The Hurry Up: Jaheim Thomas Talks Interest in Ohio State, Enrolling Early and Potentially Playing Defensive End

By Taylor Lehman on April 15, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Jaheim Thomas

Jaheim Thomas

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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.

Jaheim Thomas Wants to Enroll Early

When Cincinnati four-star linebacker Jaheim Thomas went to the Under Armour All-America Camp in his hometown Sunday, he was hoping to leave with an invite to the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game. Instead, no linebacker got the invite, and only three participants, including Michigan four-star defensive end Braiden McGregor, earned invitations.

“I was hoping to get the invite, but you know, sometimes things happen,” Thomas said. “I’m just going to keep grinding and keep getting better every day.”

The No. 4 recruit out of Ohio said he wasn’t fully content with his coverage display during the showcase Sunday and that he wants to work on his hip movement before the 2019 season begins.

At 6-foot-5, Thomas was by far the tallest linebacker out of approximately 15 linebackers at the camp, and on the drill that pitting running backs on linebackers one-on-one in passing situations, Thomas relied on his length often.

The Princeton High School junior said that hasn’t worried Ohio State too much during his recruitment.

“They like how I get off the ball, how I rush the QB,” Thomas said. “They like how I cover too.”

Thomas is a third of the famed Cincinnati trio, which includes four-star No. 2 Ohio recruit Darrion Henry and Ohio State commit and No. 1 Ohio recruit Paris Johnson Jr. The Buckeyes had offered Johnson and Henry but held off on Thomas until the trio made several trips to other schools like Michigan State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU and Alabama. All three recruits consistently earned offers on those visits.

The trio has expressed its desire to go to the same school. Princeton head coach Mike Daniels told that to Eleven Warriors in February, and Thomas confirmed it on Sunday.

“We want to go to school together, but at the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for me,” Thomas said.

Ohio State has talked to Thomas about playing either linebacker or defensive end. He said he hasn’t played the defensive end position since his freshman year but that he’d be willing to play there if he had to. Thomas said he’d even feel comfortable choosing to play defensive end if he liked the school enough too.

When he decides which school he wants to play at, he said he would likely be enrolling early, so he hopes to take his official visits and maybe even commit before his senior season begins. The schools he is considering to take officials to are Alabama, Ohio State, LSU and others. He is definitely taking an official to LSU, he said.

Ian Stewart Puts Buckeyes in Top-Seven

Michigan wide receiver Ian Stewart announced his top-seven via Twitter on Sunday night, and one of the seven teams was Ohio State. Also included were Penn State, West Virginia, Michigan State, Kentucky, Louisville and Purdue.

Stewart has made two visits to Ohio State in the last few weeks, including a visit on March 23 during the Student Appreciation Day event followed by a mid-week visit the following week.

Ohio State likes Stewart as a safety, and he would be an above-average-sized player at that position. His frame is already measured at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. Adding weight to him could make him a threat in not only pass coverage but also in stopping the run.

Stewart is open to the possibility of playing either offense or defense and has been since the beginning of his recruitment, when he posted separate film reels for offense and defense on HUDL.com.

The No. 541 overall player in the 2020 class plays all over the field. He’s on the field for offense, defense and special teams, and within those sides of the ball, he plays a versatile role as well. He’s taken snaps at quarterback, lined up as a running back and moves out in motion as a receiver in a smashmouth-type of offense. He plays different roles in punt-blocking and kickoff coverage, and on defense, he mostly lined up in a position similar to the bullet that Ohio State is introducing.

Travion Ford Gets Invited to The Opening Finals

Missouri defensive end Travion Ford became the first 2021 recruit with an invitation to The Opening Finals on Sunday at the regional in St. Louis.

Ford has interest in Ohio State and was in Columbus for a visit on March 23. He was rated as the No. 5 defensive end in his class, the No. 42 overall prospect in the country and the top prospect coming out of Missouri by 247Sports in the site’s most recent Top247.

He has offers from Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, Tennessee, Ohio State and others.

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