The Hurry Up: Five-Star Will Shipley Hopes to Visit Ohio State, Bijan Robinson “might” Take Other Officials

By Taylor Lehman on August 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Will Shipley

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.

Will Shipley Hopes to Visit Columbus for a Game

There is a reason why North Carolina running back Will Shipley is classified as an all-purpose back. He does everything out of the backfield and is potentially the best value at the running back position in the 2021 class so far. 

As a sophomore in 2018, he carried the ball 206 times for 1,417 yards and 19 touchdowns,. Typically running backs who touch the ball that often don’t work in the passing game as much. That’s not Shipley, though. He caught 28 passes for 393 yards and six touchdowns as well.

As the Buckeyes build up their running back recruitment for the 2021 class, Shipley is going to be a large part of it, especially since Ohio State is on his radar.

“They have great football and great academics with a chance to be the best,” Shipley told Eleven Warriors. “I am looking into visiting.”

In early-May, Ohio State extended an offer to Shipley, and since he’s been in contact with the Buckeyes, it’s been Brian Hartline who’s been in contact with him. Ohio State fans are well-aware of Hartline’s track record in recruiting since he took the wide receivers jobs before last season.

That’s what Ohio State is recruiting Shipley to be – an H-back receiver. He has the physique to be productive at the position, with a 5-foot-11, 200-pound frame, and can run the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds. His athleticism is certainly there as well, which is evident in his tape. His footwork is mature for a sophomore going into his junior year.

"I am comfortable with it," Shipley said about H-back. "We’ve discussed it before, and I feel like it would put me in a great spot to be successful."

The staff wanted to see Shipley work out in person during a camp this summer, but Shipley wasn’t able to make those plans work and, instead, hopes to make it to Columbus for a game during the 2019 season.

As far as where he rates among pure and all-purpose running backs, his No. 22 overall rating makes him the No. 2 running back in the country, behind No. 6-rated Camar Wheaton. Wheaton was in Columbus for a visit in June. 

At the moment, Ohio State’s top target at running back is No. 3 running back Donovan Edwards, but the Buckeyes are also close with No. 4 running back Evan Pryor, No. 6 Cody Brown, No. 10 Corey Kiner, No. 11 Thaddius Franklin, No. 12 Jaylen Anderson and the No. 2 all-purpose back Amari Daniels.

Of all of those running backs, Shipley is the one being targeted to play H-back, and the Buckeyes will be gunning hard for him as the cycle goes on.

Bijan Robinson "Might" Make Other Two Official Visits

It’s been a week since five-star running back Bijan Robinson committed to Texas and nearly two weeks since Ohio State has searched for answers outside of him at the running back position. But, to double down on this, Ohio State is not completely out of this recruitment. The staff will not stop at Robinson’s commitment to Texas.

Robinson went on 247Sports’ national recruiting podcast Friday to discuss his commitment, and he was asked whether he would take the remaining two official visits left. He said he “might” visit LSU and one other school to be determined.

He already made his official visit to Ohio State on June 14, and he’s taken visits to USC and Texas too. Committed prospects take official visits without the intention of flipping their commitment every year, but as many know, regarding Paris Johnson Jr. and how close he was to flipping to LSU or Georgia, nothing is promised. 

Robinson talked about why he liked Texas during the interview, and it was much of the same as what he’s been saying for the past week. This is what he said about Texas running backs coach and former Ohio State running backs coach (2012-14) Stan Drayton.

“Coach Drayton, he’s a god-fearing coach,” Robinson told 247Sports. “That’s good for me because he’s the best for development, but even off the field, just staying strong in your faith and being good off the field. The guys that he coached before – Zeke Elliott, Matt Forte – it was a good look for me. He’s trying to get it back to when they won the championship at Ohio State. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned and how they run the ball and just how they try to get the offense back to what it used to be.”

Robinson also said he felt comfortable with the Texas staff because the language surrounding him when talking to Texas was that the Longhorns “needed” him and the staff was patient and rarely asked about his commitment. He also believes Texas runs the same scheme as Salpointe Catholic High School, so the learning curve would be less steep. Apparently, after Robinson told Drayton about his commitment, Drayton cried “actual tears,” so Robinson felt welcome and likes the “family” feel of Texas’ program.

Whether any of those reasons are true is something few people involved know for sure, but right now, his commitment doesn’t seem to be written in stone, which leaves the door ajar for a program like Ohio State.

Brenton Cox Transfers to Florida

Former four-star defensive end prospect Brenton Cox entered the NCAA Transfer Portal on Monday after having been dismissed from Georgia for an arrest on misdemeanor marijuana charges in April. There was a chance Ohio State might reach out, given the parties’ relationship during his recruitment in the Class of 2018, but it was decided fairly early this week that the Buckeyes would not bring him to Columbus.

Cox decided Friday to transfer to Florida, as was first reported by 247Sports. He will need to sit out the 2019 season but will practice with the team soon.

Cox was rated as the No. 23 player overall in his class when he signed with Georgia, but the Bulldogs used him at linebacker for his true freshman season. He recorded 20 tackles and a sack.

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