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.
Recently offered Hamrick not lacking confidence
In order to perform at the top of your game as a defensive end – and, really, any position in football – you’ve got to bring some swagger and confidence to the table.
It doesn’t appear that will be an issue for Malaki Hamrick, a top-150 player in the class of 2022 who was offered by Ohio State on Monday. Hamrick, a 6-foot-4, 200-pounder ranked No. 6 in the state of North Carolina, is listed as the No. 12 outside linebacker in the country, but the Buckeyes are targeting him as a defensive end.
“I guess they like my speed and how I get off the ball and really know how to make the offensive linemen in front of me work to try to keep up with me,” Hamrick, who recorded 129 tackles, 19 sacks and 39 tackles-for-loss last season, told Eleven Warriors. “And with my frame and abilities you could possibly be looking at the next Chase Young or maybe even better.”
That’s a very lofty expectation to put on yourself but, frankly, I love the confidence. Apparently, so does Larry Johnson, as the two have hit it off in the early stages of building their relationship, and Hamrick thinks highly of the longtime defensive line coach.
“I think he’s a genius when it comes to defensive lineman things, and I think his résumé speaks for itself,” said Hamrick, adding that they have been talking for about a week and that he sees some similarities between his own personality and Johnson’s.
Even though Hamrick is a defensive end target, and even though he has started building that bond with Johnson, it was actually Ryan Day who extended the offer to the young star.
“I had just introduced myself to him on the phone the day the offer was made, but I would say that we had established a bond on the phone,” Hamrick said. “And I was nervous at first ‘cause, you know, it’s the Ohio State. But I just settled myself, and I was very excited about the offer and so was my family.”
Hamrick says the biggest thing that stands out – as it has with the vast majority of recruits we’ve spoken with – about the Buckeyes is that they produce first-round NFL talent, and it’s impossible to not take notice of the fact that Ohio State has had the first defensive player drafted in four of the past five drafts, including three defensive ends in Young and the Bosa brothers (Denzel Ward being the other).
So the Buckeyes have firmly placed themselves at the forefront of Hamrick’s recruitment, right up there with other schools who have recently offered such as Penn State and Notre Dame. But Hamrick is content with letting the chips fall where they may and focusing on his own on-field improvement.
“It definitely has a big impact on my recruiting,” Hamrick said of the Ohio State offer, “but I’m just enjoying the process and continuing to work hard to become a top-notch athlete.”
Buckeyes extend two more offers
Hamrick was not the only prospect to receive an Ohio State offer this week, as Christian Brothers (Tenn.) High School four-star athlete Dallan Hayden out of Memphis and Cherry Creek (Co.) High School three-star offensive tackle George Fitzpatrick announced that the Buckeyes had come calling on Tuesday afternoon.
Hayden is a 5-foot-11, 190-pounder ranked No. 300 overall, No. 18 at athlete and No. 10 in Tennessee, and his offer sheet is highlighted by Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
He is a running back target for the Buckeyes as they look to land at least two running backs in the 2022 cycle. They have now extended offers to nine running back prospects in the class. That list does not include Dillon Tatum, who the Buckeyes are targeting as a slot cornerback.
Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, is a player who would be opening up holes for Hayden if the two ultimately choose Ohio State. He is a 6-foot-6, 255-pounder ranked No. 487 overall, No. 45 at offensive tackle and No. 2 in Colorado, and he holds offers from Arizona State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State and Utah.
We’re seeing a pretty large number of lower-ranked prospects receive early interest and offers from the Buckeyes. You can expect their rankings to rise as scouts/analysts take notice of these players receiving more offers.
Bama leads Bucks in latest composite rankings
The newly released Rivals player rankings have now been factored into the 247Sports Composite rankings. There was some very minor shuffling among Ohio State commits, with guys moving up or down a spot or two. The individual player movements of note are:
- TreVeyon Henderson dropping from No. 16 to No. 20 overall. That now puts Henderson, Kyle McCord and Donovan Jackson at Nos. 20, 21 and 22 overall.
- Jordan Hancock jumped 10 spots from No. 76 to No. 66 overall.
- Evan Pryor jumped nine spots from No. 85 to No. 76 overall.
- Marvin Harrison Jr. dropped from No. 89 to No. 114 overall.
- Jantzen Dunn is finally ranked as a top-200 player at No. 192 overall.
Other than that, the item of significance is that with the new rankings factored in, Alabama (299.20 points) now holds a slight edge over Ohio State (298.58) for the No. 1 class.
If projected commitments from Tyleik Williams (Ohio State) and Tim Keenan (Alabama) come this week, Ohio State (302.51) could again hold a slim lead over Alabama (301.42) in what will likely be a back-and-forth battle the rest of the cycle for the recruiting crown.