The Hurry-Up: Benji Gosnell and Bennett Christian Have Same Views on Two-Tight End Class, Jakailin Johnson and Kyle McCord Garner Major Player Comparisons

By Zack Carpenter on September 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Benji Gosnell

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.

Gosnell, Christian have same views on two-tight end class

By Aug. 23, when he hopped on the phone with Eleven Warriors, Benji Gosnell already knew that Bennett Christian was headed to Ohio State. He had a strong inkling that was the case, at least. 

Soon afterward, Gosnell got in touch with Christian – his 2022 tight end prospect counterpart – to start building a relationship with the player who could wind up being his future teammate. 

Christian, a three-star out of Allatoona (Ga.) High School, became Ohio State’s sixth commitment in the 2022 class on Tuesday night and its first tight end commitment in the cycle as it shoots to bring in two at the position. Both Christian and Gosnell, a four-star from East Surry (N.C.) High School, have known for a while that the Buckeyes are planning to bring in two tight ends in their class, and it’s not going to affect either of their decisions. 

We already saw Christian make up his mind with a pair of tight ends being a factor, and Gosnell is down to three schools (Ohio State, North Carolina and Florida) in his recruitment and that list came out knowing that Christian had already committed. 

“Wherever I go, I know I’m gonna have to compete, and I trust myself to beat out anyone,” Gosnell told Eleven Warriors in July.

That mindset didn’t change at all when we touched base with him again a couple weeks ago.

“I’m gonna go where I want, and in my eyes I’m gonna be the baddest boy in the tight end room,” Gosnell said. “They can bring in four tight ends, and in my eyes I’m gonna be the best one in it. I don’t see anything wrong with that, and if they bring in another guy, let’s go. Let’s do whatever we can together to go win a national championship.”

When looking at how Christian views the situation, he has the exact same line of thinking.

“That’s the mindset I’m gonna have to bring with me, especially if I was at Ohio State because it’s the best team in the nation,” Christian told Eleven Warriors when asked about competing against another player at his position in the class. “I would have to bring that mentality that no one can compete with me, and I would have to show it. That’s how I compete. Bringing in another guy would not bother me one bit. That’s college football so that doesn’t bother me.”

So now it’s a bit of a wait-and-see situation we find ourselves in, as Christian is in the fold and Gosnell awaits a time and date to be able to visit Ohio State’s campus. Just like Christian did in August, Gosnell is wanting to visit the city of Columbus and The Oval to check out the digs. He says he would put Ohio State as his top choice right now, but there are still some things to be sorted out – one of which is getting to see the place in person, so he’s hoping to visit sometime this month. 

“I just really wanna see what it’s like and get a good feel for it,” Gosnell said. “Because we can see all these cool things and we can hear all these good things, but I really wanna get a good feel for things first.”

Player comps for Buckeye commits

Rivals is releasing player comparisons for its top-50 players in the 2021 class this week. Thus far, the site has dished out comps for players ranked No. 21-50. The comparisons made for Buckeye commits so far:

Overview: An Ohio State commit since March, Johnson can play press coverage, off coverage, he’s aggressive trying to rip the ball out after a rare catch, he competes hard for 50-50 balls and he has the hands of a receiver so if he can pick off a pass, he will. What Johnson also does really well is diagnose a play to leave his receiver or shed a block and then come up to make a tackle on a running quarterback or running back who got to the edge.

Mike Farrell’s take: Johnson is smooth and instinctual and can play the ball in the air well and Fulton was the same way in high school and college. Neither look huge but are actually big corners.

Overview: In Aprill 2019, McCord committed to Ohio State over Penn State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Clemson and others, although the Buckeyes were always considered the front-runner. McCord has a terrific arm and he can fire into tight windows or put touch on it when necessary. He’s not a tremendous running threat but he does escape pressure well, feels it coming at him and then has the moxie to stand in the pocket and deliver strikes.

Farrell’s take: Darnold is a lofty comparison for McCord. They are very similar out of high school with a ton of arm talent, but a bit raw and erratic at times. Obviously, McCord would love to develop like Darnold.

And for a major Buckeye target:

Overview: Ohio State is considered the front-runner for Malone, who is also serious about Ole Miss, Texas A&M and others. The four-star is versatile as a defensive tackle since he can line up in the gaps, shoot them and live in the backfield. He can stunt, he can bull rush and overpower offensive linemen and he does an excellent job finishing plays as well. For someone his size, Malone’s athleticism is impressive and he’s used sparingly on offense and special teams, too.

Farrell’s take: Malone is a muscled-up tackle with a powerful build and Brantley was the same way out of high school. While Brantley was a tad wider but played with power and passion and was excellent at stuffing the run. Brantley left school a year too early and was a late-round NFL pick. He’s still with Washington.

Buckeyes show love via graphics

As we touched on briefly yesterday, Sept. 1 was the first day coaches could reach out to prospects in the 2022 class directly instead of through a third party. That led to hundreds of offers on Tuesday, and it also led to some additional love being thrown the way of some prospects.

Just a few Ohio State targets in that cycle to keep an eye on, who were shown some love via Twitter, include slot cornerback Dillon Tatum, defensive tackle Mykel Williams and outside linebacker Jaylen Sneed:

Styles ND offer

Mere hours after Sonny Styles’ dominant defensive and special teams performance helped nab him an Ohio State offer on Sunday, the Pickerington Central 2023 prospect landed another offer on Tuesday from Notre Dame.

Styles’ older brother, Lorenzo Styles Jr., was a Buckeye target in the 2021 class who committed to Notre Dame in October. That's just three offers for Sonny so far, but you can expect that number to blow up over the next two weeks.

Header photo: Benji Gosnell – Don Callahan/247Sports

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