The Hurry-Up: Tony Grimes and Kamar Wilcoxson Drop Top-8 Lists, Travis Shaw Another North Carolina Star Targeted by Ohio State

By Zack Carpenter on April 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Travis Shaw
Travis Shaw (Michael Clark, 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.

Grimes, Wilcoxson release top schools

On Wednesday night, to celebrate he and his brother's birthday, Tony Grimes gave an update on where he's sitting in the recruiting process, releasing his list of the top eight schools he's focused on right now.

That list features Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia, Penn State, Texas A&M, North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.

Grimes, the nation's No. 1-ranked cornerback and No. 7-ranked overall prospect, is not planning on committing until Dec. 1, so there is a long way to go here, and it will be crucial for the Buckeyes to get Grimes on campus for the first time since April 2019 – so far his only visit to Ohio State.

Relationships are the most important thing in any player's recruitment, and that is no different for Grimes and his family.

“We look at relationships first, man,” Grimes' father, Deon Glover, told Eleven Warriors in a January interview. “Everybody else can say it’s because of fans, facilities and the name of the school. But I feel like, Tony, he wants to be in the NFL. He wants to be a first-rounder. He wants to be the first person off the board. In order to do that, you have to start with personnel first.

“Ryan Day is incredible, and he surrounds himself with incredible people. I can’t say the same about every head coach that I’ve met. I just can’t.”

Grimes wasn't the only Buckeye target to drop a top-eight list on Wednesday night, as IMG (Fla.) Academy four-star defensive back prospect Kamar Wilcoxson also narrowed his list down to eight, which includes Ohio State and Florida, even though he has decommitted from Florida twice.

Wilcoxson, a cornerback prospect for Coombs and Ohio State, is still planning on taking an official visit to Columbus from June 12-14 if visits are allowed by then.

Shaw, Johnson building relationship

On Monday, we briefly touched on the battles Ohio State and North Carolina have had over the past couple cycles and how that has carried over to the 2021 class with the Buckeyes and Tar Heels going after Evan Pryor, rising defensive end Jahvaree Ritzie and offensive guard Jared Wilson.

Another whom we mentioned is the nation's third-ranked defensive tackle and the top-ranked sophomore in North Carolina, Grimsley High School's Travis Shaw, a 6-foot-5, 310-pounder ranked in the top 30 overall of 247Sports' first class of 2022 rankings.

Shaw is a no-doubt 3-tech defensive tackle who performs his best inside the trenches, flashing power and core strength with bull rushing and an ability to shed blocks to get into the backfield.

However, in Grimsley's defensive system, Shaw is often used as a defensive end, sometimes in a two-point stance. He's very athletic for his size, he shows a capability of getting to the edge at times and his pursuit is impressive for the weight he carries. But he does lumber a bit in getting out there, and he will have to continue improving his lateral quickness in order for that to translate to the college level.

Of course, with gyms being shut down, that makes it more difficult to get in the work he will need to get in, but Shaw says it's going well thus far. 

“I’m handling it really well, still staying active,” Shaw told Eleven Warriors. “I wouldn’t say it's aggravating (not having gym access), but I do miss it.”

At this point, Shaw's communication with college coaching staffs has been limited with the rules tightening that a bit, as coaches are unable to reach out to class of 2022 players directly until Sept. 1. But so far, he has still been able to get to slowly build relationships with certain programs, and that includes talking a bit with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

“It’s going really well, I’m really enjoying it,” Shaw said of the recruiting process. “I have a numerous amount of schools trying to build a relationship with me. I have a really good relationship with the Ohio State coaching staff. I’ve communicated with Coach Johnson the most.”

Shaw says that he and the North Carolina coaches “have a pretty decent relationship. I’ve talked with (defensive line) coach (Tim) Cross and (receivers) coach (Lonnie) Galloway.”

Burke trims list

Sorry if this feels like yesterday's news – or a few-days-ago news – but with all the recruits coming out with finals lists and narrowed lists, this one flew a bit under the radar.

Saguaro (Ariz.) High School standout Denzel Burke, the No. 9-ranked athlete in the country, released a list of his top-10 schools on Sunday, which included Ohio State, LSU, Texas, Auburn and Oregon. 

Saguaro is one of the nation's powerhouse high school football programs, so Burke should undergo some top-of-the-line development throughout the rest of his career. Ryan Day and Co. took notice of Burke and his potential, offering him in late January during the contact period. 

“Coach Day offered me and I felt blessed,” Burke told Eleven Warriors shortly after announcing his Buckeyes offer. “I'm in contact with Coach Dennis a lot and also Coach Day, and our relationship is pretty good. They are recruiting me as an athlete. I'm very physical. I compete at the highest level at practice and games.”

Since early February, Burke's offer sheet has increased by seven, jumping from 15 to 22, as more programs have been taking notice of the country's No. 180th-ranked overall player and No. 4 overall junior in Arizona.

Burke, who says the Buckeyes are recruiting him at both receiver and cornerback, had planned on making a visit to Columbus in March or April before the nationwide recruiting moratorium. 

Buckeyes offer 2022 receiver

Ohio State added another name to the list of players it's offered in the 2022 class this week, as the trio of Day, Brian Hartline and Corey Dennis extended an offer to Mater Dei (Calif.) receiver C.J. Williams.

Williams, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound sophomore, is ranked No. 31 overall, No. 4 at receiver and No. 5 in the state of California, per 247Sports' initial class of 2022 rankings.

This is Williams' 22nd offer thus far, as he currently holds offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&M, USC and Washington.

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