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.
LAST CHANCE TO IMPRESS?
Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison told reporters during Nike Football’s The Opening Canton Regional earlier this month he would take official visits to Michigan and Ohio State in June, but was unsure of the exact dates.
Eleven Warriors has since since learned he’ll be in Ann Arbor on June 21-22 and Columbus on June 23-24, which means the Buckeyes may very well get the last shot to sway Harrison’s decision before a potential Aug. 14 announcement (his birthday).
“That’s not set in stone, though,” Harrison said. “If I know by then, great. If not, I’m not deciding.”
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Harrison — who is considered the second-best weak-side defensive end and No. 2 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — unofficially visited Clemson in March and might return again in July if his schedule permits. He already took an official visit to Penn State in late April, which means he's seen every school that occupies his Top 4.
It’s long been assumed that Harrison will end up at Ohio State, which is understandable given he grew up just 20 minutes north of campus and has been to numerous games, camps and practices over the last two years. He’s also build a strong bond with defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
“He’s probably the highlight of Ohio State,” Harrison said. “He’s great and the best at what he does. It’s not really even about the NFL pedigree and everything, he’s just real. He cares, too. He’s one of those guys who really cares about his players and puts their best interest at heart. He’s going to push you, which I like. He’s not going to get in your face and scream at you. He’s just going to tell you what to do and expect you to do it.”
The Nittany Lions are perceived to be the biggest threat to the Buckeyes’ chances, but Harrison — who is extremely reserved and rarely conducts extensive interviews — isn’t going to tip his hand one way or another.
Instead, he’s simply offered what will be the biggest factor in his decision.
“The atmosphere. I’m a big family guy, so I’d like to go somewhere where the players care about each other, the coaches care about the players and the community cares [about the team],” Harrison said. “[Also] how they’re going to help me after football and just the connections I can get.”
SERVICE BEFORE SELF
Buford, Georgia, four-star center Harry Miller may be one of the nation’s top prospects, but there’s no doubt he’s an even better person.
Every summer, the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder spends a week on a mission in Nicaragua through a partnership with the Open Hearts Children’s Ministry. They operate a school near the country’s capital city and distribute food to families in the area living well below the poverty line.
Miller is even more proud of his mission work than he is of his on-field accolades, which is why a source close to the family told Eleven Warriors he’ll announce his college decision alongside the school children in Nicaragua later this summer. He’s set to decide among Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford.
There was initially some concern that Miller would not be able to participate in The Opening Finals this summer since both that and his annual mission trip typically take place the first week of July, but Nike was rather accommodating given the circumstances. He’ll arrive in Dallas on June 30 and Nike will fly him to Nicaragua on the evening of July 2. He’ll be there through July 9, with an announcement to come sometime that week.
Nike has also offered to donate clothing and other items to Mission For Nicaragua, which will all go to the aforementioned children.
A set announcement date certainly bodes well for the Buckeyes, since there was some anxiety among the staff that his interest in the Cardinal could delay his timeline thanks to the university’s strict admissions process.
“It’s really just weighing the doorways that each university opens,” Miller said following his official visit for the Spring Game in April. “At Stanford, the degree is very prestigious and will open lots of doors. We’ve also talked with coach Meyer about the connections Ohio State has, not only with the football program, but with the doctors, professors and CEOs I’ve talked with already. [It] proves to be very promising and exciting.”
Miller and his family have a very strong relationship with the Ohio State staff, and though Stanford has extremely strong academics, I believe the combination of what the Buckeyes can do for him on and off the field will ultimately be the deciding factor.
“I don’t want to just make a decision for a couple Saturdays now,” Miller said. “I want to make a decision that will not only benefit me, but will also help with the ministry I’m involved with.”
INTO THE LEAD ON THE BACKSTRETCH
When Frankfort, Kentucky, Western Hills three-star all-purpose back Wandale Robinson visited Ohio State back in early April, head coach Urban Meyer told him they needed to build a relationship before the Buckeyes would offer him scholarship.
They’ve grown close in the weeks since, so Meyer followed through with that promise and extended an offer on Wednesday morning.
— Wandale Robinson (@robinson__era) May 23, 2018
“It didn’t seem real at first,” Robinson told Eleven Warriors. “It means a lot. It’s tough to even put what it means into words.”
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Robinson is considered the ninth-best all-purpose back and No. 783 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he’s racked up 7,341 total yards and 85 touchdowns his his three-year varsity career with the Wolverines. Despite his label, the Buckeyes are recruiting him as a slot receiver and returner.
“They just see how versatile I am and all the different positions I can play,” Robinson said.
Robinson — whose father played collegiately at Western Kentucky — holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wake Forest, but already has Ohio State right at the top of his list. That’s also a big credit to wide receivers coach Zach Smith and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson.
“They’ve been on me hard, even before they offered me,” Robinson said.
Shortly after Robinson announced the offer, I placed my 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of the Buckeyes — which I expanded upon here. He plans to visit campus again this summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he announced a decision then or shortly thereafter.