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.
McCullough momentum grows but visit needed
There has been some recent buzz centered around Ohio State gaining major momentum with Dasan McCullough, a top-80 overall player and the top-ranked player in the state of Kansas, according to 247Sports’ class of 2022 rankings.
A commitment from McCullough is not imminent, however, and he is unlikely to wind up committed anywhere until after he has taken his visits – whenever it is that he’s able to. One thing is clear, though, which is that McCullough will be taking a visit to Ohio State once things open back up.
“Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson and some others. No order right now,” McCullough told Eleven Warriors when asked which visits he wants to take first.
Clemson has continued showing major interest in the 6-foot-4, 210-pound talent, who hails from the same city (Olathe, Kansas) as former Tigers star Isaiah Simmons. Clemson is just about the only powerhouse program that has not offered McCullough a scholarship, however, as Dabo Swinney continues to invoke his rule of not offering ninth- or 10th-graders except for in very rare cases.
At some point, though, just like we expect to happen with Marysville (Ohio) linebacker Gabe Powers, an offer from Clemson is likely to come around. That would add to a list of 40 offers for McCullough, which includes all of the usual suspects from the SEC (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU), the Big Ten (Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Minnesota), the Pac-12 (Arizona State, Oregon, USC, Washington), the Big 12 (Oklahoma, Texas) and Notre Dame.
McCullough is the No. 8-ranked athlete in the country, and what position he plays at the collegiate level varies, depending on who you ask.
All those programs seem to look at McCullough in a different light positionally, as some see him as a big-bodied safety, some see him as a hybrid linebacker/safety and others (like Ohio State) view him exclusively as a strongside linebacker.
I like both McCullough – who says he has “a great relationship with Coach Washington” and has major ties to Ohio, including being a Cincinnati native – and Powers to wind up as Buckeyes at some point down the road, as soon as the summer or fall, though Powers recently has talked about not making a decision for another year.
Clemson is hot on the trail for both linebackers, and I expect the Tigers to offer both prospects once they’re able to visit their campus. That’s probably the only program that could realistically upset Ohio State for either prospect. But as it stands today, Ohio State sits in a great position for both of them, and I don’t believe Clemson will be able to pry them away.
The Buckeyes have one linebacker committed in outside linebacker – and potential hybrid linebacker/safety – C.J. Hicks, who I've heard is leading the charge for the Buckeyes' 2022 class in being a peer recruiter.
I still believe Ohio State will be looking to bring in four linebackers in the class, but I’ve recently been told that three linebackers is the number the coaches have been telling recruits. They would gladly take a Mike linebacker, but getting athletic outside linebackers who have the ability to blitz and guard slot receivers/tight ends is the main focus in this class, as we’ve discussed before.
Tight end option comes off the board
On Monday afternoon, one of Ohio State’s possible options at tight end in the 2021 cycle came off the board.
Four-star Hilliard Bradley (Ohio) senior-to-be Jack Pugh committed to Wisconsin over other options such as Penn State, Michigan and Cincinnati.
Pugh did not hold an Ohio State offer, as the Buckeyes had been hoping to get him to a camp this summer and decide if they wanted to pursue him further. However, there was a possibility that Ohio State was going to end up offering Pugh down the road as its second tight end option in this class if its top target did not pan out.
But I’m very confident that its top target, Hudson Wolfe, will end up committed to the Buckeyes, and perhaps it will happen soon. I’ve been told by one source that Wolfe has been intently looking at his options and that a college decision will be made, at a minimum, in the next few weeks.
Ohio State is in a great spot for Wolfe, as his relationships with the Buckeyes’ 2021 commits have grown substantially as has his bond with Ryan Day and Kevin Wilson.
Tennessee, however, has been gaining some momentum with Wolfe and has emerged as Ohio State's top competition. The Volunteers landed a commitment on Friday from Trinity Bell, a 6-foot-7, 260-pound athlete from Alabama who very well could become a tight end in college.
Bell, however, has just as much potential to wind up as a defensive lineman, so I’m not totally sold on him committing to Tennessee – which already has one pure tight end, Georgia’s Miles Campbell, committed in the class – having a major impact on Wolfe’s impending decision.
Wherever Wolfe decides to commit, it looks like we will find out at the end of the month or in the first week or two of June.
Dasan McCullough photo courtesy of Mike Roach/247Sports