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.
MEET ME IN THE MIDDLE
On Wednesday morning — exactly one week after he teased an announcement of some sort — Owings Mills, Maryland, McDonogh School three-star defensive tackle D’Von Ellies included Ohio State in his Top 4 alongside Rutgers, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Thank God pic.twitter.com/oGaj0rBflT— Dvon Ellies (@dfesquire) July 18, 2018
The 6-foot-2, 280-pound Ellies, who is considered the 27th-best defensive tackle and No. 418 prospect overall in the Class of 2019, visited Columbus for the first and only time last month. He was accompanied by his parents and siblings and received a considerable amount of individual instruction from defensive line coach Larry Johnson during the Buckeyes’ one-day camp.
“It was a great experience,” Ellies told Eleven Warriors. “I learned a lot. I’ve never really had a coach like that. I really got the college experience. It was just great. With his experience, I felt as though I learned a lot. It was just quality work that we put in. He said I do some things very well, but I still have a lot to work on. I’m going to take all of the information that he gave me today, go back home and work on it.”
Ellies also met with head coach Urban Meyer when the camp concluded.
“[He told me I’m a] great player from a great family, and he just looks forward to building a better relationship with me,” Ellies said.
Ellies initially planned to narrow down his list of scholarship offers to just eight schools and then announce his college decision in August. Sources close to both the prospect and the program indicated he may have been looking to commit sooner than that — maybe even last weekend — but it appears he seemingly found a happy medium instead.
The hold up is that Ohio State is likely to take just one defensive tackle this cycle after signing three of the nation’s best last year and the staff doesn’t feel pressed to add a commitment just yet with a number of irons in the fire — if you will.
That said, Hawaii five-star Faatui Tuitele is at the top of the staff’s priority chart, but the odds of landing his pledge are slim unless there’s a drastic change in momentum during an official visit later this fall. The staff also has considerable interest in Florida four-star Tyler Davis, despite some reported weight concerns, which means Ellies doesn’t necessarily have the green light to commit at this time. Throw in Missouri three-star Etinosa Reuben, who is expected to make a decision by the end of the month, and the staff could go several different ways — though I've been told he is also in wait-and-see mode.
If the staff changes its mindset, though, I expect Ellies to end up with the Buckeyes.
“The overall environment [stands out],” he said. “It’s just a great environment filled with great people, and the coaching staff is amazing.”
Ellies is hoping to take an official visit to Columbus before he makes a decision, which will give both sides a bit more clarity on where things stand. If he remains on the outside looking in, the Hokies will likely be the pick. After all, Ellies’ former teammate, three-star quarterback DeJuan Ellis, signed with the program back in December.
THE NEXT CASS TECH
Detroit Martin Luther King three-star offensive tackle Deondre Buford was among a large contingent of prospects from the state of Michigan to attend Ohio State’s one-day camp in mid-June.
“It was fun,” Buford told Eleven Warriors. “The coaches coached me up real good every time I lost a rep. They told me they like me. Told me I did good today. That’s a good feeling.”
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Buford is considered the 50th-best offensive tackle and No. 455 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 and holds more than a dozen offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Syracuse, but I’m sure he’ll see his stock continue to rise over the next year and half since he displays an impressive blend of size, length and quick feet.
Buford — who visited campus for the first time this spring and has been building a relationship with cornerbacks coach and area recruiter Taver Johnson ever since — worked with offensive line coach Greg Studrawa all afternoon. In addition to the aforementioned attributes, he felt he showed the staff a willingness to learn.
“I take coaching well,” Buford said. “Some of the guys, it goes in one ear and out the other. When you tell me something, I get it down and do it right the next time.”
Buford plans to return to campus for a game this fall — likely with his teammates, four-star wide receiver Rashawn Williams and four-star running back Peny Boone — and hopes that’ll lead to an offer from the Buckeyes.
“It would mean a lot because it’s closer to home, I like the facility and I like the coaches,” he said. “It’s just a good feeling here every time I come.”
MIGHT HE BE NEXT?
Ohio State has created quite the pipeline at Brooklyn Erasmus Hall, with H-Back Curtis Samuel, safety Jahsen Wint and center Matthew Jones all making their way to Columbus in the last five years.
If you ask head coach Danny Landberg, though, three-star athlete William “Apache” Mohan — who camped with the Buckeyes last month — may be the most-talented Dutchman yet.
“The camp was good,” Mohan told Eleven Warriors. “I competed against some good players. I came out and I showed I could do my thing.”
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Mohan is considered the 61st-best athlete and No. 664 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, but projects to play safety at the next level. He holds offers from Kent State, Rutgers and Syracuse, and his 4.5-second 40-yard dash has programs like Ohio State and Oregon showing early interest, as well.
All that said, Mohan played middle linebacker for Erasmus Hall last season and went through drills at the camp with linebackers coach Bill Davis.
“It was great,” Mohan said. “He taught us how to stay near the hip and not over-pursue because they will cut back. So he taught us all of the good, fundamentals of a linebacker and what to do.”
If the Buckeyes do eventually offer Mohan, there’s no doubt they’d be the team to beat.
“It would mean a lot to me,” Mohan said. “That would be a dream come true. It’s the elite. The top players. The best.”