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.
Jack Sawyer Assesses Buckeye Bash & Barbecue
If there is a recruiting event happening at Ohio State, more times than not, 2021 Pickerington defensive end commit Jack Sawyer is going to be in attendance. Since Ohio State expressed a desire to focus on the 2021 class within the Buckeye Bash & Barbecue, Sawyer seemed to be the ultimate Litmus Test to see how the Buckeyes did.
“It was great,” Sawyer told Eleven Warriors. “We played a bunch of fun games, had some great food and got some position instruction time. It was an amazing day.”
When asked if he felt the staff achieved its goal of setting a foundation for the five-star commit’s class, Sawyer said, “For sure. That’s exactly what they did.”
Sawyer went into the event wanting to recruit hard for the Buckeyes, with recruits from his own class – such as Tunmise Adeleye, Hunter Washington and Ben Christman – making the trip. Christman tweeted a photo of himself and Sawyer during a photoshoot at the barbecue at one point.
Sawyer told Eleven Warriors on Sunday that he was recruiting “the whole time,” and that he felt he made good connections with prospects like Christman and newest Ohio State 2021 commit Jayden Ballard. He already had a relationship dating back to elementary school with Pickerington wide receiver Lorenzo Styles, but he spent time with him as well.
Ohio State had two of its best commit-recruiters at the event Friday in 2020 cornerback Lejond Cavazos and Sawyer.
Hunter Washington Hits Columbus for First Time
Texas 2021 defensive back Hunter Washington was one of several 2021 prospects the barbecue was intended to focus on, and his visit was his first trip to Columbus. He summed up what types of activities were planned for the visitors.
“It was like a little fun day with the 2020 commits and a couple of 2021 commits, so it was a small group of us,” Washington told Eleven Warriors. “We got the time to play and get to know each other and then I did a small workout with Coach Hafley and learned most of the stuff he taught me. I ate and also talked with the defensive coordinator (Greg Mattison), and before I left, I talked to the head coach (Ryan Day).”
During his conversation with Hafley, Washington said he talked some technique and how to play cornerback but mostly about Hafley’s career path – how he coached in the NFL and how he ended up at Ohio State. With Day, nearly the entire conversation was regarding things outside of football, such as the Real Life Wednesdays program. Washington said that program stuck out to him the most during the visit, as it does with many other recruits.
In addition to Hafley, Day and Mattison, Washington said he also had conversations with linebackers coach Al Washington. It wouldn’t be too surprising if Ohio State was looking at Washington for the bullet position, since he measures at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds.
Washington is rated as the No. 21 cornerback in his class and lives just an hour away from College Station, Texas. He camped at Texas A&M and made an unofficial visit a week later. While Texas A&M seems to be a real player in Washington’s recruitment, so do Auburn, Houston, Mississippi State and Virginia Tech. He does not yet have an offer from Ohio State.
Kourt Williams Shows Family Ohio State
The last time California linebacker Kourt Williams was in Columbus, it was March 23 for Ohio State’s Student Appreciation Day event. Then he came in for his official visit for a much more intimate event in the Buckeye Bash & Barbecue.
“I wanted my family to see what I saw on my unofficial,” Williams told Eleven Warriors on Sunday. “They really made it feel like home.”
When asked what his family thought of Ohio State, he replied, “Man, they love it.”
Two other highlights Williams noted were talking to Ryan Day more than he was able to in March and getting more familiar with the academics offered at Ohio State.
Williams had already expressed that Ohio State was a standout program to him because of their new bullet position, where he wouldn’t need to choose between playing safety or linebacker.
Williams was visiting with another California defender Saturday – newest Ohio State commit Clark Phillips. Williams said the two of them are "very close," and he appeared in photos posted to Instagram by Phillips, who just committed Friday.
Williams attends school at St. John Bosco, one of the best football programs in the state of California and where current Buckeye guard Wyatt Davis went to high school. Ohio State has had a strong presence there, particularly with new secondary coach Jeff Hafley now on the staff.
The plan was never for Williams to commit immediately following an official visit. He always wanted to finish the visits and have conversations with his family about what the best option would be for his future. Ohio State still remains at the top, alongside Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Penn State.
Ohio State Meets High Expectations of Tunmise Adeleye
Texas defensive end Tunmise Adeleye knew that he had a lot of interest in Ohio State – since he was young and then after he met defensive graduate assistant Kenny Anunike at a Houston camp – so his expectations for the program coming in were high, and the Buckeyes met them this weekend.
“It solidified my previous notions about Ohio State and the kind of program that’s here in Columbus,” Adeleye told Eleven Warriors on Friday.
Adeleye was given a tour of the facilities, and Ohio Stadium was the part of the tour that really stood out to him.
“It was breathtaking,” Adeleye said. “There’s not a lot of stadiums that hold over one hundred thousand people, so when you get to visit one and actually walk around, it’s amazing. Even though no one was there today, I could feel the energy that’s held within the stadium on game day.”
Texas A&M has good connections with the Katy, Texas area – hence Hunter Washington’s interest in Texas A&M too – so Adeleye’s coaching staff has developed a relationship with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, dating back to Mattison’s short time at Texas A&M. While Adeleye made first contact with the program through Anunike and then defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Mattison has proven to be the primary recruiter for the No. 5 defensive end in the country.
“He’s the one I’m always talking to, and he’s developed the best relationship with my father thus far,” Adeleye said. “He let me know I’m ‘the guy,’ meaning the recruit he wants the most out of the 2021 class, and he let me know today that he doesn’t say that to just anyone.”
Even though Adeleye likes the Buckeye program a lot, he said he still plans to commit a year from now in June 2020. He also said that while he will be releasing a top-10 soon, he actually has three early frontrunners – Ohio State, Texas A&M and Alabama.
“It gives me a lot of comfort,” Adeleye said about being named “the guy” by Ohio State. “They know how I feel about the school, and to know the feelings are mutual and reciprocated on their end means a lot, especially moving forward.”