The Hurry Up: Ohio State Checks On Top Targets From Across the Country And Offers Defensive Tackle D’Von Ellies

By Andrew Lind on May 17, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Jack Miller II

Jack Miller II

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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.

BACK TO THE OIL WELL

On Thursday morning, Ohio State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and wide receivers coach Zach Smith made their second trip Austin, Texas, Lake Travis this spring to check on five-star wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson and four-star quarterback target Hudson Card. The news was first reported by Rivals’ Marc Givler and Kevin Noon — who were in town as part of their excellent annual Southern Swing series.

The 6-foot-1, 181-pound Wilson has been committed for just over two weeks, but has already taken over as lead recruiter for the Buckeyes’ Dynasty ’19 recruiting class.

“[I am] trying to bring kids along with me because that’s how you build a national championship class,” Wilson told Givler and Noon. “If you want a chance to compete for a national championship and play under one of the best coaches ever to do it, come with me and get ready to play. You will get ready to play for the NFL and anything beyond that. It is a great program. That has been my pitch.”

Among Wilson’s list of top targets, Houston St. Pius X four-star quarterback Grant Gunnell; Austin Bowie four-star Elijah Higgins; and the aforementioned Card, who picked up an offer from Ohio State during Day and Smith’s last trip to Lake Travis last month. He’s hoping to visit campus for the first time this summer.

TEAMMATES AT THE NEXT LEVEL?

Day was in Arizona on Wednesday to see Chaparral four-star quarterback Jack Miller II, who is arguably Ohio State’s top target at the position. He’s not the only Firebird the Buckeyes are recruiting, though.

Akron native Darvon Hubbard — a 6-foot, 200-pound four-star running back — moved to Arizona last summer for family reasons and proceeded to rush for 503 yards and seven touchdowns in his first season at Chaparral. He holds offers from Alabama, Arizona, Bowling Green, Kentucky, LSU, Minnesota, Toledo and Utah, and hopes to land one from Ohio State when he camps with the Buckeyes on June 16.

Hubbard has developed a strong relationship with running backs coach Tony Alford following a pair of camp visits last summer. The two talk regularly, and the conversation rarely revolves around football.

“It’s been really good [getting to know him],” Hubbard told Eleven Warriors. “He talks to me about building a relationship and character. He is much bigger than that.”

Miller, meanwhile, hasn't been to campus since the win over Penn State in October, but is finalizing plans to visit for Friday Night Lights in late July. 

GIVE ME HIM OR ZACHARY EVANS

Alford made his way to Clovis, California, on Wednesday afternoon to check on Buchanan four-star running back Kendall Milton. The two have grown close since the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship in late January.

“It’s been going good,” Milton told Eleven Warriors. “They’ve let me know that I am their top running back prospect and that is something that means a lot to me.”

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Milton is considered the second-best running back and No. 9 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he racked up 1,514 all-purpose yards and 25 touchdowns for the Bears last season. He holds nearly 40 offers from programs all over the country, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and USC.

Milton has been to campus once before, but it was for a wrestling tournament four years ago. He had a date picked out for a return visit this summer, but it coincides with the recruiting calendar dead period — but prospects cannot have face-to-face contact with coaches during that time, so he’ll simply reschedule for another date.

THE HURRICANES ARE BUILDING STRENGTH

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Alex Grinch swung through sunny South Florida on Tuesday to see Wellington four-star athlete Mark-Antony Richards. They watched practice and met with the Wolverines’ coaching staff

“They are good people and they are doing a great job [recruiting me] so far,” Richards said.

The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Richards is considered the sixth-best athlete and No. 81 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he compiled more than 2,126 all-purpose yards on offense and seven touchdowns and 56 tackles, three interceptions and a pair of forced fumbles for Wellington last fall. The Buckeyes are recruiting Richards primarily at cornerback, but also believe he has the potential to play on the other side of the ball, as well.

“They love my style of play and also the person I am,” Richards said. “They saw my film and practice and think I can be used in many ways. They see me in the wildcat and catching and running, so the whole package.”

Richards — who holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Oklahoma, Oregon and Penn State — plans to visit campus for the first time in the summer. He doesn’t plan to make a decision until late fall or early winter, but the Hurricanes are the perceived favorite in his recruitment with his brother, Ahmmon, already in Coral Gables.

ABOUT TO BLOW UP

Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson — last but not least — was back in Maryland on Wednesday, at which time he offered a scholarship to Owings Mills McDonogh School three-star defensive tackle D’Von Ellies.

“It means a lot to receive the offer from The Ohio State,” Ellies told Eleven Warriors. “[The program] is more than a great football team, it’s a brand that sticks with you forever and the name is good anywhere you go.”

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Ellies is considered the 25th-best defensive tackle and No. 364 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, but Johnson has been keeping tabs on him for quite some time. The Buckeyes heavily recruited his former teammate, Penn State four-star defensive tackle signee P.J. Mustipher, last cycle.

“Coach Johnson just wanted to cultivate a relationship with me before he made any big decisions in regards to offering me,” Ellies said.

Ellies — who holds 20 offers from programs such as Arizona State, Cincinnati, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin — hopes to visit campus for the first time this summer.

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