The Hurry Up: Ohio State Offers Quarterback Jalon Jones While Linebacker Marcus Tillman Jr. Discusses Upcoming Visit

By Andrew Lind on March 2, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Knowledge McDaniel

Knowledge McDaniel

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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.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Ohio State sent out a flurry of offers on Thursday evening, with Bradenton, Florida, Braden River three-star running back Knowledge McDaniel among those to pick one up from the Buckeyes.

"It means a lot," McDaniel told Eleven Warriors. "I have always liked and kind of followed the school [from afar]."

The 5-foot-10, 208-pound McDaniel is considered the 83rd-best running back and No. 1,081 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 1,605 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns to lead the Pirates to the second round of the state playoffs last season. He holds offers from Kentucky, Ole Miss, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina and Syracuse. 

Running backs coach Tony Alford and linebackers coach Bill Davis made quite the impression on McDaniel when they stopped by his high school a few months back. They've been building a strong relationship since.

"[They] told me even more great things about the program that I didn't know," McDaniel said.

McDaniel — who, before you ask, told me he's not sure if there's a story behind his name — plans to make it to campus sooner rather than later.

DEAL OR NO DEAL

The Buckeyes also offered a scholarship on Thursday evening to Greenwood, South Carolina, Emerald three-star tight end Luke Deal.

"It's one of the top programs in the nation," Deal told Eleven Warriors. "It means so much to me to receive an offer. I'm really interested in the Buckeyes."

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Deal is considered the 19th-best tight end and No. 485 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, though he caught just six passes for 139 yards and four touchdowns. His coach recently called him the best blocking tight end he's ever coached, though, which is why he holds more than a dozen offers from program such as Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina State and USC.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson has been Deal's main point of contact in the past, but head coach Urban Meyer was the one who extended the offer over the phone.

"I have a good relationship with coach Wilson. I was excited to talk to coach Meyer today, too," Deal said. "[I think] my physicality up front and my ability to go out and be a threat in the passing game [stands out to them]."
Deal has also never been to campus, but will make his first trip to Columbus next month — quite possibly for the Spring Game on April 14.

ANOTHER OPTION UNDER CENTER

In my most recent recruiting mailbag, I mentioned Baltimore's St. Frances Academy as a program that could eventually develop into a pipeline for Ohio State. 

After all, the Panthers are chock-full of talent from all over the DMV — that's the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia area, for those who aren't familiar with the acronym — and the Buckeyes already have offers out to four-star linebacker Shane Lee, four-star offensive tackle Darrian Dalcourt and three-star running back Joachim Bangda. 

Three-star quarterback Jalon Jones also has an opportunity to play for Ohio State, as he received an offer from the Buckeyes during his unofficial visit on Friday afternoon.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Jones — who is originally from Richmond, Virginia — is considered the ninth-best dual-threat quarterback and No. 405 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he threw for 1,162 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 1,087 yards and nine scores to lead the St. Frances to the Maryland Association A Conference championship last season. He holds offers from more than a dozen programs, including Alabama, Florida, Michigan State, North Carolina State, UCLA, Virginia and Virginia Tech, but Ohio State was one he coveted.

“It would mean a lot,” Jones told Eleven Warriors last month. “Almost every kid in the nation probably dreamed about playing at Ohio State growing up. To get an offer from them would be something special.”

Jones has built a strong relationship with Meyer and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day through phone calls and text messages, but was looking forward to meeting them in person during his first trip to Columbus. He's on campus through the weekend, so I'll look to have an update on his visit after it concludes.

TOGETHER AGAIN?

Earlier this week, Orlando Jones three-star linebacker Marcus Tillman Jr. announced he would visit Ohio State later this spring. It'll be his first time on campus since he attended the Buckeyes' 39-38 win over Penn State last October.

"That game was just unbelievable. Probably one of the greatest games in college football," Tillman told Eleven Warriors. "I loved the atmosphere, the fans were into the game and the players stuck together and never gave up."

The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Tillman — who is considered the 36th-best outside linebacker and No. 556 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — made the trip with his former teammate, cornerback Sevyn Banks, who's already in the program participating in winter workouts as an early enrollee. 

"He loves it up there and said everything is great," Tillman said of Banks. "He said the workouts are just crazy. He said he has never done a workout like that before. I just ask him questions about the linebacker position and if I went there if I would have a chance to play right away."

Tillman was committed to Florida, but reopened his recruitment in early February after new Gators head coach Dan Mullen opted not to retain defensive coordinator Randy Shannon. He had a strong relationship with Shannon, who has since been hired in the same capacity at UCF, since his father played for the coach when he was an assistant at Miami.

Tillman, who holds more than a dozen other offers from programs such as Clemson, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, doesn't have a list of top schools. But Ohio State would certainly be at or near the top if he did.

"The coaches stand out to me the most because they're not just there to coach football, but to help you become a man and help you in life after football," Tillman said.

Tillman will be on campus on March 22, and plans to take a few more visits this spring before making a decision.

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