The Hurry-Up: Quick Pitches for a Five-Star Flip, Cameron Martinez Gets Ratings Bump, Greg Mattison Hits Wisconsin Trail

By Zack Carpenter on December 10, 2019 at 6:50 pm
Elias Ricks
Elias Ricks

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.

Who would I try and flip?


The obvious, easy answers here are either Bijan Robinson or Elias Ricks, and the answers are quite simple.

Ohio State may have gotten a commitment from bullish running back Miyan Williams in the 2020 class, but there are questions about whether or not Williams can be the guy to handle a bell-cow workload for the Buckeyes down the road. 

The Buckeyes have a reputation for not negatively recruiting, so I probably wouldn’t fit in well on their staff because one of my main pitches in this situation would be to call into question the instability and question marks on the Texas staff. The Longhorns seem to be in a shaky situation down in Austin, and I would at least ask Robinson if that concerns him at all. 

While Tony Alford is one of the top candidates to become Colorado State’s head coach, the coaches on the Buckeyes’ staff would almost certainly only be leaving on their own volition and not through a firing. Robinson’s two main recruiters are Tim Beck and Stan Drayton. Beck was already demoted from offensive coordinator, and there have been rumors that Drayton (a former Ohio State running backs coach) may be kept on staff only until Robinson signs. 

Maybe there is no truth to those rumors, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind as the early signing period approaches. Plus, and again this is purely conjecture on my part and only thrown in here as an interesting hypothetical to think about, if Drayton were to be let go and Alford does end up at Colorado State, perhaps Drayton could make a return to Columbus, where he was instrumental in the development of Ezekiel Elliot and Carlos Hyde. That could certainly go a long way in getting Robinson to change his mind.

As for Ricks, it’s a very similar pitch that I would be making, as the five-star cornerback would be coming to Columbus with a chance at immediate playing time Week 1 at Autzen Stadium against Oregon. 

The Buckeyes’ entire starting secondary may be gone after this season, making it the biggest area of need for Ohio State moving forward. Despite a packed 2020 defensive backs haul for the Buckeyes coming in, early playing time would be my biggest pitch, and my second-biggest pitch would be that the Buckeyes have a claim to the throne for “DBU” and will have at least one top-10 pick (Jeff Okudah) and potentially another first-rounder (Shaun Wade) in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Of course, the only real problem with that pitch is that the program Ricks is committed to (a program he has doubled down in reaffirming his commitment to) can make the exact same two pitches. 

The Tigers’ biggest area of need in the 2020 recruiting class is defensive back, as four of their main playmakers could be gone after this season. Just like the Buckeyes, that includes a top-10 NFL Draft pick (Grant Delpit) and a fringe first-rounder (Kristian Fulton).

And similar to the Alford-to-Colorado State rumors that have popped up, Jeff Hafley has emerged as one of the top candidates to take the Boston College job. 

In the end, it’s looking very unlikely the Buckeyes get either Robinson or Ricks to flip and the Ohio State coaches are not putting much, if any, energy into getting them to flip before the early signing period. And, yes, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing their names brought up ad nauseam when talking about 2020 recruits. But those are the two players I would target.

Mattison hits Wisconsin

We talked last month about Greg Mattison’s relationship with Muskego (Wisc.) High School safety Hunter Wohler, the state’s No. 2-ranked junior and the nation’s No. 8-ranked safety in 2021. 

On Monday, Mattison was back up in Wisconsin, giving an offer to 2022 offensive lineman Joe Brunner, the state’s top-ranked sophomore prospect. (And, a correction from yesterday, Brunner is actually the third sophomore OL prospect to receive an Ohio State offer, joining Tegra Tshabola and Julian Armella).

But Mattison’s visit to Wisconsin also featured him stopping by to visit with Wohler. The Buckeye coaches are mostly putting their recruiting efforts into seeing as many 2020 commits as possible (and probably all of them), so it’s a testament to how they view Wohler (and Brunner) that Mattison took time to go see him. 

Ohio State, Wisconsin and Notre Dame seem to be heading toward a three-team race to land a commitment from the four-star safety talent.

Martinez gets ratings bump

Cameron Martinez’s three-star ranking has perplexed just about everyone who has watched him play in person or on film. He’s widely been regarded as the most underrated 2020 Buckeye commit, but that title may have to be given to someone else now.

Martinez was finally given a long-awaited, much-deserved ratings bump in the 247Sports Composite metric, moving to a four-star prospect after earning the state of Michigan’s Gatorade Player of the Year award, Michigan's Mr. Football, and the MLive Player of the Year for the second straight year. Martinez is now rated as the No. 14 athlete in America and the No. 7 senior recruit in Michigan. 

Ohio State offers PWO

An Ohio State coach made the trek over to Xenia, Ohio to meet with E.J. Wilson early Monday, and apparently it wasn’t just a quick meet-and-greet.

Wilson left that meeting with a preferred walk-on offer from the Buckeyes, as the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Furman offensive lineman commit will now have to think about if he wants to eschew that opportunity for a shot to be developed by Greg Studrawa and company. 

Huskies visit Carlton

Four-star Juan Diego (Utah) Catholic defensive end Xavier Carlton will have plenty of schools to choose from whenever it is that he makes his collegiate decision. The Washington Huskies are one of them, and they are making an effort to go get him, as new head coach Jimmy Lake, the team’s defensive coordinator who was announced as Chris Petersen’s replacement last week, was one of three Huskie coaches to make an in-home visit to Carlton on Monday night.

Outside of CJ Stroud, the pursuit of Carlton remains the most intriguing uncommitted recruitment remaining for the Buckeyes in the 2020 class. 

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