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.
Buckeyes doing good work on priority RB
When we spoke with Pennsylvania's Nicholas Singleton – the nation's No. 7 running back in the 2022 class and No. 109 overall player – for the first time in April, Singleton was still in the beginning stages of building a relationship with Tony Alford but said he had been “impressed with everything about the school,” and that everything he had been hearing from Alford was leaving positive vibes.
“(Coach Alford) has been saying I’m their main priority in the 2022 class of running backs,” Singleton said. “After Coach (Ryan) Day came to my school to offer me (in January), Coach Alford came just to talk, and he gave me his number and also my coach. So every time he wants to talk to me, he would just text my coach, telling me to call him.”
Singleton and Alford began talking once a week at the time, whether it was about what Ohio State had to offer, both the academics of the school and the football program itself. Fast forward six months later, and Singleton's relationship with Alford and the Buckeyes has grown substantially as they have put themselves at the front of the pack in his recruitment.
Singleton told 247Sports' Brian Dohn that Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and South Carolina are the five programs currently recruiting him the most and that each is leaving a good impression.
The No. 3-ranked player in Pennsylvania's 2022 cycle, Singleton's Governor Mifflin High School is only about 2.5 hours away from State College, and he is getting a strong push from Penn State to stay home:
"Most of their running backs are from Pa., so that is really their message," Singleton told Dohn. "They are telling me to stay home and play for your state and be one of those running backs to play for your state."
Singleton, however, took a recent trip to Columbus two weeks ago to check out the campus, joining several other targets such as Bennett Christian, Zen Michalski and Derrick Davis Jr. who recently took visits there on their own dime to check things out. Singleton gave a couple details about his visit to Dohn, saying he was able to check out The Shoe and some of the dorms on campus:
"They want me bad, they want me to come back there," Singleton said. "They want me to come back up there and get to know them more and build a relationship with them.
"We talked about whether I liked it. I told them I like it."
Having Day heavily involved in Singleton's recruitment is significant.
"It's real important," Singleton said. "You want to start building a relationship with the head coach because when a decision comes, you want to (know the coach)."
Leigh talks Buckeye Bash absence
Five-star offensive tackle Tristan Leigh was supposed to be the Buckeye Bash's mega visitor last Saturday. Once he had to cancel the trip last minute, though, it left most believing the Buckeyes were even further on the outside looking in than they were previously, as getting him on campus was going to be a huge step in their search for a come-from-behind recruiting win.
Leigh talked about his inability to make that visit with 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong, and he talked a bit more about his recruitment and where things stand:
“They’re still up there with me,” Leigh told 247Sports. He has been to Ohio State twice in the past including last year’s win over Penn State. “If another chance approaches I’ll definitely try and get out there.”
Several things about the Buckeyes has caught Leigh’s interest.
“I like the development of their players,” Leigh said. "Coach (Greg) Stud(wara) has a really good track history of getting dudes where they’re supposed to be and maximizing their abilities and getting them to the league. They’re a championship contender every year. Just playing on that stage, if you put on right there, that’s good for building your name and profile as a player.”
I still believe Ohio State to be in the trail position in Leigh's recruitment. Wiltfong does, too, having placed a Crystal Ball prediction on Thursday for Leigh to eventually pick Oklahoma, even though it was a low confidence level. The Buckeyes have a lot of ground to make up here. Leigh's mom loves Ohio State, but his absence for the commit-led recruiting weekend hurts quite a bit in its hopes of landing him.
The majority of Ohio State's 26 commits in the 2021 and 2022 combined classes are still hitting the field this weekend, as 16 players will be in action including Colorado tight end Sam Hart whose Cherokee Trail squad moved to 2-2 this season following a 35-14 win over Rocky Mountain on Thursday night. Here's a snapshot to preview where each player will be playing this weekend and which ones will be out of action.
|Player (Class)||Team||Opponent||Day, Time (Record)|
|SDE JACK SAWYER (2021)||PICKERINGTON NORTH||SAWYER OPTED OUT|
|OG DONOVAN JACKSON||EPISCOPAL (TEXAS)||IDLE||(2-3)|
|RB TREVEYON HENDERSON||HOPEWELL (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|QB KYLE MCCORD||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||@ ARCHBISHOP WOOD||Saturday, 1 p.m. (2-0)|
|CB JAKAILIN JOHNSON||DE SMET (MO.)||HOWELL CENTRAL||Friday, 6 p.m. (2-0)|
|WR JAYDEN BALLARD||MASSILLON WASHINGTON||WESTERVILLE SOUTH||Friday, 7 p.m. (7-1)*|
|DT MIKE HALL||STREETSBORO||CANFIELD||Friday, 7 p.m. (8-0)*|
|CB JORDAN HANCOCK||NORTH GWINNETT (GA.)||@ COLLINS HILL||Friday, 7:30 p.m. (5-2)|
|LB REID CARRICO||IRONTON||HARVEST PREP||Saturday, 7 p.m. (8-0)*|
|RB EVAN PRYOR||WILLIAM AMOS HOUGH (N.C.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|WR MARVIN HARRISON JR.||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||@ ARCHBISHOP WOOD||Saturday, 1 p.m. (2-0)|
|OG BEN CHRISTMAN||REVERE||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 4-3|
|S/CB ANDRE TURRENTINE||ENSWORTH (TENN.)||MCCALLIE||Friday, 7 p.m. (2-5)|
|DT TYLEIK WILLIAMS||UNITY REED (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|ATH DENZEL BURKE||SAGUARO (ARIZ.)||IDLE||(2-1)|
|S JANTZEN DUNN||SOUTH WARREN (KY.)||IDLE||(5-0)|
|S/LB JAYLEN JOHNSON||CINCINNATI LA SALLE||ANDERSON||Friday, 7 p.m. (6-2)*|
|TE SAM HART||CHEROKEE TRAIL (CO.)||ROCKY MOUNTAIN||W, 35-14 (2-2)|
|OT ZEN MICHALSKI||FLOYD CENTRAL (IND.)||JEFFERSONVILLE||Friday, 7 p.m. (7-2)*|
|P JESSE MIRCO||PROKICK AUSTRALIA||SIGNED WITH OHIO STATE|
|LB GABE POWERS (2022)||MARYSVILLE||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 6-2|
|ATH DASAN MCCULLOUGH||BLUE VALLEY NORTH (KAN.)||NORTH||Friday, 7 p.m. (3-2)|
|LB C.J. HICKS||ARCHBISHOP ALTER||@ BADIN||Friday, 7 p.m. (6-2)*|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN||LAKOTA WEST||ST. XAVIER||Friday, 7 p.m. (8-0)*|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA||LAKOTA WEST||ST. XAVIER||Friday, 7 p.m. (8-0)*|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN||ALLATOONA (GA.)||SPRAYBERRY||Friday, 7:30 p.m. (5-0)|
*Denotes playoff game
Header photo: Nicholas Singleton – Mark Brennan/247Sports