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.
Bryce Steele will visit Ohio State twice in June
Ohio State has been a “dream school” of Virginia safety Bryce Steele’s for a while now, as he prepares to spend some quality time in Columbus during the month of June.
“I reached out to them, and they said, in the Class of 2021, I was one of their top recruits on the board right now,” Steele told Eleven Warriors. “I told them that I’m coming down to camp on June 15, and I’m also coming back with my family. I’ll be on a bus tour when I go for the camp, but I’m going back with my family for an unofficial on June 20.”
While Steele is a safety at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Ohio State is recruiting him at linebacker.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson has been recruiting Steele the most, since he is the area recruiter for the Virginia-Maryland area, but linebackers coach Al Washington has also had conversations with Steele. When Johnson first arrived on campus recently, Steele said he was “ecstatic,” and Johnson has made his way back to Episcopal one or two more times since the initial visit.
“They’re looking at me as a linebacker, I assume outside linebacker,” Steele said. “They said they love my film, my athleticism and my physicality. Coach Washington said for my build (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) and my type of play, I’d fit perfectly in Ohio State’s defense.”
Steele plays safety at Episcopal with a lot of responsibilities in the box. He can cover the pass fine but excels in run defense, where he is more comfortable. As a sophomore in 2018, he recorded 43 tackles, with nine tackles for loss and six sacks.
His sacks total and his film show his capability as a blitzer, which is attractive for most Power Five programs.
“Lots of teams are trying to rush the edge,” Steele said. “Blitzing is what I do and where I get a lot of my highlights from. It’s really fun. I think it helps a lot because you’re seeing linebackers blitz more than safeties.”
At this point, Steele has made visits to Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia, and he has a slate of visits to make in June, including trips to Michigan, Duke, South Carolina Penn State, Notre Dame and his two visits to Ohio State.
Even though he has not yet received his offer from Ohio State, he has received offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Penn State, South Carolina and others.
Some schools that have jumped out to him so far are Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC and North Carolina. While he goes to school in Virginia, his parents and little brothers live in Raleigh, where Steele was born and raised and where he returned upon finishing his school year June 1.
Trey Zuhn will be in Columbus Thursday
Colorado offensive tackle Trey Zuhn has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Kansas State, and he added an Oklahoma offer to that list Monday after a camp. On May 9, Ohio State threw its hat into the ring by offering the No. 3 2021 Colorado recruit.
After receiving the offer and being in contact with Ohio State since last football season, Zuhn told Eleven Warriors that he will be attending the Ohio State one-day camp on Thursday.
The No. 28 offensive tackle has been working in a training program called SixZero Strength – a program run by former Colorado and NFL offensive lineman Matt McChesney. McChesney helped Zuhn get into contact with Ohio State, which led to Tony Alford inviting Zuhn to a game during the 2018 season.
Alford and offensive line coach Greg Studrawa made the offer to Zuhn in May.
“I’m very honored and humbled to have received an offer from Ohio State,” Zuhn said. “It’s such a well-known program with a lot of tradition and history. I can’t wait to get on campus later this week to talk with the coaches in person. I’m also excited to see how this season goes with the coaching changes.”
Lathan Ransom includes Ohio State in his top-five
Four-star Arizona safety Lathan Ransom included Ohio State in his top-five on Tuesday evening. Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame and Texas were also included.
B L E S S E D pic.twitter.com/dyLrFSNSjo— L8 (@L8thanRansom) June 4, 2019
This isn't surprising news for any of the schools, as Ransom had set up official visits with all five programs. He hit Oklahoma on April 12 and LSU on April 26. His next official is scheduled to Notre Dame on June 8, and his final visit will be to Ohio State on June 21.
Ransom was just on an unofficial visit to Texas over the weekend. It was his first visit to Austin during his recruiting process, and he will have his official visit with Texas on June 14, when his teammate, five-star running back Bijan Robinson, will be in Columbus.
“If you play DB at Ohio State, you know you’re legit,” Ransom told Eleven Warriors in March.
Maason Smith set to visit Ohio State in mid-June
Louisiana No. 38 overall 2021 recruit Maason Smith will be in Columbus on June 14 for a visit, his father, Malcolm, told Eleven Warriors.
Smith has connections to Ohio, as his defensive backs coach at Terrebone High School played at Cincinnati, and he told Eleven Warriors that there are a few teams that could pull him out of SEC country, and Ohio State is one of them.
“I feel like the SEC is where the big dogs play, and I like to consider myself a big dog,” Smith said. “But I’m also looking at schools like Oregon, Ohio State, Virginia, Florida State and Texas.”
Smith would likely play defensive tackle at the next level, as he weighs in at just under 300 pounds, and as a sophomore in 2018, he recorded 59 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and two sacks from the tackle position.
Makari Paige includes Ohio State in his top-seven
Four-star safety Makari Paige announced his top-seven schools via Twitter on Monday, and Ohio State was among them. The key safety target also included Michigan, Notre Dame, Kentucky, Michigan State, Purdue and Penn State.
Paige has an Ohio State official visit scheduled for the weekend of June 21, and the last time he was in Columbus was April 6, when he made an unofficial visit during spring practice – the same day as five-star running back Kendall Milton made his unofficial.
The West Bloomfield standout is one of the more all-around safeties in the class but has a unique build and skillset. At 6-foot-3, 190 pounds, Paige blazed a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at The Opening Regionals in Massillon in March, and he can make plays in both pass defense and run defense. He recorded 105 tackles as a junior in 2018.
Ohio State and Michigan appear to be very much in the mix for Paige's commitment.
Ohio State commits, targets bumped up, down in latest ratings
Ohio State has five commitments in the top-100 which outnumbers all other Big Ten teams and parallels the fact that the Buckeyes own the top 2020 recruiting class in the conference. Nebraska is second in the conference with two top-100 commitments.
Ohio State commit Gee Scott Jr. bumped up 49 spots to No. 50 in Rivals' ratings, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba bumped to No. 72 after not being in the top-100 at all. According to Rivals' ratings, Ohio State now owns commitments from the No. 1, No. 9 and No. 15 wide receivers in the class.
While Rivals has Julian Fleming still trailing Paris Johnson Jr. in the ratings, Fleming remains No. 5 in the country and in Ohio State's class via the 247Composite ratings. He bumped up one spot to No. 11 for Rivals.
Here are some other notable Ohio State targets not listed in the separate post and where they are rated after the industry update. These are according to the 247Sports Composite.
- Zach Evans: No. 6 (down seven to No. 9 via Rivals)
- Marcus Rosemy: No. 39 (down six to No. 53 via Rivals)
- Noah Sewell: No. 43 ( up 33 to No. 33 via Rivals)
- Jalen Berger: No. 58 (down three to No. 39 via Rivals)
- Mookie Cooper: No. 66 (not included in Rivals' top-100)
- Vernon Broughton: No. 69 (up 26 to No. 60 via Rivals)