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.
Damon Owens Leaves Columbus Without an Offer
As 2021 athlete Damon Owens visited Ohio State during his long road trip of visits with his friends, he was in the midst of a big transition. The third of the three to show up in The Hurry Up, Owens is classified as an athlete like his friend John Howse but no longer attends Brentwood Academy with Howse and Noah Josey.
Owens has transferred to Ravenwood in Brentwood, Tennessee, and once he transferred, he also changed positions. He played outside linebacker but now plays safety – strong and free – for Ravenwood. That change in position makes him a candidate to be recruited as a bullet in the second class after the bullet’s inception in Columbus.
“I actually like it a lot,” Owens told Eleven Warriors about the safety position. “It kind of frees me up, and it’s a lot less complicated. I like to be able to see the whole field and be able to make decisions on my own. Coach (Al) Washington said that I look like I’d be a great bullet, actually.”
Owens played solely as an outside linebacker at Brentwood Academy and still has those instincts, and he still has some opportunities to play down in the linebacker spots from the safety position.
The 6-foot-1, 203-pound athlete has five offers from Tennessee, Penn State, Missouri, Kentucky and Louisville, and some of those schools have yet to see him play the safety position. Penn State is one of the schools to offer him as a safety-linebacker hybrid, though.
“Some colleges want to see me back pedal because they do want me to play safety,” Owens said. “Like Penn State, they offered me as a safety or an athlete, kind of, because of my agility and how I move as a linebacker.”
Heading into Columbus, Owens said he was hoping for an offer, but Ohio State rarely offers prospects after one visit. He talked with Tony Alford, Al Washington and Ryan Day, and the staff wants to continue talking in order to build a relationship with him.
“When I went up there I expected them to tell me how I could make myself a better player on the field and how they could make me a better player on the field while I’m there,” Owens said. “At the end of the day, they said they want to build a better relationship with me and see me become a better player and see me come up to some games, and we’ll see how the process goes.”
Bijan Robinson Commits to Texas
Five-star running back Bijan Robinson committed to Texas, he announced via his Instagram and Twitter on Friday afternoon.
This news isn’t a surprise to Buckeyes fans, as Robinson had already notified Ohio State’s staff that he would not be committing to Ohio State last Sunday. The news does, however, cement Ohio State into the place many thought it would be in after the end of the week – 0-for-3 on top running back targets this week and searching for options within the class in case it cannot flip Robinson or Florida State running back commit Jaylan Knighton.
I detailed several options that Tony Alford and the Buckeyes can look in regards to filling the void, and other options have cropped up throughout the week, including the newest 2020 running back offer, Texas No. 18 running back Tre Bradford, as well as other in-state recruits, such as Iowa State commit Miyan Williams.
The point has been written and written about throughout the week, but Ohio State will not give up on Knighton or Robinson. Yes, they are both committed aggressively to their respective programs, but it hasn’t been a week since their commitments, or since they decided against Ohio State. With some time, the Buckeye staff should be able to approach the prospects, given that they will have opened their minds a bit more by the signing day in December.
New Running Back Offer
While on the topic of running backs, Ohio State extended its second offer to a running back this week, but this one was within the 2021 class. Four-star Florida running back Thaddius Franklin announced that he has received an Ohio State offer via Twitter on Thursday evening.
Unlike most sophomore running backs, Franklin has already exceeded the 1,000-yard mark in his career, as he rushed for 1,602 yards on a 9.8 yards-per-carry average and 14 touchdowns in 2018. He has a natural running ability and is one of the top running backs in the Miami area.
That being said, he is already committed to Miami, which typically has a fairly strong hold on the Miami area, and Franklin is from Hollywood, which is just outside of Miami. It will take quite a bit of recruiting to draw him out of the area, but if the staff offered him, then it must believe there is a way.