The Hurry Up: Ohio State Welcomes Three-Star Defensive End Tyson Watson to Town, Buckeyes Continue Search for 2020 Running Back

By Zack Carpenter on September 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm
Tyson Watson
Credit: The D Zone

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.

More prospects coming to town

As 2020 commit Mookie Cooper and 2020 Oklahoma commit Ryan Watts III make official visits this weekend, at least two more 2021 recruits, who have yet to be offered by the Buckeyes, will be making unofficial visits for the Miami (Ohio) matchup. 

Tyson Watson, a three-star defensive end out of Michigan, is coming to Columbus after his Mott High School Marauders take on Grosse Pointe North (Mich.) High School on Friday night. 

Watson is a 6-foot-5, 230-pound strongside defensive end who also holds offers from Iowa, Iowa State and Kentucky. He made an unofficial visit to Notre Dame for the Irish’s 66-14 thrashing of New Mexico last weekend.

That should make it two straight bloodbaths that the 19th-ranked prospect out of Michigan will witness.

Watson, who says he hasn’t yet been in contact with any other recruits from his class, says he hopes to get an offer soon from a program with a reputation as strong as the Buckeyes’ for developing high-end talent on the defensive line.

“It’s a big factor with the Bosa brothers and some other great defensive linemen that have came out of Ohio State,” Watson told Eleven Warriors.

Watson is ranked No. 36 nationally for strongside defensive ends but has room to increase his speed, which he noted as the biggest area he wants to improve during his junior season. 

Also visiting Ohio State for the game against the RedHawks is Tyrese Hudson, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound slot receiver in the class of 2021. Hudson recently visited Pittsburgh and Toledo, and he holds an offer from Southern Miss. But the Columbus native out of Bishop Ready (Ohio) High School is hopeful his home state school could be a destination. 

“I take high pride in being recruited by tOSU,” Hudson said. “Not only it being a home school but also because OSU is one of my few dream schools. It’s not every day when a kid like myself coming where I come from gets a call that a Power 5 school is interested.”

Hudson, who does not yet have a composite ranking on 247Sports, went to an Ohio State camp this summer, where assistant wide receivers coach Keenan Bailey took a liking to him and told him he should come to a game this season. On Saturday, he’ll be able to see firsthand young playmakers such as Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson who have plans on becoming the next in a long line of ultra-accomplished Buckeye pass catchers.  

“Just knowing about all of the wide receivers who have came through Ohio State, such as Michael Thomas and Parris Campbell, is big,” Hudson said. “Ohio State is considered to be one of the few WRUs. OSU has produced some amazing guys who I one day want to be just as great as or even better.”

Troy Stellato gets two more offers

Three-star 2021 receiver Troy Stellato earned an offer from Ohio State on Sunday night.

The Buckeyes aren’t the only ones wanting to potentially get Stellato’s services. Alabama and Georgia both extended offers to Stellato on Friday.

Stellato also holds offers from LSU, Florida and Penn State.

Currently, the 6-foot, 172-pound wideout from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is the No. 459 overall prospect and the 78th-ranked wide receiver in the class of 2020. The recent scholarship offers, though, indicate he's due for a spike in the rankings.

Updates on uncommitted 2020 running backs

I wasn’t exaggerating or kidding when I said the last two weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. Moving sucks in general, but having done it for the fourth time in the last year and a half tacked on to the stress. 

But now I’m finally settled into Columbus — sort of, I think — and I’m getting more and more acquainted with Ohio State's recruits and the lay of the land. During the move itself, I did my best during that time to read up as much as I possibly could on the current Ohio State team and the future of the program. 

I’m talking reading 10-12 articles daily – mostly from your favorite site, Eleven Warriors –watching the HBO documentary “The Rivalry” from 2007 and scrolling through more Buckeyes Twitter than I ever dreamed of. If Twitter had been what Twitter is now in 2011, I get the sense that task would’ve been more of a nightmare. 

That’s all a long-winded way of telling you that in the face of all that chaos and information overload, I found the most intriguing, popular and obvious question recruiting-wise is who the hell is Ohio State going to sign at running back in the 2020 class? 

If J.K. Dobbins returns next season, then an additional running back won’t be as big of a need. Of course, if Dobbins returns, that probably means he didn’t end up having a good enough season to warrant entering the NFL Draft. That argument will most likely be moot anyway because he’s going to run for a million yards behind this offensive line and leave for the pros. 

That leaves four guys on the Week 4 depth chart (Master Teague III, Demario McCall, Marcus Crowley, Steele Chambers) who are all former four-star recruits and could make it difficult for any of the four-star 2020 backs who are realistic options to sign to make much of an impact in their first year. If they do commit and sign, odds are they might redshirt after the four-game window and sit back to learn from the older running backs.

Either way, Tony Alford and the Buckeyes will continue ramping up their efforts as they welcome more in for visits to the Shoe.

Here’s the list of 2020 running backs who could find themselves wearing scarlet and grey next season.

E.J. Smith

The son of NFL Hall of Famer and all-time rushing leader Emmitt Smith has his dad’s alma mater Florida, plus Georgia, Texas A&M and Ohio State as the main schools with the inside track on him. 

The four-star all-purpose back out of Dallas will be visiting Ohio State on Nov. 22. As of now, that is Smith’s final stop. He’s visiting Georgia this weekend, Florida on Oct. 4 and Texas A&M on Oct. 11. 

Maybe that will end up being a “the last person interviewed for the job leaves the best impression and gets hired” type of situation. 

It doesn’t seem overly likely Smith will end up at Georgia. That’s because Zachary Evans, the nation’s No. 1 running back, No. 6 overall recruit and No. 34 all-time recruit, per 247Sports, seems to have his mind made up on where he’s going, and the Bulldogs are regarded as the favorite.

That’s coming down to Georgia and LSU, but the former seems to have the edge. An Evans commitment to Georgia would most likely wipe the Bulldogs – who also have a commitment from former Ohio State target Kendall Milton – off Smith’s board, making an Ohio State commitment more realistic.

Mike Drennen II

The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder out of Dublin Coffman (Ohio) High School is the state’s third-ranked prospect and the nation’s No. 6-ranked all-purpose back

After visiting for the Cincinnati game two weeks ago, Drennen came away impressed with his home state school. Drennen visited Kentucky last weekend, and told Bucknuts’ Bill Kurelic he will be making another visit soon.

Kevontre Bradford

Hailing from Lancaster (Texas) High School, the 18th-ranked running back in 2020 and 34th overall prospect in Texas has big-play ability and will get to check out how well that would fit in with the Buckeyes on Oct. 5 when he makes an official visit for the Michigan State game. 

Bradford, a long-framed 5-foot-11, 193-pound back, also visited Wisconsin this summer and received an offer from LSU last week. 

Jahmyr Gibbs

Gibbs has remained committed to Georgia Tech ever since announcing his decision on May 25. But he has since planned to take a visit to Ohio State on Nov. 9, indicating there's a possibility of a flip this fall.

A native of Dalton, Georgia, Gibbs is the No. 427 overall prospect and the 10th-best all-purpose back in the country. Ohio State extended an offer to him on Sept. 5.

Jalen Berger

As the nation’s No. 10-ranked running back and the second-best New Jersey prospect, Berger already has scheduled a commitment on Jan. 4. 

It could be a nice late Christmas present for Ryan Day and company, though the 6-foot, 205-pound back might choose to stay closer to home with interest from Penn State and Rutgers. Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Oregon, Florida and Tennessee are among the schools that have offered him scholarships in the past year.

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