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.
Harrison focused on improving
Most soon-to-be uncommitted seniors are in a major predicament right now, to put it lightly, regarding their college decisions.
For those who were wanting to be patient with the process and see as much as they could about what each program they're interested in has to offer – almost always the right move except in unprecedented situations like the one we've found ourselves in – things have been shaken up like a snow globe and there is a lot of uncertainty.
As we've mentioned in this space before, soon-to-be juniors are not facing the same dilemma.
Perhaps there will be a day when they will be facing the same nerve-racking dilemmas, but right now, those in the 2022 class can still focus on improving themselves and controlling what they can control.
That's the focus right now for Centerville (Ohio) High School quarterback Chase Harrison – a 6-foot-2, 190-pound in-state star ranked as the 23rd-best pro-style quarterback in the country and 14th-best player in Ohio's sophomore class, per 247Sports.
Harrison has started getting some major attention of late. That includes being featured as one of Rivals' Josh Helmholdt's five Midwest standouts:
There are few prospects in this 2022 class we have been watching longer than Harrison, who was attending Rivals Camps Series when he was still in middle school. The early returns suggest it will not be a particularly deep year at quarterback in the Midwest, but Harrison is among the most-developed quarterbacks in the entire country. A varsity starter since his freshman season, Harrison completed over 65 percent of his passes for 2,638 yards and 28 touchdowns last season. He is an accurate drop-back passer with a good size and frame for the position.
Things like that, though, Harrison is trying to side-step, just like he's doing in on-field workouts these days.
“I don’t pay much attention to it, I focus on being the best teammate and version of myself,” Harrison told Eleven Warriors. “I like competing against the best so I can see what I need to improve on. One area I’m working on right now is quickening up my footwork.”
One way in which he's doing that without access to gyms? He's been using a drill that's become more and more popular over the last couple months.
“It’s been difficult without being able to get into gym, but I just find what I can do to keep improving everyday. I’ll work in the sandpit at football fields to quicken up my footwork,” Harrison said. “A lot of pressure is applied (in the sandpit), and you have to move your feet much quicker to move. So then when you get on the field, there is nothing holding you back, and you trained your mind to move your feet quicker.”
At this point in his recruiting process, Harrison hasn't spoken to a ton of coaches. That includes Ryan Day. At some point in the future, Harrison and the well-known quarterback developer are likely to speak, but at this point that communication hasn't happened.
“I’m a sophomore so coaches can’t communicate with me right now,” Harrison said. “Schools here and there will communicate with my coach on coming to see me throw soon. I talk when (I can) with Coach (Kevin) Wilson every few weeks.”
Thus far, Harrison has just three total offers from Louisville, Penn and Toledo. This summer's camp circuit was likely to help Harrison tremendously to pick up steam in his recruitment, but if those camps don't take place, it could impact the high number of offers he was likely to receive.
There are a handful of 2022 quarterback prospects that are on Ohio State's radar, including Harrison, Maalik Murphy and Quinn Ewers, among others, and with quarterback being one of the positions in which programs often see an early commitment, those names are very much worth keeping an eye on this early in the process.
Last week, Mark Pantoni was asked about recruiting quarterbacks in 2022 and how the visit and camp shutdowns have made it more difficult to evaluate that position specifically.
“Quarterback is a little unique because a lot of times you’re only gonna take one in the class,” Pantoni said. “Right now, we’re just trying to identify who those top targets may be. You look on some of these lists, you might have top quarterbacks who are one, two, three who didn’t play varsity last year. You can’t really say, ‘OK, he’s gonna be our top guy.’ We just don’t know enough information yet.
“It’s a long process. We’re gonna need to get on the film, of what there is. We’re not making thorough evaluations right now. We’re identifying guys that we think down the road might be guys for us. We’ll keep investigating and doing our homework, and when coaches can go out, they’ll go out, and we’ll get them on campus.”
Buckeyes offer Hicks
Ever since September, we have been talking about Archbishop Alter standout sophomore C.J. Hicks out of Dayton. Just last week, we talked about how Hicks was staying even-keeled despite not yet having an offer from Ohio State while schools like Penn State, Notre Dame, Cincinnati and Miami were calling.
“Nothing’s really changed,” Hicks told us when asked about his relationships with the Buckeye coaches. “They just keep saying stay patient and to keep up with my grades and academics. They like my versatility and say they like how I play. They say they’re just waiting.”
Hicks did stay patient, and now the state's third-ranked class of 2022 prospect finally has an Ohio State offer to his name, he announced Tuesday.
Naturally, a Crystal Ball prediction immediately rolled in for the 6-foot-4, 215-pound sophomore to choose Ohio State, and those will certainly see an uptick in the near future.
Hicks, the 15th-ranked athlete and 162nd-ranked overall player in the class of 2022, is mainly being recruited by Kevin Wilson and Al Washington after Tony Alford was the first to establish a relationship with him, as Alford's son and Hicks are friends.
Hicks is being recruited mainly for the bullet position, as he projects to be either a strong safety or outside linebacker, though his frame suggests outside linebacker is more likely at this point in his career.
When we spoke with Hicks in the fall, he said that even when the Ohio State offer did come, he would stay even-keeled and not commit on the spot. He stayed true to that statement while understanding this is a big offer.
“I was excited, but I'm still going to look at all my offers the same for right now,” Hicks told Eleven Warriors following the announcement.