The Hurry Up: Malcolm Johnson Jr. is Already Hoping to Visit Ohio State, Deontae Craig Narrows Down His List

By Taylor Lehman on May 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Malcolm Johnson Jr.

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.

Malcolm Johnson reacts to Ohio State offer

Maryland wide receiver Malcolm Johnson Jr. has only been talking to Ohio State for a couple of weeks. He gauges the amount of time he’s talked to the Buckeyes in relation to when he received his offer from Michigan, which was April 25.

But whatever it was that Ohio State saw in his tape qualified the St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes playmaker for an offer.

“I think the thing that separates me is that I know that there are people better than me, but I can bet on one thing: I will outwork them and do whatever I have to do to outwork them,” Johnson told Eleven Warriors on Tuesday. “Everyone has talent that schools choose, os that’s going to be what it is, but there are not a lot of people that had to work to the top of every team they’ve been on.”

It’s not that Johnson is talentless. He certainly is talented, but what jumps out on his tape is his willingness to battle for balls in the air and to serve several different roles for his team. Largely what the first clips of his tape represent are his quarterback throwing the ball down the field in tight coverage and Johnson coming down with it. Then, he’s taking direct snaps on trick plays, returning punts for touchdowns and making big plays on defense.

That tape has helped earn Johnson offers from Michigan, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Baylor, Maryland and others.

“All of this is really a shock to me,” Johnson said. “I was just watching all these schools on TV, and now I could possibly go there for free.”

Johnson has been in contact with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who recruits for the Buckeyes in the Maryland area, but the receiver has been working on getting in contact with Ohio State offensive quality control coach Keenan Bailey, who works with receivers coach Brian Hartline mostly. Johnson hopes to set up a visit with Ohio State when Bailey is able to talk, he said.

So far, he has only visited Virginia Tech and Maryland.

Terrence Lewis visited by Tony  Alford, still waiting to meet Al Washington

Miami 2021 linebacker Terrence Lewis, who has been talked about in previous Hurry Ups for his gaudy numbers – 102 tackles, 35 tackles for loss, 15 sacks, three forced fumbles – was expecting a visit from Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington last week, but that visit never came.

Instead, Lewis was visited by Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford, who contributes to the Florida-Ohio State pipeline.

“He said they will keep looking at me and showed me the (Big Ten Championship) ring,” Lewis said. “He said, ‘We’re going to get four more.’ I laughed, but it was nice.”

Lewis has developed a relationship with Washington and was excited to have him stop by last week. While it wasn’t Washington who visited, Lewis said he enjoyed Alford’s visit. He also wasn’t disappointed that he didn’t receive an offer immediately either, he said.

It is expected that Lewis will receive an Ohio State offer, though. He has offers from Auburn, Georgia, Florida and others already.

The linebacker said Washington is planning to come to Miami to see him next week.

Deontae Craig releases top eight list

Indiana three-star defensive end Deontae Craig announced his final eight schools via Twitter on Wednesday night. Ohio State was included.

Since receiving Ohio State and Notre Dame offers in February, the No. 4 Indiana 2020 prospect has seen his recruitment take off, also receiving offers from Michigan, Tennessee and Michigan State. The more that time passes since those offers, it seems like Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee are going to be in it until the end for his commitment.

Justin Rogers to commit May 20

The nation’s top offensive guard, Justin Rogers, announced Wednesday that he will committing May 20. Along with that announcement, he released a top-five that didn’t include Ohio State. The No. 30 overall 2020 prospect will be committing to either Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan or Tennessee.

Surprisingly enough, rumors have recently been leaning toward Rogers selecting Kentucky in what would be a foundational commitment for the Wildcats.

At one point, many thought when it came time to commit, Rogers would choose Ohio State, let alone include it within his final cut list. Rogers and Ohio State had an extremely close relationship last year, so much so that some thought he might commit to the Buckeyes during the summer of 2018. But eventually, Rogers’ name began to fade out of the realm of possibility for the Ohio State Class of 2020, even with his visit in January.

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