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.
Jalin Conyers includes Ohio State in top-three
Four-star Texas tight end Jalin Conyers has come a long way since a video tweeted about him in January accelerated his recruiting process. Once the video surfaced showing the recruiting landscape why Conyers is one of the most dynamic tight ends in the 2020 class, offers began to flood his list – offers from Arizona State, LSU, Baylor, Michigan and Texas A&M all within three days in March.
** 806 HSSC TOP 30 RETURNING PLAYERS HIGHLIGHT **— #806VSEVERYBODY (@806hssc) January 14, 2019
Jalin Conyers- GRUVER 64 190 LBS
One of the best players we have coming back in West Texas! Can do it all on the field, and on the court too #806HsscMedia19 pic.twitter.com/l6bli29CpL
The No. 5 tight end has carefully sorted through those offers and announced Tuesday night that he narrowed the list to just three teams – Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia. He’s not wasting any time either. He just released his top-six May 30.
“A lot of things,” Conyers told Eleven Warriors on Tuesday about why he included Ohio State. “The coaches, the campus, and I love their brand of football.”
Conyers was in Columbus on a visit to Ohio State last Wednesday and enjoyed his time with the coaching staff, particularly offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Kevin Wilson, who is spearheading Conyers’ recruitment for the Buckeyes.
The next step, the Gruver tight end said, is to set up dates to take official visits.
Players attending Thursday's camp
There will be several prospects attending Ohio State’s first high school camp Thursday morning, but these are the notable ones that have been confirmed to be attending and have a chance to be regular names in Ohio State football recruiting in the next couple of years.
Solon defensive end Najee Story is the most significant recruit at the event tomorrow. He’s already earned his Ohio State offer and is rated as the No. 15 defensive end in the 2021 class. Ohio State is very high on him and his trajectory, and for the moment, it seems like the Buckeyes are the leader for his recruitment. Story attended Ohio State’s spring game in April as well. Some other offers he has include Alabama, Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame and others.
Colorado offensive tackle Trey Zuhn is another 2021 recruit that has an Ohio State offer. He’s rated by 247Sports as the No. 270 prospect in the 2021 class to Story’s 187, and he has also already visited Ohio State. Zuhn stands at 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and holds offers from Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Kansas State and others.
Three-star Columbus tight end Luke Lachey is one of the leading in-state tight end recruits that Ohio State has on standby for an offer if the Buckeyes cannot land a top prospect at the position. Lachey has serious skill, though, and is rated as the No. 20 tight end in the class. For comparison, Jonathan Odom was rated as the No. 27 tight end and earned offers from Ohio State, Alabama and LSU and committed to Florida. Lachey will be able to show his skills Thursday, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he left with an offer and earned one shortly after.
Elder tight end Joe Royer is in a similar position as Lachey. Royer is an in-state tight end and is teammates with current Ohio State commit Jakob James. He’s seen his recruitment take off recently with offers from Michigan State, Georgia State, Penn State and Michigan rolling in. Like Lachey, Royer could leave Columbus with an offer or on his way toward one.
Henry Gray entering official visits season
Four-star cornerback Henry Gray had been a near lock for Ohio State dating back to his March 23 visit, but after time has passed and Ohio State has started to hone in on No. 4 cornerback Clark Phillips, No. 2 cornerback and LSU commit Elias Ricks, No. 1 cornerback Kelee Ringo and former N.C. State commit Joseph Johnson, the probability of Gray landing in Columbus continuously decreases as time without another visit passes.
The Miami Central product has also been considering all of his options, he told Eleven Warriors. Those options include Texas A&M, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State and Florida.
“My interest is still there with Ohio State,” Gray said. “I’m just trying to be true with myself and make sure I make the best decision for me. Even though it’s my dream school, I feel like I owe it to myself and my family to explore all my options before I make a decision.”
Gray has visited Miami, Michigan, Georgia and Alabama since his visit to Ohio State, and he said heading into the summer, all of the schools remaining in his recruitment are “at an even point.” Gray also said that he hopes to have all of his official visits out of the way by the end of July so that he can make a decision before his senior year begins.
The ratings haven’t favored well for the Miami-native, as he dropped out of the top-100 for the first time at the end of May, when he dropped 90 spots to No. 170 overall. He’s now rated at No. 175, and after once being ranked as the No. 6 cornerback in the country, he is ranked as the No. 14 cornerback.
Arik Gilbert excludes Buckeyes
Five-star Georgia tight end Arik Gilbert released his top-10 on Monday, and it did not include Ohio State. The Marietta athlete will choose from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, LSU, Penn State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Auburn, USC and Clemson.
All praise to Lord, the most high. Rip John Rip Granddad one 4eva pic.twitter.com/sfTu2sisrR— Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) June 4, 2019
There was once a time when Ohio State was pushing hard for Gilbert, but those times faded around the beginning of the 2019 calendar year. It now seems that Gilbert is leaning toward Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Gilbert hasn’t been back to Columbus since his visit in June 2018, so it wasn’t a surprise that Ohio State wasn’t included in his list.
JuTahn McClain walks the line with Ohio State in his top-seven
Three-star all-purpose back JuTahn McClain released his top-seven Tuesday afternoon, and Ohio State was included. Michigan, Penn State, Nebraska, Purdue, Kentucky and Michigan State were also included.
I want to thank all the schools who have recruited me so far. Please respect my decision as these are MY Top 7 schooIs I feel are best for me at this time. My recruitment is still open. Lets Eat #Top7 #3Strong (Edit by - @Iamkeezus ) pic.twitter.com/tehsS9dD8B— JuTahn McClain (@JuTahn9) June 4, 2019
The issue with McClain’s commitment decision isn’t necessarily that the interest isn’t there on his end. It’s more whether Ohio State will take him or not. The No. 7 all-purpose back is far from what the Buckeyes are recruiting from a pure running back perspective and is second to Dublin’s Mike Drennen in the all-purpose classification.
McClain will be committing on July 4 with three of his former high school teammates – Miyan Williams, DeMeer Blankumsee and Miquan Grace. All four Cincinnati recruits have offers from Kentucky, and when asked whether they were committing to the same place or individual places, Grace, who planned the event, told Eleven Warriors “maybe.”
Of the four prospects, McClain is the most talented, but Ohio State has also expressed interest in Williams.
Muhsin Muhammad III picks the Aggies
Still seems like a dream,— Muhsin Moose Muhammad III (@MooseMuhammad) June 3, 2019
CLT you will be missed
100% COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/EkW6Wbbw5l
It’s not a surprise that Muhammad didn’t strongly consider Ohio State, even though he took a visit to Columbus in November. Ohio State didn’t offer him until late-April, a little over a month before him commitment.
The son of Hall-of-Famer Muhsin Muhammad II plays at Myers Park High School, where 2021 quarterback Drake Maye plays and former NFL quarterback Josh McCown coaches.