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.
FOR WHOM DAVID BELL TOLLS
Ohio State will welcome Indianapolis Warren Central four-star wide receiver David Bell to campus for a two-day unofficial visit beginning tomorrow. It’ll be his first time in Columbus since he attended Friday Night Lights last July.
The Buckeyes offered the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Bell a scholarship in December and immediately became the favorite to land his pledge. But his desire to play both football and basketball at the next level has allowed Purdue to make a significant push in his recruitment in recent months.
Bell — who is considered the 16th-best wide receiver and No. 102 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 and was first-team all-state on the gridiron last season — saw his stock on the hardwood soar after leading the Warriors to an undefeated record and the state basketball title this spring. Ohio State has not offered a chance to continue his basketball career in Columbus.
Offensive coordinator/area recruiter Kevin Wilson and wide receivers coach Zach Smith have made Bell a priority and hope to use this visit as an opportunity to swing momentum back in the Buckeyes’ favor. He doesn’t plan to make a decision until after the football season, but I could see the staff push for his pledge before he heads home on Tuesday if all goes well.
A REVERBERATING WIN
As Ohio State prepared for the Cotton Bowl back in December, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks Kevin Wilson mentioned how the game could pay dividends down the road with some of Texas' top underclassmen.
After all, winning the national championship in that very stadium a few years prior played a rather large role in the Buckeyes landing commitments from running back J.K. Dobbins, cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and linebacker Baron Browning.
“They were high school 10th graders at that time,” Wilson said. “The game was played here, and a couple of those kids are [Dallas-Fort Worth] metroplex kids.”
Wilson was back in the area early this month to see Mesquite Poteet four-star running back Seth McGowan. Running backs coach Tony Alford followed that up with a visit of his own last week, at which time he extended a scholarship offer.
“Personally, for me, it’s unreal,” McGowan told Eleven Warriors. “I find it difficult to grasp the concept of receiving offers from elite programs I’ve been watching since the early years of adolescence. I know they’re an elite program and I’ve been paying particular attention to them since Ezekiel Elliott and the 2015 national championship. I’m also aware that they produce great running backs, so it’s a very humbling accolade to receive an offer from them.”
The 6-foot, 210-pound McGowan is considered the 23rd-best running back and No. 211 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he rushed for 1,027 yards and 12 touchdowns on 148 carries last season. He holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, LSU, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
A DREAM COME TRUE
Wilson has been busy during the Spring Evaluation Period. He was in Illinois late last week, at which time he offered a scholarship to Frankfort Lincoln-Way East four-star wide receiver A.J. Henning.
“It means a lot,” Henning told Eleven Warriors. “Ohio State was one of my dream schools growing up, and to receive an offer from them is amazing.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Henning is considered the fourth-best wide receiver and No. 23 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he racked up 651 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Griffins to the second state title in school history last fall. He holds nearly two dozen offers from programs such as Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
“My versatility [stands out],” Henning said. “I can contribute in multiple ways, whether it is lining up in the slot, outside receiver or the backfield, I’ll do it all.”
Henning has never been to campus, but plans to visit on June 16, though he won’t be participating in the Buckeyes’ one-day camp that afternoon.
Ohio State five-star wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson wrapped up the final spring practice of his high school career with eight catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns in Lake Travis’ scrimmage on Friday night.
The 6-foot-1, 181-pound Wilson made several game-breaking plays while wearing a towel emblazoned with the Buckeyes’ logo on his waist, including an incredible leap over a defender.
Ohio State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and wide receivers coach Zach Smith were in Texas on Thursday morning to check on Wilson and four-star signal caller Hudson Card. The talented wideout plans to return to Columbus later this month for the Memorial Tournament and then again for Friday Night Lights in late July.
FILLING OUT NICELY
Though the 12 regional events are now in the rearview mirror, invitations to The Opening Finals continue to be handed out every couple days. The latest batch went out on Friday, and now the following Ohio State targets will join Wilson and four-star offensive tackle pledge Doug Nester in Dallas on June 30-July 3:
- Georgia five-star defensive end commit Nolan Smith II
- Oklahoma five-star safety Daxton Hill
- Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison
- Virginia five-star linebacker Brandon Smith
- California four-star wide receiver Kyle Ford
- Florida four-star running back Noah Cain
- Florida four-star wide receiver John Dunmore
- Florida four-star linebacker Rian Davis
- Florida four-star cornerback Jordan Battle
- Florida four-star cornerback Mark-Antony Richards
- Florida four-star safety Brendan Gant
- Georgia four-star center Harry Miller
- Illinois four-star tight end Jahleel Billingsley
- Maryland four-star safety Nick Cross
- Michigan four-star linebacker Lance Dixon
- Michigan State four-star cornerback commit Julian Barnett
- Missouri four-star wide receiver Marcus Washington
- Missouri four-star safety Jalani Williams
- Tennessee four-star wide receiver Lance Wilhoite
- Tennessee four-star cornerback Woodi Washington
- Texas four-star cornerback Jeffery "Scooby" Carter
- Texas four-star cornerback Erick Young
- Virginia four-star defensive end Hakeem Beamon
Quarterbacks, meanwhile, can punch their ticket to the event during the Elite 11 Finals June 1-3. Notable names among the 24 signal callers competing for 11 spots include:
- California four-star Jayden Daniels
- Michigan State four-star commit Dwan Mathis
- South Carolina four-star pledge Ryan Hilinski
- Texas four-star Grant Gunnell
- Wisconsin four-star commit Graham Mertz
- Florida three-star Brian Maurer
The Opening Finals will be held this summer at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas — the state-of-the-art indoor practice facility of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Eleven Warriors will, of course, be in attendance.