The Hurry Up: Buckeyes Keeping Rising Junior Michael Hall Jr. On Their Radar, Clemson Now Two Slots Behind Ohio State in 2021 Rankings

By Zack Carpenter on September 25, 2019 at 6:50 pm
Michael Hall Jr.
Chris Anderson, 247 Sports

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.

Hall staying on Buckeyes’ radar

Michael Hall Jr. turned some heads this summer, catching enough attention from the Cincinnati and Kentucky coaching staffs to earn offers from each school. 

Those two programs are part of a nice list of offers Hall has put together — a list that also features Michigan State and Iowa State. 

However, the 2021 defensive tackle — a 6-foot-3, 275-pounder rated as a three-star prospect by 247 Sports but does not yet have a composite rating — is working toward earning one more offer to tack onto that list. But it’s going to take the Streetsboro (Ohio) High School junior some more effort to increase his recruiting profile and earn an offer from his dream school. 

“What I need to improve on the most to become a four-star is using better technique and using my hands more,” Hall told Eleven Warriors. “I feel as if I touch up on those two, it’s going to be a very long day for the O-line that I’m going up against, and it makes me less predictable.”


Hall, not lacking confidence, has been on the Buckeyes’ radar since an impressive showing at Lake Erie College’s Raw Talent Sports Showcase — the same camp where Hall says he “put on a show out there” to earn those offers from Cincinnati and Kentucky.

And he has remained a target Ohio State is interested in, as the rising junior has worked his way into becoming the 21st-ranked player in the state and the 37th-ranked defensive tackle nationally. 

At that showcase, the Buckeyes noticed Hall’s … well ... his raw talent. There is still some work to do, but the coaches have liked what they have seen thus far.

“What stood out the most to coaches is my play style, really,” Hall said. “They talk about how I keep quarterbacks and running backs from getting outside of me, making them cut back their runs and forcing them to go another way. [They’ve also noticed] my explosiveness off the ball.”

“They” are namely Ohio State Director of Player Personnel Mark Pantoni and Director of Player Relations Tim Hinton, each of whom have kept tabs on Hall. 

He was able to catch up a bit with them last weekend, when Hall visited Columbus for the Miami (Ohio) game, and he enjoyed the all-around experience they gave him. 

“There is no standout coach, really. They all are nice people,” Hall said. “They really make you feel at home, welcomed and comfortable, and that is what I’m looking for in my future school.”

Hall’s overall recruitment by Ohio State has been “phenomenal,” he says, and part of that experience was meeting a fellow 2021 recruit — Buckeyes four-star offensive lineman commit Ben Christman — in the lobby of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. 

“We were just talking, getting to know about each other’s family and things like that,” Hall said. 

The Buckeyes only have two 2020 defensive linemen committed in four-star Darrion Henry and three-star Ty Hamilton, and they are searching for another in that class. 

In 2021, however, they are attacking the position hard. They already have Jack Sawyer committed, of course, but they have offers out to 27 other defensive linemen, including 12 defensive tackles. 

With more performances like his one in June, and with the Buckeyes continuing to keep an eye on him, Hall should not be counted out as one who could become the program’s 13th offered defensive tackle as his career progresses.

Watson set for Purdue visit

Tyson Watson who, just like Hall, is a rising three-star junior, is another on the Buckeyes’ radar. 

The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder is the 19th-rated prospect in Michigan and is working on building his billing as the 36th-ranked strongside defensive end in 2021.

This weekend, Watson will be visiting Purdue as he looks to add another Big Ten program to his list of offers after receiving one from Iowa. 

The environment in West Lafayette, of course, almost certainly will not compare to the atmosphere at the Horseshoe — even if the one Watson experienced came during a nonconference game against a MAC opponent, when Watson witnessed the Buckeyes’ demolition of Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. 

“It was a great time,” Watson told Eleven Warriors of his visit to Columbus. “I was blown away by all the coaches I talked to. It felt very real and genuine.”

Trio of offers

Lovasea Carroll, a 2021 four-star running back out of IMG (Fla.) Academy, booked a Buckeyes offer recently, and he added his 16th offer Wednesday when West Virginia came calling. 

Landon Jackson, a five-star defensive end whom Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes are excited about potentially coming to Columbus in 2021, added Vanderbilt to his impressive list of offers.

And Troy Stellato added yet another offer to his repertoire, as the Florida native continues to explode onto the scene with Miami now interested. The junior will be visiting Tuscaloosa for Alabama’s matchup with Ole Miss this weekend. 

Clemson adds another

Two days after getting a commitment from the nation’s No. 1-ranked junior center, Ryan Linthicum, Clemson added another four-star offensive lineman with an Ohio State offer. 

Marcus Tate, Florida’s No. 10-ranked recruit and the country’s No. 17-ranked offensive tackle, committed to the Tigers on Wednesday to bolster their offensive line even further. 

Clemson now holds the No. 5 recruiting class in 2021, just two slots behind the Buckeyes. 

Ohio State holds a slight edge but has plenty of work to do in order to stay ahead of the Tigers and finish with a higher-ranked class than Clemson. The Buckeyes last finished with a higher-ranked class than Clemson in 2018. 

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