The Hurry-Up: Another Boom Could Be Coming for the Buckeyes, Commits Make Push for Zen Michalski, Andre Turrentine Discusses Role and Vonn Bell Comparison

By Zack Carpenter on September 29, 2020 at 6:40 pm
Zen Michalski
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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.

Boom coming?

If you read the tea leaves from us here at Eleven Warriors, you can probably gather what is likely to happen soon – that Ohio State is going to get another boom in the near future. Possibly by the end of the week.

Following his decommitment from Louisville late Monday night, three-star offensive tackle Zen Michalski – pronounced Mi-Hal-Ski – of Floyd Central (Indiana) High School looks like he is on the precipice of becoming the Buckeyes’ 20th commit in the class. And if you follow enough Buckeye 2021 commits on Twitter, there seems to be plenty of confidence there as well – just like when the Tyleik Williams silent commit rumors sprouted up, the incoming Buckeyes took to tweeting their pitches to Michalski, damn near in unison. (Oh, and 10 new Crystal Ball predictions were placed for Michalski to choose the Buckeyes.)

(There were more tweets, but you guys get the point.)

We’ve been on this since he was offered by the Buckeyes in early September, and it’s been our feeling that once Ohio State extended that offer, it was only a matter of time before he eventually joined the fold (though, to throw some shade at myself, that wasn't exactly hard to predict). The Buckeyes have plenty of pull, and it looks like they’re going to be flexing their muscles here.

Ink is not dry on the paper just yet, of course. Contrary to what some recent social media activity might suggest, Penn State is not the Buckeyes’ top opponent here. Rather, I’m hearing that Notre Dame may soon enter the fray here with an offer. If the Irish do offer, I don’t believe that would hurt Ohio State’s odds of landing him – in fact, I would be floored – though they would likely end up on a top schools list if Michalski does get that offer. Notre Dame, for what it’s worth, is actually further away from Floyd Central (4 hours, 15 minutes) than Ohio State is (3 hours, 25 minutes), so it’s not as if there’s a geographical advantage there. 

I will be hitting the road over to Floyds Knobs, Indiana on Friday to check out Michalski’s Highlanders (4-2) go up against Jennings County (1-5). I don’t expect him to already be committed by then, but perhaps it won’t be too long after that. Either way, probably going to be checking on a future Buckeye.

Turrentine on his role, Vonn Bell comparison

Earlier today, I published my second feature story on Ensworth (Tennessee) defensive back/receiver/running back/is-there-any-position-this-guy-doesn’t-play Andre Turrentine

Only one of those will be his spots at Ohio State, of course. During my extensive interview with him, Turrentine talked a lot about the position he will be playing for the Buckeyes, as there have been some questions about exactly where he will line up. And, well, even Turrentine doesn’t know exactly where he’ll play, which is a similar spot that he, Jantzen Dunn and Denzel Burke are all in. 

While two are very likely to play a specific spot (Dunn as a safety; Burke as a cornerback), it’s Turrentine whose spot is more up in the air, though he says the plan is to flip back and forth between slot corner and free safety. That’s exactly what he did all night when I went to see him. He was solid in playing man coverage on slot receivers and patrolling center field as a safety who could cover a lot of ground and come up aggressively in run support.

Kerry Coombs discussed in the spring what he wants in his defensive backs, talking about their ability to play more than one spot. 

“You’re looking for complete players, but I think the key word for me would probably be versatility,” Coombs said. “We’re looking for guys that can play at multiple spots. I think that’s really important because that gives you a lot of opportunities to play more guys and play them in different situations. I think the game’s becoming more situational as it goes, and so we wanna make sure we have guys that are versatile, fast, athletic, but most importantly that they fit the culture of the program.”

Turrentine checks those boxes, which is similar to Buckeyes star cornerback Shaun Wade. Maybe it was a bit of a stretch (though I think there are similarities), but when I asked Turrentine if he feels like a comparison to Wade is accurate, he smirked before politely saying not exactly.

“I like Shaun Wade. Shaun Wade’s a really good player,” Turrentine said. “It made me feel good that he opted back in. We’re gonna win a championship now. I’m excited.”

But…

“It’s a lot to live up to that expectation,” Turrentine said. 

He has heard, however, of the comparison made between him and another Tennessean in Vonn Bell, who played his first two years of high school at Chattanooga Central before transferring to Ridgeland (Georgia) and eventually starring for the Buckeyes.

“I got a lot of Vonn Bell comparisons when I first committed,” Turrentine said. “I look at the way they all play, and I see what they’re saying. But I see myself as my own player. I play my own way. Just looking at how I can be my own best player, and at the end of the day I don’t think I’m gonna be looking anything like those players. Yeah, it might turn out that I might fall in the same rankings and status as those players. But I think I’ll be a very different player when it’s all said and done.”

Michigan offers Wagner

By my count, so it may be off by one or two, there are 52 players whom both Ohio State and Michigan have extended an offer to in the 2022 class. Aamil Wagner is not yet one of those 52.

Michigan got a head start in the recruitment of the Wayne (Ohio) offensive lineman, as the Wolverines extended an offer to the four-star prospect on Tuesday.

Wagner is the state of Ohio’s No. 3 prospect in the 2022 class and is ranked No. 11 at offensive tackle and No. 120 overall nationally. I know that Ohio State has shown some interest in Wagner, though the Buckeyes have yet to make him a priority and have yet to offer.

Michigan has offered each of the top-nine prospects in Ohio. Cincinnati La Salle running back Gi’Bran Payne, Westerville South athlete and Penn State commit Kaden Saunders, Archbishop Alter defensive tackle Derrick Shepard and now Wagner are the four players that Ohio State has not offered in the cycle.


Header photo credit: Zen Michalski – Michael McCammon/247Sports

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