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.
Spindler, Dellinger update timelines
The state of Michigan’s 2021 class is arguably the best cycle of talent the state has ever had – at least toward the top. In the history of the modern recruiting, dating back to 1999, only once has the state produced more than three players ranked in the top 100 – in 2000, when there were four players ranked in the top 81 of the rankings – until now.
In 2021, Michigan has five players ranked in the top 80 nationally, surpassing even Ohio’s strong cycle with four players ranked in the top 70 (and another ranked in the top 105).
Two of those five top-80 players in Michigan* hail from the offensive line at Clarkston High School, and both of those players gave major updates in their decision timelines publicly this week – and each player is in a completely different spot.
Rocco Spindler – ranked No. 44 overall, No. 2 at offensive guard and No. 3 in Michigan – tweeted that he will not be making a decision until he makes all five of his official visits.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I will NOT be committing Anytime soon. Not until I take all 5 officials. Which will be... Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn state, LSU.— Rocco Spindler (@RoccoSpindler92) June 11, 2020
(No interviews thank you) pic.twitter.com/plvJF4q5WX
Back in early March – which, let’s be honest, feels like 12 years ago in the recruiting world – Spindler told Eleven Warriors that he had been planning a mid-May commitment after taking his final official visit of the spring to Ohio State on the first weekend of May.
“It’s fun while it lasted, but now it’s time to make the big decision for where I wanna be for the next 4-5 years and where I wanna play football and hopefully have a shot at the NFL,” Spindler said of the recruiting process at the time.
Nine days later, the recruiting dead period was put in place, with three extensions being enacted since then. Since Spindler had originally been planning a May or June commitment, at the latest, he probably felt he needed to let everyone know that was an outdated timeline. We hope the dead period will be lifted when the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee meets again – in late June or early July – but we’re still not optimistic about that happening until at least September (aka, that visits will not be allowed during August).
So recruitments like Spindler’s are still on hold until we find out more. That is not the case, however, with Spindler’s teammate in the trenches at Clarkston.
Garrett Dellinger – ranked No. 76 overall, No. 12 at offensive tackle and No. 5 in Michigan – tweeted a video this week that dropped the decision date at the end of June 24. So, by this time two weeks from now, we will know if Dellinger is fitting himself for an Ohio State, Michigan, LSU or Penn State jersey.
It appears the Tigers are the heavy favorite to land Dellinger, and with a decision just two weeks away, it seems that it would take something pretty substantial to upset LSU in that recruitment.
Something pretty substantial, though, appears to be on the horizon with JC Latham…
Wolfe, Latham Crystal Balls
… Even though they had some legitimate competition from LSU, the Buckeyes appeared to still be the heavy favorite to land a commitment from Latham, the five-star offensive tackle and former Midwesterner who will enter his second season at Florida’s IMG Academy.
But it appears Alabama has swooped in late, making a major run for Latham over the past two months, and the Crystal Ball predictions flew in last week (11 of them, in fact) for Latham to commit to the Tide. That includes from Steve Wiltfong and Allen Trieu, two of the most in-the-know recruiting analysts in the business.
The confidence level from most of those analysts, including Wiltfong and Trieu, is right in the middle, as it appears Alabama is the leader in the clubhouse, but Latham and his family have done a great job of playing this close to the chest. So close, in fact, that even some of the Buckeye commits in the 2021 class who I’ve spoken with have zero idea of where he is going.
Those commits almost always have a strong inkling of whether an uncommitted player is going to commit to Ohio State, but with Latham, at least as it stands today, they are in the dark on what his decision is going to be.
I keep mentioning Dellinger as a name to keep track of here as an outside option for the Buckeyes, but he still remains just that – an outside option, even though he has them in his final four.
If Latham makes a commitment prior to Dellinger’s June 24 decision date, perhaps it could provide a domino effect that would push Ohio State to make a stronger run at Dellinger, and perhaps he winds up wanting to stay closer to home than travel down to Baton Rouge. After all, three of his top options are within a seven-hour drive.
And since we touched on the Crystal Ball predictions from the guys at 247Sports, we feel that we need to put a brief spotlight on tight end Hudson Wolfe.
Just two weeks ago, it appeared that Ohio State had a noteworthy lead in Wolfe’s recruitment with Tennessee a legitimate contender. The Vols, however, look like they have made the leap here with a quartet of Crystal Balls coming in this week for him to commit to Jeremy Pruitt and Co. (That includes a high-confidence prediction from Wiltfong.)
It obviously doesn’t look good for the Buckeyes, but we will soon know for sure. Wolfe has long been targeting June 13 to announce his decision, but I’ve been told the plan is to make a public announcement next week. No idea what day exactly that will be. Even Sunday qualifies as “next week,” so maybe that’s when we hear from Wolfe.
Either way, Wolfe’s recruitment is nearing its end. If it’s bad news for the Buckeyes, there are a few different scenarios that they can turn to in order to put a stamp on this class.
Garrett Dellinger photo courtesy of Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press