The Hurry Up: Buckeyes a Finalist for Florida DE Cade Denhoff, Ohio State Coaches Draft Letter Explaining Expectations to Weekend Visitors

By Zack Carpenter on November 22, 2019 at 5:45 pm
Cade Denhoff
Cade Denhoff (247Sports)

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.

Buckeyes a finalist for junior SDE

Cade Denhoff will not be one of the many big-time visitors headlining this week's already-packed list of Ohio State targets converging on Columbus. But that's not stopping the four-star strong-side defensive end from tossing his 6-foot-5, 225-pound talent into the Buckeyes' Twitter mentions all the way from Lakeland Christian School in Florida. 

Denhoff, a 2021 prospect ranked as the No. 8 SDE in the country and the No. 17 recruit in Florida, put Ohio State in his list of top schools on Friday morning.

When Ohio State began recruiting Denhoff, who is a top-50 recruit by 247Sports' own rankings system, in the spring of 2019, he was already getting solid scouting reviews. 

In the middle of his sophomore season, Denhoff was evaluated by 247Sports' John Garcia Jr. as having a "tall, muscular frame with good length on the defensive edge" and as an "extremely active pass rusher with production early in his prep career."

Denhoff was already showcasing some explosion on his first step off the line in pass-rushing situations, versatility to play down on the line or standing up as an edge rusher, and his motor to pursue quarterbacks and rushers was already strong. Since then, Denhoff has only gotten better with an extra offseason and another season in Florida's Class 3A ball.

"I have grown in my ability to stay low off the line and getting a good get-off," Denhoff told Eleven Warriors of his improvements this year. "And I’ve grown in my ability to use my hands."

Those skills would be an asset to Larry Johnson, Tony Alford and Ryan Day, the three Buckeye coaches with whom he's closest with and the latter of whom Denhoff says he speaks with "a couple times a week."

Denhoff, who says none of the specific top seven stick out as better than the others right now, is one of 20 juniors from Florida with a Buckeyes offer. He says he will probably visit Columbus in the spring.

"I've always had interest in Ohio State, and they have a great program and produce great D-linemen. Me and coach Johnson talk quite a bit," Denhoff said. "They have a good family culture as well."

Nearing 40 visitors

We've made it clear who Ohio State's top targets on the board are in the 2021 class at receiver, but Emeka Egbuka, Beaux Collins and Troy Stellato will not be on campus this weekend, barring a surprise visit. (Collins is a confirmed non-visitor this weekend.)

Jayden Thomas, however, will be making an unofficial visit, bringing the total of our confirmed visitors this weekend to 39 at the time of this writing. 

Thomas, a top-15 junior in the state of Georgia and top-150 national recruit, is the No. 27-rated receiver in the 2021 class, and he will join future Buckeye Jayden Ballard as the two confirmed junior receivers on campus for the Penn State matchup.

OSU coaches let recruits know about this weekend

On Tuesday, Day discussed the importance of this weekend's showdown and how critical it is in the recruiting game. But that comes mostly in terms of recruits being able to get the firsthand experience of an atmosphere at the Shoe for college football's game of the week. 

It's not like the coaches are going to be ignoring recruits on Saturday or Sunday or anything ridiculous. Some recruits we've talked to actually already have plans in place to meet with coaches on Sunday before hopping on flights back home or driving back. 

There will still be some interaction, most likely with the bulk of the face time and attention paid to Miyan Williams and Xavier Carlton since they are the weekend's two most important visitors. 

Even though recruits should be understanding that the coaching staff has to put as much time and attention into this game as possible and they don't have the minutes or hours to glad-hand them (and, again, the players I've talked to are understanding of that), it could still open up situations where a recruit and his family feel unappreciated after spending the money and effort to make it to Columbus for an unofficial visit.

In an effort to be as thorough and forthcoming as possible, the Buckeye coaches let them know ahead of time what this weekend would be dedicated toward.

"It's hard, obviously, when you have so many people and your time is limited," Day said Thursday. "We sent out a letter to most of the people visiting just to understand this is one of those games where we're not gonna get a lot of face time. And we have some tremendous people coming in, but at the same time there's only so much time you can spend with those guys in a situation like this. 

"We'll spend a little time after the game, but that'll probably be it until Sunday morning."

Day says that "it's on the position coaches to let them know" what the expectations are for this visit, but that the letter sent out to the families gives more details about those expectations since it's one of the biggest games of the year. 

Friday Mailbag Hiatus

This week, we are taking a small vacation from the Friday Mailbag. But have no fear, I'll be back on it next week (and hopefully better than ever) to answer your questions the day after Thanksgiving.

Once again, thank you for being receptive and appreciative of the Q&A format we've brought on Fridays. I'm glad you guys have bought in, and please keep those questions coming.

View 10 Comments