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.
A STRONG FOUNDATION
There's no doubt Ohio State continues to lead the recruitment of Oak Park, Michigan, four-star offensive guard Justin Rogers.
He hasn't been shy about his affinity for the program following three unofficial visits last fall, and his trip to Columbus this weekend — which began early Friday morning — didn't wrap up until late this afternoon.
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) February 10, 2018
“It was real good,” Rogers told Eleven Warriors. “We're just building a relationship, you know? Just being around each other more and stuff. It's a real good relationship.”
That's important, given former assistant defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs was Rogers' lead recruiter until he recently accepted a job with the NFL's Tennessee Titans. One of his main recruiting areas was Michigan, and maintaining those relationships will be key for the staff moving forward.
“Me and him and a real good relationship,” Rogers said. “We still do. But it's like there's other coaches on the staff recruiting me, too.”
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Rogers is considered the top-rated offensive guard and the No. 25 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, and he already holds two dozen offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Tennessee. But I'd honestly be surprised if he doesn't eventually choose Ohio State.
“I like the winning and how the program is,” Rogers said. “They love winning, and I love winning, too.”
So how does a brief visit turn into a four-day weekend getaway?
“It's just the coaches. They're friendly,” Rogers said. “They just want me to enjoy my time here and enjoy the process. Just have fun and take it slow.”
That said, Rogers is in no hurry to make a decision on his future. He's already planning trips this spring to Austin, Iowa City, Lincoln and Tallahassee, with a decision likely to come sometime during his junior season.
MAKING HIS OWN PATH
As I mentioned in yesterday’s edition of The Hurry Up, Ohio State welcomed some of the Midwest’s top offensive lineman to campus for an unofficial Junior Day. Among them, Milford Senior three-star Connor Foster.
— Connor Nelson Foster (@NelsonFo1) February 11, 2018
“It was great,” Foster told Eleven Warriors. “[It was a] very cool day. All the discussion on athletics and academics were exciting.”
The 6-foot-6, 272-pound Foster is actually considered the 39th-best tight end and No. 937 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 and holds offers from Ball State, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Purdue, Toledo and Western Michigan, but the Buckeyes are primarily looking at him as an offensive tackle.
“I think [offensive line coach Greg Studrawa] sees the potential in adding bulk on my frame,” Foster said. “I think they feel I can still carry more weight and maintain ability to bend and be athletic.”
Foster — who attended a spring practice and a one-day camp last summer — is open to such a move, provided happens at a program that he believes can develop him on and off the field.
“I love playing tight end, but I love playing football [more],” he said.
Like most in-state kids, Foster is an Ohio State fan. His dad, Trevor, played along the offensive line at Cincinnati, though, so he's had an equal rooting interest in both programs. And while most prognosticators believe he'll follow in his father's footsteps and play for the Bearcats, landing an offer from the Buckeyes would be a huge honor.
“It would be very cool,” Foster said. “They have one of the best programs in the country, so it would certainly make me feel like my hard work is paying off.”
MEYER VS FRANKLIN, ONCE AGAIN
While the weekend centered mostly around the offensive line, several top defensive targets also made the trip to Columbus, including Baltimore St. Frances Academy four-star linebacker Shane Lee.
The visit — which was somewhat unexpected — wasn’t his first time on campus, but answered a few remaining questions he had about the program.
“I saw pretty much everything [left to see],” Lee told Eleven Warriors. “I saw the campus, dorms and the stadium.”
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Lee is considered the second-best inside linebacker and No. 58 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, and was named first-team all-state after leading the Panthers to the Maryland Association A Conference championship last season. He holds offers from more than a dozen programs, including Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Lee was last on campus for Friday Night Lights in July, and he's been able to build a strong relationship with linebackers coach Bill Davis and defensive line coach and area recruiter Larry Johnson in the months since.
“It's only gotten better as time has passed,” he said.
Lee has not released a list of top schools just yet, but I'm 100 percent certain the Buckeyes, Nittany Lions will make the cut when he does. His recruitment will likely mirror that of Maryland four-star offensive tackle Rasheed Walker last recruiting cycle, but they're certainly hoping the end result is different.