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.
KANE'T GET THROUGH UNSCATHED
Nashville, Tennessee, Christ Presbyterian Academy four-star linebacker Kane Patterson decommitted from Ohio State on Friday evening in the wake of the university’s investigation into head coach Urban Meyer and news of his three-game suspension.
The news was first reported by 104.5 The Zone’s Jason Martin, who was broadcasting the Lions’ 38-22 win over Ensworth in which Patterson rushed for a pair of touchdowns. Following the game, he told the Brentwood Home Page he and his family grew uncomfortable with the controversy surrounding Meyer and the Buckeyes’ football program.
“What was going on with Ohio State for a little bit [played a role in the decision],” Patterson said. “Coach Meyer was a huge part for me, so I just kind of need to take a step back and reevaluate some things.”
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Patterson committed to the Buckeyes in early July over finalists Alabama, Tennessee and Texas A&M. He’s also now considering Clemson, which offered him a scholarship earlier this month, but is in no hurry to make another decision on his future.
“I’m going to consider everything,” Patterson said. “I’m just going to focus on the season and when it comes, it comes.”
Ohio State now holds commitments from 14 prospects in its Dynasty ’19 recruiting class, but its worth noting Patterson is the first and only prospect to open things back up since wide receivers coach Zach Smith was fired last month and the university subsequently placed Meyer on paid administrative leave to conduct the investigation into his knowledge of and actions regarding the domestic abuse allegations against his former assistant. After talking with the remaining members of the Buckeyes’ next two recruiting classes and their family members, I anticipate he’ll be the only causality of the investigation, however.
The staff — which was made aware of Patterson’s feelings of unease last week — will certainly look to add another linebacker to complement Lexington four-star Cade Stover and Indiana three-star Craig Young. But as I mentioned Friday evening, Ohio State has offers out to 17 linebackers at the moment, and of those, only Patterson and St. Louis four-star Shammond Cooper are uncommitted.
Coaches are unable to hit the road during college football’s recruiting dead period, which runs through the end of the month, but they’ll be able to evaluate a number of in-state options in the coming weeks.
With strong senior seasons, players like Clayton Northmont three-star and Iowa commit Jestin Jacobs; Cleveland St. Ignatius three-star and Boston College pledge Tommy Eichenberg; Massillon Washington three-star Jamir Thomas; Reynoldsburg three-star Dezman Cooper; or Youngstown Cardinal Mooney three-star and Michigan State commit Luke Fulton could find their way into the class.
BACK IN THE SWING OF THINGS
The dead period was a key contributor, but Ohio State has only offered two prospects since the investigation into Meyer began on Aug. 1. That includes Powder Springs, Georgia, McEachern four-star receiver Javon Baker, who announced his offer on Thursday evening.
Blessed to receive a offer from THE HIO STATE pic.twitter.com/J4W6eagxwc
— 7 (@javondbaker7) August 23, 2018
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Baker is considered the 22nd-best wide receiver and No. 133 prospect overall in the Class of 2020, though he hauled in just 13 receptions for 199 yards and three touchdowns in the Indians’ run-heavy offensive attack last season. He holds nearly 20 offers in spite of that, including from schools such as Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
“He also does the Hines Ward things where he is out blocking,” McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman told the Marietta Daily Journal. “He’s working, he’s doing all of it. It’s not just the glory part of it [for him].”