The Hurry-Up: Next Steps for a Potentially Star-Studded 2022 Linebacker Haul, Ohio State Offers Georgia Commit, Donovan Jackson Talks OL Importance

By Zack Carpenter on August 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm
CJ Hicks, Shawn Murphy

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.

Next steps at 2022 linebacker recruiting

Over his first two recruiting cycles as Ohio State’s linebackers coach, Al Washington’s work on the recruiting trail was fairly minimal because, with the numbers the Buckeyes already had at linebacker in the program, it wasn’t imperative for Washington to bring in a big number at the position. 

Even still, he hit the ground running by landing Cody Simon, who even as the No. 4 inside linebacker in his class, still feels like one of the more underrated/overlooked players in the Buckeyes’ 2020 cycle. Washington was then able to lock down a commitment from Reid Carrico for the 2021 cycle, meaning that the coach’s two biggest commitments at the position came from a pair of top-75 overall players. 

After Saturday night’s commitment of Gabe Powers, it’s beginning to look like Washington could land as many as four linebackers in one cycle who could be ranked in the top 75 overall – or, in the worst-case scenario, four top-100 overall players.

Powers is ranked No. 45 overall, and C.J. Hicks is No. 117 overall. But, as Powers told us during his commitment announcement, Hicks probably deserves to be ranked even higher. We feel pretty good that he will eventually be ranked inside the top 100 of the composite rankings when it’s all said and done (he’s ranked No. 101 in the 247Sports rankings).

As Washington and the Buckeyes look to add one or two more linebackers to their 2022 class, there are four top-tier targets remaining who we could very well see in scarlet and gray (though certainly not all of them):

  • Shawn Murphy (No. 24 overall, No. 1 ILB, No. 2 Virginia)
  • Jalon Walker (No. 36 overall, No. 1 OLB, No. 2 North Carolina)
  • Dasan McCullough (No. 69 overall, No. 7 ATH, No. 1 Kansas; he is being recruited as a Sam linebacker by the Buckeyes)
  • Justin Medlock (No. 13 ILB, No. 46 Texas; no composite ranking yet)

I feel fantastic about the Buckeyes’ chances in landing McCullough, and my feeling on that would only go up once he is able to make an in-person visit with the staff. And based on how Murphy has spoken with us about his relationships with Hicks and Washington, I feel pretty good about Ohio State’s chances there as well. 

I know it’s starting to become redundant when I talk about how recruits and their families feel about Washington and their connections with him and his family. But recruiting is all about relationships, and when schools like Ohio State are on par with the likes of Clemson and Alabama*, that relationship with the position coach could prove to be the winner.

If that’s the case, you have to feel good about where this Ohio State linebackers class is heading – one that would have a 97.4 average rating for its four linebackers with a combination of Powers, Hicks, Murphy and McCullough.

“We could be the best linebacker crew in history, if you think about it,” Hicks told Eleven Warriors. “When you add all of us together, we could be LBU.”

*Clemson and Alabama are the Buckeyes’ two biggest rivals on the recruiting trail. Clemson has offered Hicks, Walker and McCullough; Alabama has offered Hicks, Murphy and McCullough.

Buckeyes offer Georgia commit

Ohio State’s 2023 offer spree continued on Saturday, as the Buckeyes extended an offer to rising sophomore Treyaun Webb, who has been committed to Georgia since November. 

Webb is a 6-foot, 190-pound running back/defensive back prospect, though we’re not sure yet which position the Buckeyes like him at right now. Of course, it’s so early in the process that whatever position they like him at today could change as his body develops over the next couple years.

Webb hails from Trinity Christian Academy (Fla.), the same place that housed recent Buckeye signees Shaun Wade, Marcus Crowley and Tyreke Johnson. 

Jackson talks OL importance

In an interview with ABC13 Houston’s Joe Gleason over the weekend, Ohio State five-star commit Donovan Jackson – the No. 1 offensive guard and No. 20 overall player in the country – commented about how he’s been staying shape leading up his season’s restart down at Episcopal High School in the Houston area.

“I feel like working out goes hand-in-hand with being a great athlete,” Jackson told Gleason. “You have to make sure you tune your body well. This place has great facilities, great people around here. I’m here almost every other day, and I work out at home every day. I’m never sitting around on the couch. I’m always doing something to make sure I am being the best Donovan Jackson I can be every day.”

At Jackson’s school, wins have been created in the trenches. So long before he gets on campus next summer, the 6-foot-4, 310-pounder is already comfortable being a big part of an offense’s success.

“We know how important our offensive line is to our school,” Jackson said. “If we’re able to run the ball every down, we’ll be able to do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s Cullen (Montgomery); doesn’t matter if it’s (Luis Chavarria). We’re all working hard to be the best as we can be.”

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