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.
WHICH ONE DOESN'T BELONG?
Dallas Bishop Dunne four-star athlete Marquez Beason included Ohio State in his Top 4 on Sunday night alongside Illinois, LSU and Texas A&M.
— (@Ezmoneyquez) February 26, 2018
"They have great coaches and they produce great defensive backs every year," Beason told Eleven Warriors.
The 5-foot-11, 173-pound Beason is considered the fifth-best athlete and No. 54 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he's racked up 1,969 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns in his two-year varsity career with the Falcons. He decided to he wanted to play cornerback as a junior, though, and the programs that remain in the hunt for his services want him as a defensive back.
The Buckeyes offered Beason — who was once committed to Nebraska — a scholarship as a wide receiver last May, then again as a defensive back in January.
"It felt good because they want me as a football player and not at one position," Beason said.
Head coach Urban Meyer, wide receivers coach Zach Smith and former assistant coordinator Kerry Coombs were leading the initial charge in Beason's recruitment, but new defensive assistant Alex Grinch has taken the reins over the last month.
"He's done a great job [replacing Coombs]," Beason said. "And coach Meyer just [tells me] he wants me to come in and be a game changer and work hard."
Beason is planning to take advantage of the NCAA's new rules, which allow prospects to now take official visit beginning in April. He'll likely be on campus for the Spring Game, with trips to the other finalists planned in the next few months, as well.
Though Beason doesn't yet have a specific announcement date in mind, expect it to come over the summer. The Tigers are considered the favorite to land his pledge, but I wouldn't count out the Buckeyes just yet since education and "the family aspect" will be the biggest factor in his eventual decision.
ONE CHANCE TO IMPRESS
Just hours after Ohio State extended a scholarship offer earlier this month, Houston St. Piux X four-star quarterback Grant Gunnell decommitted from Texas A&M.
The timing was more coincidental than anything, as the 6-foot-6, 212-pound Gunnell had been contemplating such a decision since the Aggies fired Kevin Sumlin in November. The subsequent hiring of Jimbo Fisher, who prefers dual-threat quarterbacks to run his offense, and an offer from Arkansas forced the pocket passer to reconsider his pledge, as well.
But Gunnell — who threw for 4,936 yards and 61 touchdowns and rushed for 390 yards and eight more scores to lead the Panthers to the state championship game last season — has completely reopened his recruitment and is looking forward to his first-ever trip to Columbus on March 8.
"It's pretty cool just knowing their history and everything," Gunnell told Vype Magazine following his performance at Nike Football's The Opening Houston Regional on Sunday afternoon. "It'll be pretty cool to get up there and talk to [Meyer and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day]."
Arkansas was the trending pick in Gunnell's recruitment following his decommitment, as his grandfather played for the Razorbacks' 1964 national championship squad, and both of his parents graduated from the university. But it's now Oklahoma State that is surging ahead in the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions ahead of his anticipated visit to Stillwater later this spring.
Gunnell will be joined on the trip to Columbus by his teammate, four-star wide receiver Jalen "Boobie" Curry, who also has significant interest in the Ohio State program. It's clear the feeling is mutual, though it remains to be seen if the Buckeyes can make up for the distance from home in either's recruitment.
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
More often than not, Ohio State will make the cut when a prospect announces his top schools list.
Such was not the case, though, for Flower Mound, Texas, Marcus four-star linebacker Marcel Brooks, who recently named Alabama and LSU his final two with plans for a June announcement.
NO GOING BACK pic.twitter.com/JlurIuU4kl
— BLOCK BOY CEL (@MarcelBrooks_5) February 21, 2018
The Buckeyes offered the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Brooks — who is considered the sixth-best outside linebacker and No. 106 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — back in August, and he subsequently included them in his Top 6 a few months later.
“I like Ohio State because me and head coach Urban Meyer have a great relationship, and I love linebackers coach Bill Davis,” Brooks told Eleven Warriors.
Brooks never made it to campus, though, and since decided to focus all of his attention on the Crimson Tide and Tigers. The Buckeyes still have a number of other options outside linebacker, including Lexington four-star Cade Stover, Michigan four-star Lance Dixon, Pennsylvania four-star Keith Maguire Jr., Tennessee four-star Kane Patterson, Georgia three-star Kalen Deloach and a number of other in-state prospects.