The Hurry Up: Chief Borders Receives His Buckeye Offer, Lawrance Toafili to Commit Wednesday

By Taylor Lehman on August 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Chief Borders

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.

Chief Borders is Offered

Georgia athlete Chief Borders told Eleven Warriors and then announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he has received an offer from Ohio State.

Borders made a visit to Columbus a couple of weekends ago, and following that visit, he told Eleven Warriors he could feel that an Ohio State offer was coming his way soon. He had developed good relationships with defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and linebackers coach Al Washington dating back to their time at Michigan, but he hadn’t earned the verbal offer form the Buckeyes yet. That changed when Washington reached out to him Monday.

“Coach Washington said I was a stellar student-athlete on and off the field, and then he offered me a full-ride scholarship to The Ohio State University,” Borders told Eleven Warriors

This offer is one that pushes Borders’ recruitment to another level. He does have offers from Auburn, Georgia and Oregon, but an offer from Ohio State was one he had made a remark about when I talked with him in April. He really wanted this offer.

I detailed in July 31’s Hurry Up what Borders and his dad had done to get his name out there and get him in front of eyes and the performance he had in the Under Armour All-America Camp in Cincinnati, but the Ohio State staff likes to meet prospects and see them in person before extending offers. This process made sense, and the offer is a logical one.

Depending on the way he develops, which seems like he will continue to add weight, Borders could play either the bullet or outside linebacker. At the moment, he seems mostly like an outside linebacker because he has the perfect skillset for the evolving linebacker responsibilities. He can plug holes, attack the line aggressively and play in pass coverage.

Borders is the real deal at linebacker in the 2021 class, and the Buckeye staff appears to feel the same way.

USA Today Includes Buckeyes in Preseason All-USA Teams

USA Today released its 2019 ALL-USA Preseason high school selections on offense and defense this week, and several Buckeyes were included. 

Headlining the group on offense were Paris Johnson Jr. and Julian Fleming, but Luke Wypler was also included from the 2020 class. Marvin Harrison Jr. was listed for the 2021 class as well. On defense, Ohio State commits Clark Phillips and Jack Sawyer were featured. Five-star cornerback Elias Ricks, No. 1 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes and five-star 2021 athlete Emeka Egbuka were included.

It’s difficult to name All-USA teams teams, so the task was a mighty one to take on for USA Today, but as far as how to look at these selections from an Ohio State standpoint, there are a few observations. 

First, and most significant, is that Phillips was included on the list with Ricks and No. 1 cornerback Kelee Ringo. Phillips is sometimes left out of the conversation when it comes to top cornerbacks in the country, and he’s slid to No. 4 at the position within the 2020 class since committing to Ohio State. The upside for Phillips is just as high as the other two top cornerbacks on this list, though.

Luke Wypler is a very good offensive lineman. His versatility will work wonders at the college level. He’s often a forgotten piece of this 2020 class since he’s been committed since July 2018. But he is rated as the No. 69 player overall, providing a legitimate reason to keep him off a list like this, yet USA Today included him. Could it be because he’s the No. 1-rated center in the country? Perhaps. But his versatility will make him not only a great depth add early on in his career but also easy to find a position for once he arrives.

While it seems obvious, Julian Fleming and Paris Johnson Jr. are the cornerstones of this class, and it’s clearly being perceived that way on a national level too. These two commitments will be the ones that kickstart the Ryan Day Era in Columbus, and it’s important that they’re being recognized as such at this point in time.

Lawrance Toafili Set to Commit Tomorrow 

Florida four-star running back Lawrance Toafili announced that he will be committing Wednesday at 10:30 p.m., but it likely won’t be to Ohio State.

Toafili was in Columbus for the spring game in April, but the talks between him and the Buckeyes haven’t been able to catch too much traction, as he’s been looking hard at Florida State for quite some time. 

The Seminoles have been looking to add three running backs in the 2020 class, and one, as most Ohio State fans know, has already committed, in Jaylan Knighton. The other one appears to be Daijun Edwards. If all three were to commit, Florida State would land the No. 13 running back, the No. 22 running back and the No. 3 all-purpose back.

Toafili is yet another running back who’s recruitment didn’t line up with the news that was given to Ohio State by Bijan Robinson and Knighton a little over a week ago. While the Buckeye staff needed to reach out to several running backs, a couple had already progressed so deeply into their recruitments that it was too late. No. 7 running back Tank Bigsby was one, and he’s committing Friday, and Toafili is another.

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