The Hurry-Up: Lovasea Carroll Sets Commit Date, Kerry Coombs Meets with Cameron Martinez, Cody Simon's All-American Bowl Performance Impresses

By Zack Carpenter on January 23, 2020 at 6:00 pm
Lovasea Carroll
Lovasea Carroll (Andrew Ivins, 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.

Carroll sets commit date

Less than a week after dropping his top five schools of South Carolina, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Ohio State, four-star running back Lovasea Carroll announced that he has set a commitment date for Aug. 6.

We have, of course, seen a number of commitment dates get set and then go by the wayside. But if Carroll ends up sticking with that commitment date, that means he will not have gotten the chance to check out an Ohio State game before making his college decision. 

Of those five schools, Ohio State is the only one Carroll has not visited for either a game day or a non-game day. After having said in the past that he had hoped to visit the Buckeyes in the summer, perhaps having a commitment date that is toward the end of summer would push a visit closer to the spring.

When speaking with Rivals recruiting analyst Chad Simmons, Carroll talked about his relationship with Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford, and for Eleven Warriors readers, it might sound pretty familiar to how many other recruits have talked about Alford:

"I would like to get up to Columbus for a visit soon, then go back to a game in the fall," said Carroll. "Ever since I first talked to coach Tony Alford, I have really liked Ohio State.

"Our first conversation stuck with me. It wasn't about football. It was about life, life after football and that meant a lot. Ohio State is a great program and they have a lot of great players, so I like that, but it is more about coach Alford."

Carroll told Simmons that two of the three aspects in his college program that he is looking for is a strong relationship with the coaches (looks like his relationship with Alford is strong) and the right environment (he will still have to see for himself if Columbus fits that bill).

Carroll also said that he is looking for a college with a good engineering program. For what it's worth, Ohio State has the highest-ranked engineering program among those five schools.

In the U.S. News & World Report's rankings of undergraduate engineering programs, Ohio State is tied for 29th with four other schools, Florida is tied for 34th with three other schools, Auburn is tied for 54th with six other schools, and Georgia and South Carolina are tied for 108th with 10 other schools.

I have too much time on my hands.

Also, five-star cornerback Tony Grimes, the No. 1-ranked CB in the country in 2021, announced he will be committing on Dec. 1:

Coombs, Martinez meet

At this point, maybe I should make sure to reserve some space for a daily update from Kerry Coombs on the recruiting trail:

As many know by now, that visit to "the western part of the state up north" was to see 2020 Ohio State commit Cameron Martinez, the Buckeyes' final priority in the class:

More visits

Ryan Day and Larry Johnson each visited Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., on Wednesday. 

Day also visited Tennessee to meet with four-star tight end Hudson Wolfe, the top tight end target on the Buckeyes' board. He is ranked as the No. 8 tight end in the country in the 2021 class, and Ohio State is hoping to gain some ground on Alabama:

The Buckeyes are scouring Virginia looking to land their first recruit there since 2018, when they signed both Teradja Mitchell and K'Vaughan Pope. 

Ohio State has offers out to five 2021 players in Virginia and two offers to 2022 Virginia natives (including RB Kaytron Allen, who plays at IMG Academy in Florida), and that includes a lone offer to a player from Episcopal, three-star athlete Bryce Steele. Steele, however, is seen as a hybrid safety/linebacker prospect in the same mold as Cincinnati La Salle's Jaylen Johnson, whose recent commitment most likely pushed Steele out of contention to join the Buckeyes.

Ohio State's recently promoted quarterbacks coach Corey Dennis, meanwhile, visited Justin F. Kimball High School in Dallas on Wednesday. The Buckeyes have not yet offered anyone from the school, so it will be interesting to see if any offers emerge from Kimball in the coming day. 

Linebackers coach Al Washington was at Paulding County High School in Georgia to visit with four-star outside linebacker Smael Mondon:

Simon impresses, Fleming doesn't

I dropped a note at the end of Tuesday's Hurry-Up about the final Rivals 2020 player rankings that were incorrect. 

