The Hurry Up: Gabe Powers Reacts to Ohio State Visit, Hopes for an Offer, Rivals Finishes Ratings Week

By Taylor Lehman on August 18, 2019 at 6:30 pm
Gabe Powers

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.

Gabe Powers Visits Ohio State, Begins In-State Relationship

Marysville 2022 linebacker Gabe Powers grew up an Ohio State fan, lives just a half-hour away from Columbus, and his name will become well-known within the 2022 linebackers class. Right now, though, he is under the radar. He doesn’t have a 247Sports profile yet, and he only has two offers.

Those two offers are significant ones, though. His first came from Colorado, and his second came from Michigan in early-July. His next one could come from the Buckeyes.

“From talking to Coach (Al) Washington, they said they're going to offer me, but they didn’t know when they’re going to,” Powers told Eleven Warriors

Powers had that conversation with Washington while he was in Columbus for a visit Aug. 8. While growing up near Columbus, this visit served as a launching point for a relationship between Powers and Ohio State. That is much-needed after Powers talked about his relationship with Michigan to 247Sports in July and has this to say.

“I come from a very loyal family and with Michigan showing their confidence in me at such an early stage, it means a lot to me, so with that being said my interest level in Michigan is very high,” Powers said. “I really liked my conversation with Coach Brown and I really thought he was a class act.

“I know he’s the defensive coordinator for one of the top defenses in the country and has many years of experience and is well respected in college football coaching community. I highly respect him and seems like a players coach and impressed on how comfortable he made me feel.”

He visited Michigan a week before he made his way to Ohio State. Somewhere within their relationship, Michigan defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Don Brown told Powers that, as of now, he is their No. 1 2022 defensive target. 

He told Eleven Warriors that his fandom of Ohio State at a young age won’t affect the way he approaches his recruitment, which is what most prospects tend to do. Understanding his budding relationship with Michigan, his time at Ohio State was positive too.

“The facilities were very nice and coaches were a class act,” Powers said. “I really respected them.”

Powers also has a connection to Ohio State. His offensive coordinator’s father played under Woody Hayes at Ohio State.

It wouldn't be surprising to see Powers back in Columbus soon, given he lives so closely, will be one of the top linebackers in the state and will be a target of Ohio State’s continued in-state recruiting emphasis. The Buckeyes have already landed commitments from three of the top-five 2021 Ohio prospects. They’re expected to add linebacker Reid Carrico at some point as well. 

At the linebacker position, Ohio State has already offered two 2022 inside linebackers – Shawn Murphy, who was rated as the No. 3 overall recruit in the class, and Philadelphia No. 99 overall recruit Anthony Johnson.

Rivals Releases Positional Ratings

Rivals leaked out its latest 2020 ratings throughout last week, featuring a top-100 release Monday and a top-250 release Wednesday. Thursday and Friday, it released positional ratings, which yielded some interesting results in some cases and expected results in others. 

This was how Ohio State’s 22 commits faired.

Prospect Position, according to Rivals Rivals position rating Composite position rating
Julian Fleming WR 1 1
Paris Johnson Jr. OT 1 1
Mookie Cooper ATH 1 14 (WR)
Jake Seibert K 1 2
Luke Wypler OC 3 1
Darrion Henry SDE 3 17 (DT)
Lathan Ransom S 4 4
Clark Phillips CB 5 4
Jack Miller PRO 6 10
Gee Scott Jr. WR 6 11
Cody Simon ILB 9 9 (OLB)
Kourt Williams OLB 9 12
Lejond Cavazos S 10 23
Jaxon Smith-Njigba WR 14 10
Cam Martinez ATH 29 14
Josh Fryar OT 42 23
Mitchell Melton OLB 45 43
Grant Toutant OT 71 29
Joe Royer TE N/A 14
Ty Hamilton SDE N/A 38
Jakob James OG N/A 49
Trey Leroux OT N/A 90

And this is where some of Ohio State’s top remaining targets for 2020 were placed.

Prospect Position, according to Rivals Rivals position rating Composite position rating
Sav'ell Smalls SDE 1 1 (OLB)
Elias Ricks CB 1 2 (CB)
Kelee Ringo CB 2 1
Noah Sewell  ILB 2 2
EJ Smith ATH 2 4 (APB)
Desmond Evans SDE 3 2 (WDE)
Donell Harris  WDE 4 4
Tyler Baron SDE 5 3
Mike Drennen APB 6 6
Jalen Berger RB 6 10
Jacolbe Cowan SDE 8 15 (DT)
Tre Bradford RB 25 18
Jaiden Francois CB 25 24
Ryan Watts CB 28 19
Rickey Hyatt Jr. S 38 48
Mookie Cooper

The most substantial note to take away from these ratings is that Mookie Cooper is now the No. 1 athlete in the country according to Rivals. The recruiting website classifies him as an athlete instead of a receiver, and I tend to agree. While he is a great receiver, understanding the role he plays at Trinity Catholic and the role he will likely play at Ohio State, he’s undeniably more than simply a pass-catcher. In his career, he’s carried the ball 26 times for 471 yards, and he’s scored three touchdowns off of punt and kickoff returns. 

He doesn’t touch the ball very often actually. On plays from scrimmage, the ball was in his hands only 45 times – 17 carries, 28 catches – but he averaged 15.4 yards per carry and 29.8 yards per reception. His big-play ability certainly influenced his jump to No. 1, and considering him outside of the likes of Julian Fleming and Gee Scott Jr., and more like the player he is, paved the way. 

Joe Royer

Another note to take away from the new ratings is that no one knows how to rate Elder tight end Joe Royer. 247Sports rates him No. 6 among tight ends, while Rivals released a list of the top 35 tight ends without him included. 

I’ve seen him play, and I don’t believe he is among the top-six tight ends, but I also don’t believe he is outside of the top-35 either. According to the composite ratings, he is No. 14, and that seems about right. Royer doesn’t seem like the tight end that will come into a program and serve in a role that Jimmy Graham introduced to the NFL – lining up as a receiver and being that deep-pass or redzone option, as if he’s a wide receiver in a tight end’s body. 

Royer can do some of those things to a certain extent. He can run routes, he can catch, he can block, he has some size. But he won’t define an offense. What he can do is serve a role that is given to him and work within it, which is what tight ends outside of the top-eight or so will need to do at the next level. 

Grant Toutant and Josh Fryar

Ohio State offensive tackle commits Grant Toutant and Josh Fryar were rated much lower than what their composite ratings show, and there’s something to be said about why their ratings are so polarized. In comparison, Toutant is rated as the No. 25 tackle by 247Sports, and Fryar is rated as the No. 16 guard. 

While all of the ratings are based on subjectivity, these specific ratings of Toutant and Fryar show just how subjective rating offensive linemen can be. When considering the positions along the line, high school stars, like Paris Johnson Jr., stand out in a big way with their strength or speed or size. But in Fryar’s case, he is a really good run-blocker and uses his body in specific ways that put him ahead of the curve the average high school lineman is on.

This just goes back to the point that Fryar and Toutant possess specific tools that the Ohio State staff appreciates, which eliminates the significance of ratings changes for either of them altogether. 

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