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.
Elias Ricks Discusses Recruitment Going Into The Fall
From checking in in Frisco to the first workout of The Opening Finals, it’s been clear to LSU cornerback commit Elias Ricks that Ohio State’s commits want him in Columbus.
“It’s Ohio State really,” Ricks told Eleven Warriors about other schools’ commits approaching him. “That’s it. I would say USC, but they don’t really have many commits like that.”
Cavazos has been the Ohio State commit that’s been pushing Ricks the most to pull the trigger and flip to the Buckeyes, but it’s clear that the No. 2 cornerback will take his time on the decision to stay in Baton rouge or decide on something else.
Cavazos was attached to Ricks’ hip during warm ups and then again after the workout was finished.
But Ricks has had a lot of decision to make lately, with deciding on which schools he wants to take officials to – his Ohio State visit is scheduled for Nov. 22, his USC visit for Nov. 2 and Alabama LSU and an undetermined school yet to be scheduled – and where he will be playing his senior season, since Mater Dei will not allow him to graduate early. He will make that announcement July 18.
He told Eleven Warriors, though, that having Cavazos and No. 3 cornerback Clark Phillips committed to Ohio State wouldn’t deter him from choosing to play with the Buckeyes if his recruitment went that direction.
“It could be 500 cornerbacks committed,” Ricks said. “If that’s the school for me, I don’t fear competition. I always think I’m going to be the top dog wherever I go. I’m always going to come in thinking I can beat these guys out, and those are my guys. But that’s not going to affect me.”
Ricks’ relationship with Ohio State dates back to when Urban Meyer was the head coach of the Buckeyes, and that’s a specific topic that he and Cavazos can relate to, as Cavazos decommitted after Meyer’s departure before choosing to recommit in April.
“I visited there when Urban was there,” Ricks said about Ohio State. “Me and Urban talked every single night. That was my guy, and when I heard he was leaving, I was hurt. If he was still there, it would’ve been a whole other story. We were ready.”
While several top programs would like to see him flip, Ricks said he isn’t feeling too much pressure because he is still committed to LSU and that if nothing else piques his interest, he’s still happy to be a Tiger.
But one thing that intrigues him about Alabama and Ohio State is that they always win.
“They always win. They’re always in the national championship every year,” Ricks said. “They put out first round DBs all the time. Same thing (with Ohio State) – DBs like Denzel Ward, Malik Hooker, Marshon Lattimore, dudes that are producing in the League.”
Cody Simon Likes How He Fits Into the OSU Program
Before last weekend, Ohio State was entering The Opening Finals tied for second in the number of commitments it had competing in the event, with six – tied with Georgia and three behind Clemson. But just two days before Day One, New Jersey linebacker Cody Simon announced his commitment and began competing in the finals as a Buckeye.
What sealed the deal for Simon was the final visit he took to Ohio State, during the Buckeye Bash & Barbecue. After leaving the visit, he said he was still torn between Ohio State and Penn State but took the week to make a decision.
“I didn’t really give a timetable because in my heart, I didn't really know where I wanted to go,” Simon told Eleven Warriors on Monday. “Really, I just thought about where I really wanted to be at, and Ohio State was the answer for me.”
Simon said he appreciated the fact that Ohio State’s coaching staff stressed to the recruits that it wants to recruit the same type of people, not just the best football players – the kind of people that will mesh and develop the culture Ryan Day and his staff envision for the program’s future.
The No. 10 outside linebacker realized that the staff was honest about that when he was with Ohio State players and they spoke about the coaches with genuine positivity when the coaches weren’t around.
Ohio State had began developing a relationship with Simon near the beginning of the 2019 calendar year, when secondary coach and New Jersey area recruiter Jeff Hafley was hired
“I understood why they didn’t recruit me,” Simon said. “When Coach Hafley first came to my school, it was easy to talk to him. He’s a really relatable guy. He’s from Jersey. He just told me the whole deal that he had just gotten to the school. He hadn’t really been recruiting. I was one of the first people he really started recruiting.”
The Buckeyes extended an offer in May, and Simon said he didn’t feel like the relationship was rushed at all.
Simon said that the way many schools approached his recruitment was “weird” because they assumed he would go to Notre Dame because his brother, Shayne, plays safety for the Irish. But Simon said he and his brother are different people and football players, so having Shayne in that system helped him understand what he was looking for in a team.
Now, the linebacker feels good with his decision and expects to be starting at Mike or Will linebacker.
Ohio State linebacker commit Cody Simon didnt even know he was going to go through ratings tests today and still tested in at least the 98th percentile for each test. pic.twitter.com/mQKvtCJVMU— Taylor Lehman (@TaylorRLehman) July 2, 2019
He is clearly one of the most athletic linebackers in the class. At The Opening Finals on Monday, he didn’t know he would be put through the ratings tests before he showed up at the facility and still tested better than at least 98 percent of the other linebackers at the event. He ran his 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds and his shuttle in 4.18 seconds and he jumped 38.2 inches in the vertical jump. Then he went on to cover wide receivers in one-on-one drills and play one-on-one against running backs in individual drills.
“I feel confident in my decision, and I’ll probably visit when I can,” Simon said. “But I’m just happy I’m done with recruiting and I feel like I’m in a really good spot.”