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.
THIS COULD ESCALATE QUICKLY
While Ohio State awaits a decision from Lake Travis five-star wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the staff will welcome another Austinite — Bowie four-star wide receiver Elijah Higgins — to campus this weekend for an unofficial visit.
The news was first reported by 247Sports’ Luke Stampini and since confirmed by Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Higgins is considered the 25th-best wide receiver and No. 143 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he caught 26 passes for 425 yards and six touchdowns for the Jackrabbits last fall. He holds nearly 30 ofers from programs such as Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Stanford, Texas and USC.
This will mark the first time on campus for Higgins, to whom the Buckeyes offered a scholarship in late January. His visit will coincide with Houston St. Pius X four-star quarterback target Grant Gunnell’s official visit, and the two know each other well since they were teammates this spring on the loaded KB3 7-on-7 team that also featured Wilson and Indiana four-star wide receiver David Bell.
The Longhorns are the presumed favorite in Higgins’ recruitment, but commitments from Gunnell and/or Wilson could certainly create a snowball effect that makes the Buckeyes a serious player, as well.
WHY NOT TRY?
Ohio State running backs coach/area recruiter Tony Alford has done an excellent job identifying talent across Tennessee. He was back in the Volunteer State earlier this week, at which time he offered a scholarship to Memphis Central four-star wide receiver Darin Turner.
The news was first reported by Rival’s Woody Wommack:
“It’s an honor to be getting looked at by a quality school like Ohio State,” Turner told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Turner — who is considered the 12th-best wide receiver and No. 53 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — has been committed to LSU since late March, which is likely the reason he didn’t announce the offer himself. He also holds offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
As you may have gathered, Turner remains firmly committed to the Tigers. He hope to visit Columbus for the first time before he makes a final decision on his future next year, however.
BEEP, BEEP, BEEEEEEEP...
Ohio State defensive line coach and area recruiter Larry Johnson was in the nation’s capital earlier this week, but took a quick trip — depending on the time of day — down Interstate 95 to offer a scholarship to Woodbridge, Virginia, four-star linebacker Antoine Sampah.
The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Sampah is considered the top-rated inside linebacker and No. 21 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he recorded 154 tackles, three sacks and six tackles for loss to lead the Vikings to the state semifinals last fall. He holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Alabama, LSU, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.
Sampah — whose nickname is “flatline” thanks to the ferocious hits he’s laid on opponents — attended the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Light recruiting camp last summer. He's remained in contact with Johnson and linebackers coach Bill Davis ever since.
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
Malvern, Pennsyvlania, Prep three-star linebacker Keith Maguire Jr. is scheduled to announce his college decision at noon on Friday.
Announcing my commitment friday...— Keith Maguire Jr. (@Keith_Mag) April 25, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Maguire is considered the 27th-best outside linebacker and No. 430 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 170 tackles, three interceptions and five sacks and earned first-team all-conference honors for the Friars last season. He recently narrowed down his list of more than 20 offers to Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
The Fighting Irish have long been the presumed favorite in Maguire’s recruitment, but the Tigers are trending right now following his unofficial visit for their Spring Game two weeks ago. He made the trip with his father, which was preceded by a visit with his mother in early March.
It’s safe to say the Buckeyes were just a footnote in Maguire’s search for a school, though he thoroughly enjoyed his first and only trip to campus late last month.
“I had a great time,” Maguire told Eleven Warriors shortly after the visit. “We got a nice tour of all the facilities and talked with the coaches. I was really impressed. They have a ton of experience and really know how to prepare someone for the next level.”
That said, Ohio State is only set to lose one linebacker following the 2018 season and may only take two or three players at the position this cycle as a result. Where Georgia four-star athlete Steele Chambers ends up could ultimately push the number to four, but he’s focused first and foremost on playing running back at the next level.
And though the Buckeyes had serious interest in Maguire, players like Virginia five-star linebacker Brandon Smith, Lexington four-star Cade Stover, Florida four-star Rian Davis, Tennessee four-star Kane Patterson and Florida three-star Marcus Tillman Jr. were all viewed as higher priorities for the staff.