The Hurry Up: Wide Receiver Marcus Washington Reaffirms Decision Date While Running Back Peny Boone Discusses Interest in Ohio State

By Andrew Lind on July 17, 2018 at 6:50 pm
Marcus Washington

Marcus Washington

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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.

BACK TO YOUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING

St. Louis Trinity Catholic four-star wide receiver Marcus Washington isn’t going to delay his college decision after all.

On Monday night, just a few weeks after he told reporters at The Opening Finals he might push back his timeline in order to visit some other schools, Washington shared on Twitter that his original plan — which was to announce on his birthday, Aug. 7 — is back on.

“I really didn’t want to drag out the recruiting process and the complications and stress into the season,” Washington told Eleven Warriors. “During the season, I’m focusing on winning a state championship and doing whatever it takes to do that.”

The 6-foot-2, 193-pound Washington — who is considered the 25th-best wide receiver and No. 143 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — included Ohio State in his Top 6 this spring alongside Florida State, Georgia, Missouri, Oregon and Texas, but has since narrowed his list to just the Buckeyes and Tigers.

“I know the two schools that have my interest the most, and I am ready to focus on those two only,” Washington said. “Those were the two schools who showed the most love and interest, and I relate and get along with both programs, coaches and players, as well.”

Washington took his official visit to Columbus in late June, but plans to return to campus in an unofficial capacity shortly after college football’s recruiting dead period comes to a close later this month. He’ll travel to Columbia before his announcement, as well, which gives both schools one final chance to swing things in their favor.

“My final decision will be based off which school I feel can get me to the league,” Washington said. “Also, where and how a school will use me and who will care for me outside of football more, because football will come to an end one day.”

All that said, August is shaping up to be another booming month on the recruiting trail for Ohio State. In addition to Washington’s announcement, Texas three-star cornerback Peyton Powell and Olentangy Orange five-star defensive end Zach Harrison are set to make their college decisions known on Aug. 13 and 14, respectively.

GAINING CLARITY

Ohio State hosted seven official visitors during that final weekend in June, with Powell, Washington and Riverside, Missouri, Park Hill South three-star defensive end Etinosa Reuben among those in attendance.

It marked the first and only trip to Columbus for the 6-foot-3, 275-pound Reuben, who is considered the 27th-best strong-side defensive end and No. 427 prospect overall in the Class of 2019. And according to Lettermen Row’s Jeremy Birmingham, it could very well be his last.

Reuben is set to announce his college decision by the end of July, which will come on the heels of an unofficial visit to Clemson later this month. He also took official visits to Georgia and Wisconsin in June, so it should be presumed he’s down to those four schools.

The Buckeyes are recruiting Reuben as a defensive tackle, but sources close to the program have indicated the staff is only likely to take one interior lineman this cycle — and he falls behind Maryland three-star D’Von Ellies, who is close to a decision of his own, and Florida four-star Tyler Davis on the list of priorities. Another name to keep in mind, too, is New York three-star Jared Harrison-Hunte.

LIL PENY

Ohio State will have plenty of options at the running back position next cycle, with California five-star Kendall Milton, Arizona four-star (and Akron native) Darvon Hubbard, Dublin Coffman four-star Michael Drennen II, Florida four-star Demarkcus Bowman and Texas four-star Emmitt “E.J.” Smith all holding an offer from and showing significant interest in the Buckeyes early in the process.

Detroit Martin Luther King four-star running back Peny Boone should soon find himself in that conversation, as well, following a strong performance during a one-day camp in Columbus last month.

"It was great working out for the Ohio State coaches because I really like the school a lot," Boone told reporters gathered after the camp, including Eleven Warriors. "I know some of the Detroit kids that have come to Ohio State and done really well, and that means a lot to me."

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Boone is, of course, referring to former Canton offensive guard Michael Jordan and Cass Tech running back Mike Weber, offensive tackle Joshua Alabi and safety Damon Webb.

During the camp, Boone — who is considered the 29th-best running back and No. 283 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — worked with running backs coach Tony Alford and displayed an impressive blend of size and speed.

“I’m a bigger back, and I like to run through people and be very physical when I run the football,” Boone said, comparing himself to Weber and former Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott. “[Alford] talked to me about areas that he thinks I need to improve on. I need to work on having better vision, and making better cuts going through the holes."

Boone holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Boston College, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Nebraska, Purdue, Syracuse and Tennessee, but hopes Ohio State comes through sooner rather than later.

“I just have to keep in touch with them,” he said. “If I just do that, they’ll for sure give me an offer.”

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