The Hurry Up: James Wilborn Jr. Reflects on Trip to Columbus, Grant Toutant One to Watch in Metro Detroit Area

By Taylor Lehman on August 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm
James Wilborn Jr.

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.

James Wilborn Jr. Makes a Return Visit to the OSU Staff

There isn’t a ton of football talent coming out of Connecticut, but of the talent that does, Avon Old Farms typically produces it. Four-star Clemson 2019 quarterback commit Taisun Phommachanh was the last major prospect to come out of Avon Old Farms, but Ohio State made the trip to Avon, Connecticut, three times in the last year to visit James Wilborn Jr.

They visited the three-star outside linebacker in the fall, winter and spring and then invited Wilborn down to Columbus for a summer camp. He couldn’t make the trip for the camp in June, but he did travel down to Columbus for a late July visit.

“I had a great time,” Wilborn told Eleven Warriors. “They showed me why they are one of the most dominant teams in college football on the field and off the field.”

Wilborn has mostly been in contact with Matt Barnes. Barnes has connections to the Northeast area, dating back to his days at Salisbury University in Maryland and his coaching days at Delaware Valley College and Maryland.

But during Wilborn’s visit to Ohio State, he spent time with much of the Buckeye staff.

“I was with their on-campus recruiting coach, Justin Perez, most of the time. He was taking me all over campus,” Wilborn said. “I spent a good amount of time with Coach Barnes, linebacker coach Al Washington, head coach Ryan Day and I also got to see Coach Mattison.”

Wilborn is familiar with Mattison and Washington. He received a Michigan offer when they were on the Wolverines’ staff, as many of the defensive prospects with Michigan offers did. Michigan was on Wilborn early, offering him in June 2018. It was his first offer. Since then, he’s also received an offer from Boston College. 

That low number of offers stems from his role on the team. Wilborn played in all nine games in 2018 as a sophomore but recorded only 15 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. He also caught two passes for 29 yards out of the tight end position. He will surely take on a more productive role on the defense in 2019.

As a sophomore, he played outside linebacker but often dropped down to defensive end. Wilborn brings an unusual amount of strength to that hybrid role, though. At 6-foot-3, 235 pounds, his body is already quite big for a linebacker role. There’s a good chance that he will be moved into the defensive end position. He has a frame and a rushing style that would work well for a three-tech type of defensive lineman, which is what Larry Johnson is looking for along the line. 

With Wilborn, the possibilities on the edge are endless. It just depends on how he develops in the next couple of years.

Rivals 2021 Top-250 Ratings Revealed

Ohio State’s 2021 class was already trending upward after its fourth commitment to the class in July, but in case there needed to be any other information supporting the fact that the 2021 class would be one of the best in the nation, Rivals released its top 250 on Wednesday.

This release was one of the most anticipated, as the 2021 class’ crucial junior season is set to kick off this weekend on a national stage. These ratings essentially lock in a set of composite ratings that will be attributed to prospects once they begin the season. They will obviously change as the season goes on.

As the ratings continue to take shape, Ohio State’s top targets are consistently being squeezed toward the top of the rankings. This is where they stand in the top-100 of the Rivals ratings. The rest of the list can be found here.

Prospect Position Rivals overall rating Composite overall rating
Jack Sawyer DE 4 2
Camar Wheaton RB 7 6
James Williams S 8 4
Corey Collier CB 9 57
Emeka Egbuka ATH 12 9
Kyle McCord QB 13 29
Maason Smith DT 20 22
Beaux Collins WR 21 30
Tony Grimes CB 22 10
Doman Payne DT 25 39
Monkell Goodwine DE 26 113
Lorenzo Styles WR 28 102
Nolan Rucci OT 30 19
Moliki Matavao TE 42 116
Tunmise Adeleye DE 44 25
Donovan Jackson OT 45 46
Ryan Linthicum OC 47 122
Cody Brown RB 52 111
Will Shipley APB 53 21
Evan Pryor RB 63 82
Jakailin Johnson CB 64 69
Raesjon Davis OLB 69 28
Gavin Blackwell WR 72 83
Ben Christman  OT 73 50
Najee Story DE 75 162
Marvin Harrison Jr. WR 76 54
Greg Penn ILB 77 185
Eliot Donald DT 78 85
Rocco Spindler OG 82 40
Taizse Johnson DT 88 175
Donovan Edwards RB 89 61
Jahziion Harris DE 90 161
Kingsley Suamataia OT 92 63
Katron Evans DT 94 140
Jaylin Davies CB 100 129

Grant Toutant One to Watch in Metro Detroit

A serious number of Ohio State targets and former targets were included in’s top-15 players in the Metro Detroit Area, and offensive tackle commit Grant Toutant was one of them. 

This is how Toutant was described by the publication:

“Toutant is as talented as he is massive. Listed at 6-foot-7 and 320 pounds, Toutant is a big reason why Warren De La Salle is so impressive in the run game. No matter which running back rotates in for the Pilots, they might as well aim for the big hole Toutant is going to open up on the line.”

What it meant when it said Warren De La Salle is “so impressive in the run game” is that Toutant’s team ran the ball for a total of 2,863 yards and passed it for just 1,442. Toutant has done plenty of run blocking at the tackle position, and the best statistic that shows the production of that run blocking is that in 2018, seven De La Salle ball carriers ran for more than 200 yards and only one of them averaged fewer than five yards per carry. Warren De La Salle is known for running the ball, and Toutant is at the heart of that. 

That’s why he is one of the more underrated commitments of the 2020 class. He already has the natural athleticism that other offensive linemen lack and pairs it with a great mind. Getting him into a collegiate system like Ohio State only gives him more upside. 

The other targets (or former targets) included on the list were Garrett Dellinger, Donovan Edwards, Makari Paige, Damon Payne, Justin Rogers, Rocco Spindler and Maliq Carr.

View 17 Comments