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.
Ohio State offers de Laura
As the recruitment of 2020 quarterback C.J. Stroud picks up pace as we head toward the early signing period, Ohio State looks like it's creating a backup plan to its backup plan.
On Sunday, three-star 2020 quarterback and Washington State commit Jayden de Laura out of St. Louis School in Honolulu, Hawaii announced the Buckeyes had offered him following a visit to his school over the weekend from Ohio State quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich.
Stroud is one of the hottest recruits in America right now, and it's still clear the Buckeyes want the athletic, fourth-ranked pro-style quarterback to come in and compete with Jack Miller for the backup spot behind Justin Fields next season and fight Kyle McCord for QB1 honors in 2021.
But Stroud has the makings of being a great quarterback, and if he believes he has a better opportunity at a starting spot early in his career elsewhere, eschewing the Buckeyes could happen.
Ohio State still sits in good position for Stroud, but it's good the coaches are choosing not to put all its eggs in the Stroud basket.
Obviously, de Laura, who is following in the footsteps of Tua Tagovailoa and Marcus Mariota as his high school's starting quarterback, is not chopped liver. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is the No. 24-ranked pro-style QB per 247Sports' Composite rankings and is the fourth-ranked prospect in the state.
Yurcich would not have made the long flight out to Hawaii this weekend if he didn't see something in de Laura that made him believe he would be a good fit in Columbus. But it still sounds like Stroud is the answer the Buckeyes want to bring in, but they had to start searching for other options outside of Stroud because ...
Stroud's recruitment heating up
Stroud will be making an unofficial visit to Georgia in two weeks for the Bulldogs' game against Texas A&M, and he will be making an official visit to Athens in December, according to a report by 247Sports' Greg Biggins.
Biggins also reports that Stroud will be making his official visit to Ohio State, his second this year, on the weekend of Dec. 14: "It’s not 100 percent locked in, but I’m planning to take my official visit the second weekend of December,” Stroud told Biggins. “I believe that’s December 14, and I’m really excited about it. I had a great unofficial trip and love the coaches, the football program, and I’m close with a lot of the players that are committed there."
Stroud visited Columbus for the Michigan State game, and he was able to establish strong relationships with some of the same Buckeye receiver commits that he was throwing to this summer as part of Nike's Elite 11.
Stroud has exploded onto the scene over the past two months, as virtually every team on the west coast has either offered the four-star signal caller or is showing high interest after he won MVP honors at this summer's The Opening Finals and followed up with an incredibly productive senior season through 10 games (3,153 yards and 42 passing touchdowns).
That interest has spread to the Midwest, as Michigan also offered Stroud over the weekend, and Stroud glowed about the Wolverines to Rivals' EJ Holland.
Knighton decommits from Florida State
The turmoil in Tallahassee finally forced Florida State brass to pull the trigger on firing Willie Taggart, and as expected it brought forth a surge of players decommitting from the school.
Senior cornerback commits Isaiah Dunson and Derek Bermudez decommitted over the weekend, and 2020 four-star all-purpose back Jaylan Knighton on Monday announced his own decommitment from the program.
Gods plan... pic.twitter.com/HCmbk6mKR2— The real Rooster (@jaylan_knighton) November 4, 2019
Knighton, in addition to Bijan Robinson, had been a silent commit to Ohio State before turning the tables, visiting Florida State and committing to Taggart's program.
Though I still believe it's more likely the Buckeyes land either Jahmyr Gibbs, who's set to visit this weekend, or Miyan Williams, who will visit for the Penn State game, Knighton's decommitment still adds an interesting wrinkle to the 2020 running back recruiting.
Grimes visits UNC, Kiner named POY
Five-star 2021 cornerback Tony Grimes would be an incredible addition to the Buckeyes, and they have a real shot at landing the No. 1-ranked cornerback in the junior class.
This weekend, Grimes visited Chapel Hill for North Carolina's game against Virginia.
It may seem like a no-brainer that Ohio State would be a more attractive option for a player who's made it known how badly he wants to use his college destination as a springboard to the NFL, but the Tar Heels cannot be counted out here. Mack Brown's got some momentum going, and it wouldn't be a surprise (at least to me) if they end up in Grimes' top five whenever he trims his list.
Since then, the Buckeye in-state target has shined even further, as he's helped lead his Cincinnati-area Roger Bacon High School to a rare playoff appearance and was named Miami Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
Kiner is one of a handful of junior running backs the Buckeyes are recruiting as they could end up landing two in the 2021 class.