The Hurry Up: Recruits React to Ohio State's Spring Practice and Student Appreciation Day

By Taylor Lehman on March 24, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Jack Sayer and J.J. McCarthy

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.

Several top recruits were in Columbus for Ohio State’s Student Appreciation Day on Saturday. The recruits were moved around the practice field according to their positions, watching each position run drills, and eventually, they were worked in for photoshoots.

The Woody Hayes Athletic Center was packed with students, who were invited to watch the Buckeyes practice, and that created an atmosphere that a few recruits really enjoyed.

This is a list of some of the recruits that were at the event:

Julian Fleming

Lejond Cavazos

Jack Sawyer

Jakob James

Mike Drennen

Henry Gray

J.J. McCarthy

Emeka Egbuka

Lorenzo Styles

Beaux Collins

Terah Edwards

Travion Ford

Miller Moss

Jack Brandon

Isaiah Hackett

Miquan Grace

Jeffrey Beverly

Elliot Donald

Aaron Lewis

Ian Stewart

Ty Hamilton

Michael O’Shaughnessy

Jake Seibert

Eleven Warriors was able to catch up with a few of the visitors after leaving Columbus.

Jack Sawyer

Five-star Pickerington defensive end Jack Sawyer is frequently around the program. He was at a mid-week spring practice last week, chatting with the current defensive linemen. He spent a particular amount of time with defensive end and potential top-10 NFL Draft pick Chase Young.

The Ohio State commit said his relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson was strong when he committed in February and has continued to grow since he made that commitment.

“Since I’ve committed, the love has done nothing but grow, honestly,” Sawyer said. “It’s like they’ve already opened up and accepted me into their family. I probably have the closest relationship with Coach Johnson. He’s the best D-line coach in the country and has a way to coach you and push you in a variety of ways.”

Sawyer said he wasn’t expecting the crowd that showed up to the Buckeyes’ Student appreciation Day – an event that is far different than the typical spring practices Sawyer is able to sit in on – but that it created an environment that he could get used to.

Normally, Sawyer would be playing AAU basketball in the spring, but this spring, since Pickerington North’s basketball season has come to an end, he is focusing on football, working on speed and agility and getting his body in better football shape.

J.J. McCarthy

Illinois 2021 quarterback J.J. McCarthy has dreamed of playing for Ohio State since he was a child. Now, the quarterback who will likely be one of the best in his class when 247Sports’ composite ratings are released has begun developing a relationship with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day.

I liked the intensity of practice, film sessions and the educational toured they had for me,” McCarthy said. “Also, my conversation with Coach Day. I know right where I stand with him.”

McCarthy cited Day’s experience playing quarterback at New Hampshire, coaching the position with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles and his various coaching roles at the collegiate levels as aspects of what the head coach can bring to a quarterback recruit-head coach relationship.

“I love his creative mind and his passing concepts,” McCarthy said. “He loves to throw the ball around with purpose. I love how he is so heavily involved in the pass offense.”

The Illinois prospect left Columbus feeling high on Ohio State, saying he will be back to visit “very soon” and that the intensity of the fanbase was the best he has seen so far.

The Nazareth Academy sophomore said he is looking for a program that has intensity on the field and in the classroom, a winning tradition and a consistent championship mentality. That’s what he has found so far at Ohio State.

“I will continue visiting other schools, McCarthy said “Right now, I am looking for the same atmosphere that Ohio State has – intensity, winning tradition and a top-notch education.”

McCarthy said he plans to visit Arizona State on Thursday while he’s on spring break and then visit Wisconsin and other Big Ten schools soon. He hasn’t scheduled his SEC visits yet either. He won't be attending camps this summer because he will be focusing on preparing for the fall, after his team won the state title last season.

Isaiah Hackett

Isaiah Hackett, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound athlete out of Youngstown, Ohio, left Columbus on Saturday feeling optimistic about his future with the Buckeyes.

“It was a great time,” Hackett said. “The coaches keep it real there. That is my top school right now.”

The 2020 athlete is being recruited as a cornerback by most schools including Ohio State, has developed a good relationship with Tony Alford and has another visit scheduled for next weekend. Hackett said he feels 100-percent sure that he will receive an offer from the Buckeyes eventually.

Hackett is rated as the No. 71 prospect out of Ohio by 247Sports and the equivalent of the No. 5 athlete in the state. He has four offers from Bowling Green, Southern Florida, Fresno State and Florida A&M.

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