The Hurry-Up: Ohio State Commits and Targets Join the #WeWantToPlay Movement, Ohio State Offers 2022 Offensive Lineman Gunner Givens

By Zack Carpenter on August 10, 2020 at 6:45 pm
Ben Christman

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.

Ohio State commits, targets join #WeWantToPlay movement

As it continues to look more and more inevitable that the Big Ten will be shutting down the 2020 season, with the other Power 5 conferences likely to eventually follow suit, players and coaches at Ohio State and across the entire country are showing up in droves on social media to use their voices for a season.

Ryan Day, Brian Hartline, Justin Fields and Chris Olave were among the large group of Buckeyes to state their desire to play football this fall, with many of them using the #WeWantToPlay hashtag in a loud movement to voice support for playing. Fields and Trevor Lawrence have spearheaded the movement that’s continuing to gain popularity and have led the charge for a college football player's union.

In addition to the number of college players and coaches voicing their desire to play increasing, players and coaches at the high school level are taking to Twitter by joining the #WeWantToPlay movement.

High school players across the nation are joining the movement, and that includes a large contingent of Ohio State commits and targets.

Here is a roundup of the players who have joined the movement:

Ben Christman, an Ohio State 2021 offensive guard commit:

C.J. Hicks, an Ohio State 2022 outside linebacker commit:

Gabe Powers, an Ohio State 2022 outside linebacker commit:

Jager Burton, an offensive guard target in 2021 out of Frederick Douglass (Ky.) High School:

Burton’s head coach, Nathan McPeek, also voiced his opinion as he heads into his first season as head coach at Frederick Douglass following three years as the program’s offensive coordinator:

Dasan McCullough, a 2022 Buckeye target as a Sam linebacker-safety hybrid, from Blue Valley North (Kan.) High School:

Bennett Christian, a 2021 tight end target from Allatoona (Ga.) High School:

A few other players either retweeted Trevor Lawrence’s #WeWantToPlay tweet, retweeted other players’ or media members’ tweets with the same message or voiced a similar message. That latter group includes 2022 quarterback target Maalik Murphy out of Junipero Serra (Calif.) High School and 2022 running back target Jaydon Blue out of Klein Cain (Texas) High School:

Also, Buckeyes 2021 linebacker commit Reid Carrico took to Twitter to voice his opinion:

Ohio State to the SEC?

It’s probably not a realistic scenario at all, but at least one Ohio State recruit is thinking about if the Buckeyes were to move to the SEC in defensive end Tunmise Adeleye:

And speaking of the SEC, the reports that it could be the main conference to push forward with a fall season in 2020 were part of the reason that one 2022 prospect said this to Sports Illustrated recruiting analyst Brooks Austin:

Buckeyes offer 2022 lineman

Despite the wild media blitz that has occurred over the past two days with the reports of college football potentially being canceled or postponed to the spring, recruiting never ends. That’s going to be the case throughout the entire fall and winter even if there is no football season in college or high school. 

That was proven pretty quickly on Monday as 2022 offensive lineman Gunner Givens announced that he has been offered by Ohio State.

Givens is a 6-foot-6, 275-pounder out of Virginia’s Lord Botetourt High School. He holds offers from nearly 30 programs, highlighted by Alabama, Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

National recruiting analyst Brian Dohn of 247Sports already projects Givens as having first-round NFL draft potential:

“Frame built for offensive tackle,” Dohn wrote in March. “Has good length and lean. Played tight end as sophomore but transitioning to offensive tackle. Bends at knees and stays low. Wins leverage battle often. Athletic and can move laterally. Plays with attitude and his physical. Is aggressive firing off at snap. Development will determine whether he plays right or left tackle. Needs to refine technique. Learning footwork and staying engaged on block longer are needed developments. Continued increase in upper body strength important. Showing kick step to cover the outside needed. Multi-year starter at Top 20 program with the upside to develop into an early round pick.”

Givens is ranked No. 19 overall and No. 2 at offensive tackle in the country and No. 1 in the state of Virginia, ahead of fellow Ohio State targets Shawn Murphy (No. 25 overall, No. 1 inside linebacker) and Zach Rice (No. 47 overall, No. 4 offensive tackle).

With those three top-50 prospects and two more top-100 players, it’s shaping up to be another strong year in Virginia following a 2021 cycle that has three five-star, top-15 overall players in Buckeye running back commit TreVeyon Henderson (No. 15 overall, No. 1 running back) and Tristan Leigh (No. 11 overall, No. 3 offensive tackle), in addition to Tony Grimes (No. 7 overall, No. 1 cornerback), who reclassified to the 2020 cycle. 

Grimes, as an aside, dropped from a five-star prospect to a four-star recruit and from No. 7 and No. 1 to No. 48 overall and No. 5 at cornerback in the 2020 class.

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