Five Observations from Ohio State's One-day Camp Saturday

By Taylor Lehman on June 15, 2019 at 7:23 pm
DeaMonte Trayanum
DeaMonte Trayanum

Ohio State hosted its second and final one-day camp of the summer Saturday, and it didn't disappoint.

Ohio State hosted its second and final one-day camp of the summer Saturday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, while also hosting several official visitors. None of the official visitors made appearances at the camp, but head coach Ryan Day and his assistant coaches handed out even more offers than the first one-day camp on June 6.

The Buckeyes offered Virginia safety Bryce Steele, Cincinnati safety Jaylen Johnson, Kentucky receiver Dekel Crowdus, New Jersey 2022 quarterback Steve Angeli, Massachusetts tight end Bennett Pitcher and Tennessee offensive tackle William Griffin.

Outside of those offers, these are five observations from the rest of the camp process Saturday.

DeaMonte Trayanum visits before his official visit

Archbishop Hoban standout 2020 running back DeaMonte Trayanum was in attendance for the Ohio State one-day camp Saturday. His official visit is set to begin Monday and last through Wednesday, but he spent some time talking to coaches and players beforehand.

The 6-foot, 215-pound running back walked around the practice fields while the camp was taking place, making conversation with Ohio State players and coaches and supporting his teammates that attended the camp, which was his premise for being in Columbus today.

“I’ve been here a lot, but every time it gets better and better,” Trayanum told Eleven Warriors after the camp. “Every time I come here, it feels more and more like home.”

The No. 24 running back just came off his second official visit, making the trip to Wisconsin nearly a month after seeing Arizona State, and has a trip to Penn State following his official to Ohio State this week.

Once those officials are complete, Trayanum said he hopes to commit at The Opening Finals in the beginning of July.

Trayanum arrived at Ohio State on Saturday around 8 a.m. and was able to greet all of the coaching staff before the camp started, an effort he said helped in getting more comfortable with the coaches before his official this week.

He had already told Eleven Warriors that feeling comfortable around and understanding the players on the team is crucial for him in the school he chooses, and he was able to talk to a few Buckeyes that were working the camp Saturday. He made an effort to have a conversation with 2019 early-enrollee Steele Chambers.

“It’s a great time to speak up if you don’t know anybody,” Trayanum said. “Those guys are all genuine. They’ll take time to talk to you and answer any questions you’ve got to ask.”

Drew Donley is very, very fast

Texas 2021 speedster Drew Donley was able to put his speed on display at the camp Saturday. He blazed a 4.37 40-yard dash time and beat every defensive back he ran go routes against during competition drills.

He is still very raw athletically, but there’s no doubt that his speed is a rare asset many receivers cannot bring with them as early as he has. He also wasn’t too impressed with himself on the 40 time either.

“That’s what I was shooting for, the low-4.3s,” he said after the camp. “But 4.37 will do.”

Donley, whose father is former Buckeye Doug Donley, has been around the program a lot. His father has season tickets, his room is dressed in Ohio State gear and he grew up with Ohio State “in his blood.” His father’s sister and mother still live in Cambridge, where they stay when they attend games.

He came to the Michigan game two years ago, came to the Michigan State game last year and will be at another game this year as well. This time, though, it might be as a recruit rather than as a fan.

“Any time I’m able to come up here, it’s just awesome,” Donley said. “It’s just kind of humbling.”

Brian Hartline worked closely with Donley all day Saturday and noted that he needs to be crisper at the top of his routes, which is common for young receivers. In competition drills, he did beat most defensive backs over the top, but when it came to shorter routes, the playing field was evened.

Donley didn’t leave Columbus with an offer Saturday, but it wasn’t necessarily expected. Ohio State's 2021 offers list has become incredibly packed with talent, but Donley will likely be a four- or five-year player, and with the skillset he brings to the table, Ohio State will likely start considering offering him soon.

He’s put on 20 pounds since he attended the Ohio State camp last year, and he is hoping to put on more. Right now he stands at 6-foot-2, 170 pounds.

He and Doug are headed to Clemson for a camp later this summer, and they were just in Texas as well.

Bryce Steele works out privately with Al Washington

Virginia athlete Bryce Steele told Eleven Warriors last week that he will be visiting Ohio State twice this month, and Saturday was the first visit, as he camped with the Buckeyes and left with an offer.

Steele told Eleven Warriors that during the 40-yard dash drills, linebackers coach Al Washington told him that they would be doing a private workout for the day, rather than Steele working all day with the rest of the campers. Steele was joined by two other linebacker campers but was the only one in the mix for an offer.

By the end of the camp, Washington and the three linebackers had moved inside to the indoor field to finish out the workout, and Steele led all of the drills. At 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, Steele has the body to play safety or linebacker, and his mobility makes him a good hybrid, which is where Washington said he wants to consider playing Steele if Steele is interested in being a Buckeye.

Steele said that most other schools that are recruiting him also want him to play the equivalent of their bullet position – every team has a different name for the linebacker-safety hybrid position.

The North Carolina native is one of Ohio State’s top recruits on the 2021 board and showed why during his workout with Washington, when he nearly perfected every drill the linebackers coach ran him through. While Washington walked the other two linebackers through what he was hoping to see in each drill, Steele didn’t need much teaching.

Jack Sawyer, Brandon Taylor work out privately

Five-star defensive end commit Jack Sawyer was at Ohio State’s first one-day camp, and he was at the second one, too. It seems like any time there is an opportunity for Ohio State commits or targets to be at an event, Sawyer is there.

The Pickerington North star was leading the defensive line drills again, as he was heading the selective defensive line group that Larry Johnson put together once again.

Also in that group was 2020 three-star Lima defensive end Brandon Taylor.

Taylor appeared to be the second-best in the group, with an ease of strength and flexibility in his hips that the other accompanying recruits did not have.

Taylor and Sawyer are fairly close, and Taylor’s mother will be moving to Columbus this summer, so there is a chance that Taylor could make the move as well and play with Sawyer at Pickerington North if the stars align. That would be dangerous for the Panthers, and Taylor told Eleven Warriors that the move is “on the table.”

However, Taylor was at the camp to earn an Ohio State offer, but he left the camp empty-handed.

After talking with Ryan Day and Larry Johnson after the camp, Taylor said Johnson wants two weeks to consider extending an offer, but it seems like he might not be getting one.

His next visit is to Penn State on an official visit.

Bennett Pitcher is very, very tall

Massachusetts tight end Bennett Pitcher arrived to the one-day camp early Saturday and lined up in a personal workout with Colorado tight end Erik Olsen and Kevin Wilson before the camp began.

Once Pitcher walked into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, the first thing anyone noticed about him was his size. He stands at 6-foot-9, 260 pounds, and he looks every bit of it. He doesn’t seem oversized, though.

He moved smoothly in the passing game during individual drills and showed strong hands and the ability to catch the ball. His strongest aspect of his skill set was his blocking. He has long arms and big hands that make it tough to shed his blocks, and his hips stay squared throughout the block.

He clearly doesn’t have the speed that a shorter and lighter tight end would have, but he isn’t the slowest tight end prospect either. His tape shows that he is a block-first tight end that can work through different blocking schemes and that he also becomes a big threat in the red zone because of his size and strength.

Wilson knew what he wanted to see out of Pitcher, and he saw what he wanted. Ohio State offered him.

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