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.
THINGS ARE HEATING UP, LADIES AND GENTS
As first reported by 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong and since confirmed by Eleven Warriors, Ohio State will welcome Houston St. Pius X four-star quarterback Grant Gunnell to campus for an official visit the weekend of April 27-29.
The 6-foot-6, 212-pound Gunnell was initially supposed to travel to Oklahoma State for the program’s Spring Game that weekend, which certainly works in the Buckeyes’ favor given the Cowboys are one of the programs pushing hardest for his pledge.
This will mark Gunnell’s second time in Columbus in as many months, the first being a weekend trip with his father in early March. They spent a considerable amount of time with head coach Urban Meyer, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and director of player development Mark Pantoni.
“He loved every single thing about the visit,” a source close to the signal caller shared with Eleven Warriors. “They talked about his game and how he would fit, but they didn’t just talk Xs and Os. They really just talked about professional development.”
Gunnell, the second-best pro-style signal caller and No. 54 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, is without a doubt Ohio State’s top quarterback target. Recent decisions from North Carolina four-star Sam Howell (Florida State), Texas four-star Grant Tisdale (Ole Miss) and Maryland three-star Jalon Jones (Florida) have only solidified his standing at the top of the priority chart.
A one-time Texas A&M commit, Gunnell has locked in official to California for the Golden Bears’ Spring Game this weekend and Arizona on April 20-22. The Wildcats are coached by Kevin Sumlin, who was fired shortly before Gunnell reopened his recruitment.
Gunnell also recently visited UCLA and USC while in Los Angeles for the Adidas 7-on-7 national championship, where he was teamed up with Ohio State four-star wide receiver target Garrett Wilson. As you know, Wilson is on his way to Columbus as we speak for an official visit and is set to make a decision soon after his trip to Texas next weekend.
All that said, I continue to feel confident in the Buckeyes’ chance to land Gunnell. And though those who cover LSU, Oklahoma State and Oregon may say the same thing, the opportunity to play for Meyer and Day should ultimately push Ohio State ahead.
“His top criteria are relationship with the coaches, academics and getting on the field,” the aforementioned source added. “Nothing else really matters.”
Working in the Buckeyes’ favor, the staff will also host Virginia four-star running back Devyn Ford on an official visit the same weekend as Gunnell. And if all goes well, those two days could very well change the entire trajectory of Ohio State’s Dynasty ’19 recruiting class.
ONE-WAY TICKET TO COLUMBUS
It goes without saying Ohio State has had quite a bit of success when it comes to recruiting Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall. In fact, it’s almost a foregone conclusion every time the Buckeyes offer a Dutchman that he’ll end up in Columbus — just ask four-star athlete Curtis Samuel (2014), three-star athlete Jahsen Wint (2016) and four-star center Matthew Jones (2018).
The staff would like to continue that streak, albeit in an odd year now that they’ve offered a scholarship to freshman defensive end Jahzion Harris.
— Jahzion Harris (@JahzionHarris) April 13, 2018
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Harris is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, but becomes just the eighth prospect from the Class of 2021 to land an offer from Ohio State. He played sparingly last season as Erasmus Hall made a run to the city league championship game, so there’s not much tape on him for coaches to see.
That said, Harris’ relationship with the Buckeyes’ staff dates actually dates back to when he visited campus with Jones for a one-day camp last June. His coach, Danny Landberg, is also in Columbus as we speak for the annual coaches clinic.
Harris’ only other offer is from Syracuse.
TRY AGAIN LATER
Powder Springs, Georgia, Hillgrove four-star safety Jaylen McCollough was supposed to be on campus for an unofficial visit this weekend, but will have to reschedule since he’ll instead remain home in order to take the ACT on Saturday.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound McCollough is considered the fourth-best safety and No. 86 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as recorded 85 tackles, six pass break ups, three interceptions and three sacks for the Hawks to garner second-team all-state honors. He included Ohio State in his Top 7 alongside Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina back in January.
“I went up for the Penn State game and I just fell in love with Ohio State,” McCollough told Eleven Warriors. “The coaching staff recruits me very hard. I get a text or call from a least one staff member daily. And the tradition is great.”
McCollough has a formed strong bond with Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Alex Grinch, and they speak almost daily.
“They also check up on me outside of football,” McCollough said. “[They're] always making sure I stay on top of my grades and making sure my family and I are [doing] well.”
McCollough has been to Auburn, Columbia and Knoxville so far this spring and plans to narrow his list down to four sometime in the next few months. Given the fact that he hopes to make it to Columbus this summer and then return for an official visit in the fall, I expect the Buckeyes to make the cut.
Other prospects who were initially set to attend tomorrow’s scrimmage but have since cancelled include Texas four-star wide receiver Jalen “Boobie” Curry, Florida four-star cornerback Jordan Battle, Virginia four-star athlete Litchfield Ajavon and Arizona four-star quarterback Jack Miller II (2020).
BIG WEEKEND AHEAD, FOLKS
If you're looking for the most up-to-date list of expected attendees for tomorrow's Spring Game, click here. And stay tuned tomorrow morning for a look back which one I believe will be Buckeyes by the end of the weekend.