We hit the road once again this week, putting the spotlight on Ohio State defensive line target Caden Curry and Buckeye quarterback target Tayven Jackson.
Caden Curry, Tayven Jackson
INDIANAPOLIS – Midway through the second quarter of his team’s top-10 showdown with Lawrence North (Indiana), Center Grove quarterback Tayven Jackson jogged off the field with the Trojans sent to punt the ball away facing a 13-0 deficit.
He then walked over to his offensive teammates sitting on the bench and had some words for them:
“Hey! Hey! Get your shit together! We’re not losing this game! ‘Cause we’re the best in the state! I believe in every single one of you!”
It took a while, and it took some more screaming from Center Grove head coach Eric Moore in the halftime locker room, but the Trojans eventually did wake up. They scored 28 unanswered points in the second half, screaming their way back to a 28-13 win to stay unbeaten at 8-0 and retain their No. 1 ranking in the state with a win over the No. 7-ranked Wildcats.
“It all starts with them,” Jackson told Eleven Warriors, referring to his offensive line. “They set the tone, and they got the job done in the second half.”
Jackson is a three-star prospect ranked just outside the top-500 nationally and just inside the top 30 at pro-style quarterback in the 2022 class. The Buckeyes are taking a look at him but have not yet offered the player teammate Caden Curry refers to as “Miniature Mahomes” for his arm strength, mannerisms and similarly floppy hair.
Jackson says the Buckeye coaching staff, led by his main recruiter Kevin Wilson, told him they need to see more film before offering. On Friday night, he outdueled Indiana 2021 quarterback commit Donaven McCulley, a four-star ranked No. 12 at dual-threat quarterback who looked really good in the first half until constant pressure, led by Curry, got to him in the second half.
Despite his own first-half struggles, Jackson bounced back in the second half to lead the Trojans to a pair of key third-quarter touchdown drives. That included a 13-yard touchdown pass over the middle on fourth down, which led to a go-ahead two-point conversion for a 14-13 lead as the Trojans didn’t look back the rest of the way.
Curry calls Jackson Miniature Mahomes b/c of the arm strength, mannerisms and some similarly floppy hair.— Zack Carpenter (@Zack_Carp) October 10, 2020
Jackson w/ a TD pass here on 4th down. Center Grove takes a 14-13 lead in the 3Q after facing a 13-0 halftime deficit. pic.twitter.com/iI5GwJ4MgJ
That score was set up in part by a tackle-for-loss on the Wildcats’ previous drive by Curry, the main person we were there to see, and Minnesota defensive end commit Austin Booker. We will have more on Curry in tonight’s Hurry-Up, as the four-star defensive tackle and priority Ohio State target looked explosive, athletic and the part of a future standout defensive lineman at the Power 5 level.
“That’s our first time being down at halftime so we really just all took it really serious, and we were all getting really pissed off,” Curry told Eleven Warriors. “So we just all had one big speech and came out and played lights out after that.”
Season debuts for quartet of Buckeye commits
After weeks of trying to get their respective seasons underway, five Ohio State commits in the 2021 class finally made their season debuts this weekend.
St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) quarterback Kyle McCord and receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. faced off against Life Christian Academy (Virginia) as SJP is playing its season as an independent. In the first of five scheduled games this season, including a home game in Philadelphia against Columbus’ Bishop Sycamore, the Prep earned a 41-24 win over Life Christian Academy.
Cornerbacks Jakailin Johnson from De Smet (St. Louis) and Denzel Burke of Saguaro (Arizona) also made their first appearances of the fall season. Contrary to what I wrote on Friday, North Gwinnett cornerback Jordan Hancock will be making his season debut next week after opting back into his senior season.
Both Johnson and Burke had their teams emerge with a victory, with Johnson and De Smet winning 41-21 over Christan Brothers Academy on Saturday.
Burke, who was named The Arizona Republic’s No. 1 game-changing cornerback in the state, faced off against his old team Phoenix Brophy Prep, from which he transferred to Saguaro ahead of his sophomore season, and came out with a 27-0 win.
“He's been a star since his freshman year,” Saguaro head coach Jason Mohns told the Republic. “When he was at Brophy, he started as a freshman on varsity. He's always been a great player. Last year, he wasn't maybe the marquee guy because we had some big time, high-profile guys in front of him.
“He's evolved where he went from being a talented individual to now being a guy that his team counts on, offense, defense and from a leadership standpoint. It's just taking on more responsibility as far as the team's concerned.”
Cherokee Trail (Colorado) tight end Sam Hart also made his long-awaited debut this season after his state reinstated football in the fall. Hart and his teammates dropped a wild 62-50 shootout to Eaglecrest.
Turrentine hurt, plans to play again this season
Defensive back commit Andre Turrentine suffered an ankle injury on Friday night in Ensworth’s (Tennessee) 45-25 win over Westview.
Turrentine’s father told Eleven Warriors that it’s an ankle bruise and not a serious injury as there is no break, no tears and no structural damage. The plan is for the young safety/slot cornerback to return in two weeks after Ensworth’s bye week.
Despite Turrentine’s injury, and despite being saddled with a walking boot after the game, he still made some time to give his recruiting pitch to Ty Simpson, the No. 37 overall player and No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the country in the 2022 class. Simpson has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas and USC.
you know what to do... https://t.co/tGocPTjB7L— ANDRE TURRENTINE (@KingATIII) October 10, 2020
Ohio State has not yet offered, but if the Buckeyes do wind up looking to make a move to land two quarterbacks in the 2022 cycle – which is certainly a possibility – they may end up offering Simpson down the road. Ohio State likes to see its quarterbacks throw in person before offering, though, and has not been able to see any passers in person with the ongoing dead period.
A quick look at the results of the 13 Ohio State commits who were in action this week:
|QB KYLE MCCORD (2021)||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PENN.)||LIFE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (VA.)||W, 41-24 (1-0)|
|OG DONOVAN JACKSON (2021)||EPISCOPAL (TEXAS)||@ BEAUMONT WESTBROOK||L, 49-10 (1-3)|
|CB JAKAILIN JOHNSON (2021)||DE SMET (MO.)||CHRISTIAN BROTHERS (MO.)||W, 41-21 (1-0)|
|WR MARVIN HARRISON JR. (2021)||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PENN.)||LIFE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (VA.)||W, 41-24 (1-0)|
|S/CB ANDRE TURRENTINE (2021)||ENSWORTH (TENN.)||WESTVIEW (TENN.)||W, 45-25 (1-4)|
|ATH DENZEL BURKE (2021)||SAGUARO (ARIZ.)||@ BROPHY PREP (ARIZ.)||W, 27-0 (1-0)|
|TE SAM HART (2021)||CHEROKEE TRAIL (CO.)||@ EAGLECREST (CO.)||L, 62-50 (0-1)|
|OT ZEN MICHALSKI (2021)||FLOYD CENTRAL (IND.)||@ BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (IND.)||W, 41-14 (6-2)|
|LB GABE POWERS (2022)||MARYSVILLE||DUBLIN JEROME||W, 35-14 (6-1)*|
|ATH DASAN MCCULLOUGH (2022)||BLUE VALLEY NORTH (KAN.)||BLUE VALLEY NORTHWEST (KAN.)||W, 34, 27 (3-1)|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN (2022)||LAKOTA WEST||WEST CLERMONT||W, 44-0 (6-0)*|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA (2022)||LAKOTA WEST||WEST CLERMONT||W, 44-0 (6-0)*|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN (2022)||ALLATOONA (GA.)||@ OSBORNE (GA.)||W, 37-0 (5-0)|
*Denotes playoff game