall. “Not to mention, he has incredible football savvy and an unusual skill set [that's] very rare. Explosive, dynamic and quick.”
Bangura becomes the 18th player to accept a walk-on offer to Ohio State this cycle. You can check out the rest of the class here.