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.
QUITE THE CONTRARIAN
Though he’s lived in Colorado his entire life, Aurora Eaglecrest four-star offensive tackle Reece Atteberry grew up rooting for Ohio State.
“Honestly, here in Colorado, nobody liked Ohio State, so I decided to,” Atteberry told Eleven Warriors. “I loved Urban Meyer when he was at Florida, so when he moved over, it was a perfect fit.”
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Atteberry — who is considered the 30th-best offensive tackle and No. 279 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — finally got to visit his dream school last weekend, as he made the cross-country trip for the Buckeye’s Friday Night Lights recruiting camp. And once there, he worked out for and received an offer from Meyer and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.
It has been a dream of mine to be a Buckeye ever since I was little. That being said it makes it especially sweet to announce that I have received an offer to play football at THE Ohio State University. Thank you @CoachTonyAlford for everything. @SixZeroStrength @raptorathletics pic.twitter.com/9YlT0tGKLd— Reece Atteberry (@atteberry5573) June 25, 2018
“I was very excited and, at first, a little star-struck,” Atteberry said. “When I was able to calm down, it was just a great opportunity to learn from two great football minds. It was intense, for sure, but it’s not every day you have that many elite coaches all trying to make you better. It means lot [to get this offer], mostly because I really feel like I earned it. It was special.”
Atteberry holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Arizona State, California, Colorado, Kansas State, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Utah and Washington State, but there’s no doubt Ohio State is at the top of his list. He admitted it’s difficult to hold off on a decision given his life-long desire to be a Buckeye, but that’s just what he’ll do — at least for the time being.
“I’m just sure that when I feel it is right, I’ll make my decision,” Atteberry said.
Though he’s never been to campus, Washington D.C. St. John’s College four-star defensive tackle Tre Williams included Ohio State in his Top 10 on Thursday afternoon alongside Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech.
Top 10 pic.twitter.com/m2GkPHB3nD— TGroovy (@_TreWilliams) June 28, 2018
“The history of their program and the many great defensive linemen they have had [stands out],” Williams told Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-3, 308-pound Williams is considered the 10th-best defensive tackle and No. 131 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he recorded eight sacks in just six games at Oakdale, Connecticut, St. Thomas More last season. He transferred to St. John’s College earlier this month.
Williams — like Atteberry above — grew up rooting for the Buckeyes and admittedly became a fan because of the scarlet on the program’s uniforms. He’s forged a strong relationship with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/area recruiter Ryan Day since he offered back in January, and is looking forward to visiting campus for the first time when the dead period comes to a close in late July.
“[I can’t wait to see] the entire campus and meet some of the players,” Williams said, noting he’s excited to hand out with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, as well. “We don’t really have a big relationship, but it will more than likely strengthen as the process goes on.”
GET DWAN ON THE PHONE
West Bloomfield, Michigan, four-star safety Makari Paige also attended Friday Night Lights last weekend. This marked his second trip to campus, as he also visited with a large contingent of teammates — including four-star linebacker target Lance Dixon — back in March.
4 to 6 A to B #GoBucks !— AKARI PAIGE (@makaripaige) June 23, 2018
“It was great,” Paige told Eleven Warriors. “I got a chance to hang out with coach [Alex] Grinch and basically get a better feel for the program.”
Cornerbacks coach/area recruiter Taver Johnson extended an offer to the 6-foot-3, 182-pound Paige — who is considered the ninth-best safety and No. 193 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — after a scouting showcase at West Bloomfield back in May. He also caught up with Meyer and director of player development Mark Pantoni during the Best of the Midwest camp at Grand Valley State earlier this month, so it’s clear the staff has made him one of their top priorities in the state up north.
“Ohio State does a great job in developing their players,” Paige said. “I’m very interested.”
SAME STORY, DIFFERENT PATH
On Friday afternoon — just a few days after he included Ohio State in his Top 5 alongside Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M — Blairstown, New Jersey, Blair Academy three-star defensive end David “King” Ojabo announced that he’ll make his college decision on July 2.
I will be commiting July 2nd— King Ojabo (@DavidOjabo) June 29, 2018
The 6-foot-5, 233-pound Ojabo — a native Nigerian — is considered the 32nd-best strong-side defensive end and No. 488 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 35 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a score in just seven games with the Buccaneers last season. He’s only played organized football for one year, having moved to the United States in 2016 to actually play basketball and soccer.
Ojabo’s story is somewhat reminiscent of his former teammate, Jayson Oweh, who was one of the Buckeyes’ top defensive end targets last cycle before he signed with the Nittany Lions in December. He’s just not the same caliber of prospect, however, which is why he sits behind several other defensive ends on the staff’s list of priorities — though he did visit campus for the first and only time earlier this month.
With that said, I anticipate he’ll pick the Wolverines on Monday.