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.
IMAGINE PAUL KEELS ANNOUNCING HIS NAME
Though Scottsdale Chaparral four-star Jack Miller III is without a doubt Ohio State’s top quarterback target for next recruiting cycle, the Buckeyes aren’t putting all of their eggs in one basket.
Last week, the staff offered a scholarship to Austin Lake Travis four-star Hudson Card — the teammate of five-star wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson — and on Tuesday, did the same with Bellflower, California, St. John Bosco four-star D.J. Uiagalelei.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Uiagalelei — pronounced yoo-gah-lei-lee — is considered the top-rated pro-style quarterback and No. 8 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he threw for 2,733 yards and 29 touchdowns — compared to just two interceptions — to lead the Braves to the state championship game last fall. He holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, UCLA and USC.
The Buckeyes have had mixed results at St. John Bosco in recent years, having signed five-star offensive guard Wyatt Davis in 2017, only to watch as four-star safety commit Jaiden Woodbey flipped from Ohio State to Florida State during the Early Signing Period last December.
The Trojans are considered the early favorite in Uiagalelei’s recruitment, but there’s a long way to go in his recruitment. The staff will certainly try to get him on campus sooner rather than later in order to put themselves in the conversation for his commitment.
CALABASAS ROAD WINDER
Calabasas, California, four-star wide receiver Mycah Pittman included Ohio State in his Top 5 on Tuesday evening alongside Alabama, Florida, Nebraska and Oregon.
Please respect my decision! pic.twitter.com/DjwSKIRMeG— mycah pittman '19 (@MycahPittman) May 1, 2018
The 6-foot, 195-pound Pittman is considered the 11th-best wide receiver and No. 64 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he caught 60 passes for 1,027 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead the Coyotes to the state quarterfinals last fall.
The Buckeyes offered Pittman — the son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Michael Pittman and brother of the USC wide receiver of the same name — back in February. He’s never been to campus, but has built a strong relationship with wide receivers coach Zach Smith from afar.
Pittman was supposed to travel to Columbus for an unofficial visit in March, but unforeseen issues with weather cancelled those plans. He hopes to take an official visit this spring and make a decision on his future this summer.
The Trojans have been a surprise omission throughout the process, given his Pittman’s to the program. Instead, it’s the Gators who are considered the favorite to land his pledge at this time.
RURAL CAROLINA HAS TREATED THE BUCKEYES WELL
Roxboro, North Carolina, Person four-star defensive tackle Joshua Harris included Ohio State in his Top 8 on Tuesday afternoon alongside Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Penn State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
I just want to say thanks to of the schools that have offered and gave me a chance to play the game I love but this is my Top 8 pic.twitter.com/LAhzfROmN2— Joshua Harris (@H_Josh99) May 1, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 316-pound Harris is considered the 16th-best defensive tackle and No. 268 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 85 tackles, 30 tackles for a loss and 17 sacks for the Rockets last season.
Harris is one of just seven defensive tackles with an offer from the Buckeyes, a list that includes Hawaii five-star Faatui Tuitele, Cincinnati Walnut Hills four-star Jowon Briggs and Florida four-star Tyler Davis. The position isn’t a huge priority for the staff, and it’s possible they might bring on just one of the above-mentioned prospects this cycle.
That said, Harris has not been to campus since defensive line coach Larry Johnson offered him a scholarship in late January. And until he makes the trip, Ohio State will remain just a footnote in his recruitment.
PATIENTLY WAITING FOR HIS TURN
Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford offered a scholarship on Monday evening to Orlando Dr. Phillips running back Brandon Fields.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Fields is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, as he rushed for just 290 yards and three touchdowns last season. He already holds offers from Florida, Florida Atlantic, Louisville, South Carolina, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech, though, and is bound to see his stock rise when he steps into the starting role this fall now that graduating senior Devodney Alford is off to Indiana Wesleyan.
Much like four-star athlete commit Steele Chambers, Fields plans to play both football and baseball in college. He hit .347 with 20 runners batted in last spring and is considered the top-rated player in the state and fifth-ranked outfielder in the country for his class as a result.
Fields is also the former teammate of three-star linebacker target Marcus Tillman Jr., who transferred to Orlando Jones prior to last season, where he played alongside Ohio State freshman cornerback Sevyn Banks.
STRENGTHENING THE TRENCHES
Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, meanwhile, extended a scholarship offer on Monday afternoon to Lawrence, Kansas, Free State four-star offensive tackle Turner Corcoran.
The 6-foot-6, 280-pound Corcoran is considered the 15th-best offensive tackle and No. 93 prospect overall in the Class of 2020. He was named second-team all-league after he helped the Firebirds to the sectional finals last season.
Corcoran has had quite the spring, having landed his first offer from Kansas State in mid-March. Iowa State, Kansas, Nebraska and Notre Dame have followed suit in the meantime.
In case you’re wondering, Ohio State has not signed a prospect from the Sunflower State since Wichita defensive lineman Mark Bean in 1989.
CLOSE ENOUGH TO HOME
Kentucky may have missed out last cycle on Huber Heights Wayne four-star wide receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith, but the Wildcats made up for it on Tuesday by landing a commitment from one of his former teammates, Ahmad Wagner.
First off I would like to thank God for the blessing and opportunity he has put in front of me.. with that being said after much thought and consideration from my family I will be furthering my academic and athletic career at the University of Kentucky! #BBN pic.twitter.com/OUWi5n9IV9— Ahmad Wagner (@Ahmad_Wagner) May 1, 2018
The 6-foot-7, 235-pound Wagner — you may recall — was considered a four-star wide receiver coming out of high school, as he caught 58 passes for 1,028 yards and 17 touchdowns and was named first-team all-state while helping the Warriors to the state title game. But despite late interest from Ohio State and an offer from Kentucky, he wanted to pursue a career on the hardwood and kept his commitment to the Iowa basketball team.
Wagner averaged 3.1 points and 2.6 rebounds in three seasons with the Hawkeyes. He was granted his release back in March, and most assumed the Buckeyes would pursue his pledge given the impending departures of at least three wide receivers following the 2018 season.
That never happened, though, and Akron, Cincinnati and Louisville were the only other schools who offered Wagner a chance to play football again. A transfer loophole will reportedly give him two years of eligibility remaining.