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.
CLOSER TO BECOMING REALITY
Ohio State welcomed Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas four-star linebacker Derek Wingo to campus for a four-day unofficial visit with his father. The visit, which began on Wednesday morning and ended with him leaving for the airport on Sunday afternoon, coincided with the Buckeyes’ annual Friday Night Lights recruiting extravaganza.
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY pic.twitter.com/HTliW0VXKz— W1NG0 (@DerekWingo) June 20, 2018
“It was great,” Wingo told Eleven Warriors. “Definitely [exceeded my expectations].”
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Wingo — who is considered the 10th-best outside linebacker and No. 164 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — has not been shy about his affinity for Ohio State, as he’s called it his dream school on numerous occasions. He attended a pair of FBU Top Gun Showcase camps at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center back in middle school, and the program made a lasting impression.
“He said then he would play on that field someday,” Wingo’s mother, Carrieann, told Eleven Warriors.
While on campus, Wingo replicated a few photos he took during those previous visits. He also spent a considerable amount of time with head coach Urban Meyer and linebackers coach Bill Davis; toured campus and the city of Columbus; hung out with the current players; watched team workouts; and camped on Friday night.
“I did great,” Wingo said of his camp performance. “The coaches loved me. It was fun. [Coach Davis] felt like someone I could get along with. He taught me a lot about my stance.”
Wingo holds nearly 20 scholarship offers, but previously announced a Top 3 of Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma. This visit only solidified the Buckeyes’ standing atop his list, though.
“It was my dream school before, but now being up there and seeing what it’s like in the atmosphere and the work they put in makes it even better,” he said.
I thought there was a great chance Wingo committed this weekend, but that was unlikely since his mother was unable to make the trip with him. That said, I anticipate it’ll happen when they return for a game this season.
Scottsdale, Arizona, Chaparral four-star running back Darvon Hubbard felt he was getting close to landing an offer from Ohio State following the Buckeyes’ one-day camp on June 12.
That finally came to fruition after another strong performance at Friday Night Lights over the weekend.
“It’s a very crazy experience,” Hubbard told Eleven Warriors. “Just thinking of all the things I went through to get that offer is just a humbling experience, really.”
The 6-foot, 200-pound Hubbard grew up in Akron and has been an Ohio State fan his entire life. He’s known running backs coach Tony Alford since he was in eighth grade, too, and that’s who delivered the good news on Tuesday morning.
“He told me I basically checked all the boxes and it was just time,” Hubbard said.
There was a strong belief that Hubbard — who is considered the 23rd-best running back and No. 233 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — would commit on the spot after receiving an offer from his home-state school. But with programs like Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan and Michigan State also in the mix, he’s simply going to take the process slow and make a decision when the time feels right.
“As of right now, I don’t know [when I’ll choose],” Hubbard said. “Just going to see how I feel as time goes on.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING
When Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson offered a scholarship earlier this month to Charlotte Providence Day School four-star defensive end Kedrick Bingley-Jones, he also invited him to attend Friday Night Lights.
“It was amazing,” Bingley-Jones told Eleven Warriors. “I loved it up there.”
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Bingley-Jones — who is considered the 12th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 286 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — felt he got to see everything the Buckeyes have to offer during his first trip to campus, with a tour of the university, the football team’s facilities and Ohio Stadium. He also received one-on-one instruction from Johnson during Friday evening’s camp.
“It was a great experience,” Bingley-Jones said. “I see why he puts people in the pros consistently. He taught me different hand moves and different ways to approach being a pass-rusher.”
Bingley-Jones holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Florida, Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech, but said Ohio State sits in a great spot earlier in his recruitment.
“They are right now at the top of the list with Georgia and Tennessee,” he said. “Those are the schools that stood out so far.”
Bingley-Jones plans to return to campus for a game in the fall.
TIT FOR TAT
Just one day after Ohio State flipped Michigan State four-star quarterback commit Dwan Mathis, the Spartans responded by landing a pledge from Belleville, Michigan, five-star offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs.
The 6-foot-4, 304-pound Dobbs is considered the third-best offensive tackle and No. 13 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, which makes him the highest-rated commitment in the Mark Dantonio era in East Lansing. He narrowed down his list of 30 scholarship offers to eight schools last month, including Ohio State alongside Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Oklahoma and USC.
The timing of his decision suggests he may have been silently committed to the Spartans for a while, and the staff likely pushed for him to go public in the wake of Mathis’ flip. After all, I’m not sure there’s a better way to cut off the Buckeyes’ momentum in the state up north than to secure a commitment from a player at a position of significant need for both programs.
All that said, sources have indicated Ohio State had been cooling on Dobbs in recent months after strong initial interest. He wants to play tackle at the next level, but there’s a belief that he’ll ultimately slide to guard instead because of his length, or lack thereof — and that caused some hesitation in Columbus.
Dobb’s decision still takes an option off the board for the Buckeyes, who remain in the hunt for two or three more linemen to complement four-star center Harry Miller and four-star tackles Ryan Jacoby and Doug Nester. The list of uncommitted tackles with offers is rather short, with West Virginia five-star Darnell Wright, Illinois four-star Trevor Keegan, Dayton Dunbar three-star Jonathan Allen and Washington D.C. three-star Walter Rouse rounding out the list.
For what it’s worth, Ohio State already holds a commitment from four-star tackle Jake Wray in the Class of 2020. The staff has offers out to 16 players at the position next cycle, so it’s apparent the position continues to be a top priority moving forward.