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.
Quintin Somerville Wants to Meet Larry Johnson
Quintin Somerville is the top-rated Arizona 2021 prospect, and if you haven’t heard, Ohio State has been in Arizona recently. Lathan Ransom and Jack Miller are both committed to Ohio State, and Bijan Robinson has left a bad taste in the mouth of Buckeye fans for the last week as his commitment approached and he selected Texas on Friday.
The Buckeyes are also in the top-schools list of No. 1 cornerback Kelee Ringo, who is the top prospect out of Saguaro High School, a powerhouse within the state. While Ringo likely won’t choose Ohio State – favoring Georgia at the moment – his teammate, Somerville, has increasing interest in Ohio State.
The staff was at Saguaro in May but didn’t stay too long, Somerville said, though he was able to talk to them for a short time. He really wants to get to Columbus, though, and talk to defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
“We are trying to plan something out either in fall or next winter or spring,” Somerville said.
Planning a trip to Ohio can be difficult when a prospect lives in Arizona, but Somerville wants to be at Ohio State for a game. It could bleed into the 2020 calendar, though. He’s already received offers from Auburn, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska and Ohio State, among others, and he’s been rated as high as No. 18 overall in the composite ratings, but upon the release of other services’ 2021 ratings, he’s fallen to No. 108. 247Sports still has him rated No. 39 overall.
The point is, he is a highly coveted recruit and among the top 5-10 defensive ends in the country.
His mission this offseason was to add weight to his frame without reducing his speed and explosion. He did exactly that, with the ultimate test of his explosion yet to come during the season. He weighed around 215 pounds entering the offseason but has pushed that number up to 235.
“I can notice the results on the field with my explosiveness,” Somerville said.
He told Eleven Warriors in February that he had been working on getting into the weight room more during the winter and spring months, and he said that he adjusted his diet as well.
“The hardest part was going out with my friends and having to modify my meals definitely,” Somerville said.
The 2019 season is shaping up to be a breakout year for Somerville, who recorded 44 tackles (16 TFL), four sacks and four pass deflections as a sophomore.
Kedrick Bingley-Jones commits to North Carolina
North Carolina defensive end Kedrick Bingley-Jones decided to stay in-state Saturday, as the No. 16 defensive tackle prospect in the nation committed to North Carolina. Bingley-Jones had taken an official to Ohio State on June 14 and had also made a visit in the spring.
North Carolina is building quite a recruiting class, ranked No. 17 in the nation, and it's led by its defensive line commitments. At the moment, The No. 6 defensive end in the class, Myles Murphy, is the Tarheels' top commitment and Bingley-Jones is second. The No. 2 defensive end in the nation, Desmond Evans, is rumored to be leaning heavily that direction as well, which would give North Carolina six defensive line commitments in the class.
North Carolina's defensive line coach is Tim Cross, who just assumed his position in November 2018 and has experience at Minnesota and Air Force. At Minnesota, he was named the Big Ten Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports. Cross, combined with new North Carolina head coach Mack Brown and the talent at the position coming out of the state in 2020, has the credentials to land a program-defining player like Evans, who Ohio State could make a run for later in the cycle.
Bingley-Jones is a versatile lineman that can play inside or outside, but that's not particularly the type of defensive lineman the Buckeyes are looking to bring in at this point, since they've already earned the commitment of Darrion Henry.
WHAC Renovations Can Aid Recruiting
Since 2007, when Ohio State donors offered $19.5 million, Ohio State has been slowly building a recruiting trump card in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. That’s where recruits spend most of their time while in Columbus, and that’s also where Ohio State coaches sit down with prospects and work on a day-to-day business.
With another $2.5 million contribution, the locker room was renovated to feature a water wall and the indoor field and one of the outdoor fields were replaced.
Now, just in time for the 2020 cycle, the newest $7.8 million renovation was finished near the beginning of 2019. It was shown on head coach Ryan Day’s Instagram account in March and was unveiled to the media Friday.
The renovation features a new basketball court next to arcade games and an indoor golf simulator on the lower level next to the indoor practice field. On the upper level, which looks out over the practice field and the weight room, there is a new lounge which features a dining area and a kitchen. The hallways and position rooms were also renovated to feature a historic touch on the program.
These are all aspects of the facility that prospects are shown during their tours when they make visits, not to mention the other areas of the facility that are already featured and open to the public, such as the trophy room near the front entrance.
Renovations and additions to athletic and practice facilities are and have been growing at an exponential rate across the country, as top Power Five countries are engaged in an arms race to not only impress and flatter recruits but to also evoke the energy within their program and set a standard for what prospects can expect if they were to choose to commit.
"The new addition is huge for us," Day said after the tour Friday. "It's really catapulting us in recruiting which is really important. We say that we want to build the best environment, and it's one of the best in the country in terms of taking care of a student-athlete. Something like that is huge. Guys can come here and spend all day here, which is what we want. We want them to feel like this is their home."
Without a doubt, these upgrades within the facility have had a contribution to the success had in the 2020 class, but to land the commitments Ohio State has landed at the rate they’ve earned them takes more than facility upgrades. The success in the 2020 class has come from the coaching staff itself.
For the 2021 class, which is comprised of prospects making their first visits to programs, the renovations set the standard for what the prospects can expect within the future of their recruitments involving Ohio State.