The Hurry Up: Kourt Williams Sets Decision Date for Wednesday, is Likely to Choose the Buckeyes

By Taylor Lehman on July 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Kourt Williams

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.

Kourt Williams to Commit Wednesday

California linebacker Kourt Williams announced Monday via Twitter that he will be committing Wednesday, which finally sets the date for the last of the confident Ohio State commitments. 

While most signs are optimistic for Williams to commit to the Buckeyes, he told Eleven Warriors that he still had not made his decision last week, and he continued to tell other sites the same information up until he announced his decision date. 

It is very possible that Williams is keeping the information close to his chest out of respect for all the schools on his list or because he wants the announcement to be a surprise, but it is known that Williams is a fairly personal person and wanted to have an open dialogue with his family before making the announcement. 

Regardless, Texas A&M and Oklahoma made good impressions on him during his official visits there, and Penn State has been mentioned in his recruitment recently as well. But there are a couple reasons why he will likely choose Ohio State.

The first reason is that he really likes the bullet position. It’s something he’s told me since I began my time with Eleven Warriors in February, and Ohio State is the only school in his top schools list that is prepared to have that type of linebacker-safety hybrid in its defense in 2019 – meaning it will be ready for him in 2020. He has skills at both linebacker and safety, and at the bullet spot, he won’t need to choose which of the two he’d like to play. He probably won’t start as a freshman, but with the position being new and all current players being on the same learning curve, it creates a natural lack of depth at the position, perfect for a player that would like to see early playing time at the next level. 

The second reason is Jeff Hafley. I’ve written about him non-stop lately as Williams’ commitment has been creeping up on us, but Hafley is right next to Brian Hartline as the two top newcomers on the recruiting trail for Ohio State. While the bullet position is primarily coached by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who also coaches SAM linebackers, Hafley will also have some input and is a prime recruiter in the country, particularly on the West Coast. Clark Phillips, who is also a quiet and reserved type of person, did his best to recruit Williams while they were together at The Opening Finals too.

If there is one recruit in the 2020 class to be the first recruited primarily for the bullet position, it would be Williams. Ohio State has made that clear to him, and that is why Williams should be choosing the Buckeyes come Wednesday.

The other recruits with dates set to announce their commitments are Jaylan Knighton on July 30, Bijan Robinson on Aug. 2, and on Aug. 3, Kedrick Bingley-Jones, but he's expected to go somewhere closer to home in North Carolina.

Mookie Cooper to Visit This Weekend

Ohio State wide receiver commit Mookie Cooper will be visiting Ohio State this weekend, he announced via Twitter on Sunday.

This is important for a couple reasons. One, because it will be his first time visiting campus since March and his first visit after he committed to the Buckeyes. Two, because he told the media at The Opening Finals that he wanted to announce as early as he did so that he would have time to recruit people to the school he chose. 

A visit to a program after a commitment can be beneficial in maintaining that commitment, but it also serves as preparation for his senior season. Hartline will surely sit down with him and address his ideal role at Ohio State further. They’ve already looked at his tape together, but that will probably happen again, as Hartline shows Cooper ways he can improve before getting to Columbus. 

There will be other visitors in Columbus that weekend too, like 2021 linebacker Greg Penn. Cooper could introduce himself with the visitors and work on recruiting them, though it doesn’t seem like Cooper will be the strongest recruiter in the 2020 class, not like Lejond Cavazos, Gee Scott Jr. or Julian Fleming.

Latest Top247 Ratings Updates

There was a separate post on Eleven Warriors about this earlier today, but 247Sports released its latest ratings updates, and it was the first look the nation got at just how good the Ohio State 2020 class has become in a very short time. 

Here are just a few quick facts after looking through the updated ratings:

  • Ohio State has commitments from eight of the composite top-100 recruits, and if Bijan Robinson and Jaylan Knighton commit to Ohio State, which they are expected to, then it will be 10. Obviously a flip from Elias Ricks would result in 11, but that’s a long way off yet.
  • Several current commits were left out of the Top247, even Darrion Henry, who is the composite No. 164 overall and was No. 121 before today. Lejond Cavazos’ ratings continue to be skewed because of injuries, and Cam Martinez will never be a highly rated recruit because of his role on his high school team.
  • As expected, four of Ohio State’s six committed offensive linemen were left off the Top247.
  • Ohio State is still No. 3 in the class rankings, but it dropped a couple points behind Alabama with the ratings updates.

Gee Scott Jr. had a big boost in the ratings, jumping 32 spots to No. 26 in 247Sports’ Top247, but he didn’t earn the fifth star that he was hoping for. In fact, the site left LSU commit and recent IMG Academy transfer Jermaine Burton in front of Scott because Burton has more speed and fits “where the game is headed at the position.”

Jack Miller dropped in the ratings as well, falling 65 spots to No. 214 overall, dropping to No. 12 at his position in 247Sports’ ratings and No. 6 in composite ratings. While some may deny that this is directly related to his injury that he played through in the spring and into the summer, cutting his Elite 11 Finals performance short, it certainly had to be, because, from what I’ve seen, Miller has one of the best arms in the country. 

Darrion Henry had an eye-popping drop in 247Sports’ ratings. He fell 360 spots out of the top-500 and eventually to No. 585. His composite rating dropped 43 spots to 164. Even Jaheim Thomas, who committed to Cincinnati on Saturday and seemed like the odd man out in that Cincinnati trio, is rated higher, at No. 440 overall. Henry has been battling some nagging injuries this offseason, but there really isn’t an explanation for his ratings drop because his performance this season should bump him back to where he was before today.

These are the updates made to Ohio State commits and prospects of interest in the Top247.

Prospect 247Sports' Top247 rating Rise/Fall 247Sports Composite Rating
Julian Fleming 4 +1 5
Paris Johnson Jr.  7 - 7
Elias Ricks 9 - 15
Bijan Robinson 23 +4 20
Gee Scott Jr. 26 +32 63
Clark Phillips 33 -8 44
Luke Wypler 34 -10 69
Kendall Milton 44 -21 22
Jaxon Smith-Njigba 47 +24 59
Lathan Ransom 61 -6 67
Mookie Cooper 131 -5 72
Jaylan Knighton 132 +35 92
Cody Simon 137 +39 125
Kedrick Bingley-Jones 161 -2 160
Kourt Williams 200 - 163
Joe Royer 201 - 454
Makari Paige 203 -1 244
Jack Miller 214 -65 177
Ryan Watts 220 -1 260
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