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.
A LONG TIME COMING
Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy four-star defensive back Lejond Cavazos committed to Ohio State a little over an hour ago, officially bringing to close a recruitment that many deemed over the moment he received an offer from the Buckeyes more than one year ago.
“Ohio State has everything I need to be great,” Cavazos told Eleven Warriors, noting the program’s emphasis on life after football was a key factor in his decision.
The 6-foot, 186-pound Cavazos actually decided he wanted to be a Buckeye during his unofficial visit for the 2017 Spring Game, but held off on a decision for more than a year as he picked up offers from some of the nation’s elite programs, including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia and his childhood dream school, Oregon, among others.
He also wanted his mother and sister to see the program, since only his father accompanied him on the aforementioned visit. They made their first trip to campus for Ohio State’s one-day camp earlier this month.
“I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision and make sure I saw all the places I wanted to see, because I was just a freshman then,” Cavazos said. “But not a thing changed in my mind.”
Cavazos wasn’t impacted by the departure of assistant coordinator/cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, though some outsiders were concerned that new cornerbacks Taver Johnson would never be able to live up to Coombs’ high standards on the recruiting trail. His hiring only amplified Cavazos’ interest in the Buckeyes because of their prior relationship, however.
“We have known each other forever,” Cavazos said.
With Wednesday evening’s decision, Cavazos can now put on a recruiting cap of his own. And though we’ve already talked at length about his relationship with Arizona four-star quarterback Jack Miller III — who appears to be on the verge of committing to Ohio State, as well — Cavazos has set his sights on one of his former teammates at IMG Academy.
“My main focus is [Georgia four-star wide receiver] Jermaine Burton Jr. right now,” Cavazos said. “I gotta get him offered an on campus so he can see what I see and become a Buckeye.”
There are still 18 months until the 2019 Early Signing Period, but Cavazos is shutting down his recruitment entirely. His only visits will be to Columbus, where he’s looking forward to reaching his goals on and off the field.
Simply put, “become the best ‘Legend’ I can be.”
THE WRITING WAS ON THE WALL
Though Ohio State offered a scholarship to Ocala, Florida, West Port three-star quarterback Brian Maurer following a strong performance at Friday Night Lights, he committed to Tennessee on Wednesday morning.
Had Ohio State not flipped four-star quarterback Dwan Mathis from Michigan State on Sunday, a source close to the 6-foot-3 and 180-pound Maurer indicated that he would have committed to the Buckeyes this past weekend. Instead, he fell in the Volunteers’ lap following their offer last week.
There was some discussion on whether Ohio State would take two quarterbacks this cycle, with just three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster right now. But the depth at the position in next year’s class and a looming commitment from Arizona four-star Jack Miller III rendered that conversation moot.
The staff will simply look to take two next year instead.
ON THE FENCE
Though he grew up rooting for Michigan and has strong ties to Michigan State — his uncle is former Spartans wide receiver Charles Rogers — Bay City Central four-star wide receiver Devell Washington was admittedly blown away by his recent visit to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights.
“It was amazing,” Washington told Eleven Warriors. “The atmosphere was crazy. I can’t even put words to how great it was. It felt like I was at home. I had a great time.”
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Washington — who is considered the 76th-best wide receiver and No. 393 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — was invited to campus by head coach Urban Meyer and director of player personnel Mark Pantoni after he caught their attention during the Best of the Midwest camp at Grand Valley State earlier this month.
While on campus, Washington toured the facilities and checked out Ohio Stadium. He also worked out for and spent time with wide receivers coach Zach Smith, whom he quickly took a liking to.
“He was so cool,” Washington said. “He had a lot of nice things to say about my camp performance and I love how he coaches.”
Smith then offered a scholarship to Washington over the phone on Monday evening, adding to a list that includes Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Michigan and Toledo. And even though he had a long-time allegiance to the Wolverines, it appears he’s open to switching sides.
“That would be a game-changer,” Washington said just before he received news of the offer. “I’m just praying for that opportunity. I looked good in Scarlet and Gray when I got to suit up in the jersey.”
GATEWAY TO COLUMBUS
Ohio State has made recruiting the city of St. Louis a priority recently, having signed Christian Brothers College four-star wide receivers Kamryn Babb and Cameron Brown last cycle, though the latter will play defensive back in Columbus.
A pair of four-star wide receivers — Marcus Washington (Trinity Catholic) and Jameson Williams (Cardinal Ritter Prep) — are among the staff’s top targets again this cycle, too. So it should come as no surprise Parkway North four-star wide receiver C.J. Boone has a ton of interest in the Buckeyes and came to Friday Night Lights in search an offer, as well.
“The visit was fun,” Boone told Eleven Warriors. “I was able to see some of the campus, and it felt like home.”
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Boone — who is considered the 75th-best wide receiver and No. 583 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — has been in contact with the above-mentioned Smith for a few weeks now and was excited to learn from him on Friday night.
“He’s a real dude,” Boone said. “One of the better position coaches I’ve talked to. We clicked real well.”
Boone holds offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Northern Iowa, Purdue and Western Michigan. An Ohio State offer would certainly shake things up in his recruitment, though.
“They treat St. Louis well, starting with Zeke and Lailah Elliott and now both Kamm and Cam,” Boone said. “I definitely will be interested.”