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.
Walker releases top 10
Even though the Buckeyes did not offer him until mid-May, four-star Salisbury (N.C.) High School prospect Jalon Walker – the No. 41 overall player, No. 2 outside linebacker and No. 2 player in North Carolina's 2022 class – has emerged as one of Al Washington's most-prized targets in this cycle.
On Friday afternoon, the Buckeyes got some good news in Walker including them in his top 10, which is another small step in Washington and Co. potentially landing the 6-foot-2, 220-pounder who also holds offers from Clemson, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon and Texas.
But in reality, those first three guys listed aren't really separated by much of a wide margin as the Buckeyes in this class as they continue pushing for at least four linebackers.
We will get into this more in a future Hurry-Up, but on Thursday we caught up with Ohio State commit C.J. Hicks, whose “Captain Buckeye” nickname has picked up steam as he has continually made strong pushes for fellow prospects and emerged as the Buckeyes' top peer recruiter. Hicks is, in a word, ecstatic about Ohio State's chances of landing a star-studded defensive class in 2022.
From top to bottom, he believes the Buckeyes are going to fill out a high-caliber class at each position. That would be highlighted by the linebacker spot, as he has been adamant for several weeks that Ohio State is going to land the best linebacker haul in the nation. So far, they've landed three top-tier linebackers (Hicks, Dasan McCullough, Gabe Powers) and have those three high-priority targets left in Murphy, Walker and Medlock.
“I talk to (Justin Medlock) sometimes,” Hicks told Eleven Warriors previously. “I don’t talk to him as much, but I talk to him and Jalon Walker, telling them if you wanna be great, come be a part of BIA. They’re both really good linebackers. I’ve watched both of their film.”
OSU lands prediction for Malone
Bergen Catholic (N.J.) High School four-star prospect Tywone Malone – ranked No. 55 overall, No. 5 at defensive tackle and No. 1 in New Jersey's 2022 class – does not yet have a Crystal Ball prediction placed on his recruiting profile.
This week, however, two of the folks at Rivals – Josh McCuiston, co-publisher/recruiting editor at SoonerScoop.com, and Mike Farrell, the network's national recruiting director – dropped FutureCast predictions for the Buckeyes to land the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder whose top schools include Ohio State, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Ole Miss and Florida State. (Though he hasn't released a formal trimmed list since dropping a top 14 in May, those five appear to be the top contenders right now.)
That makes it a perfect 6-for-6 right now in FutureCasts for Malone to commit to Ohio State on the Rivals network.
That's certainly intriguing timing for those predictions to come out (on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively) as the Buckeyes just picked up a commitment on Thursday from four-star Virginia prospect Tyleik Williams, a top-160 player and top-10 defensive tackle who is almost certainly going to play nose tackle (the same position Malone is being recruited to play) when he arrives in Columbus.
Week 1 set for OSU prospects
Dan pored in the research to get you guys primed for Friday night's Week 1 slate of eight Ohio State commits who will be kicking off their high school football regular seasons tonight.
All eight hail from the Buckeye State, and our team is planning to hit the road to check out some of the action. (Weather permitting, as we will be making the trips, but with thunderstorms and lightning potentially hitting during game time that could throw a wrench into things – although it appears the forecasts are clearing up as we move closer to kickoff.)
Dan will be heading to Marysville High School to watch 2022 outside linebacker commit Gabe Powers square off with Hilliard Bradley and Jack Pugh, a Wisconsin tight end commit who the Buckeyes have their eyes on in the 2021 class.
Colin is set to head over to watch Mentor High School defensive end Brenan Vernon take on Drew Allar's Medina High School. Allar is a borderline top-500 prospect ranked inside the top-30 at quarterback whom Ohio State has on its radar, and Vernon was offered by the Buckeyes four days before he was ranked No. 9 in the first 247Sports rankings for the 2023 class.
I will be heading down to southern Ohio to check out Ironton's Reid Carrico and Trevor Carter take on Portsmouth High School just a stone's throw away from the Kentucky border. It will be my first time seeing either Carrico or Carter play a game in person. Carrico is, of course, a 2021 linebacker commit, and Carter was ranked No. 75 in the 2023 rankings and is a great candidate to wind up with an Ohio State offer down the road.
Header photo credit: Jalon Walker – Don Callahan/247Sports