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.
Friday Night Lights preview
Ten Ohio State commits will be taking the field on Friday night.
Five members of the Buckeyes' 2021 class – Massillon Washington receiver Jayden Ballard, Ironton linebacker Reid Carrico, Streetsboro defensive tackle Mike Hall, La Salle safety Jaylen Johnson and Revere offensive lineman Ben Christman – will be on the field for their second games of the season, with the exception of Christman whose Minutemen will be making their season debut.
Five members of Ohio State's 2022 class will be on the field as well, including newly committed Allatoona (Ga.) tight end Bennett Christian. The other four are in-state commits: Marysville linebacker Gabe Powers, Archbishop Alter linebacker C.J. Hicks and the Lakota West duo of cornerback Jyaire Brown and offensive tackle Tegra Tshabola.
Blue Valley North (Ks.) athlete Dasan McCullough was supposed to make his season debut on Friday, but the Mustangs' first game has now been postponed until Sept. 25.
|WR JAYDEN BALLARD (2021)||MASSILLON WASHINGTON||BISHOP SYCAMORE||7:30 p.m.|
|LB REID CARRICO (2021)||IRONTON||GALLIA ACADEMY||7 p.m.|
|DT MIKE HALL (2021)||STREETSBORO||@ FIELD||7 p.m.|
|S JAYLEN JOHNSON (2021)||LA SALLE||ST. XAVIER||7 p.m.|
|OG BEN CHRISTMAN (2021)||REVERE||AURORA||7 p.m.|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN (2022)||LAKOTA WEST||HAMILTON||7 p.m.|
|LB C.J. HICKS (2022)||ARCHBISHOP ALTER||BADIN||7 p.m.|
|LB GABE POWERS (2022)||MARYSVILLE||HILLIARD DARBY||7 p.m.|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA (2022)||LAKOTA WEST||HAMILTON||7 p.m.|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN (2022)||ALLATOONA (GA.)||HARRISON||7:30 p.m.|
Our team at Eleven Warriors is planning to once again be out in full force on Friday, as I will be headed over to Cincinnati La Salle to watch Johnson play in person for the first time, in addition to watching former 2021 cornerback commit Devonta Smith (who flipped to Alabama) and 2022 running back target Gi'Bran Payne in action for one of the best teams in the state (in Division II or otherwise). The defending state champion Lancers are coming off a thrilling 53-52 double overtime victory over Elder in Week 1.
Colin Hass-Hill is set to head over to Streetsboro to check up on Hall, who has continued to shine and will be looking for another explosive performance, and Dan Hope is set to make his way to Alter to check up on both Hicks and 2022 defensive tackle prospect Derrick Shepard, who could be on his way to earning an Ohio State offer if he performs well in his junior season.
Pickerington North five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer is the lone in-state commit who will not be in action, as he has opted out of his senior season to prepare for the potential to play at Ohio State in the spring.
Ohio State's two running back commits in 2021, TreVeyon Henderson (Virginia) and Evan Pryor (North Carolina), and tight end commit Sam Hart (Colorado) have opted out of their senior seasons as well, with each of their states pushing football back to February. Defensive tackle commit Tyleik Williams (Virginia) will also not be in action due to the state's postponements, while cornerback Jordan Hancock (Georgia) has opted out of his senior season despite his state moving forward with a fall season.
Five other 2021 Ohio State commits' senior seasons are still up in the air.
Quarterback Kyle McCord and wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. are facing the possibility of being unable to play this fall after the Philadelphia Catholic League postponed its fall sports season to the spring. On Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that St. Joseph’s Prep is moving forward with soccer, cross country and golf, but football is not yet in the cards.
Offensive lineman Donovan Jackson and his Episcopal (Texas) team are expected to play as an independent this fall after the Southwest Preparatory Conference canceled its fall sports season, but their new schedule has not yet been released.
Cornerback Jakailin Johnson and his De Smet (St. Louis, Missouri) team are preparing to play this fall, but if and when their season will begin remains to be determined, as St. Louis County is currently not allowing high school football games to be played. Football may resume in October, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Michigan gives go-ahead for football
Speaking of states that have resumed high school football, Michigan is all set to move forward with the 2020 fall campaign as well, the Detroit Free Press reported, as Michigan will join Ohio in having their high school teams playing while their college teams (at least in the Big Ten) are not:
Padded practices will begin early next week and the first games for 11-player and 8-player football begin with the Week 4 schedule on Sept. 17 and 18 with an extremely limited number of fans in the stands.
Teams will pick up their existing schedule with Week 4 and play a six-game regular season before beginning the state playoffs, which may be a different playoff format than we’ve seen before.
That's great news for three Ohio State 2022 targets, including five-star cornerback William Johnson, one of Ohio State's highest-priority targets in the class and whom I believe the Buckeyes to be the early favorite for as we sit here in September.
Jackson, other targets land pro comparisons
We gave a brief rundown on Wednesday of the Ohio State recruits who have landed pro player comparisons, which are being dished out by Rivals this week.
On Thursday, four Buckeye recruits (including one commit) saw comparisons by the Rivals network as well:
- No. 16 OG Donovan Jackson – David DeCastro
Overview: Ohio State beat out Texas, Georgia and others in early January as Jackson has family connections to the state and the Buckeyes were always a serious player in his recruitment. Listed as a five-star offensive guard, Jackson can play inside, has the toughness to mix it up in the trenches, or he has the athletic ability at 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds to move outside and have an impact at offensive tackle as well.
Mike Farrell’s take: DeCastro was a center out of high school who had an exceptional career and was a great downfield blocker. That’s exactly what we see in Jackson.
- No. 15 OT Tristan Leigh – Tristan Wirfs
Overview: Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma are still competing to land the commitment of Leigh, who had a fantastic showing at the All-American Combine in San Antonio over the holidays and has continued to prove he’s one of the best - and most athletic - offensive tackles in the class. Leigh is athletic but he also plays with a tough mentality where he wants to grind down defensive ends. At 290 pounds or so, Leigh still has some significant room to add good weight and to get even more powerful at the next level.
Farrell’s take: This has nothing to do with first names it has more to do with the athleticism of each player which is a rarity at their size. Leigh has the same chance to develop and be a first-rounder.
- No. 14 SDE Tunmise Adeleye – J.R. “Ego” Ferguson
Overview: Adeleye backed off his Ohio State pledge in early August and now Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama are trying to stay involved in his recruitment. The process took another interesting turn when Adeleye returned to Texas to attend Katy (Texas) Tompkins before ever playing a down at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. At 255 pounds, Adeleye can overpower offensive linemen but he also has the agility to get to the outside and keep them honest. However, Adeleye is not expected to play high school football this season, so the next time we see him in action could be in college
Farrell’s take: You may or may not remember Ego Ferguson but I do and he was similar to Adeleye. They both have size and ability and excellent inside moves. Ferguson ended up as a second-rounder and Adeleye has an even higher ceiling.
- No. 11 WR Emeka Egbuka – Jerry Jeudy
Overview: Ohio State could still hold a lead in Egbuka’s recruitment but Oklahoma and Washington along with Clemson are still sticking around in his recruitment and the five-star receiver might not rush a decision. Egbuka is a fantastic route runner who can create space against any cornerback in this class, he wins 50/50 balls because of his athleticism and he can turn on another gear to stretch the field when needed. There haven’t been many times where we’ve seen Egbuka and he hasn’t just completely dominated on the field.
Farrell’s take: Speaking of route running, Jeudy is a master and Egbuka is excellent as well. They can each dominate whenever they want.