It was another weekend of high school action for future Buckeyes, and it was nearly a full slate.
With defensive back commits Jakailin Johnson, Jordan Hancock, Denzel Burke and Jantzen Dunn back in action again, plus tight end Sam Hart, quarterback Kyle McCord and receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. also now on a roll, that gives the Buckeyes a combined 21 of their 26 commits in the 2021 and 2022 cycles who will have played this fall.
Jack Sawyer, TreVeyon Henderson, Evan Pryor, Tyleik Williams and Jesse Mirco in 2021 are the only five commits left who will not be playing high school football again before enrolling at Ohio State in January.
Let's take a look at some of the weekend's highlights, shall we?
Hancock, Dunn return
It's difficult for Ohio State's defensive backs, especially the cornerbacks, to get much shine at the high school level on that side of the ball. After all, they are the country's most elite at the position and the best their state has to offer, so teams are often game planning to look to the opposite side of the field all night.
That's typically the case for Jordan Hancock, the nation's No. 67 overall player and No. 4 cornerback in 2021, and that's how it was in his first game back this season after opting back into his senior season of high school football. Hancock did, however, help his North Gwinnett (Georgia) teammates pitch a shutout in a 31-0 win over Mill Creek, which helped the Bulldogs' defense push their scoreless streak to 10 quarters as they are now on a roll.
Hancock also tallied 32 yards of offense on a pair of catches and one rushing attempt, but it was his overall presence on the field that was noticeable for North Gwinnett.
“It was great to see (Hancock) back out there,” North Gwinnett head coach Bill Stewart told the Gwinnett Daily Post's William Hammock. “I think energy-wise, bringing some more energy and obviously he’s super talented. I think our kids had a lot of fun having him back and he had fun. That was the cool thing.”
And speaking of energy in defensive back debuts, South Warren (Kentucky) safety Jantzen Dunn, the nation's No. 195 overall player and No. 10 safety in 2021, made a noticeable difference for the team's energy and focus on Friday night as well.
Dunn, who had been out for the first three games of the season with a quad injury, spent more time focused on film while he was out. When he returned to the field this weekend, he was able to apply what he learned in communication with his teammates as the quarterback of the defense – the role he's likely to play at Ohio State.
And on offense, Dunn provided a major spark at receiver. With less than a minute remaining in the first half and South Warren holding a three-point lead, Dunn skied for a snag in the end zone, hauling in a touchdown that gave the Spartans a 23-13 lead.
That was the most momentous play as part of their run of 21 unanswered points, as Dunn and the Spartans took home a 37-13 win to stay unbeaten.
Buckeyes advance, fall short in playoffs
It was a mostly successful weekend for Ohio State commits in the playoffs this weekend, as nine of the 10 players competing in the postseason advanced:
- Jayden Ballard and Massillon Washington cruised to a blowout win, 56-0, which was jump-started by a 63-yard touchdown reception by Ballard on the Tigers' third play of the game. Ballard and the Tigers are looking to make a return trip to the state title game after falling to Jaylen Johnson and La Salle, which advanced to the next round with a 42-14 win over Little Miami.
- Mike Hall (Streetsboro), Reid Carrico (Ironton), Ben Christman (Revere), C.J. Hicks (Archbishop Alter), Jyaire Brown (Lakota West), Tegra Tshabola (Lakota West) and Indiana's Zen Michalski (Floyd Central) each advanced as well.
- The lone Buckeye commit whose team lost on Friday was Marysville's Gabe Powers, as the Monarchs fell, 48-41, to Ohio State 2021 receiver target Markus Allen and Northmont. In a wild and high-scoring affair, the Monarchs stormed back from a 17-point deficit to take a seven-point lead in the fourth quarter, as Powers threw a halfback pass for a 35-yard touchdown with a little more than three minutes to play. But that 41-34 lead was erased one minute later as Northmont tied it up, and it took the decisive 48-41 win on a Javien Brownlee 20-yard touchdown catch with 16 seconds remaining.
We will have a playoff preview of all the Buckeye commits who advanced in the postseason later this week.
Oh, and Hall wants your help deciding whether or not one of his run blocks on Friday night was clean or not.
Is this clean or no...? pic.twitter.com/pFIyHzN975— (@MichaelHallJr_) October 17, 2020
Here is the full look at the Buckeyes' 26 commits in the two combined classes:
|Player (Class)||Team||Opponent||Result (Record)|
|SDE JACK SAWYER (2021)||PICKERINGTON NORTH||SAWYER OPTED OUT|
|OG DONOVAN JACKSON||EPISCOPAL (TEXAS)||BYE||(1-3)|
|RB TREVEYON HENDERSON||HOPEWELL (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|QB KYLE MCCORD||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||LA SALLE COLLEGE PREP (PA.)||W, 38-14 (2-0)|
|CB JAKAILIN JOHNSON||DE SMET (MO.)||ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY HIGH (MO.)||W, 38-22 (2-0)|
|WR JAYDEN BALLARD||MASSILLON WASHINGTON||WALNUT RIDGE||W, 56-0 (6-1)*|
|DT MIKE HALL||STREETSBORO||NILES MCKINLEY||W, 41-6 (7-0)*|
|CB JORDAN HANCOCK||NORTH GWINNETT (GA.)||MILL CREEK (GA.)||W, 31-0 (5-2)|
|LB REID CARRICO||IRONTON||NEW LEXINGTON||W, 49-3 (7-0)*|
|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.)||W, 38-14 (2-0)|
|OG BEN CHRISTMAN||REVERE||BUCKEYE MEDINA||W, 27-0 (4-2)*|
|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.)||W, 70-14 (2-0)|
|S JANTZEN DUNN||SOUTH WARREN (KY.)||GREENWOOD (KY.)||W, 37-13 (4-0)|
|S/LB JAYLEN JOHNSON||CINCINNATI LA SALLE||LITTLE MIAMI||W, 42-14 (5-2)*|
|TE SAM HART||CHEROKEE TRAIL (CO.)||@ CHERRY CREEK (CO.)||L, 49-7 (0-2)|
|OT ZEN MICHALSKI||FLOYD CENTRAL (IND.)||@ SEYMOUR (IND.)||W, 49-7 (7-2)*|
|P JESSE MIRCO||PROKICK AUSTRALIA||SIGNED WITH OHIO STATE|
|LB GABE POWERS (2022)||MARYSVILLE||@CLAYTON NORTHMONT||L, 48-41 (6-2)*|
|ATH DASAN MCCULLOUGH||BLUE VALLEY NORTH (KAN.)||BLUE VALLEY WEST (KAN.)||L, 31-28 (2-2)|
|LB C.J. HICKS||ARCHBISHOP ALTER||DAYTON DUNBAR||W, 35-13 (5-2)*|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN||LAKOTA WEST||LAKOTA EAST||W, 31-14 (7-0)*|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA||LAKOTA WEST||LAKOTA EAST||W, 31-14 (7-0)*|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN||ALLATOONA (GA.)||WHEELER (GA.)||W, 23-0 (5-0)|
*Denotes playoff game