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.
Akinola Ogunbiyi Has OSU in “Top Five”
Shortly after his Valentine’s Day offer from Ohio State, Texas four-star offensive guard Akinola Ogunbiyi’s head coach Darrin Andrus told Eleven Warriors that the No. 11 guard in the 2020 class was reopening his recruitment after committing to Texas A&M in May 2018. On May 7, Ogunbiyi made it official, announcing his de-commitment via Twitter.
“It was really an honesty thing,” Ogunbiyi said. “I know how schools and coaches see it when you visit other schools and you’re committed. When you’re committed you’re kind of in a marriage.”
THANK YOU TEXAS A&M!!!!!— AKI (@AkinolaOgunbiyi) March 6, 2019
RECRUITMENT 100% OPEN pic.twitter.com/Gk2guTEzUY
Ogunbiyi received his offer from Texas A&M, and at the time, it was his only offer. In fact, it would be his only offer for two to three months later as well. After receiving that offer, Ogunbiyi’s mother suffered a stroke the following day and life changed for the guard. He suddenly needed to get up early to make breakfast for his mother and get her ready for the day before heading to school himself. Andrus said he still never missed a practice.
While he still had offers from Texas, Oklahoma, LSU and other schools, Ogunbiyi committed to Texas A&M for its proximity to his home and his relationship with former Texas A&M offensive line coach Jim Turner.
“I actually had almost all the offers I could have wanted when I committed,” Ogunbiyi said. “Maybe I would have wanted a Clemson offer, but I had almost all the ones I could have wanted. I want to be in a place where I can win and where I can develop. As an example, sure someone could go to Alabama, but could they learn at Alabama? I’m just trying to find a place where I can develop.”
Since receiving the offer from Ohio State, Ogunbiyi has also earned offers from Virginia Tech, Texas and Ole Miss and took an unofficial visit to Oklahoma. The Sugar Land, Texas product also scheduled an official visit to Oklahoma for April 12.
Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson is the primary recruiter for Ogunbiyi and made contact to extend an offer and begin a relationship with Ogunbiyi. It’s been enough to keep the No. 211 2020 prospect interested in the Buckeyes. Ogunbiyi said, while he doesn’t have a concrete top five list nailed down, he said Ohio State would make the cut, along with Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and LSU.
He hasn’t scheduled a visit yet for financial reasons, but he plans to visit Georgia before he takes his Oklahoma official visit in April and hopes to make it to LSU and Alabama too.
Ohio State Extends Trio of Offers
Between Friday and Saturday, Ohio State offered three new athletes, one from each of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 classes. The youngest of the three, Colorado athlete Gavin Sawchuk, has garnered quite a bit of interest form some top programs as a high school freshman.
A freshman in former NFL wideout Ed McCaffrey’s system at Valor Christian High School, Sawchuk is the teammate of McCaffrey’s youngest son, Luke, who signed with Nebraska as a four-star dual-threat quarterback in the 2019 class. Sawchuk was a major playmaker in that offense in 2018.
The freshman’s biggest home run plays came on four kickoff return touchdowns and a 98-yard run, but his dynamic abilities opened up many opportunities for Valor in his first season.
Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford found Sawchuk while visiting Valor Christian for four-star 2020 offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten. While it’s still early in his development, Sawchuk could be viewed as an H-back type of player who moves between slot and running back, but what is clear is that McCaffrey likes to get him the ball in open space.
“From what I’ve been told, recruiting comes up on you fast,” Sawchuk said. “So I’ve actually been doing some research on some schools right now. I think Ohio State is a good program, and I’d like to visit sometime.”
Ohio State also extended an offer to the Class of 2021’s No. 1 cornerback Tony Grimes out of Virginia and four-star 2020 cornerback Joel Williams out of Louisiana. Grimes is up to 28 offers now, and nine of them have come after Jan. 31. Ohio State was Williams’ 45th offer, and leading the way for the 2020 cornerback is Texas A&M and LSU.
Cincinnati Trio Makes Weekend of Visits
In what has become one of the most discussed trios in the 2020 class, Ohio State five-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson, Jr., four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas and four-star defensive end Darrion Henry made more visits as a group this weekend, starting with Tennessee.
Give My All For Tennessee.. pic.twitter.com/ccJSpGE0GS— Paris Johnson Jr. (@ParisJohnsonJr) March 16, 2019
The Cincinnati recruits made their way to Georgia to visit Georgia Tech on Saturday and then Georgia on Sunday. Thomas is the only one of the three without an offer from Ohio State, and the three have hinted at wanting to be at the same school.