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.
Watts commits to Buckeyes
Four-star 2020 cornerback Ryan Watts III committed to Ohio State on Sunday, giving the Buckeyes their 24th overall 2020 commit, 13th four-star recruit in the class and the fifth defensive back in the class.
COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/icpwMm1t68— Ryan Watts (@RyanwattsIII) October 13, 2019
Gibbs, Alford meeting goes well
Ohio State’s bye week offered the coaching staff the chance to go out and meet with prospects across the state and the country.
One of the most important visits was running backs coach Tony Alford traveling down to Dalton, Georgia, on Tuesday to meet with 2020 running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
Gibbs told Eleven Warriors that he and Alford talked about life and football, and Gibbs said it is “most definitely” still a strong possibility he could flip to Ohio State.
“The visit went good, and we talked about the role I would have on their team,” Gibbs said.
What that role would be Gibbs did not expound upon, but Gibbs’ skillset would bring the Buckeyes some nice options in being able to use the 5-foot-11, 194-pound back’s versatility.
He’s got shiftiness, quick acceleration and pass-catching abilities that would allow him to be used in the passing game down the road, though as we talked about on Friday, the H-back role is diminishing in Ryan Day’s offense so more traditional slot receivers will likely be a bigger focus in recruiting going forward.
Gibbs and Iowa State commit Miyan Williams of Winton Woods (Ohio) High School are the top two senior running backs left on the Buckeyes’ board, while four-star Kevontre Bradford is another option Ohio State is working on.
Gibbs is a four-star prospect and the No. 8-ranked all-purpose back in the country, No. 29 recruit in Georgia and No. 295 national recruit for the class of 2020.
He is scheduled to visit Ohio State on Nov. 9 for the game against Maryland.
Buckeye coaches out and about
Alford wasn’t the only Buckeyes coach who ventured out of the city to see prospects this week.
Day and Greg Studrawa visited the Princeton-Fairfield game to see 2020 commits Paris Johnson Jr. and Darrion Henry; Brian Hartline and Matt Barnes went to Massillon to see Jayden Ballard, Andrew Wilson-Lamp and Washington High School take on Derrick Davis Jr. and Gateway (Pa.) High School; Mike Yurcich visited Jack Miller in Arizona for a midweek practice; Larry Johnson visited Jack Sawyer on Friday night for Pickerington North's game at Grove City.
Miller shines in return
Speaking of Miller, the Buckeyes’ 2020 quarterback commit returned to the field Friday night, and it was a triumphant return.
Miller, whom Yurcich told at that practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., that he looks better than he ever has, played in the first game of his senior season before sustaining a right shoulder bone bruise on his throwing arm and missed the next four games.
That injury and previous injuries to his MCL and back are largely responsible for a drop in Miller’s rankings from the nation’s No. 59 prospect in May to No. 237 in the latest rankings, as Miller’s durability has given way to concerns.
When Miller’s healthy, though, he is still one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, and he showcased that on Friday by leading his team to a comeback victory behind three touchdown passes, including the eventual game-winner with a little more than three minutes left to play.
I spent part of this weekend checking out both Miller and CJ Stroud’s junior highlight tapes, plus some other film from each quarterback.
It’s an interesting comparison between the two, and here are my brief, initial thoughts. Not a deep dive here yet, but I hope to do that soon:
Miller has the potential to be a stud. He’s got a smooth, effortless arm with a quick release, and he can sling it downfield in the pocket or on the run.
Stroud has some of the same assets, but he seems to be a bit better at making off-schedule throws, improvising and making something out of nothing in a way Justin Fields has done for the Buckeyes this season.
If Stroud commits to Ohio State and Miller remains with the Buckeyes as well, it would make for an intriguing quarterback battle in two years when Fields is gone. Miller and Stroud both have potential to be stars, so the competition would be pretty fierce.
If both of them and Kyle McCord are all in the same quarterback room, it could end up being one of the deepest in the country down the road.
Styles commits to Notre Dame
In Friday’s Mailbag Hurry Up, I let you know that my gut said Lorenzo Styles Jr. would be committing to Notre Dame this weekend, especially if his visit Saturday went well.
Apparently that visit went great, as Styles announced his commitment to the Irish on Sunday to give Notre Dame the No. 1 receiver class in 2021 early on in this process. Four-star receiver Deion Colzie committed to Notre Dame on Saturday, and Styles joined him soon after.
Those two commitments allowed the Irish to leapfrog the Buckeyes into the No. 3 spot in the national recruiting class rankings for 2021. Ohio State is now ranked No. 4.
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.— gozozogo (@LorenzoStyles3) October 13, 2019
100% COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/8UlD5I2yT4
With how stacked the Ohio State receiver room will be, the Buckeyes’ reported plans to try and move Styles to defense and with the belief that Styles wanted to get out of Ohio to get new experiences, it all added up to a commitment to South Bend.
Styles not coming to Ohio State won't have a detrimental effect on the 2021 class and may even open things up a bit more. The Buckeyes have their eyes on receivers Marvin Harrison Jr., Beaux Collins, Troy Stellato and athlete Emeka Egbuka, and I expect Hartline to land at least two of them, perhaps three.