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.
MOTHER KNOWS BEST
As mentioned in yesterday’s edition of The Hurry Up, Ohio State welcomed a trio of very talented prospects from Washington D.C. St. John’s College. That includes five-star linebacker Mekhail Sherman, four-star wide receiver Rakim Jarrett and four-star defensive tackle Tre Williams.
The Buckeyes have been viewed as the favorite to land the 6-foot, 182-pound Jarrett — who is considered the seventh-best wide receiver and No. 46 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — from the moment defensive line coach and area recruiter Larry Johnson extended an offer earlier this month. This was his first time on campus in a recruiting capacity, however.
“It was great,” Jarrett told Eleven Warriors. “It exceeded my expectations, from coach [Brian] Hartline to the academics, Real Life Wednesdays and how the team interacts. It really is a brotherhood.”
Jarrett and his teammates received a tour of campus and the facilities, including Ohio Stadium and the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. He also hung out with head coach Urban Meyer, interim wide receivers coach Brian Hartline and wide receiver Austin Mack — who whooped him in NBA 2K18 by 43 points.
“They just told me about the opportunities I have by coming to Ohio State and how they would use me in their offense,” Jarrett said.
It was a huge first weekend on the job for Hartline — who was promoted from within after Meyer fired long-time receivers coach Zach Smith amid domestic abuse allegations — with Jarrett and Michigan wideouts Devell Washington and Rashawn Williams visiting. It would appear he made a great first impression.
“He’s a very exciting guy that has a lot of knowledge about the game,” Jarrett said. “I believe he’s going to be a great coach for Ohio State, and I don’t have to worry about him leaving anytime soon. According to him, he’s there to stay.”
Jarrett recently listed Ohio State in his Top 4 alongside Alabama, Florida State and Penn State, but has since backed off that and reopened his recruitment to all schools at his mother’s urging. Even so, it’s clear the Buckeyes are going to be hard to beat moving forward.
“They’re at the top [of the list],” Jarrett said, noting how he wants to get his mom on the phone with Meyer and then up to a game this fall — likely the season finale against Michigan.
All that said, Jarrett seems like he’s going to heed her advice about taking the process slowly. He doesn’t have a decision timeline in mind, but said he’ll make one whenever his mom is comfortable.
THAT ARK HAS SAILED
Ohio State may already holds a pair of commitments at running back in four-stars Steele Chambers and Sampson James, but that didn’t stop IMG Academy four-star Noah Cain from including the Buckeyes in his Top 6 on Sunday evening alongside Auburn, LSU, Oklahoma, Penn State and Texas.
The 5-foot-11, 209-pound Cain — who is considered the sixth-best running back and No. 102 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — has been to Columbus numerous times over the last year, most recently for a two-day unofficial visit with his father in March. He sat down with Meyer and running backs coach Tony Alford that weekend, and they explained how the Buckeyes would have room for him no matter how many running backs were in the fold.
Chambers unexpectedly pledged his services to Ohio State a few weeks later, but Cain has remained adamant that it won’t have an effect on his eventual decision.
“I’m not worried about those guys,” Cain told Eleven Warriors shortly thereafter. “I know my skill level and worth.”
At the time Buckeyes were also in pursuit of Virginia four-star Devyn Ford, who claimed he was caught off guard by Chambers’ decision and then committed to Penn State in May. Alford kept Cain in the loop, however.
“[He] lets me know everything that’s going on,” Cain said. “That’s why I have a strong relationship with them.”
All that said, it’s unlikely Ohio State adds a third running back this cycle — that is, unless the staff ultimately believes Chambers is better suited to play linebacker at the next level — especially give Arizona four-star Darvon Hubbard’s early commitment and the overall depth at the position in the Class of 2020.
The Buckeyes may receive an official visit from Cain this fall, as well, but they’re certainly looking up at the Longhorns, Nittany Lions and Tigers (the purple and gold kind) in his recruitment — and, by all indications, are perfectly fine with that.
Cain plans to make his decision during the Earlu Signing Period in December.
FOLLOW IN HIS FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS OR FORGE HIS OWN PATH
Ohio State offered a scholarship to Grand Rapids, Michigan, East Kentwood three-star offensive guard Dallas Fincher during his unofficial visit on Friday. He was accompanied on the trip by his teammate, Bryce Mostella, a four-star defensive end who also landed an offer from the Buckeyes that afternoon.
I'm shocked and thrilled to say that i've received an offer from The University Of Ohio State!!!!!!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/lsDT1geHYw— Dallas Fincher (@Dallas72D) July 27, 2018
“It’s huge to me to have a school that is great like Ohio State show interest,” Fincher told Eleven Warriors.
This was the third trip to campus for the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Fincher, who is considered the 20th-best offensive guard and No. 482 prospect overall in the Class of 2020. He spent most of his time that day with Meyer, offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa and cornerbacks coach/area recruiter Taver Johnson.
“It was great in terms of learning more about the program and meeting with the coaches,” Fincher said, noting he and Studrawa watched his film together. “He liked my technique and my aggressiveness.”
Fincher holds nearly 20 offers from programs such as Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Purdue and Wisconsin. His father, Mark, played for the Spartans from 1983-86, though, so they’re considered the early favorite in his recruitment.
That said, Fincher remains open to other schools and has Ohio State in his Top 2.
“I hope to be back on campus with my parents as many times as I can,” Fincher said. “I also want to keep my relationship with coach Meyer, coach Stud, coach Johnson, coach Wilson and the rest of their great staff.”