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.
Difficulties in 2022 QB Recruiting
Ohio State and its recruiting staff doing its best to flip a negative into a positive is something we’ve discussed before in reference to recruiting the class of 2022, as the Buckeyes were able to get a head start in film evaluation.
“This free time has given our coaches a lot of time to start watching 2022 guys. A lot of them already have, which would not have happened this early. It’s good,” director of player personnel Mark Pantoni said in April. “If anything, it gives you that initial preview of who they are, what their upside’s gonna be over the next few years.”
That’s fine for now when it comes to players of just about every position, and the Buckeyes have shown they are comfortable enough with their granular approach to film evaluations, extending 40 offers (more than half of their 65 total offers in the 2022 class) since the coronavirus-induced recruiting dead period was first put in place on March 13.
Zero offers, however, have been given to quarterbacks since March 13 (Gunner Stockton had been offered prior to April 4, the date listed as the day he received the Buckeyes offer on his recruiting profile), and there has been no movement in terms of Ohio State gaining any ground in the recruitment of signal callers. The recruitments of so many players remain in essentially a stalemate as we await word on when visits will be allowed once again – players like Emeka Egbuka and Tony Grimes, for instance – but there is no position where the holding pattern is more prominent than quarterback.
“QB is almost the only position that the offensive staff and head coach want to see with their own eyes. And I’m all for it.”– Buckeye QB Target Steven Angeli
“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.”
Urban Meyer had a steadfast philosophy of wanting to see a quarterback throw in-person before offering a scholarship, and Ryan Day has a similar approach. Only four quarterbacks have been offered thus far in the 2022 class:
- Southlake Carroll (Texas) four-star Quinn Ewers: Ranked No. 2 overall, No. 1 pro-style, No. 1 Texas
- Rabun County (Ga.) four-star Gunner Stockton: No. 29 overall, No. 1 dual-threat, No. 4 Georgia
- Junipero Serra (Calif.) four-star Maalik Murphy: No. 44 overall, No. 2 pro-style, No. 6 California
- Bergen Catholic (N.J.) three-star Steven Angeli: N/A overall, No. 13 pro-style, No. 7 New Jersey
Ewers (June of 2018) and Murphy (January of 2019) were the first quarterbacks to be offered, and Angeli was offered last summer after impressing Day and former quarterbacks coach Mike Yurcich at an Ohio State camp, leading to an offer from the two coaches.
For now, it’s basically wait-and-see mode as the Buckeyes continue to build on the relationships they have with those four quarterbacks and a few others, but we shouldn’t expect to see any movement regarding a quarterback commitment for a while – which is obviously quite different than what we see in most cycles with quarterback being one of the very first players joining the fold to lay the foundation for the class.
“Every coach has their own ‘checklist’”
From a quarterback’s perspective, Angeli shed some additional light with Eleven Warriors on why schools like Ohio State – and many other programs, for that matter – are electing not to pursue the position harder until they can get back out on the road.
“That’s pretty much the deal with every school,” Angeli says, noting that teams want to see quarterbacks throw in person. “QB is almost the only position that the offensive staff and head coach want to see with their own eyes. And I’m all for it. I feel like every coach has their own ‘checklist’ when it comes to recruiting QBs and they can really get a better evaluation in person. So I think it’s both because of the position and the specifics.”
Do you know who Steve Angeli (@SteveAngeli_125) is? If not, you better learn, because he's primed for a breakout season at Bergen Catholic.— Jersey Sports Zone (@JSZ_Sports) June 2, 2020
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And what might that checklist entail?
“Mechanics, accuracy, arm strength, footwork, throwing on the run, athleticism, physical measurables, usage of eyes and ball handling. That’s what my idea of the checklist for some coaches could be,” Angeli said.
Getting back on campus
Angeli says contact between him and the Ohio State staff has faded over the past few months, but he has “been in a lot of contact with Rutgers, Penn State, LSU, West Virginia, Michigan, Michigan State, Georgia, Miami and Northwestern.
“Pretty much every school has said that they like my playmaking ability, my ability to create plays and make off-platform throws and make a lot of athletic plays at the quarterback position.”
The Buckeye staff was likely to visit Angeli at Bergen Catholic to see both him and defensive tackle teammate Tywone Malone this spring, but because of the shutdowns were unable to touch base in-person with Angeli, who says he hopes to make a return trip to Ohio State in the near future.
“I’d love to get back to Columbus and experience a game day atmosphere,” Angeli said.
Steven Angeli photo courtesy of Harvey Levine/247Sports