The Hurry Up: Safety Brendan Gant Includes Ohio State Among Top Schools While Athlete Peyton Powell Sets Commitment Date

By Andrew Lind on July 12, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Peyton Powell

Peyton Powell

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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.

NO RELATION TO DALLAS

Lakeland, Florida, Kathleen four-star safety Brendan Gant included Ohio State in his Top 11 on Wednesday night alongside Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska and Tennessee.

The 6-foot-1, 186-pound Gant is considered the eighth-best safety and No. 113 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he recorded 26 tackles, five pass break ups, two interceptions and one tackle for a loss for the Red Devils last season.

A one-time Crimson Tide commit, Gant backed off that pledge a few weeks after his unofficial visit to Columbus in early April. Prior to that, he told Eleven Warriors the Buckeyes were among the programs pushing hardest for him to flip his pledge.

That, of course, was before Ohio State landed commitments from New Jersey four-star safety “Rocket” Ronnie Hickman and Maryland three-star safety Bryson Shaw. I don’t believe the Buckeyes are looking to add another safety this cycle, but that could change if they think the former will develop into an outside linebacker at the next level.

Outside of Gant — who most anticipate will end up with the Seminoles — the only other safeties connected to Ohio State at this point in the cycle are Oklahoma five-star Daxton Hill and Maryland four-star Nick Cross. Hill included the Buckeyes in his Top 6 back in April, but has never been to campus, while Cross visited this spring but would reportedly prefer to play somewhere with warmer weather.

Gant plans to narrow his list again to a Top 5 later this summer, which should put Ohio State in the running for an official visit this fall.

LIGHT THE FIREWORKS

Odessa, Texas, Permian three-star athlete Peyton Powell announced late Wednesday night that he will make his college decision on Aug. 13.

The 6-foot-2, 182-pound Powell is considered the 37th-best athlete and No. 447 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. He included Ohio State in his Top 10 alongside Arkansas, Baylor, Illinois, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and Virginia and then took a somewhat unexpected official visit late last month that thrust the Buckeyes to the forefront of his recruitment.

“It’s one of the best schools and the coaching staff is one of the best,” Powell told Eleven Warriors.

Though he plays quarterback for the Panthers, some programs view him as a wide receiver or defensive back. Ohio State, specifically, is recruiting Powell as a cornerback because of his overall athleticism, length and speed.

College football’s recruiting dead period runs through July 24, which means Powell will have a little under three weeks to take a few more visits before making his decision — which he plans on doing. Trips to Fort Worth and Waco are on the docket, though his trip to Columbus may end up being his only official visit.

The Longhorns are probably the only program that poses a threat to the Buckeyes’ chances, but I feel confident in my 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction — and that’s where it will stay through Powell’s announcement.

CUE THE OUTRAGE

With Nike Football’s The Opening Finals in the rearview mirror, 247Sports shared its summer rankings update on Thursday afternoon. The overhauled rankings included a new No. 1 prospect, eight new five-star prospects and one massive (and completely unwarranted) drop for one of Ohio State’s wide receiver targets.

I’ve listed both the Buckeyes’ 14 commits and top targets below, with their composite and 247 rankings below:

COMMITS
TOP TARGETS

Miller obviously became Ohio State’s second five-star commit, while Washington was the notable drop. 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons and Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong, who are responsible for the rankings, claimed Washington showed lackluster speed during The Opening Nashville Regional, didn’t “flash” during The Opening Finals — which, I might add, he sat out a few days with a minor hip injury — and doesn’t play good competition.

Personally, I’d argue there aren’t 10 wide receivers in the country that are better than Washington. When he participated in The Opening Finals, he showed that he is a very crisp route-runner who has excellent hands and the physicality of a go-to red-zone target. But I guess simply making plays on the field, rather than testing numbers, isn’t enough to validate his old ranking.

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