The Hurry-Up: Dead Period Expected to Extend to April 15, Jakailin Johnson Accomplishes Elementary School Dream With All-American Bowl Invite

By Zack Carpenter on November 12, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Ryan Day

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.

Dead period to be extended soon

Just about every recruit Eleven Warriors interviews or speaks with brings about the same sort of phrase when it pertains to decision timelines.

“When things open back up,” or “when visits are allowed again,” or “when they end the dead period” have been said ad nauseam to us over the past eight-plus months and especially over the last month or two.

But it appears that those recruits who are wanting and needing to see campus in person before making that monumental college decision will not be allowed to do so for quite a while longer.

According to CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, the NCAA is likely to push the dead period back once again, this time from the current deadline of Jan. 1, 2021 to April 15, 2021:

The NCAA Football Oversight Committee has recommended the football recruiting dead period be extended 3 ½ months to April 15, several sources tell CBS Sports. The date has been extended multiple times as COVID-19 has swept across the country in the last nine months. The current deadline is Jan. 1.

The NCAA Council is expected the approve move next week at its Nov. 18 meeting.

The football dead period -- when coaches cannot meet face-to-face with recruits -- was originally extended in March when the NCAA Tournament and spring sports were canceled. This next extension would mean coaches will not meet in person with recruits for more than a year.

This will just add continued curveballs for the Buckeyes and all other programs across the country to combat the inability to make in-person connections and for recruits to see up close what the program offers.

One of Ohio State's priority targets in the 2022 class, defensive lineman Caden Curry, summed it up best when we spoke with him recently and asked him how difficult it's been without being able to make visits to Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Oregon and other places that he's strongly considering but hasn't yet been able to see.

“It really makes it a lot harder. It makes me have to make a blind decision, I think,” Curry said. “But hopefully I get as much as I need.”

Just about every target the Buckeyes are looking at is having the same mentality – that hopefully what they get is enough.

Johnson accomplishes “childhood dream” 

It's not often that we hear from Ohio State's four-star St. Louis cornerback commit Jakailin Johnson, the nation's No. 41 overall player and No. 3 cornerback in the 2021 class.

He doesn't often do interviews, and he's a fairly soft-spoken person when he does them. But on Wednesday night, he offered up some perspective on what it meant to him when he was presented with his All-American Bowl jersey in NBC Sports' virtual presentation ceremony.

“For me, being selected as an All-American means that I worked and proved to myself more than anyone else to be one of the best in the country,” Johnson told 247Sports' Allen Trieu. “I’ve been knowing about the game since elementary school, so since elementary, it’s been a childhood dream of mine to participate in it.”

Johnson joined Donovan Jackson, TreVeyon Henderson, Jayden Ballard, Mike Hall, Jordan Hancock, Reid Carrico and Evan Pryor in becoming the eighth Ohio State commit in 2021 to be presented his All-American Bowl jersey thus far. Kyle McCord, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Tyleik Williams are next up.

“Jakailin Johnson really has what you want in today's cornerback,” 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said in his film analysis of Johnson. “That's because the length is there. He's around 6-foot, 6-foot-1 with long arms. The athleticism is there, he's got elite track speed, the ball skills are there. This is a guy that can track the football down and play to the deep part of the field. The physicality is there as well, so he really checks every box. This is a guy that, as he gets stronger and adds weight at the next level, I think he has the tools to really become one of the next first-rounder type talents at the defensive back spot to come out of Ohio State.”

Sawyer presented with all-star jersey

Another of the Buckeyes' all-star honorees is five-star defensive end Jack Sawyer, who had for a long time been deciding whether or not he would participate in the All-American Bowl or the Under Armour All-America Game.

Unfortunately for Sawyer and all other recruits invited to play in either showcase, both events have been canceled.

Sawyer, however, was presented with his Under Armour jersey at Pickerington North High School on Wednesday morning, becoming the 12th Buckeye commit in the class to officially (or, unofficially, I guess) join one of the two showcases.

Buckeyes squarely on Alexander’s radar

What the 2022 group of commits is still trying to cook up has fallen off the radar a little bit, but they are still working to land a big haul. One of the best defensive ends in the country, five-star Jeremiah Alexander, is part of that wish list.

Alexander is the top-ranked weakside defensive end and top-ranked player in the state of Alabama, and he is listed as the No. 11 overall player in America. The Buckeyes are squarely on his radar following his decommitment from the Crimson Tide on Oct. 27.

Just a junior in high school, he is projected as a first-round NFL draft pick by 247Sports' Charles Power:

Already fairly developed with well-proportioned muscle mass on a good-sized frame with long arms. Is advanced physically and looks to be ahead of the curve from a developmental standpoint. Has been a highly productive player for one of the top high school programs in Alabama. Is primarily deployed as a standup edge rusher. Plays with advanced strength with the ability to drive offensive linemen into the backfield and disengage on command. Also has high-level quickness and play speed both off the edge and in pursuit. Looks to play with a high effort level and finds several ways to impact the game.

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