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.
Buckeyes offer Indiana’s best
When Center Grove (Ind.) High School defensive tackle Caden Curry sat on a call with Larry Johnson and Ryan Day on Wednesday, the four-star talent had a bit of a pinch-myself moment.
“The best part of the conversation was definitely hearing those words from Coach Day,” Curry told Eleven Warriors.
Those words were the news that Curry had been waiting for: We’re offering you a full ride to Ohio State.
Curry, the No. 1-ranked sophomore in the Hoosier State and the No. 4-ranked sophomore defensive tackle in America, holds offers from eight other schools. None even close to as big as Ohio State, as he now has an offer that he says “impacts me to keep grinding and getting better.”
In talking with people on the ground in Indiana, we’re told that the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Curry is a freakishly athletic and physically imposing player who could either be a 3-tech or an explosive defensive end, and he has as much potential as any player to come out of Indiana in recent years. That includes former Indiana-stars-turned-Buckeyes Craig Young and Dawand Jones.
Curry combined that speed and power as a sophomore to rack up 26.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, as part of 100 total tackles to pair with six pass deflections, becoming a disruptive force for Center Grove, en route to claiming status as a top 150 player nationally. He has the footwork to be a linebacker, which is one indicator that he may translate best to defensive end.
There’s a long way to go in his development to see where he best fits along the d-line. But watching his tape, how he moves off the snap of the ball and into the backfield, plus looking at his frame, he looks like he will fit best as a defensive end.
Whatever way you swing it, Curry has now instantly become a major name to keep track of as a possible priority target for Ohio State in the 2022 class, and he’s just as enthusiastic about the Buckeyes as they are about him.
“My meeting was very successful. I learned a lot about the university itself and learned it’s more than just football, it’s a family,” said Curry, who also noted that one of the meeting’s most noteworthy takeaways was “how passionate (Day) is for the OSU community. I have talked to OSU for a couple weeks now and have built a great relationship with the coaches, definitely.”
As the Buckeyes will continue to reload along the defensive line, they are likely to take three or four in the 2022 class (assuming they take the projected five or six players in 2021), and Curry could wind up being one of them down the road.
“Coach Johnson said he’s losing lots of players so he needs someone to trust and play hard for him and love the game,” Curry said. “He said I play hard, and he said he can see that I love the game.”
Curry holds offers from Iowa, Cincinnati and Arizona State, with interest also coming from Notre Dame, and we expect Curry’s offer sheet to soar over the next month or two.
Curry is the third sophomore from Indiana to be offered by Ohio State in the last week, joining Fort Wayne's Demon Moore, an offensive guard out of R Nelson Snider High School, and offensive tackle Joey Tanona of Zionsville High School.
Recruiting dead period likely to extend
The NCAA’s Division I Council Coordination Committee recently met, making a few minor rules changes, including some minor changes in recruiting rules regarding communication allowed between recruits, their families, their high school coaches and the college coaches recruiting them:
The committee also granted waivers of recruiting rules effective May 11 to make them more flexible during the dead period the group imposed, which currently lasts through May 31. For example, any school staff member may participate on recruiting calls between a countable coach and a recruit. In normal circumstances, only coaches, and a few others in limited situations, may communicate with uncommitted prospective student-athletes via telephone or video calls.
The committee also lifted the restriction on the number of uncommitted prospective student-athletes (and their family members) who may participate in a recruiting call with a countable coach.
Additionally, current student-athletes may now participate in recruiting calls with coaches, as long as that time counts against the eight hours of countable athletics related activity that the committee permitted in all sports earlier this spring.
Finally, committed prospective student-athletes may participate in virtual team activities after completion of all academic requirements for high school graduation or transfer to a Division I school. Uncommitted prospects could on one occasion observe such activities but not participate.
The flexibility is intended to provide prospective student-athletes with virtual experiences like what they would have been able to experience during a campus visit. The flexibility begins Monday for all sports and applies only as long as the COVID-19 recruiting dead period lasts.
The most noteworthy item from that meeting, recruiting-wise, is that the NCAA’s recruiting dead period is most likely going to be extended through June 30.
The committee is set to meet again on May 13, when they will discuss whether or not it’s feasible to have things open back up – the key buzz phrase so many recruits, parents and high school coaches we’ve spoken with continually say in reference to when they will eventually visit again – across the country. Or, the likeliest option at this point, is that the dead period will be extended.
If that happens, it officially wipes out the mega June 12-14 recruiting weekend Ohio State has had in the cards and had been hoping would be a landmark three-day run in building its 2021 class. Official visits from key prospects like JC Latham, Troy Stellato, Jager Burton, Hudson Wolfe and others were going to be supplemented by official visits from commits TreVeyon Henderson, Evan Pryor, Donovan Jackson, Ben Christman, Jack Sawyer, Reid Carrico, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Johnson.
They were all set to converge on Columbus in a concerted effort to get as much of the class in one place as possible, as Ohio State was going to sort of lay back and use its most effective pitch – recruits-recruiting-recruits – happen naturally.
Again, if the dead period is extended, it won’t be until at least May 13, and we will post updates then. But we now have a date to keep in the back of our minds for when it’s going to happen. The Buckeye staff is forward thinking and obviously has had a contingency plan in place for weeks, so we will see what is cooked up to make up for the elimination of that big weekend.
One possible option? Getting all of them on the same Zoom call.
One of those minor rules changes the coordination committee handed down – lifting “the restriction on the number of uncommitted prospective student-athletes (and their family members) who may participate in a recruiting call with a countable coach” – would allow for that, so that is one route Ohio State could explore.
*inserts steak emoji*