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.
Alford visits Colorado tight ends
We've talked on Hurry Ups past about Ohio State having an affinity for a number of tight ends in the 2021 class.
The Buckeyes already have an incoming potential future standout loaded with upside in Joe Royer, an in-state senior from Elder who has had a monster season and was named the Greater Catholic League's Co-Receiver of the Year after hauling in 51 receptions for 914 yards and 10 touchdowns.
But Royer is the lone tight end in the senior class that Ohio State is bringing in, as its hopes for landing two tight ends went by the wayside. There's obviously still time to get a second tight end commitment in 2020, but there are currently no prospects with a high chance of committing to the Buckeyes as the early signing period quickly approaches (Ohio State may polish off this recruiting class with four more guys, but that's expected to be quarterback, running back, defensive end and either a second running back or maybe another defensive back).
So that brings us again to the 2021 tight end situation, where Hudson Wolfe and Jordan Dingle are the two of the highest priorities for the Buckeyes, and each enjoyed their time spent in Columbus on unofficial visits.
Wolfe, however, sounds like he is more attracted to Alabama as his top option.
Dingle told Eleven Warriors he plans on visiting for the Penn State game Nov. 23, and he says both Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson continue to keep heavy contact with him. Wilson visited Dingle at his school in Bowling Green, Ky., on Monday.
"It went really well, just talking about the future going forward and getting better connected with the team and expressing his interest," Dingle said of how the conversations with Wilson went.
But the Buckeyes aren't putting all their eggs in either basket. Most of the Ohio State coaches were out running around on recruiting trips during the Buckeyes' bye week, and that includes a busy Tony Alford.
Alford flew out to Littleton, Colorado for a visit to Heritage High School to meet with two junior tight ends that Ohio State is interested in.
Terrance Ferguson and Erik Olsen are teammates at Heritage, though Alford was mainly there to see the four-star recruit Ferguson, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound junior ranked as the No. 10 tight end in the country and rated the third-best recruit in the state. Olsen does not have an offer from Ohio State.
"I’ve talked to Coach Alford a lot over the phone and text and talked to him three other times in person. He’s a great guy," Ferguson told Eleven Warriors. "Coach Alford said he likes the way I look, and I look good physically. He said I’m a high priority for them, and he thinks I’m one of the top tight ends in the nation."
Alford and the Buckeyes have been recruiting Ferguson dating back to his sophomore season, when he earned Max Preps Sophomore All-American honors.
Thank you @CoachTonyAlford for coming by the school to see me and the team!— Terrance Ferguson (@Tf3four) October 30, 2019
Ferguson holds 13 confirmed offers, highlighted by LSU, Iowa, Florida, Oregon, Wisconsin, Washington, Penn State and USC, in addition to Ohio State. His other offers are from Arizona State, Arkansas, Colorado and West Virginia.
Ferguson has confirmed visits with LSU, Georgia and Arkansas (once each) and Colorado twice, but he has not yet visited Columbus. He says it's not likely he will be making an unofficial trip to Ohio State any time soon, but that doesn't mean Day's program should be counted out in his recruitment.
"I’ll try and make a visit, but financially it’s probably not possible right now," Ferguson said. "Ohio State is still high on the list because of the relationships and the type of program Ohio State has year in and out."
Pryor trims list
Four-star junior running back Evan Pryor, the No. 5-ranked RB in 2021 and a top 100 overall prospect nationally from North Carolina, trimmed his list to a final 10 schools on his birthday Wednesday.
Ohio State made the list, and SEC schools cloak the list as well, with Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Florida all in line to attain the No. 4-ranked junior in North Carolina.
Georgia is still the favorite here so Pryor might be on a path taking him to Athens for his collegiate career. But he is set to be in Columbus on an unofficial visit for the Penn State game, making that weekend will be critical in where his recruitment goes from here.
Egbuka, teammate share MVP honors
Ohio State's top receiver recruit in the 2021 class is Emeka Egbuka, who's listed as the No. 1-ranked junior athlete, and he was recently honored with the state of Washington's South Puget Sound League's Co-MVP award along with his teammate and quarterback Chance McDonald.
So honored to be named SPSL Co-MVP with my brother @chancemcdonaldd! We dreamed about this on the Sentinels youth team, now its time to finish the mission and get a ring Love you Boy ! (PS Coaches, now would be a good time to check him out) pic.twitter.com/8FtQuSVXsl— Emeka 21 (@emeka_egbuka) November 6, 2019
Egbuka, in just three seasons, has amassed 3,441 career receiving yards with 59 touchdowns on 165 receptions. This year, he has hauled in 49 catches for 1,141 yards and 16 touchdowns for an average of 23.3 yards per catch and 126.8 yards per game. Absurd numbers.
Shoutout to Jon Manley of the Tacoma News-Tribune for detailing those numbers and Egbuka's thoughts on each of his final top 10 schools.
Phillips going bowling
Clark Phillips III may be on a path to stardom here at Ohio State, and on Wednesday evening, the four-star senior cornerback announced he will be taking his talents to the Pro Football Hall of Fame World Bowl in Cancun, Mexico.
Scott Sr. impressed
Gee Scott Jr. is another 2020 commit with a world of potential, and his father has no qualms about allowing his son to leave the state of Washington for Columbus, in part because of who will be under the tutelage of while here:
When folks ask me why would I want to see my son go far away to play for this guy, I just want them to hear his words.— Gee Scott (@GeeScottSr) November 6, 2019
Also, you never hear anyone ask someone why they go so far away to attend Harvard. https://t.co/Obkem4MII2
Easy to see why recruits speak so highly of Ryan Day. And look at the focus from the players in the video.
(Side note: I spent more than 30 minutes today watching this season's game trailers and a video Dan Hope and Colin Hass-Hill showed me from the 2017 game against Penn State. Just feel the need to point out that whoever gets paid to put those together probably isn't getting paid enough. They're incredible. Especially the Northwestern trailer.)
Francois makes signing announcement
I will be signing in December— 2 (@jHumble22) November 7, 2019
Francois is set for an official visit to Columbus for the Penn State game.
The Buckeyes likely have all of the defensive backs they want in the 2020 class, barring the potential for a not likely Elias Ricks flip.
Buckeye commits, targets set for playoff matchups
A host of in-state Ohio State commits and uncommitted targets are set to compete in the Ohio high school state playoffs this weekend. The following is a list of the matchups featuring 2020 Buckeye commits, 2020 and 2021 players with Ohio State offers and 2022 players the Buckeyes have shown interest in. There are 18 total players on this list (apologies if I missed anybody):
(2) Pickerington Central (Ty Hamilton in 2020) vs. (7) Reynoldsburg
(5) Solon (Najee Story in 2021) at (4) McKinley
(6) Pickerington North (Jack Sawyer in 2021) at (3) Olentangy Orange
(1) Washington (Jayden Ballard in 2021) vs. (8) Harding
(1) La Salle (Jaylen Johnson in 2021) at (8) Little Miami
(5) Westerville South (Kaden Saunders in 2022) at (4) St. John's Jesuit
(1) Norwalk (Trey Leroux in 2020) vs. (8) Glenville
(2) Streetsboro (Michael Hall Jr. in 2021) vs. (7) St. Vincent-St. Mary
(8) Archbishop Alter (C.J. Hicks in 2022) at (1) Chaminade-Julienne
(6) Roger Bacon (Corey Kiner in 2021) at (3) Waynesville
Ironton (Reid Carrico in 2021) vs. Wellston