The Hurry Up: Christian Burkhalter Reflects on His Ohio State Offer, Which Prospects to Expect in Columbus This Weekend

By Taylor Lehman on June 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Christian Burkhalter
Christian Burkhalter

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.

Christian Burkhalter reflects on Ohio State offer

IMG Academy’s newest tight end and 2021’s No. 12 tight end Christian Burkhalter was in Columbus for the first day of Ohio State’s two-day fundamentals camp Wednesday, and he ran through a workout with Brian Hartline, Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson alongside three other recruits detailed in Wednesday’s Hurry Up.

Jacksonville No. 11 tight end Nick Elksnis also worked out with Burkhalter, and the two were paired throughout the early-morning drills and mainly worked with Wilson. Both have very similar frames – Burkhalter at 6-foot-5, 215 pounds, and Elksnis at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds – and both worked well in passing drills. It wasn’t surprising that Burkhalter got an Ohio State offer after Elksnis announced his own offer following the camp.

“It was good,” Burkhalter told Eleven Warriors about his workout with the Buckeyes. “The teaching part of it is something that I will carry into my game this year. Even the receiver coach gave my some very good moves and taught me stuff I didn’t know.”

Both of the Florida tight ends were essentially treated like receivers during the workout. Hartline worked closely with all of them, running them through the same routes and using many of the same methods to teach.

Burkhalter’s success during the drills isn’t a surprise, since he recently moved from wide receiver to tight end after a growth spurt and has played a hybrid role since, lining up on the outside and also setting up behind the offensive tackle. He has the speed and body control to play outside the numbers as well.

In his tape with Spanish Fort High School in Alabama, he has shown a willingness to block, and when put through blocking drills by Wilson, the tight ends coach worked with him on technique and mechanics quite a bit but seemed pleased with Burkhalter’s adjustment.

The offers to Burkhalter and Elksnis will likely ensure that the attention to Ohio State is maintained between Ohio and Florida, though Burkhalter seemed to understand what an Ohio State offer meant to him.

“Ohio State’s success speaks for itself,” Burkhalter said. “Every high school football player in America knows and respects Ohio State football. it’s an honor for any athlete.”

Notable visitors this weekend

If there is a weekend that should be known as the second-most important recruiting weekend of the summer, it’s this weekend. I detailed a few expected visitors last week and will provide more detail about this weekend tomorrow morning, but these are a few updates to apply ahead of the weekend’s official start.

No. 6 2021 running back Evan Pryor will be camping Saturday with Ohio State. Out of William Amos Hough in North Carolina, Pryor already has 28 offers, including offers from Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Penn State and others. He received his offer from Ohio State on Feb. 25.

William Mohan, a 2020 athlete out of Brooklyn, confirmed with Eleven Warriors that he will be making an unofficial visit to Ohio State this weekend. He will not be camping, he said. He will just be making a visit with his parents. Mohan has six Crystal Balls set for Michigan, the most recent one being submitted June 5.

Latrell Neville, a four-star 2021 Houston wideout, had told Eleven Warriors that he would be visiting Ohio State either this weekend or next weekend, but due to Father’s Day on Sunday, Neville will not be visiting Columbus this weekend and will, in fact, visit next weekend.

Other names to watch for this weekend include:

Avante Dickerson receives an Ohio State offer

Nebraska cornerback Avante Dickerson became another Ohio State camper to receive a Buckeye offer Tuesday. Rated as the No. 3 cornerback in the country by 247Sports, Dickerson announced his offer via Twitter.

“The coaching staff is awesome,” Dickerson told Eleven Warriors on Tuesday. “For my first time being down there, it was amazing.”

The No. 50 overall 2021 prospect has family in Sandusky, which drew him to watch Ohio State growing up and then eventually to Ohio State’s one-day camp Thursday, where his family was able to watch him play.

Cornerbacks coach Jeff Hafley liked what he saw out of Dickerson and made the offer over the phone.

Dickerson plays both sides of the ball for Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. His primary position is cornerback, where he has great anticipation and a blazing pursuit for the ball while it’s in the air, and his secondary position is running back, where he has breakaway speed and cuts on a dime.

Dickerson said he will “for sure” come back to Ohio State for a game this season, but for the summer, he said he plans to hit the weight room hard and participate in the Deion Sanders Under Armour Prime 21 Camp on July 20.

After offering Dickerson, Ohio State has now offered three of the top-five 2021 cornerbacks and four of the top-10.

Joe Royer sees massive ratings jump

Of course, following the camp where Cincinnati tight end Joe Royer received an Ohio State offer, the ratings systems bumped his overall rating by about 50 percent. 247Sports Composite bumped him up 538 spots to No. 518 overall, which moves him into the No. 14 spot nationally for tight ends. 247Sports rates him at No. 200 overall and No. 3 at tight end.

Luke Lachey actually saw a jump in his ratings too. He’s now rated No. 434 overall by 247Sports Composite and No. 222 by 247Sports (No. 5 tight end).

What does this mean as far as how good Royer is? Well, he was criminally disregarded earlier in the process and should have been rated higher all along, but I would also be tentative on rating him as high as 247Sports did. Third is above tight ends like Theo Johnson, Maliq Carr, Lukas Ungar and Mark Redman, and I’m just not ready to make that type of a statement yet. He’s obviously good and, I thought, separated himself further than two spots away from Lachey on Monday, but third in the country is a bit too far at this point. I’d lean toward the composite rating of No. 14.

I get it though, he has quite a bit of upside. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, he moves well and is strong. His ball handling skills are underestimated, and he knows how to block. Adding weight would help him and shouldn’t be an issue if he does decide to go to Ohio State.

Beaux Collins has Ohio State in top-two

California 2021 wide receiver Beaux Collins has Ohio State in his top-two schools already, he told and confirmed with Eleven Warriors on Friday. The other school is Clemson, which offered him after a workout in South Carolina on Wednesday.

“Mostly Coach Hartline,” Collins told Eleven Warriors about why he’s high on the Buckeyes. “I believe he’ll really get me to where i want to be, and that is the NFL. And I just love the atmosphere up there in Columbus.”

Collins is the teammate of five-star No. 1 2020 quarterback and Clemson commit DJ Uiagalelei at St. John Bosco High School, so his connection to Clemson is strong, which makes it unsurprising for him to be high on the Tigers.

Collins’ interest shows the importance of the Student Appreciation Day event March 23, when many national recruits made their ways to Columbus for unofficial visits. The four-star wide receiver hasn’t been to Ohio State since that visit but remains in contact with Brian Hartline.

“I don’t have a trip planned yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be back out there,” Collins said.

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