The Hurry Up: Jonathan Odom Reflects on His Ohio State Visit, Chief Borders Awaits an Ohio State Offer

By Taylor Lehman on May 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Chief Borders
Chief Borders

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.

Jonathon Odom takes his first visit to Columbus

Ohio State finds itself in a bit of a catchup- game with some of the top programs in the nation when it comes to the recruitment of three-star tight end Jonathan Odom.

Coming off of official visits to LSU and Florida, Odom made his way to Columbus on May 3 for an unofficial visit – his first visit to Ohio State. The visit went “great,” Odom told Eleven Warriors on Monday. He was able to have more extensive conversations with head coach Ryan Day, running backs coach Tony Alford and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson in person.

“They were great,” Odom said. “I think they are headed in the right direction. They also seemed very set on having very good relationships with the players, which is god to see.”

The problem with most “very good” relationships is that they take time to grow. Ohio State is the last of Odom’s 35 offers he’s received and the last of the major programs that are recruiting him, just on the heels of Alabama, which offered March 5. Florida seems to have a strong grip on Odom’s future, while LSU head coach Ed Orgeron FaceTime’d the tight end while he was at the NFL Draft. Odom also has an official visit scheduled with Purdue in June.

In the month that Ohio State has offered, Odom said his relationship with Wilson has grown “greatly,” and he might schedule an official visit to Ohio State after his unofficial this weekend.

“I had a great visit, so it’s very possible,” Odom said.

The reason Odom has garnered so much attention from some of the top programs in the nation as the No. 30 tight end in the country is because of a thinning tight end market at this point in the class’ cycle. Fourteen of the top-30 tight ends are already committed to programs, including the top two to Notre Dame. Odom’s father, Jason, also played for Florida and went on to play for Tampa Bay as an offensive lineman.

Ohio State is in with the No. 15 tight end (Cam Large) and the No. 25 tight end (Luke Lachey) but clearly wants to add to that list, especially with Odom’s ability block along the line as well – something Large and Lachey need to improve on.

Odom said he firmly believes he is the best at his position, though he is a bit under-utilized at his position in the passing game at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida. In 14 games, he caught 19 passes for 249 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s a good redzone option and brings as much size to the position – 6-foot-5, 250 pounds – that can be found in a high school junior.

Chief Borders has been showing out at camps, hopes for an Ohio State offer

Georgia athlete Chief Borders is making a name for himself at various camps as an athletic 2021 recruit that is part of a small group of hybrids that can play linebacker and wide receiver.

He was at the Under Armour All-America Camp in Cincinnati on April 14, and nearly every rep he took was a successful one. In one-on-one drills between linebackers and running backs, he easily covered the running backs and made the cleanest routes among the running back recruits at the camp, as he bounced between running backs and linebackers. He was moved to receivers shortly afterwards and did the same thing to the cornerbacks and safeties.

At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, he moves with more agility than expected from a high school prospect carrying that much weight and quickly caught the eyes of everyone at the event that day.

“I am very interested in Ohio State,” Borders told Eleven Warriors after the camp. “I’ve been talking with Al Washington. That’s my guy.”

Borders has been in contact with Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington since the coach was at Michigan and has developed a good relationship with him, but Borders said he hasn’t talked to Washington about what it would take to earn an Ohio State offer yet. That’s on the list for questions he has for Washington when Washington contacts him through his high school coach.

Borders told Eleven Warriors that LSU and South Carolina have been recruiting him hard at this point, and he’s taken several unofficial visits to Tennessee, Georgia, Clemson, Georgia Tech (twice) and South Carolina. He has 10 offers already, including offers from South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Pittsburgh.

Borders spent the first 14 years of his life in Chicago, though, and most of his family still lives there, so he said he would have no problem playing for a team in the Midwest, Ohio State in  particular.

But to play for Ohio State, he’s going to need to get the offer first.

“It will be an honor,” Borders said about an Ohio State visit. “I’ve been watching them since I was six years old, and I’m originally from Chicago. It will make me go even harder.”

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