The Hurry Up: Ryan Day Acknowledges De Facto Big Ten Championship Play-In Game Means Less "Face Time" with Recruits, Visitor List for Saturday Continues Growing

By Zack Carpenter on November 20, 2019 at 6:50 pm
Rayshaun Benny
Rayshaun Benny (Allen Trieu, 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.

Day and staff aware time with recruits will be limited

Those who follow recruiting, and of course those who write about it, have been anticipating this coming weekend since at least the second weekend of September (aka my first weekend working for Eleven Warriors). Probably longer.

Despite the impending bad weather, which includes rain and snow in the forecast, it should be an electric atmosphere with a raucous crowd, better than even the Michigan State or Wisconsin environments, looking on as Ohio State's plays in a de facto Big Ten Championship play-in game and what amounts to a College Football Playoff quarterfinal game.

That's what recruits will be looking to experience this weekend. They won't be looking at relationship-building with the Buckeye coaches as one of the top objectives on Saturday. Other weekends, like Nov. 9 against Maryland, are better for those priorities. 

In a big game like this one, there won't be nearly enough time for that, and with the sheer number of recruits set for visits, face-to-face interaction would be even more difficult. 

Ryan Day knows there won't be much face time because he and the position coaches will be so caught up with game preparation all week leading up to the battle with the Nittany Lions and on game day itself.

"For a game like this it's very difficult to spend a lot of time with those guys, there's just so much at stake, and I think most recruits understand that," Day said Tuesday. "They want to come and feel the atmosphere. They want to see what it's like to be here for a big game and feel that. That's what they're looking for, in my opinion, on a visit like this. They're not looking for a lot of one-on-one time with the coach or to learn about our Real Life Wednesday program or anything like that, that's not what this visit is.

"And I talk to the guys every time, every visit you're looking to check off a box, and this is a box to check off, what it's going to be like playing for the Big Ten championship. And so Mark and our recruiting staff got their hands full, and we got a lot of people coming in and they're going to have to be really organized and do a great job."

Two five-star 2021 guys, defensive end Tunmise Adeleye and cornerback Tony Grimes, have said they will not be coming for this weekend's game (Adeleye) or said it would be incredibly difficult because of the high school playoff schedule (Grimes). Grimes' high school program in Virginia, Princess Anne, lost in the quarterfinals last weekend so it's possible he makes the trip, but that has not yet been confirmed one way or the other.

Nevertheless, playoff scheduling is just one wrinkle into whether or not some recruits will be able to make it to the noon kickoff.

Day was asked whether or not he has certain players who might arrive on Friday or stay later into Sunday in order to get more face time with coaches.

"Yeah, yeah, I mean, based on if they're still in the playoffs and if they have a game Friday night or not, we try to get them here early," Day said. "Sometimes it's hard to get hotel rooms, there's a lot of logistical stuff that everybody on the staff is working on. But even on Fridays they're not going to get much out of us.

"I have a hard time before games really focusing on talking to recruits and their families when there's such a big game like this, it's just the way it is. And I'll hang with them all night afterwards, but that's just kind of the way it goes."

No worries, though. There will be plenty of time between the week after the Big Ten Championship Game (assuming Ohio State is playing in it) to build, develop and maintain relationships with recruits. 

More Penn State visitors

There is a long laundry list of guys who have confirmed with us that they will definitely be on campus (such as Donovan JacksonEvan Pryor and Michael Hall Jr.), told us there's a very good chance they will be there (such as Malachi Nelson and Maalik Murphy), announced their visit on Twitter (like JC Latham and Jager Burton) or those we have heard will be there from other recruits (like Jacolbe Cowan). 

Perhaps the biggest visit, at least for the immediate future, confirmed on Twitter Wednesday night that he will be in town. 

Miyan Williams, one of the last possible options for the Buckeyes in 2020 running back recruiting, is set to make the trip over from Cincinnati.

Rayshaun Benny, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound offensive tackle ranked as the No. 8 junior recruit in Michigan, is another who confirmed a visit via Twitter announcement, as he added his name to the list on Tuesday evening.

Another of our recruiting writers, Mick Walker, and I are putting together a list of those who will be visiting this weekend. Of course, it's going to be next-to impossible for anyone to put together an exhaustive list of everyone converging on Columbus this weekend. There are just too many guys who remain silent on the visit front or who don't want to make any such announcements, but we will get as many guys on that list as we can.

Phoenix the new quarterback cradle?

Ohio State has dipped its foot into the Arizona waters with the 2020 class, landing commitments from quarterback Jack Miller (Scottsdale and safety Lathan Ransom (Tuscon), and the Buckeyes were successful in recruiting Bijan Robinson from Tuscon.

They almost certainly are not going to get Robinson in scarlet and grey, but I'd still consider landing a silent commitment from the nation's No. 2-ranked running back at least a mild success. At the very least, it shows they can draw interest from the best of the best at the position. 

When it comes to quarterback, the Buckeyes don't have any other offers out to anyone in the 2020, 2021 or 2022 classes from the state. Perhaps that could change moving forward, as the state 

Check out this great read from The Athletic's Andy Staples on how Phoenix has become "the nation's new cradle of quarterbacks." Among the reasons Staples details in the piece for how that area has become a place to breed outstanding quarterbacks is Phoenix's population boom, kids not growing up as Arizona or Arizona State fans and a strong network of offensive-oriented high school coaches in the state.

Highly recommend.

Fleming commitment a tone-setter

If I'm going to plug a story from The Athletic, I've got to supplement it by giving our own guy at Eleven Warriors some much-deserved shine. Them's the rules. Or, at least my own rules that I made up just now.

Check out Andrew Ellis' story from Wednesday morning about how five-star 2020 receiver Julian Fleming's commitment to the Buckeyes helped establish an early tone for Ryan Day's first full recruiting class. 

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