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.
Nolan Rucci reflects on time in Columbus
Last weekend, Ohio State was able to host 2021 offensive tackle Nolan Rucci for what finished as a successful unofficial visit.
Rated as the No. 6 offensive tackle and the top Pennsylvania prospect by 247Sports, Rucci was on campus for the first time during his recruitment in an effort to get to know the Ohio State coaching staff.
“I think it would be hard not to succeed, seeing all the things they have in place for their players,” Rucci said when asked if he could see himself succeeding at Ohio State. “Coach (Greg) Studrawa is great, and I think he has a successful formula for his players to be great too.”
Rucci said he was also able to sit down in a one-on-one with head coach Ryan Day and that Day was excited to have him in Columbus for the visit. The No. 30 overall 2021 prospect said that Day said he and the Buckeyes are very interested in him moving forward and want him to come back to campus soon.
Ohio State extended an offer to Rucci during the 2018 football season, and his visit to Ohio State over the weekend was the next step in developing a relationship.
“I’m looking forward to getting back on campus at some point, hopefully for a game day,” Rucci said.
The offensive tackle has offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Wisconsin and others. He received an offer from LSU on Wednesday evening. His father, Todd, played at Penn State and spent eight seasons in the NFL, and his brother, Hayden, signed to Wisconsin’s 2019 class as a tight end.
Rucci enjoyed his visit to the point where he said he wouldn’t mind potentially taking an official to Ohio State within the next year.
Dayon Hayes reacts to his Ohio State offer
It’s been more than 20 years since a player from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a Division I offer to play football collegiately. But Dayon Hayes, a 2020 defensive tackle, broke that streak.
Now, he has an Ohio State offer to go along with offers from Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Illinois and Penn State.
“Ohio State is my dream school, so when Coach Day told me they were offering me, I just couldn’t believe it,” Hayes said. “I watched them growing up.”
Hayes put up some gaudy numbers for Westinghouse as a junior, recording 26 sacks and 11 forced fumbles. At 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, Hayes has the size and speed to dominate his league and disrupt most passing attacks he plays against.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson extended the offer to Hayes, telling the defensive tackle that he likes his first step off the line and his constant motor.
“Coach Day and Coach Johnson were cool instantly,” Hayes said.
Hayes has seen his recruitment take off a little later than most 2020 recruits. He has just 16 offers, but he received an offer from Penn State after making a visit March 16 and also receiving his Ohio State offer April 29.
Hayes said that he believes it’s because Westinghouse doesn’t get the exposure that other larger high schools warrant. Despite the late recognition, Hayes said he doesn’t feel slighted by programs and also doesn’t feel rushed into making a decision on where to go either.
“It’s always good to feel wanted and to have options, so I’m blessed to have them,” Hayes said. “It feels good, but I’ve got to go harder than ever.”
BJ Harris hoping for more Ohio State contact
Chattanooga 2021 running back BJ Harris began contact with Ohio State last week, as Ohio State intern running back coach Kenny Lucky told him that the staff likes his tape.
That is encouraging for Harris after he grew up modeling himself after former Penn State star running back Saquon Barkley and former Ohio State tailback Ezekiel Elliott.
“I like their size, their build, their quick feet,” Harris said. “Most players that size can’t move the way they can. I can compare to them in height as of right now, but as far as weight, not yet.”
Harris weighs in at 193 pounds and is 5-foot-10. He has the build and the skillset to be a three-down back, and right now, at McCallie School in Chattanooga, he is the starting running back in an option offense.
Two-star 2020 quarterback DeAngelo Hardy runs the offense and takes a majority of the carries. Hardy carried the ball 164 times to Harris’ 120 in 2018. Because of the limited carries, Harris ran for 717 yards as a sophomore, but he could have eclipsed 1,000 yards.
So far, the Tennessee back has taken visits to Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Alabama and South Carolina. After attending Kentucky’s junior day on Jan. 26, he left with an offer. That list has grown to offers from Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Mississippi State and others.
But his interest in Ohio State has always been there and is hoping for a visit from or a visit to Ohio State soon.
“I’ve always been interested,” Harris said. “They show love to all their players, and they just look like a great college overall.”