The Hurry Up: Jaxon Smith-Njigba Balls out at The Opening, What Student Appreciation Day Means for Recruiting

By Taylor Lehman on March 4, 2019 at 6:32 pm
Jaxon Smith-Njigba

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.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba Shows Out in Dallas

Ohio State 2020 wide receiver commit Jaxon Smith-Njigba showed why the Buckeyes are excited to have the commitment of the No. 26 wide receiver in the class this weekend at The Opening Regionals in Dallas.

He posted the second-best wide receiver-tight end score of the regional showcase and will certainly be invited to the national round. He missed out on WR/TE MVP by less than a point behind Keller Central (TX) High School athlete and Oklahoma commit Davon Graham, who classifies as both a defensive back and a wideout.

He hit 4.60 seconds on his 40-yard dash and 37 inches on his vertical. He also measured in at 6-foot-1 and 194 pounds.His score of 119.67 tested in the 99th percentile of The Opening athletes tested in the first four weeks of the showcase this year.

Ryan Watts, a three-star No. 32 cornerback out of Texas who received an Ohio Sate offer Feb. 15, finished just behind Smith-Njigba in the same regional with a 116.91. His score finished sixth overall behind Smith-Njigba's fifth-place finish.

Watts ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and jumped 38 inches in the vertical. Both marks were slightly better than Smith-Njigba and none of Watts' marks were lower than the 98th percentile of The Opening athletes measured. 

The argument can be made that both Smith-Njigba and Watts are underrated among fellow wideouts and cornerbacks.

Four-star cornerback Jalen Kimber out of Mansfield Timberview (TX) High School was one of the prospects that opened eyes the most at the Dallas regional. The No. 26 cornerback in the 2020 class posted the best rating of the tested athletes, with 125.85, and he hit 4.47 in his 40-yard dash. 

He received offers from Oklahoma and Texas this weekend. Ohio State added its name to the list by offering Kimber on Monday evening as well.

Anton Harrison Includes Ohio State

Washington D.C. four-star offensive tackle Anton Harrison included Ohio State in his top-six schools Monday via Twitter.

Harrison is the No. 4 prospect out of the Washington D.C. area and the No. 17 offensive tackle in his class. He also included Penn State, Maryland, Oklahoma, Michigan and Ole Miss. 

Student Appreciation Day

Ohio State announced Monday that Student Appreciation Day will take place March 23. What makes that date interesting in the realm of recruiting is that March 23 is the Saturday when most of Ohio State's visits take place in the month of March.

At least six Ohio Sate targets, including Henry Gray, J.J. McCarthy, Brian Branch, Reece Atteberry, Luke Wypler and Travion Ford, will be visiting that weekend. 

Students can eat free food, watch practice and take photos with the Rose Bowl and Big Ten championship trophies. That means visiting recruits will likely have photo opportunities with the trophies as well and can see the number of students at the practice. That can have an influence on any recruitment process. 

March is a big host month for Ohio State, as the Buckeyes have recruits coming into Columbus for the rest of March's weekends. Three-star Massachusetts tight end Cam Large will be in town this weekend.

OSU Targets Over the Weekend

Big 2021 Ohio State target Emeka Egbuka, a four-star athlete out of Washington, received an offer form Alabama this weekend. The 6-foot-1 recruit is the early No. 38 prospect in the nation and was seen at the Las Vegas Pylon 7v7 Tournament, and as an underclassman, Egbuka caught 116 passes for 2,300 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Indiana defensive end Deontae Craig, who has seen his recruitment skyrocket in February, received another Power 5 offer Sunday, announcing that he added a Minnesota offer to his growing list. The three-star defensive end out of Fort Wayne now has 13 offers, and his last four have come from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and Minnesota. He also has offers form Michigan State, Tennessee, Purdue and others.

California five-star wide receiver Johnny Wilson was invited to the Under Armour All-America Game, as well as fellow California four-star wideout LV Bunkley-Shelton.

Cam Large made a visit to Wisconsin this weekend, while 2021 tight end Cane Berrong visited Clemson on Monday. Jalen Berger, the No. 50 prospect overall in the Class of 2020 with a lot of mutual interest with Ohio State, visited West Virginia this weekend as well.

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