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.
BEST LITTLE LEAGUE TEAM IN THE CITY
Over the weekend, I was asked to name five in-state prospects who could eventually land an offer from Ohio State. Among them, I listed Westerville Central three-star defensive end Dontay Hunter II, who told Eleven Warriors on Monday night he's set to attend several spring practices over the next few weeks.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Hunter is considered the 36th-best weak-side defensive end and No. 506 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 45 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, six sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and one interception for the Warhawks last season. He holds a dozen offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Rutgers, but programs such as Clemson, Michigan State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, USC and Wisconsin have all shown significant interest as of late.
Ohio State has kept in touch with Hunter, as well, following a pair of camp visits last summer. Offensive coordinator and area recruiter Kevin Wilson, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Alex Grinch and quality control coach Adam Scheier were the ones who extended the invitation to attend several practices next month.
"[They told me] that they love my film and want to start interacting more than we already have," Hunter said. "I think [they like] my quickness of the ball and my length. They know my potential and want to work with me on it."
Like most in-state prospects, an offer from the Buckeyes would be a life-long dream come true for Hunter.
"My commitment would be a no-brainer," he said.
It would also allow Hunter to once again team up with running back Jaelen Gill, as the two played together in little league until they went to rival high schools.
"I'd love to team up with Jaelen and learn from Tyreke Smith," Hunter said. "They're both great athletes."
GUESS WHO'S BACK, BACK AGAIN? JUSTIN'S BACK, TELL A FRIEND
Oak Park, Michigan, four-star offensive guard Justin Rogers has been to campus more times over the last year than even he can count. So then it should come as no surprise his most recent tweet included a round pushpin emoji with the location tagged as Columbus, Ohio.
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) February 27, 2018
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Rogers — who is considered the top-rated offensive guard and the No. 25 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — is actually in town through Sunday to see family, but told Eleven Warriors he plans to drop by the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Friday to hang out with the coaching staff and players.
"We're just building a relationship, you know? Just being around each other more and stuff," Rogers said when he made a similar trip last month. "It's a real good relationship.”
Rogers has a lengthy list of offers from programs such as as Cincinnati, Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, and plans to take several other visits this spring before making a decision on his future. That said, I'll honestly be surprised if he doesn't eventually choose the Buckeyes when that time comes.
Mentor four-star defensive end Noah Potter is quickly developing into one of the state's most sought-after prospects, as he holds more than 20 offers from programs all over the counry.
In the last two weeks alone, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Tennessee have joined the race to land Potter's services. But it was his tweet announcing the offer from the Fighting Irish on Monday night that drew the ire of his older brother, Micah.
Look... I love you and am proud of you. But there is only ONE school that deserves a capital T-H-E and thats THE Ohio State University. https://t.co/Eg8fMDkUSy
— Micah Potter (@BigJam_23) February 27, 2018
Noah — doing what any other sibling would — quickly replied with a jab of his own.
Focus on Friday https://t.co/5Z1ufzfI7x
— Noah Potter (@noah_potter10) February 27, 2018
In case you're unaware, Ohio State basketball team will play either Northwestern or Penn State in the third round of the Big Ten Tournament at New York's Madison Square Garden on Friday evening — which, side note, I'm beyond excited to attend. But given the result the last two times the Buckeyes played the Nittany Lions, the younger Potter is probably right.
Even with the back-and-forth and excitement surrounding an offer from Notre Dame, I still anticipate the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Potter — who is considered the 19th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 233 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — to follow his brother's footsteps to Ohio State.
The Buckeyes have made him and his teammate, four-star offensive tackle Ryan Jacoby, a priority, and a decision could come sometime this spring or summer.
Though it’s not a state Ohio State traditionally recruits, Tennessee could soon be a burgeoning pipeline to Columbus.
The Buckeyes signed Franklin four-star offensive tackle Max Wray and Murfreesboro Blackman four-star running back Master Teague III last cycle, and have offers out to 11 other rising seniors in the Volunteer State. Another prospect who could soon join them is four-star cornerback Adonis Otey, who was a former teammate of Teague’s.
“I hope they do because they have a great tradition and a big-time program,” Otey told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot, 175-pound Otey is considered the 28th-best cornerback and No. 310 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 22 tackles and a handful of pass break ups for the Blaze last season. He actually picked up some of the slack on offensive when Teague went down with an ankle injury a few games into the season, as well, and rushed for 131 yards and four touchdowns.
A one-time Tennessee commit, Otey holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and South Carolina. He's never been to campus, but running backs coach and area recruiter Tony Alford has invited him to attend the Spring Game in April, at which time he hopes to meet with new cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson.