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.
Trey Leroux Isn’t “Starstruck”
As was documented in yesterday’s story about three-star Norwalk, Ohio native Trey Leroux’s commitment to Ohio State, Leroux had just received his offer after visiting Ohio State and watching spring practice March 8. He chose to commit to that offer on March 11. Norwalk High School head football coach Todd Fox said, though, that Leroux didn’t make his commitment because of a “starstruck” Ohio State offer.
Fox said Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa had done a good job of developing a relationship with Leroux since the spring of 2018 and that Leroux needed one look at how Ohio State ran its program and practices before deciding he new where he wanted to go.
“We sat down and talked over the weekend a couple times, and we talked about how maybe he needed to wait and think it through,” Fox said. “But as the weekend went further, he just said, ‘There’s no thinking. I know what I want to do.’”
Leroux was searching for a place that felt like home, where he could be treated like part of a family and develop as a player, Fox said, and some other schools had been providing that type of a feeling for Leroux. He had offers from schools like Indiana, Purdue, Rutgers and other non-Power 5 programs. He had been receiving interest from schools like Notre Dame, Michigan State and Michigan but none of the schools had pulled the offer trigger on the 6-foot-8 Ohioan.
“Most kids in Ohio dream of playing for Ohio State, but he’s learned a lot through this process and that there are things other than that out there,” Fox said. “It’s not just a starstruck Ohio State offer. It was, ‘Okay, all the things I want, Ohio State offers.’”
Fox said one of the things that stood out to Leroux was a one-on-one conversation with new head coach Ryan Day, where Day made Leroux feel as if he would be entering a familial atmosphere.
“He really made him feel like, ‘Okay, this is a guy that wants me. They want me to be a part of this program and part of this family,’” Fox said. “That’s what he was looking for.”
Leroux, at 6-foot-8, 320 pounds, has a lot of shaping up to do before he graduates, and Studrawa and Day have communicated to Fox and Leroux that they look forward to seeing how he can change his body before he even steps foot on campus in 2020. Fox said the change from his sophomore season to his junior season was already impressive, but the change that can and is already happening between his junior and senior seasons could be exponential.
OSU Makes The Cut for Two Others
In the same day that four-star Colorado offensive tackle Reece Atteberry included Ohio State in his top-five schools, the Buckeyes were included in two more cut lists Monday evening — No. 1 2020 safety R.J. Mickens’ top-11 and four-star 2020 Kentucky offensive tackle John Young’s top-seven.
Mickens is the No. 42 player overall and is coming off of his fourth visit to Clemson. While clearly having enough interest in Ohio State to include it on his cut list, Rickens is very high on Clemson and a few other schools. The other schools included were Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida, Nebraska and Miami (FL).
— Jeff Okudah (@jokudah_) March 12, 2019
Ohio State junior cornerback Jeffrey Okudah tweeted at Mickens and four-star Arlington cornerback Jalen Kimber to encourage the two Texas corners to choose Ohio State. Okudah is the only Texas cornerback on the 2019 Ohio State roster.
Top 6... pic.twitter.com/QgzuNZAL1e
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) March 11, 2019
Young included a slew of midwestern schools in his top-six, as Ohio State was joined by Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan, Purdue and Georgia (obviously not a midwestern school). Young has a lot of interest in Kentucky but has said he isn’t ruling out Ohio State and Greg Studrawa. He holds his Ohio State offer high on his list and plans to commit sometime in the summer.
College Admission Scheme Hits IMG Academy Director
IMG Academy director Mark Riddell was charged with taking SAT and ACT exams for money, per this report in the Miami Herald. The charge is part of a larger, nationwide story that detailed the cases of 33 parents who paid to have stand-ins for their children on college entrance exams, ensuring that their children were admitted into schools like USC, UCLA, Texas and others.
The report by the Miami Herald touched on the fact that Riddell had been involved in the mail fraud since 2011. There is one case that was detailed from 2018 that explained how Riddell traveled from Tampa to Houston to take an ACT exam for a student the same day and then flexed by guessing he'd scored a 35 out of 36. He scored a 35 and was paid $10,000 after taking the exam in his hotel room. The test administrator was paid $5,000.
IMG Academy is known widely in throughout US high school athletics as one of the most successful schools to push athletes into Division I programs. While no students were listed in the reports as of yet, IMG has several alumni that have had college and professional success, including former Alabama running back and current Dallas Cowboy Bo Scarbrough, current New York Giant Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois. It's most notable alumni are through baseball though, where nine-time MLB All-Star Gary Sheffield, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto and Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Kendrick all played.