The Hurry-Up: NCAA Expected to Extend Dead Period, Buckeyes Offer Five-Star Safety Keon Sabb, Tunmise Adeleye Leaves IMG Academy

By Zack Carpenter on August 6, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Keon Sabb

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.

Dead period to be extended?

Once again, there had been a bit of optimism (although a very small bit of optimism) that the NCAA might elect to lift the recruiting dead period to allow for official visits in September, but it looks likelier that that’s not going to happen. 

Athlon Sports’ Bryan Fischer reported on Wednesday that the NCAA is expected to extend the recruiting dead period through Sept. 30. Right now, the dead period is officially active until Aug. 31. 

An official decision should come within the next week or two as 2021 and 2022 prospects look to make their impactful visits. 

We’ve already seen Ohio State net some positives with visits being banned. For instance, Gabe Powers decided to end his recruitment and commit to the Buckeyes last week. Powers told us back in May that he was planning on waiting things out, possibly as far as until next summer, to make a decision because he wanted to take visits to a number of schools to weigh his options. But with 1) the high school football season being influx and 2) the dead period is still enacted, Powers chose to go ahead and commit.

When it comes to the 2021 class, it’s hard to say definitively which players a ban on visits would affect the most. 

JT Tuimoloau, for example, figures to be a player where a lack of visits really hurts the Buckeyes’ chances, though with the likelihood of his recruitment lasting until January or February, there’s plenty of time still remaining there. 

Emeka Egbuka has already been to Ohio State twice, though only his mom has been to Columbus with him while his dad has not. Neither him nor his parents have visited Oklahoma, which I’ve been saying for two months now is probably the Buckeyes’ biggest threat, so maybe a ban on visits would help the Buckeyes in that recruitment

Jager Burton has been adamant that he doesn’t want to make a decision until he can take his official visits, and he even told Eleven Warriors he may wait until January (possibly at the All-American Bowl) to make a decision. 

Derrick Davis Jr. told us this week that he is also slow playing his recruitment and that he doesn’t want to make a decision until he can take his official visits. In that situation, visits being allowed I think would hurt the Buckeyes, as he’s been to Ohio State and Penn State several times each, but being able to get to Clemson, Georgia, LSU, etc. would open the door for them

So there are a lot of moving parts in these recruitments and a lot of things to be hashed out. If the dead period is officially extended, I’m curious to see if we see some commitments being made with many prospects wanting to make decisions before their senior year starts. 

Buckeyes offer five-star Sabb

Last Wednesday, Keon Sabb was ranked as a five-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite rankings, as the Williamstown (N.J.) High School standout emerged as the No. 8 overall player, No. 1 athlete and No. 1 player in the Garden State. 

On Tuesday, Sabb added Ohio State to his long list of offers that includes Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State and Texas A&M.

Sabb told Eleven Warriors he is “excited to get the offer from OSU” because “they produce pros,” and he says he got the offer from Matt Barnes.

Barnes was listed as the Buckeyes special teams coordinator and assistant secondary coach until Thursday. On defense, he has worked primarily with the safeties and is now officially listed as safeties coach/special teams coordinator, and that’s the position Sabb tells us Ohio State envisions him playing for the program. 

“They love my size and athleticism,” Sabb said, adding that he’s had good impressions of the “sharp” and “passionate” Barnes. 

Spindler Crystal Ball

The 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions on where Rocco Spindler will commit have been split between Michigan and Notre Dame for a while now, and there hasn’t been much movement in terms of the predictions as we veer closer to his Saturday commitment announcement. 

However, this week, 247Sports’ Director of Football Recruiting Steve Wiltfong placed a Crystal Ball prediction for Spindler to choose Notre Dame, placing a confidence level of 7 on the pick. 

Crystal Balls are not the end-all, be-all of recruitments, but Wiltfong is as respected a voice in recruiting circles as you’re going to find. Perhaps he changes his prediction before Spindler announces, but if it’s true and Spindler picks the Irish, it will be another backbreaker for Michigan. As I’ve mentioned what feels like a dozen times, this is the second time in the history of the modern recruiting era (dating back to 1999) that the state of Michigan has had five in-state players ranked in the top 80 of the composite rankings. 

If Spindler chooses Notre Dame over Michigan, the Wolverines will have landed No. 4 Giovanni El-Hadi but will have lost out on Damon Payne, Spindler and Garrett Dellinger, with uncommitted Donovan Edwards still weighing his options.

Adeleye leaves IMG

Ohio State just landed the No. 5-ranked player in the state of Texas. Tunmise Adeleye is reportedly leaving IMG (Fla.) Academy and heading back home to Katy, Texas, reports 247Sports’ Blake Alderman:

"I am not going to IMG," Adeleye said. "I have come back home and I feel like opting out of the season is the best thing for me and for my health. I just want to come back home and do online school and be with my family in this very scary time we are living in."

Adeleye transferred to IMG in January for his senior season, where he improved his pass-rushing techniques, footwork and hand work off the line of scrimmage. 

He was going to work with newly hired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson, an Ohio State Hall of Fame linebacker who was hired by IMG in July. 

Instead, Adeleye will be sitting out his senior season and focusing on preparing for his early enrollment at Ohio State as a few other teams – such as Florida, Alabama and Texas A&M continue recruiting him.

Top photo: Keon Sabb/Joe Lamberti – USA Today

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