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.
Day on QBs, Corey Dennis
About three weeks ago, 247Sports released its 30Under30 list featuring a pair of key Ohio State assistants, each of whom coaches the Buckeye quarterbacks in Keenan Bailey (who spent the last two seasons coaching the receivers) and Corey Dennis (who is in his first year as the quarterbacks coach).
When asked about Dennis’ best assets as a coach this week, Ryan Day sounded off on the assistant who’s helping him mentor Justin Fields and crew.
“He’s got a lot of assets, and he’s got a lot of value here,” Day said. “First off, he’s very loyal. He grew up in this world. His dad was a coach and an AD. He understands football, and he believes in what we believe in here. I think that’s important. He’s really sharp, he connects well with the players, and because of all those things he’s of a lot of value to all of us here. His recruiting, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. We’re very pleased with what Corey’s done so far and excited to see where it goes.”
What Day ultimately hit on was the No. 1 takeaway from that quote for those of us, like me, who live in the weird little world of being a recruiting reporter. And it was a point that we have heard countless times when asking parents and recruits about Dennis. He’s good at the recruiting aspect of the job, both in building relationships and in creating confidence that he knows what he’s doing and can help take them develop at the next level.
First was Jack Miller’s father, who told Eleven Warriors soon after the Dennis hire: “Jack is looking forward to learning and being coached by Coach Dennis. Initially, he recruited Jack with Coach (Urban) Meyer and Coach Day. Always around the QB room when we visited. He and Jack have a great relationship. He knows the position; he played the position, has been coaching under Coach Meyer and Coach Day, and he will utilize that knowledge to hone the elite skills Jack already has, physically and mentally.”
Then it was five-star 2022 quarterback target Maalik Murphy, who told Eleven Warriors in the spring that he had been impressed with Dennis.
Then it was Ohio State’s five-star 2021 quarterback commit Kyle McCord, who told us that a quick conversation with Dennis was one of the little sparks that helped him bounce back at this summer’s Elite 11 competition in which he struggled on day one and then put in an MVP-caliber performance the final two days.
“Coach Corey told me after day one to just go out and have fun,” McCord said in July. “That’s the biggest reason everyone plays football is to have fun. I think that was something that I wasn’t doing too much of on day one. And then, just relaxing and taking a step back and focusing on the task at hand was the biggest difference. It was just kind of a shift in mindset.
“I talk to Corey literally every day just about life in general and then obviously about football. For him to tell me that it’s not a big deal, that it’s the Elite 11, but it’s not gonna make or break me. ... For him to tell me to go out and have fun was just a refresher that I think was part of my bounceback. I have a great relationship with him, and he knows how I am as a person, as a football player and as a competitor. He definitely got me going for day two.”
Ohio State becoming a destination spot for QBs
With all that being said about Dennis, who is making an impact on the recruiting trail but still has to prove himself in terms of developing the quarterbacks already in the program, Day’s reputation as a quarterback developer is a bigger reason for why quarterbacks are looking at Ohio State as a destination spot more than they have in the past.
After seeing Dwayne Haskins’ development in turning him into a first-rounder and after seeing what Day has done with Justin Fields in turning him into a likely top-five pick, it’s creating a place where the nation’s best at the most important position in sports can look at as a haven to be developed into a first-round NFL talent.
“I think it’s a very, very exciting time here to be part of the passing game,” Day said. “I think I took it as a personal challenge to have that quarterback room be in the Heisman conversation year in and year out. We’ve had a lot of those here at Ohio State, but it’s certainly a challenge to get guys drafted in the first round and that’s what Ohio State has a great history of at all positions. Now, the last couple years, we’ve had some really good quarterbacks here, and it’s an exciting time to be a quarterback here and I think recruits see that.”
As long as Day is at Ohio State, and if Dennis can prove himself as well, the program may be set up to challenge Oklahoma for the Quarterback U title over the next five years. Maybe longer.
Davis moves up commit date
Ohio State's final defensive back target in the 2021 cycle, four-star Gateway (Pittsburgh) senior Derrick Davis Jr., has moved up his commitment date from Nov. 14 to Nov. 7.
I know I aint supposed to wish away time, but next Saturday cant come soon enough— Teradja Mitchell (@teradja_) October 13, 2020
Though Davis is down to a final seven, the continued prevailing feeling is that Ohio State and Penn State are the final two programs battling it out for Davis, with the Nittany Lions expected to take the checkered flag when we hit November. It would give Ohio State some momentum here if Davis is able to visit for the Buckeye Bash next weekend, though we have been told that he is unlikely to make a visit.
Weekly FNL preview
|SDE JACK SAWYER (2021)||PICKERINGTON NORTH||SAWYER OPTED OUT|
|OG DONOVAN JACKSON||EPISCOPAL (TEXAS)||BYE|
|RB TREVEYON HENDERSON||HOPEWELL (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|QB KYLE MCCORD||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||LA SALLE COLLEGE PREP (PA.)||7 p.m., Saturday|
|CB JAKAILIN JOHNSON||DE SMET (MO.)||ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY HIGH (MO.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|WR JAYDEN BALLARD||MASSILLON WASHINGTON||WALNUT RIDGE||7 p.m., Friday|
|DT MIKE HALL||STREETSBORO||NILES MCKINLEY||7 p.m., Friday|
|CB JORDAN HANCOCK||NORTH GWINNETT (GA.)||MILL CREEK (GA.)||7:30 p.m., Friday|
|LB REID CARRICO||IRONTON||NEW LEXINGTON||7 p.m., Saturday|
|RB EVAN PRYOR||WILLIAM AMOS HOUGH (N.C.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|WR MARVIN HARRISON JR.||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||LA SALLE COLLEGE PREP (PA.)||7 p.m., Saturday|
|OG BEN CHRISTMAN||REVERE||BUCKEYE MEDINA||7 p.m.|
|S/CB ANDRE TURRENTINE||ENSWORTH (TENN.)||OUT (ANKLE)||W, 40-17 (2-4)|
|DT TYLEIK WILLIAMS||UNITY REED (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|ATH DENZEL BURKE||SAGUARO (ARIZ.)||@ MARICOPA (ARIZ.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|S JANTZEN DUNN||SOUTH WARREN (KY.)||GREENWOOD (KY.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|S/LB JAYLEN JOHNSON||CINCINNATI LA SALLE||LITTLE MIAMI||7 p.m., Friday|
|TE SAM HART||CHEROKEE TRAIL (CO.)||@ CHERRY CREEK (CO.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|OT ZEN MICHALSKI||FLOYD CENTRAL (IND.)||@ SEYMOUR (IND.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|P JESSE MIRCO||PROKICK AUSTRALIA||SIGNED WITH OHIO STATE|
|LB GABE POWERS (2022)||MARYSVILLE||@CLAYTON NORTHMONT||7 p.m., Friday|
|ATH DASAN MCCULLOUGH||BLUE VALLEY NORTH (KAN.)||BLUE VALLEY WEST (KAN.)||7 p.m., Friday|
|LB C.J. HICKS||ARCHBISHOP ALTER||DAYTON DUNBAR||7 p.m., Friday|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN||LAKOTA WEST||LAKOTA EAST||7 p.m., Friday|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA||LAKOTA WEST||LAKOTA EAST||7 p.m., Friday|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN||ALLATOONA (GA.)||WHEELER (GA.)||7:30 p.m., Friday|