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.
Armitage, Collier puts OSU as finalist
When Eleven Warriors spoke with New Jersey strongside defensive end Aaron Armitage last month, the Blair Academy standout spoke highly of Ohio State following his visit for the Buckeyes' win over Penn State and after he visited The Big House for their victory over Michigan.
Armitage loved the vibe at both places, and he had a great time at Ohio Stadium, as he said on Dec. 2, “Ohio State is a top choice for me right now. I love it there. It will be in my top five whenever that comes out.”
That top-five list has yet to come out, but Armitage has whittled his list of finalists down to 12 schools with the Buckeyes included.
I would like to thank all the coaches and schools that have expressed interest in me. I am more than grateful and honoured for your recognition. After considerable thought, I would like to focus on these 12 schools.— Aaron Armitage (@armitage_aaron) December 26, 2019
(My recruitment will remain open)
Thank you!@SaylorBlairFB pic.twitter.com/KM9WQL5hgD
Ryan Day, Larry Johnson and Greg Mattison (the three coaches he is closest with on Ohio State's staff) are battling Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, LSU, Cal, Duke, Stanford, Virginia, Florida, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt for the state's No. 2-ranked overall player in the 2021 class
“I feel good about the schools I’ve put in (my top-12 list)," Armitage told Eleven Warriors over the weekend. “I feel bad for not showing as much interest in the others, but it’s what’s best for my family and me.”
As for the recruiting process itself, Armitage's is starting to heat up a bit, as those programs continue clawing for a commitment from the ninth-rated strongside defensive end in the country who is near a top-150 overall ranking.
“I’m loving it,” Armitage said of the recruiting process. “There’s a lot of texting and communication with some, but I enjoy it. It’s something I won’t be able to experience soon.”
Armitage wasn't the only recent star to place Ohio State as a finalist in his recruitment.
Cornerback Corey Collier did the same one day after Armitage, putting the Buckeyes against Clemson, LSU, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Penn State, Syracuse, Auburn and Florida State in his top 10.
blessed— Corey Collier Jr. (@_ccollierjr2) December 27, 2019
made holy; consecrated.
Top 10 pic.twitter.com/q0LZYXiUVj
Collier is ranked as the sixth-best cornerback in America, the 11th-best overall recruit in Florida and the No. 64 overall player in the nation for the class of 2021.
As Ohio State continues to press forward for defensive back prospects in the next recruiting cycle, it's good for whoever becomes the next secondary coach that some of the top corners in the country continue putting the Buckeyes atop their final lists.
Earlier this month, Avante Dickerson, the No. 8 corner and No. 1 overall player in Nebraska, put Ohio State in his top three, even after Jeff Hafley left for Boston College. He told Eleven Warriors at the time that he had a good relationship with Hafley and “was happy for him. Doesn’t change the fact about how I feel about Ohio State.”
The nation's third-rated cornerback, Ga'Quincy McKinstry, out of Alabama (where he's the state's second-rated recruit in the 2021 class) also put the Buckeyes in his top eight earlier this month.
Hart's thoughts on potential coaching changes
Having three of the country's top-10 cornerbacks in the 2021 cycle include Ohio State as a finalist is obviously a good sign for the program moving forward, that even without a secondary coach in place, the Buckeyes are still making waves.
In the midst of the Buckeyes' coaching changes, I wanted to remind you guys of what Hart's thoughts were on if either of his top two recruiters, Tony Alford and Kevin Wilson, were to leave the program. From late November:
“(Relationships with coaches) is a pretty big part (of my recruitment), but I understand things can change super quick and coaches leave a lot for new jobs that are available,” Hart said. “I know that with Ohio State, I really like Coach Alford and Coach Wilson. They’ve been really great to me. But I know it’s a great program, and they’ll get great coaches either way if they do leave.
“Coach Alford and Coach Wilson have been a huge part, and I really like them. They’ve been my favorite coaches to talk to, and they’ve shown a lot of interest. But I understand that (coaches leave). I had two older brothers that played Division I football, and my dad played Division I football.”
Hart's father played center at Minnesota, his older brother played tight end for the Gophers, and another brother is currently a middle linebacker at New Mexico.