The Hurry Up: Defensive Ends Terrell Dawkins, Darrion Henry and Brayden Wood Discuss Saturday's Camp, Interest in Ohio State

By Andrew Lind on June 17, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Terrell Dawkins

Terrell Dawkins

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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.

TYPICALLY A GOOD PROBLEM TO HAVE

Ohio State welcomed Fairfield three-star tight end Erick All Jr. to campus for its final one-day camp of the summer on Saturday. And though he performed well, left Columbus without an offer from the Buckeyes.

“Coach [Kevin] Wilson said they loved everything that I did today. Thought I worked hard,” All told Eleven Warriors and other reporters gathered after the camp. “We just talked about me having to gain weight. That’s pretty much it. They just want to see me get bigger because they don’t want to offer me and then see me lose weight when I get up here.”

The 6-foot-4 All checked in Saturday at 212 pounds, well below his reported weight of 225 pounds. He holds more than two dozen offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Florida State, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Wisconsin, but noted Ohio State is the only school that’s concerned about his ability to keep on the muscle.

“When I came for the Spring Game, I weighed 222 pounds. I just lost weight running and stuff. It just caught me off guard,” All said. “I eat a lot. I have to eat like every two hours.”

All wants to make a decision around the end of his senior season, so there’s plenty of time for him to dedicate himself to the weight room and pack on the pounds. But with official visits to Iowa City, Madison and Tallahassee already in mind, he’s not going to wait around for an offer from the Buckeyes.

“It would be amazing to get an offer from Ohio State,” All said. “I’m just working, and if they offer me, they offer me. If they don’t, that’s just how it is. I’m just going to keep working and doing what I do, and I’ll just go with the colleges that want me.”

It’s somewhat telling that the staff would offer a prospect of a similar stature last week in West Virginia three-star Brenton Strange, but there’s no doubt in my mind he has the frame to hold the weight. I’m not certain that’s the case with All, though he did show exceptional skills as a receiver on Saturday.

MOVE IN SILENCE

Ohio State not only uses its annual job fair as an opportunity for its players to network, but also to showcase its Real Life Wednesdays program to recruits.

The Buckeyes invited Concord, North Carolina, Cox Mill three-star defensive end Terrell Dawkins to attend Friday night’s event, since he was already in town for the aforementioned camp. He shadowed defensive line coach Larry Johnson and graduate assistant Kenny Anunike.

“It’s pretty nice,” Dawkins told reporters following Saturday’s camp. “Everything is set up for you to have a career if you don’t make it to the league or after football.”

Ohio State offered the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Dawkins following his first and only other visit for the Spring Game back in April. He’s grown close with Johnson in the month’s since and the camp was an excellent opportunity to learn from the Buckeyes’ assistant.

“I really got to see how he coaches and all the stuff he talked about is really beneficial for me,” Dawkins said. “I like everything about him, he’s a pretty good coach. I learned a lot of new things from him today. Working with him has really got me better and thinking about it.”

Dawkins — who is considered the 59th-best defensive end and No. 860 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — isn’t a fan of the recruiting scene, but has quietly narrowed down his list of more than 20 offers to Florida, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee. He plans to take just one official visit this fall, and it’s clear the Buckeyes have positioned themselves well if they take three defensive ends this cycle — assuming Olentangy Orange five-star Zach Harrison joins Mentor four-star Noah Potter in the fold later this fall.

“Ohio State has always been a great school to me. I always looked up to them and wished I could get an offer from them. It was pretty big for me,” Dawkins said. “Communication and the connection with the coaches and how everything is overall [will be the deciding factor].”

THE BALLAD OF DARRION HENRY

Right before campers broke for lunch, the offensive and defensive linemen came together for one-on-one drills. As seen above, Dawkins dominated his reps.

The same goes for Cincinnati Princeton four-star defensive end Darrion Henry, who looks every bit the part of an elite college defensive lineman at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds despite the fact that he’s only going into his junior year of high school.

