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.
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Ohio State five-star wide receiver commit Garrett Wilson has some pretty athletic bloodlines.
His father, Kenny, played basketball and Davidson College and for the National Basketball Association’s Denver Nuggets. His older brothers, Cameron and Donovan, played football at Ohio and Bowling Green, respectively, after stellar individual careers at Dublin Jerome.
Throw on the game tape or watch one of his many highlight catches that have gone viral on Twitter, though, and you’ll instantly see why the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Wilson is considered the most athletic member of his family.
Cris Carter. Joey Galloway. Santonio Holmes. Michael Thomas. Next up? Garrett Wilson.— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 27, 2018
Ohio State fans, meet the freak athlete ready, willing and able to become the Buckeyes' next great wideout. #WeNext pic.twitter.com/7ltjDpv8d6
Kenny couldn't help but notice early on "there was something a little extra" about Garrett's athleticism. As such, his recruitment on a national scale has been unlike anything the Wilson family has seen. But after watching his older brothers go through it, there's so much Garrett has seen that he was prepared for.
"We have a lot of conversations as a family about what Garrett is going through, but he's also seen a lot having grown up in a family of athletes. His brothers have gone through it. As things come up, we talk about it, make sure he's staying focused," Candace [Wilson] said.
"He definitely has a good head on his shoulders, but even though he is mature, people have to realize he's still 17," she continued. "He just needs to be careful with his surroundings and it's magnified now because of who he is. Sometimes people take advantage of kids. So it's just making sure you're surrounded by the right people."
Wilson, who opens his senior season at Austin Lake Travis this Friday against Arlington Martin, is without a doubt Ohio State’s most high-profile commit.
He picked the Buckeyes over the home-state Longhorns back in April, and unfortunately found himself at the center of the university’s recent investigation into head coach Urban Meyer’s knowledge of and actions regarding the domestic abuse allegations against former wide receivers coach Zach Smith when it was reported that Texas head coach Tom Herman and his wife, Michelle, encouraged Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, to come forward with said allegations with the goal of getting him fired.
If ultimately proven true, it only speaks to Wilson’s level of talent and why the entire country views him as a can’t-miss prospect — though Herman denied the report.
Wilson remains committed to Ohio State despite the circumstances that resulted in Meyer being suspended for the first three games of the upcoming season, and he’s set to graduate early and enroll in classes with the Buckeyes in January.
“I’m still good as long as [acting head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach] Ryan Day is there,” Wilson said.
That said, stay tuned to Eleven Warriors on Friday for the first installment of Garrett Wilson's Last Go 'Round, a weekly notebook that will give our readers exclusive access into his senior season with the Cavaliers. He'll be taking the torch from freshman H-Back Jaelen Gill.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Though Ohio State lost a commitment on Friday evening from Tennessee four-star linebacker Kane Patterson, the Buckeyes were able to get through the aforementioned investigation relatively unscathed.
We’ve discussed at length how Meyer relied heavily upon his assistants these last few weeks, particularly Day, defensive coordinator Greg Schiano, running backs coach Tony Alford and defensive line coach Larry Johnson. The relationships they’ve built with commits and targets alike was key as the Buckeyes held onto pledges from 20 prospects from the 2019 and 2020 recruiting classes.
“I think any time you’re dealing with recruiting, it goes back to relationships,” Day told reporters gathered during his first press conference as acting head coach on Monday morning. “The relationships the coaches here have built is strong. Also, the quality of the young men that we’re bringing in here and the culture of those kids is as strong as any place I’ve ever been, and the support has been strong from those recruiting classes.”
Meyer, of course, cannot have contact with his coaches, players or recruits until Sept. 2. The assistants have stepped up in a big way in his absence.
“I can’t get into specifics or people, but we have probably talked on a daily basis with all of the kids,” Day said. “The communication has been, ‘Hey, listen, you can ask questions. We may not have the answers to them, but ask the hard questions.’ So there’s been open communication with all of them, and because of that, they have all stuck together. I know they all communicate with each other, so that’s been a positive.”
THE NEW ZONE 6
Detroit Martin Luther King four-star wide receiver Rashawn Williams will be among the visitors for Ohio State’s season opener against Oregon State this Saturday.
The news was first reported by 247Sports' Allen Trieu, but since confirmed by Eleven Warriors.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Williams — who is considered the 23rd-best wide receiver and No. 149 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 — has been to campus numerous times since the Buckeyes offered him a scholarship during a one-day camp last summer. He was accompanied on his most recent trip to Columbus in late July by his mother and sister, who came away impressed with the program’s emphasis on academics and life after football.
That weekend also gave Williams a chance to spend time with interim wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, who took over for the fired Zach Smith just one week prior. The two watched film together that afternoon and have maintained contact in the weeks sine.
“We just talk about stuff I can use to improve my game,” Williams told Eleven Warriors.
Williams — who had a touchdown reception in the Crusaders’ 52-38 win over East St. Louis on Saturday — has not been shy about his interest Ohio State, and sources close to him indicated he contemplated committing during his last visit. While there’s a chance it could happen this weekend, he’s just focused on becoming for familiar with the coaches and players for now.
“[I’m looking forward to] actually being able to talk to the players after the game and pick their brains or start a relationship and bond with them,” Williams said.