The Hurry-Up: Gabe Powers Still Awaits Visits Before Making Any Decisions, Justin Medlock Not Being Pushed for Commitment

By Zack Carpenter on June 14, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Gabe Powers

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.

Powers still waiting for visits

As we continue to discuss the 2022 class, one of the Buckeyes’ main positions of need is linebackers, with three linebackers starting to look like the number they will be shooting for. Gabe Powers, while listed as a linebacker, is likely to grow into a defensive end. That's the position we’ve been told Ohio State sees him transitioning to if he plays in Columbus. (Just to rehash, Powers has been adamant about being more than willing to make the switch in the past)

In May, Powers had talked about possibly waiting another year to make a decision due to the uncertainty surrounding the dead period and inability to take visits. 

There’s no major update here, but he has told us that his recruitment is going well right now and that he and his family are essentially waiting things out until things open back up and he can get out to make more visits. As of right now, Powers’ decision timeline runs parallel to when the dead period is lifted and visits are allowed. 

Even though it may seem like a foregone conclusion that the in-state Marysville star will end up with the Buckeyes (and it’s a unanimous belief among myself and every analyst who covers Ohio State recruiting that that will be the case), it’s not set in stone yet. Don’t expect a decision to be made until visits are allowed again and Powers has explored all of his options. 

That could change, of course, but Powers is a patient, strong-headed type of person, and he and his family are being very thorough in the process. This is a decision that’s only going to be made one time for a guy like Powers, whose commitment will be a lock whenever he makes it and wherever he chooses.

“Wherever I commit is where I will stay,” Powers said. 

Medlock not being pushed to commit

As an in-state stud less than 30 miles from Ohio State’s campus, Powers is one of the program’s highest-priority recruits in the 2022 class – especially given his talent as a top-50 overall player, status as the state’s top-ranked player and positional versatility. 

Another top recruit, who is a bit lower on the board but still a key player to monitor, is Texas linebacker Justin Medlock, a three-star talent who will be rising up the rankings over the next several months from his spot as the No. 8-ranked inside linebacker and No. 43-ranked player in Texas. (He does not yet have an overall ranking.)

As we’ve detailed before, Medlock is growing a progressivly stronger relationship with Al Washington, the Buckeyes’ second-year linebackers coach who has made it clear that he sees Medlock transitioning into the role of weakside linebacker if he joins the Buckeyes.

“Everything’s been good. We’ve been talking at least once or twice a week,” Medlock told Eleven Warriors.

Medlock has told us that his “speed and coverage ability” are the main skills that grabbed Washington’s attention. So that’s the spot to expect Medlock to play if he does wind up at Ohio State down the road. 

However, as Washington told the media following a March 4 spring practice, one of the positives in the current linebacker room is the versatility of the veteran group so that the coaches can shuffle them around the field if needed. 

“We can utilize our talent better, because now we're not pigeon-holed,” Washington said. “We don't have two Mikes and four Wills. Forget all that. We've got linebackers. Everybody kind of has a chance to identify the basics of that spot, and then we can be creative. We can do a good job of putting them in the right spots. I think it does a lot for the other 10 guys. It makes him more valuable. It makes everybody more valuable.”

Depth and versatility are two of Ohio State’s advantages on defense, so when it comes to recruiting the future of the position, depth and versatility are what the program is gunning for. That’s one reason to target a player like Medlock, who fits Will best but has also been told by Washington and Co. that they could see him playing some Mike linebacker as well.

Medlock says he is not being pushed to make a commitment and that his conversations with Washington have “just been talking football for now.” He says he does not have a set date for when he wants to make a college decision.

“I don’t really know as of right now,” he said. “Whenever it feels right, that’s when I’ll make a decision.”

Extra notes

Burton to All-American Bowl

Ohio State’s impressive lineup that will take the field at January’s All-American Bowl is something we discuss each time a new future Buckeye makes his commitment to the game – which feels like every other week, as the number of 2021 Ohio State commits to accept an invite to the game stands at seven. 

Another potential Buckeye added his name to the All-American Bowl roster on Thursday, as four-star offensive guard Jager Burton accepted an invitation to the game. 

Burton, Egbuka, J.T. Tuimoloau and LSU commit Raesjon Davis are also key targets to announce they will play in the bowl. 

Carrico, Hall, Henderson putting in work

As Ohio opens back up further and further and players are getting back into on-field group workouts more extensively, players are putting in the time to get back into playing shape and build college-ready bodies now. 

When seeing guys like Miyan Williams and Cody Simon walk into the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Monday, it was clear to see that even the few months in the winter and spring can help them get a terrific leg-up to better prepare themselves for the rigors of Mickey Marotti’s workouts.

Summer is just as critical of a time to put that work in, and this week, Reid Carrico, Mike Hall and TreVeyon Henderson each showed they’re getting after in preparation for the season and their college futures.

It will be fun to follow along with those three and the rest of the Buckeye commits as they continue to progress physically off the field and on the field during their senior seasons.

Sawyer looking healthy

We have checked in with five-star Ohio State commit Jack Sawyer a few times over the past several months to see how his recovery has been going after suffering a torn MCL in November. Time and again, Sawyer has told us that he's been on a speedy recovery, that he's been able to go through drills and workouts “better than ever,” and that his rehab has been going incredibly well.

On Thursday night, 270Hoops' Jake Spegal took video of Sawyer – a basketball star in addition to his talents as a defensive end at Pickerington North – giving his teammates some work at an open gym. 

Turns out, those assertions by Sawyer that things were going great for him are entirely accurate. He looked fluid and sharp throughout that video. Have to absolutely love the Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki impressions Sawyer did with a couple of those fadeaway jumpers. 

And as Colin Hass-Hill suggests, we might need to see a Jack Sawyer-Dawand Jones pick-and-roll sometime soon.

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