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.
Ethan Calvert impressed by Ohio State from afar
Ohio State linebackers coach Al Washington was in California on Monday, and he made a stop by Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village to pay a visit to 2021 athlete Ethan Calvert.
Calvert told Eleven Warriors at the end of April that he had been in contact with executive director for football relations Tim Hinton and had received mail from Ohio State but that he was expecting a visit from a Buckeye coach soon.
Upon that visit Monday, Calvert received an offer from Ohio State.
“It’s awesome. Ohio is a really special place,” Calvert said. “I’m very impressed with what they have done and what they’re doing with the football program.”
With the offer, Ohio State enters a ring with serious competition for the No. 91 overall recruit in the class. Schools that have been recruiting him hard are Stanford, Michigan, UCLA, LSU and Washington, where his brother, Josh – the No. 15 inside linebacker in the Class of 2019 – enrolled and is on campus early as a freshman. Calvert was recently at Washington to watch his brother play in the spring game. His oldest brother, Bo, is also a sophomore linebacker at UCLA.
The 2021 product is labeled as an athlete because he began his career at Oaks Christian in the safety spot while his brothers played linebacker. Now, he’s at linebacker and is involved in the passing game on offense as well.
Washington and the Ohio State staff prefer him at linebacker.
As a sophomore in 2018, he compiled 41 tackles, three sacks, seven pass deflections and an interception and proved he can’t play both in pass coverage and in stopping the run. He can play further from the line of scrimmage to play in coverage because of his elite closing speed in the running attack at the high school level. The Ohio State staff has made it vocal that it likes the way he plays fast and aggressive, he said.
“They said they like me mostly at the Mike of Buck,” Calvert said. “I agree with them and see myself there too.”
It’s always tough to pull recruits out of Pac-12 country – and particularly tough given Calvert's brothers play for Pac-12 schools – but with the success that Ohio State has been able to find in West Coast recruiting as of late, it wouldn’t be a shock if Calvert took a hard look at the Buckeyes.
Shawn Hardy is fast, young and makes lots of plays
Georgia 2021 athlete Shawn Hardy knows exactly why top programs like Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and, most recently, Ohio State, have extended offers to him. It’s pretty simple.
“I’m fast. I’ve got good hands. I’m young. And I’m making lots of plays,” he told Eleven Warriors.
As a sophomore in 2018, Hardy caught 36 passes for 795 yards – 22.1 yards per catch – and five touchdowns for Camden County High School. He's listed as an athlete for his ability to return kicks as well, but most schools like him at receiver.
At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Hardy already has the frame for a collegiate level receiver. Then he also brings a self-reported 4.49-second 40-yard dash to the table too. A tall receiver with the ability to get behind a defense is dangerous at the high school level. He will only mature as his high school career progresses.
It’s clear that Ohio State understands that as well and was impressed by how he pops off his tape too. Hardy said he hadn’t spoken with Ohio State before the staff offered him, and that offer came over the phone to his head coach at Camden. The Buckeyes also offered his teammate, 2022 running back Jamie Felix.
The Kingsland wideout has eight total offers after receiving his seventh from Ohio State and eighth shortly after from Georgia Tech.
Jalen McMillan Excludes Ohio State from Top-Four
Four-star California wide receiver Jalen McMillan released a top-four over the weekend, and Ohio State was not included.
This isn’t much of a surprise. Ohio State got in fairly late with the Fresno wideout, offering him in late-February. While McMillan is the No. 49 overall 2020 recruit, it isn’t a massive loss for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has clearly shifted its focus onto a few more 2020 receivers, after Gee Scott Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The class’ No. 1 wideout, Julian Fleming, who announced his May 31 commitment last week, is at the top of that list, while St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Marcus Rosemy is right behind him.
California four-star receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton is leaning hard toward Ohio State, and Ohio State also has four-star Illinois receiver A.J. Henning and four-star Missouri wideout Mookie Cooper, who was in Columbus over the weekend, on the outer ranges of their focus as well.