“I think I’m the best player in the country right now,” Henry said after the camp concluded. “My explosiveness, my size, my frame, how I come off the ball, my strength and work ethic [all stand out]. My whole life, I’ve been the best player on my football team.”

This marked the fourth time on campus for Henry since the staff offered him a scholarship in February. He is just one of three in-state players in the Class of 2020 to hold an offer from the Buckeyes, joining Akron Archbishop Hoban four-star athlete DeaMonte Trayanum and Cincinnati St. Xavier four-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., and hasn’t been shy about his affinity for the program.

“I’ve had a pretty high opinion from the start, from being a fan to my whole life hearing about Ohio State,” Henry said.

It should come as no surprise Henry was especially excited to work with Johnson, who is widely regarded as the best defensive line coach in college football.

“It was amazing,” Henry said. “You talk to all the players and hear how great of a coach he is, but to see it first-hand, it’s wonderful. I think it would be great to have one of the best defensive line coaches as your coach. His understanding for the game, how he teaches techniques to you and all that together [makes him the best].”

Henry looks like he could develop into a defensive tackle at the next level, though he’d prefer to play on the edge. Either way, he’s going to be a must-get target for the Buckeyes.

Already holding offers from nearly two dozen programs such Cincinnati, Clemson, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Penn State and Tennessee, Henry is clearly going to be one of the most sought-after prospects in his class. He admitted he's taking the process slow and is just focused on building relationships at this point in time, though.

“The connection with the coaches and how long it’s going to take for me to play [are important to me],” Henry said.

THAT THAT DON’T KILL ME, CAN ONLY MAKE ME STRONGER

Saturday was undoubtedly the day of the defensive linemen, as Boulder, Colorado, Fairview four-star defensive end Brayden Wood also excelled under Johnson’s tutelage.

“It was a really good camp for me,” Wood told reporters before he and his father, Brent, headed for Thurman’s Cafe for dinner. “I learned a lot of new things to put in my toolset. I really love coach Larry. He’s one of the best coaches, hands down, that I’ve ever worked with. He’s really in-depth and knows what he’s doing. Loved his drills and loved working with him.”

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Wood is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, but is only a rising sophomore who is expected to grow another four or so inches before he graduates high school. That’s the same height as his older brother, Austin, who pitches for Furman.

Wood holds early offers from Colorado State, Syracuse and Texas Tech, while Clemson, Colorado, Michigan, Stanford, USC and Washington have also shown significant interest. He’s coming off a visit with the Tigers last week and has learned some useful lessons on the camp circuit this summer.

“Getting off the ball — my first two steps can be a little faster — and staying lower,” Wood said. “Just get a little better at the craft and get the technique going.”

The Woods actually arrived on campus Friday, toured campus and spent some valuable time with Johnson and head coach Urban Meyer. They also caught up with running backs coach Tony Alford, a long-time family friend who attended high school and college and began his coaching career in Colorado.

“It was crazy to see that big of a stadium, that it gets sold out every game. It just has an impact,” Wood said. “The school, how loyal the fans are, the equipment, the locker room and everything are right up there as one of the top facilities in the nation. It’s really impressive. Ohio State, there’s nothing to compare it to any other schools. It’s easily one of my top schools.”

The Buckeyes haven’t offered, of course, but Wood is definitely someone to keep in mind moving forward.

“They want me to get bigger, faster and stronger, which is going to always be a thing since I’m so young,” Wood said. “They really want me to improve my hand technique, since their’s is a little bit different than my high school’s. I gotta kind of develop myself into one of their players.”

If that happens, Ohio State will be hard to beat. He places a ton of emphasis on what a school can do for him outside of football and was particularly impressed with the aforementioned Real Life Wednesdays pitch.

“That’s huge for me because I’m looking past football,” Wood said. “Football’s gotta end at some point, so I’m education is the No. 1 thing I’m looking for. When I choose a school, it’s going to be education and then football.”

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