The Hurry-Up: Rocco Spindler's Commit Date Approaches, Buckeye Blue Chips Take Note of Joey Bosa’s Pay Day

By Zack Carpenter on July 29, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Rocco Spindler

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 commit date approaches

Four-star Clarkston (Mich.) High School offensive lineman Rocco Spindler tweeted out a reminder on Wednesday morning of something we already knew – that his commitment date is quickly approaching.

Though Spindler’s top five features Ohio State, LSU, Penn State, Michigan and Notre Dame, his recruitment is coming down to the latter two programs. So for Buckeye fans, the most intriguing part of this impending Aug. 8 announcement will be whether or not Michigan will be able to keep Spindler home or if next Saturday will bring with it a Spindler commitment to Notre Dame and the ensuing backlash of the Wolverines being unable to keep their top in-state prospects home.

Of the top 11 players in the state of Michigan’s 2021 class – each who are ranked inside the top 400 nationally – only two have committed to the Wolverines (No. 4 Giovanni El-Hadi and No. 7 Raheem Anderson). We could expand that number out even further, since Michigan has only landed one other in-state player with a composite ranking in the 2021 class (punter Tommy Doman, ranked No. 54 in the state).

Here's what I wrote on June 11, and it remains relevant as we approach Spindler's decision:

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).

However, after seeing No. 1 in-state player Damon Payne commit to Alabama last week and after No. 5 player Garrett Dellinger (Spindler’s offensive line teammate at Clarkston) commit to LSU in June, that’s only putting more pressure on the Wolverines to keep both Spindler and No. 2 in-state player Donovan Edwards inside the state. 

Soon enough, we will know whether it’s Michigan or Notre Dame for Spindler. 

Henderson, Adeleye take notice of big number$

NFL success and, more importantly, the millions that come with it, has long been Ohio State’s No. 1 recruiting chip that we’ve talked about ad nauseam.

On Tuesday night, the Buckeyes only added to that strong pitch at their disposal when Joey Bosa signed a five-year extension for $135 million to become the league’s highest-paid defensive player.

As pointed out by WKYC’s Ben Axelrod, former Buckeyes have been getting paid rather handsomely of late. Ezekiel Elliott is the NFL’s highest-paid running back in terms of total value ($90 million) and third-highest in fully guaranteed money ($28.05 million). Michael Thomas is the league’s second-highest paid receiver in total value ($96.3 million) and sixth-highest in fully guaranteed money ($35.7 million).

Taking notice of those numbers were a pair of top-32 overall players — five-star running back TreVeyon Henderson and four-star defensive end Tunmise Adeleye — in Ohio State’s 2021 recruiting class. 

As we’ve noted before, Ohio State’s opportunity to give players a path to the NFL and earning that second contract – as each of those three players above have done – was a major factor in getting Henderson, the country’s No. 1 running back, and Evan Pryor, the country’s No. 2 all-purpose back, to the same school. And it was a monumental reason that Adeleye chose Larry Johnson and the Buckeyes.

“I know that 100 percent, if Coach (Larry) Johnson didn’t believe I was a first-round capable talent, he wouldn’t have accepted my commitment,” Adeleye told Eleven Warriors shortly after he committed. “If I wasn’t the type of caliber of athlete that Coach Johnson thinks I can be, he wouldn’t have even bothered recruiting me. It’s mutual. They understand the path that I see for my life and what I wanna achieve.”

It’s that same way with many of the players in this 2021 recruiting class – a class that has many players who could see mega pay days down the road like Bosa, Elliott and Thomas. 

“We know this class has a chance to be historic,” Adeleye said. “When the draft comes around, they’re gonna be talking about how we formed this class.”

Henderson runs 10.9

As a small note, Henderson told us that he finished with a time of 10.9 seconds in the 100-meter dash at this past weekend’s Virginia Commonwealth Games. He had been seeking a time of 10.4 seconds, but after tweaking his hamstring during the last few meters he pulled up at the finish. 

Henderson said his hamstring is completely fine now, though, and that he was still happy with his time. He said he plans on continuing to hit the track during the summer to continue speed training. 

Clemson picks up four-star DT

Though Alabama has been the hottest team in the country on the recruiting trail of late, and Clemson has seen a slide with Jordan Hancock’s decommitment following Korey Foreman’s decommitment in April, the Tigers made some big news on Tuesday themselves. 

Payton Page, the No. 7 defensive tackle and No. 80 overall player in the country, committed to Clemson to boost the Tigers back into the No. 4 team ranking in America. If Foreman re-committed today, Clemson would get itself back into the No. 3 spot just a few points behind the Tide.

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