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.
Murphy still looking to take visits
When we met with Shawn Murphy for the first time in July – at the Elite Underclassmen Camp in Obetz – the five-star linebacker out of Unity Reed (Virginia) High School was coming off a day of struggles in his first competitive environment in months.
Murphy evaluated himself as having performed just “decent,” making note of the passes he dropped during a couple drills and times in the shuttle and 40 that weren’t up to his standards.
In his latest camp – at an Elite 11 Regional in Virginia Beach over the weekend – Murphy had a bounceback performance, of sorts, as he showcased his strength, lower body flexibility, acceleration, burst and overall athleticism, wrote 247Sports’ Brian Dohn after seeing Murphy up close at the event.
Murphy was one of the top-five defensive standouts at the event, and it’s possible that he could slide even further up the rankings from his perch as the No. 17 overall player in America’s 2022 class while maintaining his billing as the No. 1 inside linebacker in the nation.
#1 !!! https://t.co/p7ww2VgTQj— Shawn Murphy (@Theicedupshawn) November 8, 2020
Will Murphy wind up becoming the second five-star linebacker (or third if C.J. Hicks eventually gets bumped into five-star territory) to commit to Al Washington and Co. at some point in the near future?
Well, as we noted last week, there have been rumblings that Murphy is on the verge of a commitment, but we are still being told it’s not quite a done deal even though Ohio State is likely the leader. We’re still of the thought that Murphy is wanting to take visits before he comes to a decision on his future, and that’s precisely what the blue-chip linebacker told Dohn when he took some time after the Elite 11 showcase to discuss his recruitment:
"I am going to try and take big tours. I am going to try and see all the SEC schools, all the ACC schools and the west coast so I can get a feel for everything. If I feel at home, it will help."
Ohio State, Alabama, Penn State and Miami are four of the perceived favorites in the race for Murphy. In July, Murphy had planned to take a visit to Ohio State’s campus following the showcase in Obetz but was unable to make the trip at the last minute.
Murphy has told Eleven Warriors that his relationship with Washington has been a spiritual bond, a mental bond,” and that they speak every week over the phone.
He spoke with Dohn about his relationships with the Buckeye coaching staff:
"There are a lot of good people (at Ohio State) and I have a lot of good relationships," he said. "They do a really good job recruiting. They are really nice people. They are good coaches, too, and they have a strong bond with everything. From what I see from the outside, and what they are sending me, it's a good foundation and they take care of their athletes."
Day on signing two quarterbacks in one class
As we continue to await word on whether or not Ohio State is ultimately going to land five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers, Ryan Day has continued to handle questions about recruiting the quarterback position and where the program’s momentum is in recruiting the position, recently comparing playing quarterback at Ohio State to playing shortstop for the Yankees.
As we talked about before, Day is continuing to put his stamp on the possibility of Ohio State becoming Quarterback U, and having Columbus become a haven for the best talent in the country at the sport’s most important position has been one of Day’s biggest goals since he took over. He again reiterated that stance this week even more steadfastly as Justin Fields continues to assert himself as the favorite for the Heisman.
“Like we always say, you come to Ohio State you come here to compete, and if you don’t wanna compete this probably isn’t the right place for you,” Day said. “So if a quarterback’s coming here, they’re coming here to be in the Heisman trophy conversation and winning a national championship and be a first-round draft pick. If they can’t beat out the guy who’s here, how are they gonna go become a Heisman trophy winner and a first-round draft pick?
“And it’s all about competing, and I get it. If guys wanna play, then maybe Ohio State’s not for everybody. The guys who come here, they wanna be great. They wanna compete. They love Ohio State, they understand what they’re getting themselves into and they come here to compete and they’re gonna do that.”
One of the key reasons that Day believes Ohio State should become the ultimate destination for the nation’s best passers? He believes he is now running “the best offense in the country” and that opens the door for a pathway to development that few other programs can rival.
“You’re learning about drop-back passing, you’re learning about progressions, you’re learning about protections and all those types of things,” Day said. “I think that’s one of the big reasons why these guys love being here as a quarterback.”
Henderson completes mega goal
TreVeyon Henderson has completed a pretty massive goal, he announced on Twitter today, as he finished with a perfect academic record through his four years at Hopewell (Virginia) High School.
Blessed to say I finally finished high school today and accomplished my goal of receiving all As throughout my high school years, never receiving a B!!!! Next up, The Ohio State University ..— TreVeyon Henderson (@TreVeyonH4) November 11, 2020
That gives me a perfect excuse to tell this story again. Love telling this one.
The first time I spoke with Henderson’s head coach at Hopewell, Richarby Irby, he laid out in detail all of the things that made Henderson special on the field. Irby, though, went into even more detail about what makes Henderson stand out so much off the field, and he told me how his star running back hit the books harder than he hits the jets on breakaway touchdown runs.
Irby said that Henderson had only ever gotten one D in a class since middle school and that all of his other grades were A’s.
So I wrote that.
Henderson then reached out to me to tell me that he liked the story I wrote, but there was one problem – it was a B that he got in middle school, not a D, and I made the correction.
I loved that he put in the effort to make sure that information was accurate, and any small bit of skepticism I had that perhaps Irby was embellishing was wiped clean away.
Henderson’s as impressive of an individual as they come, and Ohio State’s going to get to enjoy watching him play for three years before he shuffles off to the NFL and becomes a star there.