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.
McCord ready for Elite 11
The storylines heading into this summer's Elite 11 Finals are abundant, especially for Ohio State fans, who will be checking in for updates from Nashville on five-star quarterback Kyle McCord.
McCord will have the spotlight on him over the three-day span of competition, which begins Monday afternoon and concludes Wednesday, as the future Buckeye will be squaring off with five-star Michigan commit J.J. McCarthy and other stars like Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Miller Moss.
McCord is looking to earn the Elite 11 MVP honors and follow in the footsteps of Buckeye quarterbacks Justin Fields (2017) and C.J. Stroud (2019), who have won two of the last three MVP awards at the event.
But despite the pressure and spotlight being on the Philadelphia native, McCord says he is remaining focused and looking to sharpen up against elite competition ahead of his final high school season.
“Just looking forward to compete and get better,” McCord told Eleven Warriors on Monday. “Trying to soak up all of the knowledge being passed around here.”
Last summer, Stroud became the top storyline emerging from the event, as he skyrocketed from being ranked No. 511 overall in the recruiting rankings in May to being ranked No. 252 in July, and he eventually evolved into a near five-star prospect. He finished ranked No. 41 overall and earned offers from all over the country afterward, eventually choosing Ohio State over Georgia, Oregon, USC and others.
McCord, however, is already coming into the event as one of the event's biggest names. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is ranked No. 24 overall and the No. 3 pro-style quarterback. McCord is on course to supplant Dayton native Braxton Miller (No. 29 overall, No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in 2011) as the Buckeyes' highest-ranked quarterback commit since Terrelle Pryor in 2008 (No. 2 overall, No. 1 dual-threat quarterback).
A standout week in Nashville could help McCord earn that billing. When telling 247Sports' Brian Dohn what he's looking to improve at this year's event, McCord said he's hoping to improve his off-platform throws, which mirrors what he told Eleven Warriors in April regarding what former NFL quarterback Phil Simms has been helping him with:
“Simms reached out to my dad after my sophomore year in the winter,” McCord said. “He’s been huge in my development. I work with him and his son, and they have really taken my game to the next level. Throwing from off-balance platforms, throwing on the run, moving in the pocket – all of that, they have helped me with. It’s been huge.”
How Henderson “blew up” at running back
Five-star Hopewell (Va.) High School running back TreVeyon Henderson is likely to become the third-highest-ranked running back the Buckeyes have ever signed in the modern recruiting era when he puts pen to paper in December's early signing period. He trails only Beanie Wells (No. 7 overall, No. 1 RB in 2009) and Sam Maldonado (No. 9 overall, No. 2 RB in 2000) for that distinction.
If he keeps pace, Henderson will join Wells as the Buckeyes' second No. 1-ranked running back to sign with the program.
What makes Henderson's leap into the No. 1 RB slot – which he slid into following a rankings update in late June – even more impressive is that he has done so after just two seasons of being a full-time running back in high school.
Henderson has played running back since he was 6 years old, but on the Quarantine Football Podcast this week, Henderson said it was at the end of his sophomore year that the position became his own.
“I really didn’t start getting back to running back until about the end of my sophomore year,” Henderson said on the podcast. “My first time playing running back my sophomore year was against a team we hadn’t beat in years. We had some running backs go down before we played this team, so at the end of the game, I ended up scoring the game-winner against this team. It was like 80 yards. ... That’s how I blew up at running back back there. I went to school the next day feeling like the man.”
Almost Everyone: What made you commit without even visiting?— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) June 21, 2020
Me: So where you want me to start? pic.twitter.com/WI8HeuaHOa
Growing up, Henderson said he used to look up to running backs like Chris Johnson, Reggie Bush and Walter Payton. Nowadays, some of the running backs he watches the most are Saquan Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara – “running backs like that who are so versatile; can catch out the backfield, have a lot of speed and have a lot of power.”
That's what Henderson will be bringing to Ohio State once he's enrolled early with the program in January, as he will be following in the footsteps of his favorite all-time Buckeye, Ezekiel Elliott.
In Columbus, Henderson will be joining a program that was unique to him in terms of the atmosphere it will provide.
“Every college says they’ve got that family type of atmosphere, but they don’t,” Henderson said. “Ohio State really has that in it. They’ve got the videos to prove it. Players always talk about how close they are together. I mean, shoot, the program is great. The education is great. Everything is great about it. You can’t really find nothing bad to talk about Ohio State.”