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.
THE HOME-STATE OPTION
Ohio State is off to a tremendous start with its 2020 recruiting class, particularly along the offensive line.
The Buckeyes already hold commitments from Cincinnati St. Xavier five-star tackle Paris Johnson Jr., New Jersey four-star guard Luke Wypler and Georgia four-star tackle Jake Wray and are presumed to be the favorite to land Michigan five-star guard Justin Rogers, Colorado four-star tackle Reece Atteberry and Kansas four-star tackle Turner Corcoran — which would no doubt make for a massive haul in the trenches.
With that said, Norwalk three-star offensive tackle Trey Leroux may also find himself in that conversation sooner rather than later following strong performances at a one-day camp and Friday Night Lights last month.
— Trey Leroux (@trey_leroux) June 23, 2018
“It was an amazing experience that is honestly unexplainable,” Leroux told Eleven Warriors. “There is nothing like being coached and taught by some of the best coaches in the world, and the intensity of it was just amazing.”
The 6-foot-8, 320-pound Leroux is considered the 42nd-best offensive tackle and No. 359 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 and holds just one offer from Toledo. He’s also a heavyweight wrestler who reached the state quarterfinals as a sophomore, though, which is a big reason why programs such as Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame have show interest this spring.
During last month’s camp, Leroux worked directly with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa. The coach was especially impressed with his size and desire to learn.
“He said that he was astounded with how much I grow so quickly in my knowledge of the game, along with my physical attributes, and that he is so excited to be recruiting me,” Leroux said. “He told me to send in some film so coach Meyer could further my evaluation, and he would then make me a Buckeye. It would be a huge honor. Ohio State is my dream school.”
Leroux plans to return to campus again for a game this fall and hopes to build a stronger relationship with Studrawa in the process.
ANOTHER BRYSON IN THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD?
Houston C.E. King four-star safety Bryson Washington included Ohio State in his Top 10 on Friday afternoon alongside Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA.
Truly Thankful For The Opportunity pic.twitter.com/Aytcvy7Bij
— Bryson Washington (@ChasingDream8) July 13, 2018
“I’ve had interest in Ohio State for a while now and I know I can build a better connection with them as I get more into my junior year,” Washington told Eleven Warriors. “Their football program is amazing, so I still have them as an option.”
The 6-foot-2, 196-pound Washington is considered the second-best safety and No. 87 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, as he was named first-team all-state after he recorded 56 tackles and five interceptions for the Panthers last fall. He transferred to California powerhouse Mater Dei back in February and competed in spring practices and 7-on-7 tournaments with the Monarchs, but returned to Texas this summer.
Washington has briefly stopped by campus before, but not since the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship last November. He talks with director of player personnel Mark Pantoni regularly, and is in the process of planning a trip to Columbus for a game this fall.
“He’s just been telling me to stay focused and stay in touch,” Washington said. “I’m hoping to meet the coaches and see the sights again!”
Ohio State also welcomed Brownsburg, Indiana, defensive tackle Dane Middlebrook Jr. to campus for a one-day camp last month, where he was given the opportunity to work with and learn from Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
“It was a pleasure,” Middlebrook told Eleven Warriors. “It was an opportunity that other kids in other states would like to be able to do, but they aren’t able to get here to do that. It was just a privilege and an honor to work with a high-advanced coach like that.
“He is just like my coach at home. He’s like, ‘Let’s get down to business, but let’s also have fun. Let’s get to it.’ We worked on getting my technique down and got to work. For me, it was a hard workout, especially with the techniques that Ohio State uses. It’s a lot different from what I do, but I love learning new things and taking things back to my hometown. Pushing me and getting better, I can’t complain. I love getting better.”
The 6-foot-1, 320-pound Middlebrook is not yet ranked by any major recruiting sites nor does he hold any scholarship offers, but several Big Ten and SEC schools — including Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Ohio State, Purdue and Tennessee — have been in contact this spring. He recorded 18 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery to lead the Bulldogs to the state playoffs last season, where they lost to Avon and Buckeyes four-star running back commit Sampson James.
— Dane Middlebrook Jr (@DaneM2020) March 30, 2018
Middlebrook feels as if he’s closing in on an offer from Ohio State following his camp performance and unofficial visit earlier this spring. Johnson laid out a plan for that to happen, too.
“[He talked about how] I need to watch what I eat, push myself more in the weight room, lose more weight and be a beast on the football field,” Middlebrook said. “That gives me more motivation, to try to push myself and do something that my dad couldn’t do and make it to the collegiate level and to the NFL. I just want to make my mom proud.”
If the Buckeyes do offer, Middlebrook admitted they’ll be difficult to beat. Johnson, of course, and the culture surrounding the program are big reasons why.
“It’s a family,” Middlebrook said. “As soon as I came here for my unofficial visit, Coach Johnson said, ‘We need you. We want you to come back [for camp]. As soon as he said that, I told my dad, ‘Let’s sign up for Ohio State.’ I came here and worked my butt off, coach Johnson trained me and pushed me to be a better player.”