The Hurry-Up: Florida's Momentum for Benji Gosnell Buoyed by Kyle Pitts and Tight End Usage, Buckeyes Hedging Bet by Entering Race for Oscar Delp

By Zack Carpenter on October 15, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Oscar Delp

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.

Florida gaining momentum for Gosnell

Since mid-August, ever since Bennett Christian had revealed that he had silently committed to the Buckeyes prior to his Sept. 1 announcement date, the information I had been getting was that four-star North Carolina prospect Benji Gosnell was likely going to become Ohio State’s second tight end in the 2022 class.

I still think Gosnell is going to be a Buckeye down the road, but I’m not as confident in that pick as I was in August and September. The relationships between him and Christian, and between him and Kevin Wilson, remain very strong, and Gosnell is still high on Ohio State. 

But like I said earlier this week, Florida and North Carolina are Gosnell’s other two finalists. With Florida’s Kyle Pitts skyrocketing and North Carolina currently having its best season since the ’90s, the Buckeyes are not in as strong of a position as they once were. I believe Florida to now be a slight leader for Gosnell with Ohio State running a close second.

As much as Pitts, a projected first-round NFL draft pick, has been utilized passing game in Florida's first three games, it’s hard to argue with that making an impact on Gosnell.

If there’s any season for Ohio State to use its tight ends more in the passing game (drink up), it’s this season with a pair of future NFL talents at the spot in Jeremy Ruckert, once a borderline five-star prospect, and Luke Farrell, a top-10 national recruit at the position in his class. With the deep talent pool at receiver, which is probably one of Ohio State’s two strongest position groups in addition to offensive line right now, it’s going to be interesting to see if Wilson and Co. find a way to get Ruckert and Farrell the ball more this season. With years of history to look back on, it’s easy to predict they won’t.

Hedging their bet

We wait to see on that front, as it could prove to be the No. 1 factor in Gosnell’s recruitment. In the meantime, the Buckeyes appear to be hedging their bet, so to speak, in tight end recruiting by extending an offer to Georgia’s Oscar Delp.

Delp (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is the same type of prospect as Gosnell (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) physically, and he’s the same type of tight end the Buckeyes would like to pair with Christian.

While Christian is more of an in-line blocking tight end, both Delp and Gosnell are seen as tight ends who can be used out wide to utilize their speed and pass-catching abilities.

Delp spoke on that a bit with Eleven Warriors on Thursday, detailing why Ohio State deemed him worthy of a scholarship offer.

“They told me they loved my speed and athleticism,” Delp said. “They envisioned me as a fast tight end that could make big plays which was a big factor on why they gave me an offer.

“Coach Wilson envisioned me as a tight end that could move around and line up in different spots in order to get the ball and make plays.”

Though Wilson and Delp did not discuss Gosnell at all or Gosnell’s recruitment, the Buckeye coach did speak with Delp about Christian and what the two could do together at the next level.

“We both have different skill sets and bring different things to the table and would make a great duo in coaches’ eyes,” Delp said.

Thus far, Delp does not have a recruiting ranking to his name, but he has a number of impressive offers. Those include Georgia, Michigan, USC, North Carolina, Stanford and Michigan State, some of the schools Delp says are standing out in his recruitment thus far in addition to Ohio State. 

Ohio State, Delp says, “is definitely up on my list,” but he says no school has reached the perch of being ranked No. 1 quite yet. The Buckeyes have made a good impression thus far now that they have officially entered the race, and their chances in the race are bolstered by the fact that Delp has already been to Ohio State.

“When I got the offer I was very honored and excited,” Delp said. “I loved how they have a culture of winning established and make a playoff run almost every year. I have been on the campus before and really enjoyed it as well.”

Ballard presented All-American jersey

Joining four other Buckeye commits in the 2021 class who have already received their jerseys, four-star receiver Jayden Ballard was given his All-American Bowl jersey in a virtual presentation on Wednesday night. It was an emotional one for Ballard’s mother, as Ballard told 247Sports, “It was very exciting. They were excited and my mom was crying she was so excited. She was proud of me and knew what I can do to put myself in position to play in this game.”

The scouts at 247Sports are very high on Ballard, whose segments on the NBC Sports Road to the Dome series run from 2:15-2:45 and from 6:57-7:30.

“What it means to be an All-American is it’s an amazing opportunity, and you get to compete with the best players in the country,” Ballard said on the show. “I wanna start off by thanking my dad and my mom for making me who I am today.”

Adeleye's top three

Ohio State lost a borderline five-star defensive end in Tunmise Adeleye when he decommitted from the Buckeyes in August. Adeleye is back on the market, and he is down to a new final three list of schools that he dropped on Wednesday night:

Texas A&M is the leader in the clubhouse with Florida and Alabama still staying strong for the top-35 player in the 2021 cycle.

Header photo: Oscar Delp – 247Sports

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