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.
Jayden Ballard displays skills in Massillon showcase
Massillon 2021 wide receiver Jayden Ballard competed in Washington High School’s second annual showcase on Wednesday at the Paul E. Brown Indoor Facility. The wideout is rated as the No. 19 wide receiver in his class and is a big Ohio State target.
Nearly the entire Washington team participated in front of more than 40 colleges for two hours, and Ballard stood out the most.
“It was really good for Jayden, but it was also really good for all of the other guys to be able to play in front of more than 40 colleges,” Washington head coach Nate Moore said.
Jayden Ballard in the three-come drill. Trying to stay off the hash on the way back through the line. Keeps it as tight as it gets here at the Massillon Showcase. pic.twitter.com/QqCkLjAiFC— Taylor Lehman (@TaylorRLehman) May 1, 2019
Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline was at the event, and it was clear that he has developed a good relationship with Ballard and the staff, especially with growing up at the nearby Glen Oak High School.
Hartline even hand-timed – with the encouragement of the Washington staff – one of Ballard’s two attempts at the 40-yard dash. He ran a 4.48 on that attempt but ran a 4.45 on his first attempt.
2021 wideout and big Ohio State target Jayden Ballard runs a 4.48 40-yard dash. His first one was 4.45. Ohio State is here to watch him at the Massillon Showcase. pic.twitter.com/RiEBpFacfI— Taylor Lehman (@TaylorRLehman) May 1, 2019
Ballard was able to show his footwork, lateral movement and agility in individual drills. Each player ran through five different drills, getting two repetitions for each, and eventually, positions separated for 15-20 minutes, allowing Ballard to catch passes from Washington's quarterbacks.
Ballard has an uncanny ability to cut and redirect smoothly, as well as be economic with his energy, moving quickly but not fighting himself to pick up speed. He can catch nearly anything thrown his way as well. The sophomore caught 36 passes in 2018 for 851 yards (averaging 23.6 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
Jayden Ballard is running routes and catching passes now. pic.twitter.com/PUCwYzp6CJ— Taylor Lehman (@TaylorRLehman) May 1, 2019
Following The Opening in Massillon, Moore encouraged Ballard to contact Hartline about his performance numbers. There’s clearly strong trust between Moore and Hartline, and that can work wonders when it comes to the receiver’s decision down the road.
Ballard seems like a wideout that could make an early commitment too. It wouldn’t be surprising if he made a decision before the 2020 signing day.
LV Bunkley-Shelton Continues to be interested in Buckeyes
When asked whether he was still fairly interested in Ohio State, four-star California wideout LV Bunkley-Shelton replied, “VERY INTERESTED.”
This comes in reaction to his visit to Ohio State on April 13, when he was one of many recruits visiting to watch the Ohio State spring game.
“I’m trying to get together with some of the committed guys like Gee (Scott Jr.) and Jaxon (Smith-Njigba) and do something special in Columbus,” Bunkley-Shelton said. “I would say tOSU is definitely one of my top choices.”
Bunkley-Shelton has already expressed to Eleven Warriors what he thinks about Brian Hartline, but his visit to Ohio State opened his eyes a bit more to the Buckeyes and has made him want tot return for an official visit. He’d also head to USC and Oregon, two top schools that are pursuing him as well.
“The atmosphere and the staff,” Bunkley-Shelton said about what impressed him about Ohio State. “Seems like everything at Ohio State is earned. I’m not 6-foot-2, 220, and I’m not 10.3 (100-meter dash). But I outwork those kind of dudes all day every day because I will never allow myself to be outworked by anybody. I don’t know any other way to earn it but through hard work and perseverance.”
The four-star prospect said that he wants to be committed by the summer and that he will probably release a top list by then as well.
Clark Phillips Releases top-five
California cornerback Clark Phillips released his top-five via Twitter on Wednesday, and Ohio State was included. Cal Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame were also included.
Blessing to be where I am today... pic.twitter.com/cgK3Ujb7K6— Clark Phillips III (@ClarkPhillips28) May 1, 2019
Phillips is the No. 3 cornerback in the 2020 class and rated as the No. 46 player overall. In his two years starting at cornerback for La Habra, Phillips has recorded nine interceptions and 25 pass deflections. In 2018, he also caught 54 passes for 1,210 yards and 19 touchdowns.
The cornerback took a visit to Ohio State in late-March and left feeling comfortable and confident in Ryan Day.
While it appears that Kelee Ringo will choose Texas and Elias Ricks has said he’s locked in with LSU but is being recruited by Ohio State commit Lejond Cavazos, Phillips is the highest-rated cornerback without a commitment and with high interest in Ohio State. Henry Gray, the No. 6 cornerback in the class is also extremely interested in Ohio State. Landing both would be huge for the Buckeyes, who didn’t bring in any cornerback sin 2019.