The Hurry Up: Ohio State Makes Cut For Slot Receiver Wandale Robinson While Defensive End Jahzion Harris Discusses Early Interest in Buckeyes

By Andrew Lind on July 13, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Wandale Robinson

Wandale Robinson

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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.

A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS THIS COULD GO

Frankfort, Kentucky, Western Hills four-star all-purpose back Wandale Robinson included Ohio State in his Top 6 on Thursday night alongside Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska and Purdue.

The 5-foot-10, 179-pound Robinson is considered the fourth-best all-purpose back and No. 315 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, as he’s racked up 7,341 total yards and 85 touchdowns his his three-year varsity career with the Wolverines. The Buckeyes are recruiting him as a wide receiver and kick returner, though.

Robinson, you may recall, visited Columbus for the first time for a spring practice back in April, where he hung out with head coach Urban Meyer, running backs coach Tony Alford, wide receivers coach Zach Smith and cornerbacks coach/area recruiter Taver Johnson.

“They need someone who could come in and help them in the return game,” Robinson told Eleven Warriors, noting how he looked forward to building a relationship with the staff moving forward.

After about a month, Meyer followed through with his promise to offer Robinson a scholarship.

“It didn’t seem real at first,” Robinson said. “It means a lot. It’s tough to even put what it means into words. They just see how versatile I am and all the different positions I can play.”

Robinson — whose father played collegiately at Western Kentucky — returned to campus again in June, which gave him a chance to spend some one-on-one time with the staff and see how he’d be utilized within Ohio State’s offense. He’s since taken official visits with the Boilermakers and Wolverines.

Robinson is also scheduled to take official visits with the Cornhuskers and Crimson Tide on Sept. 1 and Sept. 22, respectively, leaving just one visit remaining as he heads toward a late-fall decision. It’s unclear at this time whether the Buckeyes or Wildcats will receive said visit, as he’s been to both campus several times now.

That said, Ohio State remains in the hunt for several other wide receivers to complement five-star commit Garrett Wilson, including California four-star Kyle Ford, Indiana four-star David Bell; Missouri four-stars Marcus Washington and Jameson Williams; and Texas four-star Elijah Higgins. Sources have indicated their respective recruitments won’t impact Robinson’s since the staff views him as a returner than anything else, however.

Shortly after Robinson announced his offer, I placed my 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction in favor of the Buckeyes. I still feel confident in their chances, but that’s obviously reliant upon the number of commitments in the class. If the staff has space late in the process, I think they’ll find room for Robinson. Otherwise, there’s a good chance he ends up at Kentucky or Michigan.

SPECIAL TREATMENT FOR ONE OF THE NATION'S BEST

While hundreds of prospects of all different skill levels were participating in a one-day camp at Ohio State in mid-June, Frankfort, Illinois, Lincoln-Way East four-star wide receiver A.J. Henning had a much different experience during his unofficial visit that same afternoon.

“It was great,” Henning told Eleven Warriors. “Seeing the stadium was awesome, and getting to meet the whole coaching staff was awesome.”

Rather than working out, the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Henning — who is considered the seventh-best wide receiver and No. 40 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — was chauffeured around campus Meyer and Smith. They toured Ohio Stadium, met with academic advisors, discussed how they see him fit within the Buckeyes’ offensive scheme and went into detail about what the program’s Real Life Wendesdays can offer him on and off the field.

Henning — who racked up 651 all-purpose yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Griffins to the second state title in school history last fall — holds more than two dozen offers from programs such as Illinois, Iowa, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The Fighting Irish are considered the favorite to land his pledge, but the Buckeyes are no doubt in the conversation as he looks to start narrowing things down this fall.

KEEP THE PIPELINE FLOWING

Ohio State has created quite the pipeline at Brooklyn Erasmus Hall, beginning with H-Back Curtis Samuel in 2014 and then safety Jahsen Went and center Matthew Jones in 2016 and 2018, respectively. The Buckeyes hope to continue that pattern of success with 2021 defensive end Jahzion Harris, who attended a one-day camp last month.

"It was a great experience," Harris told Eleven Warriors. "I caught on quicker [than last year] to the techniques [defensive line coach Larry Johnson] was trying to teach me. It was kind of the same thing as last year, but I was catching on quicker this time."

This marked the second-consecutive year the 6-foot-4, 198-pound Harris — who is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites, but already holds offers from Ohio State, Rutgers and Syracuse  — has camped with the Buckeyes. He was actually on campus with Jones when he committed last summer, which has allowed him to build a strong relationship with Johnson and defensive coordinator/area recruiter Greg Schiano.

“Every time I come around, he’s always welcoming,” Harris said.

Harris played sparingly as a freshman, but his athleticism is off the charts. He showed as much during the camp, as he notched an absurd 51-inch vertical jump.

There’s a long way to go in Harris’ recruitment, of course, but he didn’t shy away from the assumption that he’ll follow in the footsteps of other Dutchmen and eventually end up with the Buckeyes.

“It’s a possibility,” Harris said. “I really like the environment. It’s not just that, though. I just see the connections after football and everything.”

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