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.
HEAD VS HEART
Ohio State assistant wide receivers coach Keenan Bailey was in South Florida on Tuesday, at which time he offered a scholarship to Miami four-star cornerback commit Henry Gray.
Blessed to receive an offer from THE Ohio State University #GoBuckeyes #DBU @SabbathJoseph @paragon52 @CoachDgip @_RodIssac @Therula99 @Th3LAB_ @Andrew_Ivins @HamiltonESPN @Corey_Bender @CraigHaubert @ChadSimmons_ @larryblustein @DemetricDWarren @CoachKeeOSU @OhioStateFB pic.twitter.com/WJsiq8rNuW
— Henry Gray (@D1bound_zay2121) May 15, 2018
“Man, it’s actually a dream come true,” Gray told Eleven Warriors. “Ohio State does great things with their defensive backs, and I have been following them for the past few years.”
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Gray is considered the ninth-best cornerback and No. 73 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he recorded three interceptions and two pick-sixes at Miramar last season. He transferred to Miami Central back in February and then committed to the Hurricanes one month later.
“It was the family aspect,” Gray said. “I felt like the environment was the best thing for me at that time, so I made the move.”
Gray has also picked up offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Texas A&M and UCF in the months since his pledge. He remains firmly committed to Miami, but added “Ohio State is definitely up there with them.”
Gray’s favorite players are New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward, who he hopes to meet when he visits campus for the first time.
Powder Springs, Georgia, Hillgrove four-star safety Jaylen McCollough was supposed to visit Ohio State for the Spring Game last month, but cancelled the trip at the last minute in order to take the ACT that morning.
McCollough instead hoped to take an official visit this summer, but it appears that is no longer the case after he narrowed down his list of scholarship offers to Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina and Tennessee — eliminating Florida State, Georgia and Ohio State from his previous list of top school.
Final 4 Schools pic.twitter.com/8iCJ9s1nbQ
— Jaylen McCollough (@Jay_Mccollough2) May 16, 2018
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound McCollough — who is considered the fourth-best safety and No. 100 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — “fell in love with” the Buckeyes during his first and only trip to Columbus for the 39-38 win over Penn State last October.
He’s kept in contact with defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Alex Grinch in the months since, as well, but commitments from New Jersey four-star “Rocket” Ronnie Hickman and Maryland three-star Bryson Shaw — coupled with the staff’s pursuit of Florida four-star defensive backs Jordan Battle and Maryland four-star Nick Cross — effectively ended their chances with the talented Peach State prospect.
CAMP SEASON APPROACHES
In yesterday’s edition of The Hurry Up, we mentioned how Ohio State offered a scholarship to Lake Forest, Illinois, four-star defensive end Rylie Mills.
“I feel very humbled and blessed to have received an offer from The Ohio State University,” Mills told Eleven Warriors. “They play at the highest level, and I like how they go out and compete every season.”
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Mills is considered the 10th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 228 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he racked up 19 tackles, nine tackles for a loss and two sacks for the Scouts last season. He holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Duke, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
The Buckeyes have dispatched assistant coaches to all corners of the country during the Spring Evaluation Period, but Mills caught the attention of defensive line coach Larry Johnson with his highlight tape.
“They really liked the way I played on my film,” he said.
Mills has never been to campus, but is hoping to make his first trip to Columbus sooner rather than later.
“They want me to come there this summer, so I’m hoping to go out to see the campus then,” he said.
We’ve detailed at length how Ohio State has made a significant push in the St. Louis area, landing commitments last cycle from Christian Brothers College four-star receivers Kamryn Babb and Cameron Brown. The Buckeyes are also among the top schools for Trinity Catholic four-star receiver Marcus Washington, Cardinal Ritter College Prep four-star wideout Jameson Williams and Parkway North four-star safety Jalani Williams.
You can add De Smet Jesuit four-star wide receiver Jordan Johnson to that list, too, after he landed an offer from Ohio State last month.
Blessed to receive an offer from THE Ohio state University!!! pic.twitter.com/7rIFkC4iQe
— Jordan Johnson (@jjohnsonj1) April 26, 2018
“It’s pretty big,” Johnson told Eleven Warriors. “I’ve watched a lot of Ohio State in the past few years and a lot of talent goes through the program. A lot of great talent is blessed with the opportunity to move on to the next level, so I think that’s great because that’s obviously something I want to do.”
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Johnson is considered the 17th-best wide receiver and No. 92 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he hauled in 26 receptions for 650 yards and nine touchdowns for the Spartans last season. He holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.
Johnson — who is good friends with Washington — sought out the aforementioned Grinch, who extended the offer following a phone conversation. He hopes to make his first trip to campus this summer.