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.
JACK HANNAH, CLOSER
Ohio State landed a commitment on Sunday afternoon from Georgia four-star center Harry Miller, a decision that was widely anticipated but ultimately not expected until his annual mission trip to Nicaragua early next month.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Miller was scheduled to visit Nicaragua July 2-9, but was forced to cancel amid safety concerns with anti-government protests throughout the country, hence today’s announcement.
Miller and his mother, Kristina, arrived on campus on Friday, and we spotted them during the Buckeyes’ one-day camp that afternoon. He didn’t participate, but watched closely as offensive line coach Greg Studrawa instructed campers.
We reported that evening the Millers would remain in Columbus through Monday morning, with the weekend being described as a chance for them to be “tourists.” They visited the zoo and ate at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus on Saturday, both excellent choices. They also attended Rock City Church with head coach Urban Meyer, director of player personnel Mark Pantoni and their families on Sunday morning.
Have no fear, Ranger Rick is here pic.twitter.com/iLMjMJEjZB
— Harry Miller (@harrymiller76) June 10, 2018
All that said, Miller has actually been committed to Ohio State since he took his official visit the weekend of the Spring Game. He simply wanted to get the kids of Nicaragua involved in his announcement, given how much they mean to him. The aforementioned unrest led to the chance of plans.
Miller’s commitment moves the program up to fifth in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings, trailing just Alabama, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and South Carolina in the standings. The Crimson Tide hold four more commitments than the Buckeyes.
As mentioned, Miller will wrap up his three-day visit by going to dinner this evening with Studrawa and freshman offensive tackle Max Wray. I’m sure there will be some celebratory appetizers ordered at the Slobs’ table.
MIDDLE SCHOOL MARVEL
Though he’ll only be entering his freshman year of high school this fall, Southlake, Texas, Carroll quarterback Quinn Ewers was — in my opinion — the best signal caller at Ohio State’s camp on Friday.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day no doubt agreed, which is why he extended a scholarship to Ewers that afternoon.
Very blessed and honored to have received an offer from The Ohio State university. Thank you coach Day and coach Meyer pic.twitter.com/JIn6lwNh0W
— Quinn Ewers (@QuinnEwers) June 8, 2018
“It means a lot to me because I know college coaches are iffy on offering a player who hasn’t played one snap of high school football, but they believe in me to keep grinding and working on my craft,” Ewers told Eleven Warriors. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Ohio State is usually always competing for a national championship, so to have that offer means a lot and I’m very thankful and blessed.”
The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Ewers is, of course, not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites and his only other offers is from North Texas. But he throws with a lot of confidence and continuously hit his receivers in stride all afternoon.
“I think my arm strength and how young I am [stood out],” Ewers said.
After the camp, Ewers spent time with Day and toured the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. He plans to return again in the future, though distance will certainly play a factor in how often.
“Ohio to Texas is a long way, but I’m gonna go up as much as I can to see some games,” Ewers said. “I hope [Day] continues to watch me. Ohio State would be an awesome college to attend.”
NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND
North Palm Beach, Florida, Benjamin School four-star cornerback Kaiir Elam was on campus for a two-day unofficial visit beginning Friday, but did not participate in the camp that afternoon. He instead spent a considerable amount of time with Meyer, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson.
THE Ohio State University... pic.twitter.com/QSChqDUcoQ
— Kaiir Elam. (@Easymoney_Kai) June 9, 2018
“It went good, man,” Elam told Eleven Warriors. “[They told me] I’m their guy. They want me to be a Buckeye and they will develop me to be a first-rounder.”
The 6-foot-1, 182-pound Elam, who is considered the 10th-best cornerback and No. 85 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, has been to Columbus twice before, including the win over Maryland last fall. He has a strong bond with Meyer — who recruited his father, Abram, while he was an assistant at Notre Dame, and uncle, Matt, when he was the head coach at Florida.
Elam holds more than three dozen offers from programs such as Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State and Stanford, but I believe it’s a two-horse race between the Buckeyes and Gators.
“They’re up there,” Elam said. “Their ability to develop corners [stands out] and it’s a good school.”
Despite a report to the contrary on Saturday, Elam is not sure about a decision timeline since he’s been focused on bettering his craft instead of the list cutting we often see in the recruiting process. He plans to return for an official visit in the fall, though.
A NUMBERS GAME
Ohio State already holds commitments at the safety position from New Jersey four-star “Rocket” Ronnie Hickman and Maryland three-star Bryson Shaw, and there’s an excellent chance they’ll add another later this month when Florida four-star Jordan Battle takes his official visit on June 22 — though he’s ultimately expected to play cornerback at the next level.
That doesn’t mean the Buckeyes are done recruiting defensive backs altogether, though. One prospect to keep in mind is Tampa Jesuit three-star Dane Belton, who doesn’t yet hold an offer but could land one late in the process if any unforeseen departures from the current occur. He visited campus for the first time this weekend.
— GREAT Dane (@dbelton5) June 7, 2018
“The visit was great,” Belton told Eleven Warriors. “I loved everything.”
The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Belton is considered the 56th-best safety and No. 686 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 56 tackles, four interceptions, four pass break ups and one forced fumble to lead the Tigers to the second round of the state playoffs last fall. He holds two dozen offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Pittsburgh, UCF and West Virginia.
While on campus, Belton hung out with Meyer, Schiano and co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Alex Grinch; watched morning workouts; toured the facilities, including Ohio Stadium; and took part in a photo shoot. The coaches were upfront and honest about the numbers crunch at his position, but made a stellar pitch nonetheless.
“They said I was a great player and that they want me there,” Belton said. “They think I have the ability to play for them, so they said they were going to have to do something to get me there. If they were to offer me, a lot would chance. I just know what they do with their defensive backs, and every aspect of the university is top notch.”
Belton has no plans to make a decision on his future anytime soon, but acknowledged one could come any point in time.
“Really, just whenever I feel I’m ready to commit,” he said. “That could be next week or even into my senior year. I don’t really have a set timeline.”
That certainly works in the Buckeyes’ favor, as the staff waits to see which players on the current roster leave after the 2018 season.