The Hurry Up: Newest Commits Kane Patterson, Luke Wypler Discuss Decisions While Wide Receiver Elijah Higgins Includes Ohio State Among Top Schools

By Andrew Lind on July 9, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Elijah Higgins

Elijah Higgins

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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.

IN GOOD HANDS

Ohio State landed yet another commitment from one of the nation’s top underclassmen when Montvale, New Jersey, St. Joseph Regional four-star offensive guard Luke Wypler announced his commitment to the Buckeyes over finalist Stanford over the weekend.

“Ohio State offered me the highest level of football and academics together and a great business school, to top that offer,” Wypler told Eleven Warriors.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Wypler trimmed his list to two on Thursday morning, only go back and forth between the Buckeyes and Cardinal over the next day or so.

“My decision really came on Friday night,’ Wypler said, noting he was enjoying a mint chocolate chip milkshake when finally made his announcement Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the above-mentioned factors, one thing that helped Ohio State in its pursuit of Wypler was his relationship with defensive coordinator and area recruiter Greg Schiano. The first met eight years ago when Wypler attended a youth camp at Rutgers when Schiano was the Scarlet Knights’ head coach.

“Coach Schiano played a major role because it is important for me to have someone to trust and in my corner at all times,” Wypler said.

Schiano has played an integral role in Ohio State’s foray into the Garden State in recent years, notably helping the program land Don Bosco Prep four-star defensive end Tyler Friday and Bergen Catholic four-star defensive end Javontae Jean-Baptiste last cycle. The Buckeyes also currently hold a commitment from DePaul Catholic four-star safety “Rocket” Ronnie Hickman, whom Wypler knows from their battle in the state championship game last fall.

Wypler is also close with Ohio State starting safety Jordan Fuller, since the two grew up in the same city (Norwood).

Though there is still a little more than 17 months until the Early Signing Period, Wypler — who will play center in Columbus — is shutting down his recruitment entirely. He’s now focused on finishing his high school career on a high note.

“I have no personal goals, rather only goals for the team,” Wypler said. “That is a state championship.”

KANE IS ABLE

Ohio State is averaging nearly one commitment every two days since college football’s recruiting dead period began two weeks ago — which, simply put, is rather absurd. The latest, of course, was Nashville Christ Presbyterian Academy four-star linebacker Kane Patterson this afternoon.

“Right from the beginning, they just made my family feel part of the process. That wasn’t the case for every school,” Patterson told 247Sports’ Barton Simmons. “For the most part it would be me and my parents. They showed us the family aspect that Coach [Urban] Meyer loves. He was just all about family from the beginning so that was important to me.”

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Patterson hoped to make Meyer aware of his intentions to become a Buckeye in person, but the dead period threw a wrench in those plans. He ended up doing so over FaceTime while on vacation last Monday instead.

“We were at the beach for dead period and I just really spent a lot of time praying with my family,” Patterson said. “We just knew that was right and that was home for me.”

Patterson plans to take just one official visit this fall for Ohio State’s regular-season finale against Michigan. He’ll then sign with the Buckeyes one month later.

TAKE TWO FROM THE LONGHORNS' BACK YARD?

Austin, Texas, Bowie four-star wide receiver Elijah Higgins included Ohio State in his Top 7 on Sunday evening alongside Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas.

The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Higgins is considered the 17th-best wide receiver and No. 103 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he caught 26 passes for 425 yards and six touchdowns and was named all-district after he helped the Bulldogs to the state playoffs last fall.

The Buckeyes offered Higgins back in late January, and he’s been to campus twice since. That includes an unofficial visit in April and then an official visit late last month.

“It was great,” Higgins told Eleven Warriors during Nike Football's The Opening Finals. “I’ve been up there before, but it was more getting my parents up there and feeling it for themselves, making sure they’re comfortable. They loved it.”

Higgins was born in Tampa, but lived in Columbus for three years as a child. His younger brother was actually born at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, so they have a lot of familiarity with the area and a connection to the university.

As I mentioned last week, Higgins spent a considerable amount of time with offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and wide receivers coach Zach Smith. He also attended a pool party at Meyer’s house that featured animals from the Columbus Zoo like baby cheetahs and penguins.

“It was a cool deal,” Higgins said. “They really threw it over the top. I know a lot of what they did for us, they’ve never done before.”

The Buckeyes are expected to take three more wide receivers this cycle to complement five-star commit Garrett Wilson — who is good friends with and lives right around the corner from Higgins. He is among the staff’s top-tier targets, with California four-star Kyle Ford, Indiana four-star David Bell and St. Louis four-stars Marcus Washington and Jameson Williams all vying for those final three spots.

Higgins is eyeing an August decision, but it’s hard to get a read on his recruitment. Florida and Stanford are neck-and-neck as the favorites, but I wouldn’t entirely count out Ohio State — especially if Wilson is able to paint a picture of them having success together in Columbus before heading their separate ways in the National Football League.

“Coach Meyer said something about a theory versus what is proven,” Higgins said. “He’s proven that he’s one of the best coaches in college football and he knows what he’s doing. It’s already an established dynasty, you could say. It’s really about whether I want to go do that or go somewhere that’s going to come up [to national prominence] and be a part of that.”

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