The Hurry Up: Ohio State Offers Three-Star 2020 Running Back Miyan Williams, Ryan Watts III Among Weekend Visitors

By Zack Carpenter on September 22, 2019 at 6:50 pm
Miyan Williams

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.

Buckeyes offer 2020 running back

Ohio State’s search for a 2020 running back continued with some news before kickoff of Saturday’s blowout win over Miami (Ohio). 

Iowa State commit Miyan Williams announced Saturday on Twitter that he received an offer from the Buckeyes, making him the 26th running back in the class to pick up an Ohio State offer. 

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound three-star back out of Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati has been committed to the Cyclones since July 4, but it will be seen if he can be swayed to stay home. 

Along with Georgia Tech commit Jahmyr Gibbs, Williams could end up being a lower-rated commit who flips and serves as a backup option to add depth. That’s if the Buckeyes are unable to land a four-star prospect like Kevontre BradfordMichael Drennen II or E.J. Smith

Williams is a four-year varsity starter who has run for more than 5,000 career yards. He was an Ohio Mr. Football finalist following a junior season in which he rushed for 2,824 yards and 38 touchdowns, leading Winton Woods to a Division II runner-up finish. He was also named the state’s Division II Offensive Player of the Year. 

Future Buckeyes take in beatdown of RedHawks

Though it wasn’t a marquee game in the same vein as the Georgia-Notre Dame game that was a hub for 2020 and 2021 talent coming together this weekend, the Buckeyes’ win on Saturday still had a lot of recruits on hand. 

Offensive linemen Trey Leroux, Ben Christman and Josh Fryar were on the sidelines having a long conversation during pregame, Paris Johnson Jr. was in attendance talking with Mookie Cooper, and Ty Hamilton was at Ohio Stadium several hours before kickoff. 

Jack Sawyer watched an outstanding performance from Chase Young, the future top five NFL pick whom Sawyer is certainly learning a bit from watching, and Jayden Ballard saw future teammate Garrett Wilson haul in the fantastic circus catch that has made waves on national highlight shows. 

Potential Ohio State players also on hand

Ryan Watts III was the headline recruit at the Shoe who isn’t already committed to the Buckeyes. He will likely be taking a visit to Penn State, the other main program making a run at flipping the Oklahoma commit, and he did not decommit from the Sooners like many speculated. 

Other than Watts, there weren’t a ton of big-name players on the sidelines and in the end zone, but among them were a pair of three-star recruits who talked with Eleven Warriors after their trips. 

That includes 2021 cornerback Alex Branch, ranked as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports, though he doesn’t yet have a composite ranking. Branch, a 6-foot, 165-pound junior from Twinsburg (Ohio) High School, is ranked as the 38th-best Ohio prospect and the nation’s 64th-best cornerback. 

Branch earned his first offer last summer, receiving one from Akron as he continues to try and build his profile over the rest of this season and next year.

“I had a great time,” Branch said of his visit. “I was actually a little bit late, but coach [Ed] Terwilliger saw me and knew who I was and instantly started making jokes and kind of broke the ice, and he gave us a tour of the Woody building. … Coach T told me my brother, who’s a defensive lineman, was faster than me and was just making jokes the entire time.”

Branch met with Ohio State Director of Player Personnel Mark Pantoni and then met some Buckeye assistants, who told Branch they’re impressed with how he continues to play hard even when Twinsburg is losing. 

Branch’s high school team is currently 1-3, and he has 150 yards receiving with one touchdown. 

“So far it’s been going OK,” Branch said. “We’re 1-3, but I’m playing well. It’s kind of boring on defense, though, because teams don’t throw at me.”

Fellow three-star players, 2021 defensive end Tyson Watson of Warren (Mich.) Mott and 2021 defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr., also attended and liked what they saw. 

Watson told Eleven Warriors of his excitement in attending Ohio Stadium prior to the weekend. 

Hall Jr. is ranked No. 21 in Ohio and is ranked No. 37 nationally among defensive tackles. 

Also in attendance Saturday were several in-state players from the 2022 class, including 6-foot quarterback Dijon Jennings of Reynoldsburg (Ohio) High School. 

“I had a great experience for my first unofficial visit,” Jennings said. “The atmosphere was pretty crazy. You could feel the love from the coaches and fan base as soon as you got on campus.”

Wolfe takes in UGA-ND

The Buckeyes are hopeful to add two tight ends in the 2021 class, one of whom could be 6-foot-6, 245-pound four-star player Hudson Wolfe of Hardin County (Tenn.). 

Ohio State offered Wolfe last Monday, but on Saturday he was one of many in attendance for Georgia-Notre Dame. He apparently came away impressed. 

Top-ranked Wisconsin recruit stays home

Also coming away impressed over the weekend was four-star offensive tackle Riley Mahlman

Mahlman is the No. 1-ranked recruit in Wisconsin, and after an unofficial visit to the Badgers’ big home win over Michigan on Saturday, he waited no longer. Mahlman committed to Wisconsin on Sunday over Ohio State, Nebraska and Minnesota. 

The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder was a candidate to team up with Christman, but the Buckeyes will now shift their attention even further to guys like J.C. Latham of IMG (Fla.) Academy, Donovan Jackson of Episcopal (Texas) and Landon Tengwall of Good Counsel (Md.). 

Tengwall is the No. 1 player in the state of Maryland and holds offers from Alabama, Auburn and Georgia, among others.

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