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.
Julian Fleming is set to announce his commitment tomorrow
On May 10, the Catawissa wideout tweeted his commitment date along with his top-five, which effectively eliminated Oregon from his recruitment and left Ohio State, Clemson, Penn State, Alabama and Georgia as the schools that could land his pledge.
May 31... pic.twitter.com/wOnPtFALcL— 0J4 (@julian_040) May 10, 2019
Ending his recruitment at the end of May seemed somewhat early for what his official visits schedule was setting up to look like, as he only made his April 12 official to Alabama and had a May 31 official scheduled for Georgia, which he later canceled. A canceled official visit on the day of his commitment appears to eliminate Georgia from the process, but that’s just reading between the lines.
It’s hard to write off either Alabama or Clemson – imagine if Clemson also had the No. 1 receiver in this class – but it has seemed like this decision was narrowing closer and closer toward a two-program competition between Ohio State and Penn State.
Growing up just an hour-and-a-half’s drive east down I-80 from Penn State, the Nittany Lions have always been in close contact with Fleming and in contention for his commitment, dating back to before August 2017, when he was rated as the No. 5 player in the class.
But Brian Hartline wasn’t a wide receivers coach then. Entering his first full offseason as Ohio State’s wideouts coach, Hartline saw one of his top priorities become developing a relationship with Fleming, and that relationship has been at the core of what has many believing Fleming is leaning toward Ohio State as Decision Day has approached.
Fleming made a visit to Columbus in November for a game against Nebraska and came back in March for Student Appreciation Day, which had prospects like 2021 athlete Emeka Egbuka claiming it was their favorite unofficial visit of the year.
Since that visit, not only have different media outlets been assessing his high school relationship with a girlfriend who attends Penn State, but he’s also seemed to develop a friendship with Ohio State re-commit Lejond Cavazos. The two have gone back and forth since Cavazos re-committed April 12.
The way that Fleming was seen interacting with Hartline, Cavazos, Ryan Day and players like former Ohio State receiver Johnnie Dixon, Fleming seemed to be very comfortable with the Buckeyes in March. While he could surprise everyone and choose Clemson or Alabama, it seems like he is choosing between Penn State and Ohio State, and given that landscape, Ohio State might pull this one out.
Jalin Conyers taking a strong look at Ohio State
Texas tight end Jalin Conyers is one of the most interesting players left on Ohio State’s 2020 recruiting board. Playing in Gruver, Texas, a town of 1,100 people in the panhandle of Texas, Conyers played quarterback at Stinnet West Texas High School in Stinnet before moving to Gruver and making the first-team all-district team as both a wide receiver and a defensive back.
Now he’s rated as the No. 5 tight end in the country and the No. 302 player overall in his class, and the Buckeyes have taken notice.
Since Ohio State offered on April 10, Conyers’ recruitment has accelerated and has taken the Buckeyes with it. Out of offers from USC, TCU, Texas, Michigan, Oregon and others, he narrowed his list to Ohio State, Georgia, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and LSU on May 24.
Then the tight end was in Columbus earlier this week for a visit.
“It is an amazing university academically and athletically,” Conyers told Eleven Warriors. “I like the program a lot, and I am heavily considering them so I’m just letting the process happen.”
Conyers was able to meet with head coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson during his visit, and when asked how they told him how they would anticipate using him in the offense, he said he wants to keep that information between himself and the staff. Wilson has told other tight ends, like 2021 No. 1 tight end Cane Berrong, that he hopes to use tight ends in the passing game more in the future.
Conyers brings a 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame to the position, as well as a wealth of knowledge of offensive strategy and athleticism from his experience at other positions. He still plays a versatile role in Gruver’s offense, making passes, playing at a linebacker-defensive back hybrid and catching passes from everywhere on the field.
In 2017, he passes for 1,508 yards and 21 touchdowns while also running for 699 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2018, he was much more focused on receiving, where he caught 61 passes for 1,225 yards and 19 touchdowns. He’s excelled at whichever position he’s been needed at the high school level.
He doesn’t have any official visits scheduled yet, but those will likely come in late-summer or into the fall because of how late he received many of his offers.
But for Ohio State, who would like to sign a tight end in the 2020 class and are left with fewer options than what is ideal at this point, things are looking positive with Conyers.
“I think Ohio State is a very, very good school and is definitely a school I could possibly see myself at,” Conyers said.