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.
Reform to recruiting calendar?
Ryan Day has long been a proponent of the recruiting calendar going back to the way it once was, with the December early signing period not being as big of a deal as it has become and the February National Signing Day returning to prominence. It would return the recruiting calendar to a bit of normalcy, relieving some of the pressure during a wildly busy December while returning January to a focus on the 2020 class instead of needing to use that month to get a head start on 2021 official visits that used to come in the spring.
In 2020, Day and many other coaches who share that same opinion may get their wish.
The coronavirus outbreak shut down recruiting visits nationwide, and with no clear answers as to how long this holding pattern in recruiting lasts, things may change – at least for one year. That could mean a wiping out of the December early signing period for the 2021 cycle, which is something we’ve suggested as an option.
By the time the early signing period rolls around, recruits might have only had a brief window of time to get to the schools they want to visit, so that could force the hand of the NCAA to make changes in an unprecedented time.
“I think there definitely could be some reform in different areas,” Day said in a teleconference on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t think it should be drastic, but I do think that based on when we’re able to get people back on campus to visit that we should be able to change a few things.
“We’ve lost a lot of time. February’s dead. March is now dead, April, up until the 15th, is dead. I think if we can get visits up and going in May and June, I think we’re OK. But if it keeps getting pushed back, I think there should be a little bit of reform in terms of opening some things up more for visits in the summer. I don’t think you should have the whole summer, but I think guys need to come visit and see what the campus is all about in recruiting. I would say we definitely need to look at all those things.”
What that reform would look like exactly remains to be seen. Again, it could mean the cancellation of the December early signing period, though that’s very doubtful with the trend of seeing an increasing number of players wanting to enroll early in order to get their college careers underway, begin their development sooner than later and get a shot at early playing time.
Perhaps it could mean the early period gets pushed back to January. But Day is correct – if May and June in-person recruiting is wiped out, changes will need to be made.
The next step in the recruiting calendar being altered was officially taken on Friday, as the Big Ten announced that it has officially canceled all spring practices and organized team activities through at least May 4, which includes recruiting visits.
On the Ohio State side of things, the suspensions of visits did not hurt the Buckeyes as of recently, with them nabbing four commitments in a three-day span in March. But each of those recruits is someone they had already established a rock-solid relationship with. The coaches being unable to get players on campus for in-person visits has a chance at hindering the relationship-building process, and the staff is doing what it can to try and mitigate the effects of those cancellations via FaceTime.
Day says those interactions have been helpful, and he also says it’s helping that most of the players have already been to Columbus at least once.
“Most of the guys we’ve recruited have actually been on campus. They’ve seen it,” Day said. “Not all of them. So we’re trying to do the best we can of answering whatever questions they may have, but so many of them have been on campus already. It just goes so far into their freshman and sophomore year. But, yeah, FaceTime and sending them videos and things like that is something that can certainly help during this time.”
The sometimes-convoluted, up-and-down recruiting process of four-star defensive back Kamar Wilcoxson continued on Thursday night, as the IMG (Fla.) Academy junior announced his decommitment from Florida for the second time, officially.
In God i trust .. pic.twitter.com/KupyYElJab— (@KamarWilcoxson4) March 27, 2020
Wilcoxson committed to Florida in November 2018, decommitted in April 2019, re-committed in July 2019 and has now decommitted again. At some point throughout all of that, Wilcoxson also posted decommitment notes two separate times before quickly taking them down.
Wilcoxson is a great talent. His length has been compared to Jeff Okudah's, and his versatility to play both safety and cornerback (though Wilcoxson told us that Kerry Coombs is recruiting him as a cornerback) is very valuable. That's why Coombs and the Buckeyes will have vested interest in Wilcoxson throughout this process.
But right now, I don't believe he ends up in the Buckeyes' class. If he does commit, the Buckeyes will get a talented player. If they do end up getting him.
Everyone has a right to change their mind and a right to change their mind multiple times. There are any number of reasons for why Wilcoxson goes back and forth on whether or not he believes Florida is the right choice for his future. But because of his lack of making a concrete decision, and since it sounds like he will continue making official visits even after he's made a commitment to another school, it provides skepticism about how solid a commitment truly would be.
Until he signs with a program, Wilcoxson's recruitment should be considered fully open.
Robinson picks Terps
Demeioun Robinson, one of Ohio State's highest-priority defensive recruits, has committed to Maryland, giving the Terrapins a huge get in their 2021 class as Robinson chose to stay home.
Robinson is a top-50 national recruit and the No. 2-ranked weakside defensive end in the class, and he's one of the nastiest pass rushers in the country who can be used off the edge with his hand in the dirt or standing up as an outside linebacker.
Ohio State now has one of its biggest targets off of the board, and it will continue focusing on J.T. Tuimoloau, Tunmise Adeleye and others, including Robinson's teammate at Quince Orchard (Md.) High School, four-star 3-tech defensive tackle Marcus Bradley – a player whom Larry Johnson compares to Dre'Mont Jones as we discussed on Sunday.
And for those wondering where the Buckeyes stand with Bradley, they are very much still in the picture.
Despite Robinson's commitment to Maryland leading to a pair of Crystal Ball predictions for Bradley to join him in College Park, Bradley was adamant with us that he has not committed to Maryland like some believed. He is still waiting to drop his final list of his top-six schools, so a commitment is not imminent until some time after that happens.
Henderson announcement coming
One player who looks like he is set to make a commitment, though, is five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson.
7pm EST ..— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreveyonH15) March 27, 2020
Henderson told Eleven Warriors on Monday that Ohio State is “still leading” and standing out over the other eight programs in his top-nine list.