The Rivals100 was released on Tuesday, with Jaxon Smith-Njigba seeing a rise up to No. 20 overall, an increase of 12 spots. That was correct. 

But I did a quick skim to see the rest of the Ohio State signees listed in the rankings, saw that linebacker Cody Simon did not have an upward or downward arrow next to his name and wrote that he had not moved in the ranking. Simon, in fact, has moved up 120 spots (!) from his previous spot in the rankings, all the way up from No. 163 to No. 43, which I saw when the Rivals250 rankings were released on Wednesday.

Simon was also bumped up in his 247Sports Composite ranking from No. 122 overall in the country to No. 86 and from the No. 9 outside linebacker to No. 5 at inside linebacker.

Such a substantial increase in the ranking should have been caught by me, but alas. 

That's a hell of a rise, though, and the reason for it is due to his impressive all-around performance at the All-American Bowl earlier this month. 

Simon caught attention from regional and national recruiting analysts alike, and on Wednesday, Rivals' Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt had some high praise for Simon when asked to detail the player whom he pushed for the most to get more recognition:

Josh Helmholdt (Midwest): The performance from Ohio State's Cody Simon was one of the best I have seen after 17 years of covering the All-American Bowl in San Antonio. The middle linebacker has the instincts and strength to be a tackling machine in the middle of the defense, but can also drop back and be effective in coverage. All the tools are there for Simon to be next in the Buckeyes' long tradition of great linebackers.

Sam Spiegelman, who covers Texas and Louisiana recruiting for Rivals, was not as impressed with five-star receiver Julian Fleming as most others are. That helped contribute to Fleming falling eight spots in the final rankings.

Sam Spiegelman (Texas/Louisiana): Julian Fleming is a really good wide receiver and at Ohio State, I fully expect him to make a ton of plays in Ryan Day's offense. However, he's never blown me away with his speed or hands or playmaking ability. While he does everything really well, I am not sure he's a total difference-making wide receiver.

And Rob Cassidy, who covers Florida, believes Gee Scott Jr. is underrated after falling 21 spots to No. 57.

Rob Cassidy (Florida): I’ve always loved Ohio State signee Gee Scott and think his game speed is much faster than his 40 time. His explosiveness makes up for what people have called a lack of top-end speed. Arizona State pledge  Levon Bunkley-Shelton is another wideout who might outplay his ranking in college.

Rivals also released its final position rankings on Thursday, which you can check out here.

Buckeyes on the list:

  • Pro-style QB: CJ Stroud (No. 3), Jack Miller (No. 16)
  • RB: Miyan Williams (unranked RB)
  • WR: Fleming (No. 1), Smith-Njigba (No. 4), Scott (No. 11)
  • OT: Paris Johnson Jr. (No. 3), Grant Toutant (No. 68)
  • C: Luke Wypler (No. 2)
  • SDE: Darrion Henry-Young (No. 3), Jacolbe Cowan (No. 8)
  • ILB: Cody Simon (No. 5)
  • OLB: Kourt Williams II (No. 7), Mitchell Melton (No. 44)
  • S: Lathan Ransom (No. 20 S), Lejond Cavazos (No. 29 S)
  • ATH: Mookie Cooper (No. 1), Cameron Martinez (No. 4)
  • K: Jake Seibert (No. 1)

Smith-Njigba a five-star

Speaking of new rankings, Smith-Njigba has now (some may say finally) become a composite five-star player, one of the 32 five-stars in the 2020 class.

New offers

Ohio State has dished out its third 2022 offensive line offer, giving a full-ride offer to Kam Dewberry.

While he does not yet have a composite ranking, the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Dewberry out of Humble, Texas is ranked by 247Sports' lone metrics as the No. 3 OT in the nation, No. 62 overall prospect and No. 7 sophomore in Texas.

Another offer was dished out to three-star 2021 cornerback Ja'Den McBurrows.

McBurrows, from St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida, is ranked as the No. 78 CB in the country while ranking No. 944 overall and No. 113 in the state.

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