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.
We're coming off a hectic, jam-packed recruiting week that saw Ohio State take center stage in the recruiting world (and, with all the cancellations of sporting events worldwide, it really took center stage of the entire college football world for a couple days), and now that the dust has settled, I wanted to take some time to answer a few of your guys' questions in the latest recruiting mailbag.
Henderson vs. Edwards
For a while now, I've been telling you guys that I believed Ohio State was going to land a running backs haul of Evan Pryor and Donovan Edwards. I got 50 percent of that correct when Pryor committed last week, but with each passing day, it's sounding like I'm going to end up misfiring on the Edwards prediction.
Nothing is set in stone, but if you read the tea leaves, it's sounding like TreVeyon Henderson is more probable than not (shoutout to Ted Wells) that he ends up with Ohio State. The Buckeyes gained substantial momentum for Henderson during last week's momentum-filled 4-5-day span that saw Crystal Ball predictions dropped for Henderson, JC Latham and J.T. Tuimoloau following the four commitments Ohio State landed in three days.
“Everything about them has them as No. 1,” Henderson stated. “Football program is great, school is great, the coaches are great. Especially Coach (Tony) Alford. We got a great relationship, he keeps it real about everything! He’s a really great guy.”
Two days later, Edwards told Rivals' Josh Helmholdt that he has decided to take his recruitment into his senior year, when he previously told Eleven Warriors almost exactly a month ago that he did not have any commitment timeline.
“No timeline,” Edwards said at the time. “I have no clue. Whenever it best feels for me, then I’m ready.”
On Monday morning, Henderson doubled down with Eleven Warriors that the Buckeyes are out in front.
“It’s mainly those nine, but Ohio State’s standing out over all of them,” Henderson said. “They’re still leading.”
In the end, I do believe that Edwards would be in the class if he pulled the trigger first and called up Alford today and said, “Coach, I wanna be in. I'm committed.”
After last year's debacle in running back recruiting, it wouldn't make sense to turn away the nation's No. 3-ranked running back who's a top-40 overall player nationally and who could come back to bite them at Michigan or Georgia down the line.
Obviously, the only way they would turn away his commitment is if they've already landed a silent commitment from Henderson. But, of course, that may have already happened, and perhaps we'll find out soon.
Closing out the secondary
Even with the positional versatility and potential stardom of Andre Turrentine, the Buckeyes are still 80 percent done with their secondary recruiting, and there's an argument that they are only 60 percent done.
They are gunning for a minimum of five defensive backs (though six could end up being the number if the right guys come into the fold), and they now have four committed in Turrentine, Jakailin Johnson, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Johnson.
I'm still counting Jaylen Johnson as a defensive back, but he's been clear with us that his main recruiter, linebackers coach Al Washington, recruited him specifically to play the bullet position, and he seems to fit closer to the profile of an outside linebacker more than he does a safety.
That leaves the Buckeyes still seeking to add one traditional cornerback and one traditional safety who will focus solely on those spots.
At cornerback, Jantzen Dunn is the name to know as the likeliest candidate there as Ohio State will be seeking another long corner who can play in both man coverage and zone coverage. To this point, they seem to have backed off Nebraska cornerback Avante Dickerson, with Hunter Washington and Jaylin Davies as much less likely options. Getting those two guys on campus was going to be critical if the Buckeyes were still wanting to pursue them (each had planned unofficial visits in the spring), but since that won't happen until at least the summer at the earliest, right now it doesn't look promising that they can land either of them.
At safety, there's really only one recruit left that I believe Ohio State would take, and he's one of the best players in the entire class: Derrick Davis Jr.
Davis projects as a traditional deep safety who can hit and cover a lot of ground with his track speed in the backfield, and he can guard players in the slot one-on-one if needed. He's the most valuable defensive back in the class, and Ohio State will do everything it can to close on him.
High-caliber players to join the class
I'll answer the second question first: Yes, Tony Grimes is still in the mix, but right now Ohio State is on the outside looking in compared to programs like Clemson, Georgia, Penn State, Texas A&M and perhaps even North Carolina.
Grimes is disappointed he won't be able to get back to Columbus again until at least the summer, as he and his father had planned on making a 3-4-day visit in March or April but will have to push that back. Before the recruiting cancellations, Grimes was able to get to Georgia and Clemson for visits, which is one reason the Tigers and Bulldogs have momentum for the nation's No. 1-ranked cornerback.
His visit to Ohio State to talk more with Kerry Coombs was going to be critical, and it hurts the Buckeyes that he won't be able to make that trip for a while. They are not out of it yet, but they don't have the momentum there.
As for the realistic players that the Buckeyes will sign off of that list provided? Out of those nine players, I believe they will land at least four of them. Here's my order for the guys I'm most confident end up signing their NLI to join the class:
- TreVeyon Henderson
- JC Latham (If not for the heavy smoke of late around Henderson's recruitment, I would probably have Latham in the top spot.)
- Emeka Egbuka*
- Troy Stellato*
- J.T. Tuimoloau
- Derrick Davis Jr.
- Tunmise Adeleye
- Donovan Edwards
- Tony Grimes
*I would put Egbuka and Stellato as 5a and 5b, respectively.
Eight of those nine players (Stellato's the exception) have a really good chance of being five-star players by the time they sign with a program. Four of them already are (Henderson, Tuimoloau, Egbuka, Grimes) and one of them (Adeleye) dropped from five to four stars but will have a great chance at getting that star back after transferring out of a 3-4 scheme and into a 4-3 scheme.
So just getting three of those players would be huge, but if Ohio State lands a fourth or even a fifth, that first-ever recruiting crown goes from possibility to very realistic.