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.
TAKE THE FIELD
As the Spring Evaluation Period comes to a close at the end of the month, look for an increase in prospects trimming their list of scholarship offers in the coming weeks.
Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, Independence four-star wide receiver T.J. Sheffield didn't want to wait until the turn of the calendar, though, and included Ohio State in his Top 4 on Friday morning alongside Arkansas, Notre Dame and Purdue.
— Tj Sheffield (@the_tj2) May 25, 2018
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Sheffield is considered the 37th-best wide receiver and No. 233 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he hauled in 56 catches for 840 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Eagles to the second round of the state playoffs last fall. He also added 119 yard and a score on the ground.
Sheffield made his first and only trip to Columbus for a spring practice in late March. He spent time that afternoon with running backs coach/area recruiter Tony Alford and assistant wide receivers coach Keenan Bailey, who preached about the Buckeyes’ Real Life Wednesdays program.
“It was a great trip,” Sheffield told Eleven Warriors. “[The facility had] a lot of history and reminders of their rivalry game.”
Alford also dropped by Sheffield's school earlier this month to watch him practice.
Ohio State could see heavy turnover at the wide receiver position following the upcoming season, so the staff is looking to bring on three or four more wideouts this cycle to complement five-star commit Garrett Wilson. But that said, it’s safe to assume Sheffield sits behind a number of other talented prospects like Georgia four-star Zion Puckett; Indiana four-star David Bell; Missouri four-stars Marcus Washington and Jameson Williams; Tennessee four-stars Trey Knox; and Texas four-stars Jalen “Boobie” Curry and Elijah Higgins on the Buckeyes’ list of priorities.
Sheffield plans to take an official visit to Columbus and would like to make a decision before the start of his senior season.
On a similar note, Belleville, Michigan, five-star offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs will narrow his list of 30 scholarship offers to eight at 8 o’clock this evening. Ohio State will certainly make the cut.
Friday 8:00 dropping my top 8 schools!!!!! pic.twitter.com/wWiLEVFIlw
— Devontae Dobbs (@Devontae_Dobbs) May 23, 2018
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Dobbs — considered the third-best offensive tackle and No. 10 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — has a strong relationship with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, which began when the Buckeyes’ assistant offered him a scholarship during Friday Night Lights in July 2016. The two talk daily.
Dobbs has been to campus numerous times since, most recently in mid-February as part an 11-day country-wide tour with his teammates that included stops at Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and USC. He’s also visited Clemson and Georgia, so there’s no doubt tonight’s list will be star-studded.
The Spartans are the overwhelming favorite to land Dobbs’ pledge, but I’m not so sure his recruitment is as cut-and-dried as it’s made out to be. Similar to Fairfield five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman last cycle, I wouldn’t discount several out-of-state schools, notably the Tigers and Trojans.
With that, Ohio State still hopes to add at least a pair of offensive tackles to four-star commits Ryan Jacoby and Doug Nester.
The pair make for a solid start — both giving the Buckeyes versatility with their ability to slide inside if need be — but the staff would still like to add to that with some combination of Dobbs, West Virginia five-star Darnell Wright, Illinois four-star Trevor Keegan, Rhode Island four-star Xavier Truss and/or Dayton Dunbar three-star Jonathan Allen.
Invitations to The Opening Finals continue to be handed out, with the latest batch having been announced on Thursday evening. The following Ohio State targets will join the above-mentioned Wilson and Nester at the event this summer:
- Georgia five-star defensive end commit Nolan Smith II
- Oklahoma five-star safety Daxton Hill
- Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison
- California four-star wide receiver Kyle Ford
- California four-star wide receiver Mycah Pittman
- Florida four-star running back Noah Cain
- Florida four-star running back Kenny McIntosh
- 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 wide receiver Jameson Williams
- Missouri four-star safety Jalani Williams
- Tennessee four-star wide receiver Lance Wilhoite
- Tennessee four-star cornerback Woodi Washington
- Texas four-star wide receiver Jalen "Boobie" Curry
- Texas four-star cornerback Jeffery "Scooby" Carter
- Texas four-star cornerback Erick Young
- Virginia four-star defensive end Hakeem Beamon
Six underclassmen are typically invited to the event every year, which is why Harrison and Smith are both two-time finalists; the aforementioned Dobbs also made the trip to Oregon last summer. But this year, a record seven underclassmen punched their tickets to The Opening Finals — six of whom hold an offer from Ohio State:
- California five-star linebacker Justin Flowe Jr.
- Maryland five-star defensive end Brian Bresee
- Texas five-star running back Zachary Evans
- Oklahoma four-star running back commit Jase McClellan
- Virginia four-star all-purpose back Chris Tyree
- Washington D.C. four-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman
The nation's top quarterbacks, meanwhile, are set to compete in the Elite 11 Finals in Los Angeles on June 1-3. Notable names among the 24 signal callers hoping to book their trip to The Opening Finals include:
- 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 June 30-July 3 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, and we're looking forward to bringing you non-stop coverage from the event.
A LITTLE R AND R
Just wanted to share a quick programming note: I'm starting a long-overdue vacation this evening, so the next edition of The Hurry Up will be posted on Monday, June 4. Looking forward to unwinding for a bit before summer camps ramp up the following Friday.
Please, try to not burn the place down while I'm gone!