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.
KICKED THE TIRES
Ohio’s top quarterback off the board after Kettering Archbishop Alter three-star quarterback Connor Bazelak committed to Missouri on Sunday evening.
— Connor Bazelak (@BazelakConnor) June 17, 2018
The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Bazelak — who is considered the 20th-best pro-style quarterback and No. 582 prospect in the Class of 2019 — pledged his services to the Tigers following an official visit one week prior. He was also considering offers from Duke, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Vanderbilt.
Ohio State showed some interest in Bazelak this spring. He threw on two separate occasions for offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day, but the Buckeyes never offered. Bazelak’s lack of passing attempts in Alter’s run-based offense last season made it difficult to evaluate him, and Day was honest about where he stood on the staff’s list of priorities.
Simply put, the message following their most recent meeting was to not wait around for Ohio State.
Had they offered, there’s no doubt the Buckeyes would have been the odds-on favorite to land Bazelak’s pledge. But in not doing so, it’s clear the staff has several other targets left of the board — including Florida three-star Brian Maurer, who will visit campus for the first time for Friday Night Lights this coming weekend.
On a related note, I placed a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of Ohio State for Maurer on Monday morning. With four-star quarterback Graham Mertz reaffirming his commitment to Wisconsin and it seemingly less likely than ever that the Buckeyes flip South Carolina pledge Ryan Hilinski or Michigan State commit Dwan Mathis, Maurer has a chance to land an offer and become the staff’s top target with a stellar performance on Friday night.
WRITING WAS ON THE WALL
On a similar note, Cincinnati Anderson four-star offensive guard Zeke Correll committed to Notre Dame on Monday morning.
— Zeke Correll (@zekecorrell) June 18, 2018
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Correll has been widely expected to end up with the Fighting Irish since Ohio State set its sights on Georgia four-star Harry Miller, who picked the Buckeyes a little over a week ago. Their respective recruitments were effectively intertwined as both are projected to play center at the next level and both listed Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford among their top schools earlier this spring.
The Cardinal also added a center this weekend in Texas four-star Branson Bragg, so it was imperative that the Fighting Irish made their move when they did — especially with Correll set to return to Columbus this weekend for an official visit.
The Buckeyes haven’t really placed much emphasis on the interior portion of the offensive line this cycle (outside of the aforementioned Miller), with tackle being the true position of need. But with a number of tackle targets coming off the board in recent weeks or trending elsewhere at the moment, there was an opportunity for Correll to sneak back into the picture as someone who would provide versatility across the offensive line. A strong camp performance this weekend could have solidified that thinking.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, made Correll a priority from the very beginning. It paid off, too, as he’ll join one of the best offensive line hauls in the country, with Minnesota four-star tackle Quinn Carroll, New Jersey four-star guard John Olmstead and Pennsylvania three-star tackle Andrew Kristofic already in the fold.
Warwick, Rhode Island, Bishop Hendricken four-star Xavier Truss was among the staff’s top targets at the offensive tackle position, but surprisingly committed to Georgia on Sunday night.
— Xavier Truss (@xtruss94) June 17, 2018
The 6-foot-8, 350-pound Truss — considered the 15th-best offensive tackle and No. 102 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — visited Ohio State for the first and only time in April. He’d forged a strong relationship with head coach Urban Meyer and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and subsequently listed the Buckeyes in his Top 5.
Penn State was the overwhelming favorite to land Truss’ commitment, with 100 percent of the crystal ball predictions in favor of the Nittany Lions. But that all changed following during an unofficial visit to Athens this weekend, as the Bulldogs pulled off one of the biggest heists of the current recruiting cycle.
Ohio State, meanwhile, still hopes to land as many as six offensive lineman this cycle, with the aforementioned Miller, Mentor four-star Ryan Jacoby and West Virginia four-star Doug Nester already in the fold. And now with Truss off the board, securing a pledge from West Virginia five-star Darnell Wright, Michigan five-star Devontae Dobbs and/or Illinois four-star Trevor Keegan becomes that much more important.
USED TO DRIBBLE DOWN IN VA
If Ohio State ultimately does look to bring on an interior lineman this cycle, one prospect to keep in mind is Nokesville, Virginia, Patriot three-star offensive guard Jakai Moore, who included the Buckeyes in his Top 7 on Monday afternoon alongside Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Top 7 No Order pic.twitter.com/SCR5YIezF8
— Jakai Moore (@jdamonsa) June 18, 2018
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Moore is considered the 15th-best offensive guard and No. 455 in the Class of 2019. He made his first and only trip to Columbus for a spring practice in late March, where he spent time a considerable amount of time with Meyer, Studrawa and defensive line coach/area recruiter Larry Johnson.
The Nittany Lions are considered the favorite in Moore’s recruitment, but it’s clear there’s a long way to go before he makes a decision. He plans to use one of his official visits to return to Columbus this fall.