The Hurry Up: Ryan Day Talks Transfer Portal, Drew Donley Has Key Ohio State Connection

By Taylor Lehman on June 6, 2019 at 8:35 am
Greg Mattison
Greg Mattison

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.

Ryan Day, Greg Mattison sound off on recruiting at latest media day

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich and secondary coach Jeff Hafley all spoke with the media for the first time since spring practice, and Day had a few things to say about the recruiting process.

Most of the coaches were asked about their general thoughts on the new NCAA Transfer Portal, after Ohio State both benefited with the transfer of Justin Fields and suffered with the transfer of Tate Martell this offseason.

This is what he had to say.

“It's a complicated issue, and it's one of those things I can't just give you one sentence and kind of answer that,” Day said. “There are parts of it that I completely understand. There are other parts that make me very, very nervous about where the future of college football is going with it. But there's not an easy answer.”

Day said when it comes to the transfer portal within recruiting conversations, he doesn’t allow it to become an unaddressed elephant in the room. He makes a point of discussing it with quarterbacks and other prospects that he recruits.

“I think you have to be transparent in talking to the parents because it's not about winning the social media battle or the No. 2 rankings in the country,” Day said. “That has nothing to do with four or five years. I mean, you might sign the No. 2 kid in the entire country, and then he jumps the transfer portal in the next year. That doesn't mean anything. What matters is, when they get here, being successful on the field, off the field, getting their degree, getting a job after they're done playing football and having a great career. That's what matters. That’s where, in recruiting, we make sure that all the recruits spend a lot of time with our players. Get in that locker room, get around those players, ask them, because they're the ones who really know.”

Following Day’s press conference, Mattison talked with the media and when asked about whether he was concerned about Ohio State’s 2020 defensive recruitment, he said “not at all.”

The Buckeyes have earned just one defensive commitment in the 2020 cycle in the form of cornerback Lejond Cavazos, who is no slouch as a recruit but certainly isn’t the only defensive recruit Ohio State wants to bring to Columbus in 2020.

Mattison said he isn’t worried about the defensive side of the ball purely based on what Ohio State is as a program and what it can offer top players in the country.

“If you’re a recruit and you get a chance to come in the summer and see why so many players have done so well and how so many players have improved themselves and gone on to the NFL, you watch it first hand,” Mattison said. “That’s a great advantage.”

Several top defensive targets are expected to take official visits this summer, including Kourt Williams, Clark Phillips, Darrion Henry, Lathan Ransom, Makari Paige, Kedrick Bingley-Jones and more. Successful visits with those recruits could pay big dividends in July.

Drew Donley can fly

Ohio State has a close connection to one of the fastest 2021 recruits in the country. Down in Frisco, Texas, at Lebanon Trail High School, former two-time all-Big Ten Ohio State receiver Doug Donley’s son, Drew, doesn’t even have a 247Sports profile yet, but Ohio State has already made contact.

“It’s awesome. First class,” Donley told Eleven Warriors on Friday about Ohio State. “The program and the Buckeye tradition are amazing.”

Donley said he’s mostly been in contact with Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, but he will be in Columbus on June 15 for a Buckeyes summer camp. That’s where he met Hartline last year – at a summer camp in Columbus. His father introduced Hartline and Donley, Hartline called Donley’s coaches, and now they speak on the phone once per week, Donely said.

What makes the 6-foot-2, 170-pound receiver such an attractive under-the-radar prospect is his elite high school speed. This is his first summer running summer track, and he was seen blazing a 10.19-second 100-meter dash.  His only offer so far comes from Youngstown State, and that scholarship offer is for both football and track.

Donley said, in addition to Ohio State, he plans to visit Clemson, Texas, Oklahoma, Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama this summer.

Donley said that he would consider running track at the collegiate level but has not committed to the idea yet. What he’s waiting for, though, is an offer from Ohio State.

“It would mean so much,” Donley said. “I’ve grown up watching them. Buckeyes are in my blood.”

Cam Large includes Ohio State in final-four

Massachusetts tight end Cam Large released his top-four Wednesday afternoon, and Ohio State was included. The other schools included were Georgia, Alabama and Wisconsin.

A couple signs that lean Ohio State’s way for the No. 15 tight end are that both Georgia and Alabama didn’t offer Large until after his spring visit to Ohio State in March and Large has official visits scheduled to all four schools in June, and Ohio State is last on June 21.

Once spots to top programs begin to be taken for a position that most teams are recruiting to bring in just one prospect, many teams begin to default to the next-best recruit at the position. That wasn't the case for Ohio State but seems to be for Alabama and Georgia, though Large seems to be high on both programs.

Large was unable to make very many visits during the spring, so the official visits this month will be big for his ultimate decision.

While most prospects have to wait until official visits to talk to players, Large was able to meet sophomore tight end Jeremy Ruckert on his visit in March, which can be a huge factor in recruiting.

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