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.
2022, 2023 phenom California QBs firmly in fold for Ohio State
Malachi Nelson runs with a pretty star-studded crowd.
The freshman phenom out of California, a potential future five-star quarterback whom we talked about last Sunday, trains with quarterback coach Danny Hernandez out of STARS Sports Training and Rehabilitation Center in Anaheim.
Training alongside Nelson and Hernandez are the top two senior quarterbacks in the country, Bryce Young and DJ Uiagalelei, plus high-profile juniors Jake Garcia and Miller Moss and sophomore Maalik Murphy.
Nelson, Murphy, Young, Uiagalelei and Garcia each have Ohio State offers, but the two most important players off that list for Buckeye fans are Nelson and Murphy – the class of 2022 five-star signal caller with a rocket attached to his right arm and at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds already looks the part of a high-caliber college quarterback physically.
While the other three are already set on their college destinations – Young to Alabama, Uiagalelei to Clemson, Garcia to USC – the recruitments of Nelson and Murphy have barely just begun. Nelson has a longer way to go than Murphy, with a host of offers that will eventually be on the way to add to an already impressive who’s-who list, and Murphy’s recruitment is expected to ramp up quickly between now and the end of the summer.
Nelson and Murphy are close friends and each one is firmly in the fold for the Buckeyes in the early going, and it’s looking like they could be making their first visit to Columbus this weekend with another STARS trainer, Chris Flores (known by his QB mentees as “Coach Frog,” in tow.
“I think we’re gonna make it up with Coach Frog,” Nelson told Eleven Warriors. “Coach Frog’s the other connection with those (Ohio State) guys so we’re planning on going up with him.
“I wouldn’t say it’s set in stone, but we’re gonna try our best to get out there. I’d say it’s an 80-90 percent chance we’ll get up there.”
If the two do make the trip to the Shoe, that would make it yet another joint college visit together for the pair after having attended a recent LSU game in Baton Rouge, plus USC and UCLA games together earlier this season.
They have known each other for a long time, playing with and against each other, and they have become tight through training sessions.
While Nelson was just offered by Mike Yurcich last weekend, Murphy was offered by Yurcich in late January.
Yurcich’s connection with Murphy and Nelson was built by his relationship with Hernandez that dates back to Yurcich’s Oklahoma State days. Yurcich made a trip to SoCal and connected himself with Hernandez upon hearing of Hernandez’s reputation for developing quarterbacks on the West Coast and not steering college coaches wrong with dishonesty about his players’ talent level.
That eventually led to Yurcich landing one of Hernandez’s quarterbacks, Brandon Costello, at Oklahoma State, and since then the two coaches have remained in consistent contact.
When Yurcich was hired by Ohio State in January, he was quickly on the phone with Hernandez, Murphy and Nelson at separate times to continue relationship-building.
Nelson being on Yurcich’s radar, however, began with Murphy. He had already offered Murphy because of his potential, his big arm and because he’s a kid who’s heading in the right direction with a good head on his shoulders.
“I talk to Ohio State more than any other college I’ve talked to."– Malachy Nelson on his relationship with Ohio State coaches
“With Maalik, you just look and know that’s a dude,” Hernandez told Eleven Warriors. “Coaches look at him and say, ‘That’s a guy that’s gonna be playing on Sundays.’ He’s a guy that’s got that kind of talent.
“Well, I told (Yurcich) I have a kid a year younger in essentially the exact same situation you may wanna take a look at.”
So Yurcich popped on Nelson’s film and was impressed — a notable accomplishment for the even-keeled, straight-shooting Yurcich who doesn’t often (if ever) find himself too enthralled or over-hyped by the quarterbacks he recruits.
On a west coast recruiting trip a few weeks ago, Yurcich burst through for a brief visit to one of Hernandez’s training sessions, saw both Murphy and Nelson throw live and in-person, and not long after that he gave the freshman his sixth Power 5 offer.
“I met coach Yurcich, and we’ve been talking for a while,” Nelson said. “Our relationship’s really grown. I talk to Ohio State more than any other college I’ve talked to. Just getting to know them and grow a relationship with them has been pretty cool.
“The first week that Yurcich got to Ohio State I started talking to him. I met him at a camp (in California).”
Nelson talks to Yurcich a couple times a month and has spoken with Ryan Day on the phone several times.
That relationship-building continues increasing the attractiveness of a program that both Nelson and Murphy have long envisioned becoming a part of.
“I know it’s always been one of Malachy’s dream schools. We talked about what would be a dream offer and Ohio State was definitely there” Hernandez said. “It’s one of Maalik’s dream schools too. … There’s a 100 percent chance that Ohio State has a real shot at them.
“Ohio State’s a national program. A lot of these West Coast guys are like that. It’s not like things were in the past where you have these guys who would stay in the Pac 12 anymore. The two top quarterbacks this year, Bryce and DJ, are going to the south. You see a lot of these really good guys not staying in the Pac 12.”
Murphy and Nelson certainly are still interested in Pac 12 programs, but their interests will be national with the best programs in the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 gunning for them.
Their individual recruitments to the Big Ten have already begun in earnest, and they could pick up this weekend.
“We’ll see what happens,” Nelson said. “We both have some time and we’ll see if that’s what aligns for us. I think we’d probably be good together so if that’s how it works out, that’s how it works out, I guess.
“We’re gonna try to get out there for that Penn State game. If not, we’ll see when. We’ll meet up there, potentially over the summer or something, but we’ll see.”
Stellato visits Clemson
We've been waiting to see if Troy Stellato would make a planned visit to Clemson on Nov. 16. Stellato did end up making that trip, and now we play the waiting game.
Stellato can choose just about any school he wants to go to in the country, but it's likely going to come down to Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson so this was a big visit as he's now taken a visit to all three of those programs.
A Stellato decision could be coming sometime fairly soon, and now he has the Clemson experience to consider in his equation. The decisions of big-time receivers Stellato, Beaux Collins and Emeka Egbuka all could come down to a Buckeyes vs. Tigers battle.