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.
Ballard, Carrico lead teams into title games
For two of Ohio State's highest-ranked commits in the 2021 class, this weekend will provide a shot at redemption.
Ballard, whose Tigers lost 34-17 to Cincinnati La Salle last season, will square off with Archbishop Hoban (10-0) at 6:15 p.m. Friday in the Division II title game as the Tigers (10-1) look to close out the season with an 11th consecutive win after dropping their season opener. This is the program's third straight appearance in the state title game, but they lost the previous two.
Carrico, whose own Tigers (11-0) have won 11 straight, fell to Kirtland, 14-7, in last year's title game, and they will get another shot at Kirtland (10-0) at 1:15 p.m. Saturday in the Division V championship game.
“It feels good, but I've been there before and I'm trying to win this one,” Carrico told Eleven Warriors following Ironton's 22-19 semifinal win over Roger Bacon. “We just came out flat last year. Kirtland's a great football team. I've got all the respect in the world to them.”
After looking like he might not get a chance to play his senior season in the fall with Ohio's high school seasons in limbo earlier in the year, Carrico is grateful he has one more shot at bringing home a ring.
“We're blessed. We're blessed to even be able to play in this game,” Carrico said. “Even the teams that didn't win a playoff game, or didn't get the chance to compete in the playoffs, we're all blessed that we even got to compete at all. Same thing for Ohio State and anyone else around the country, dude. We're all blessed.
“It means a lot. I'm glad I'm gonna be going out – well, hopefully, I'm going out a state champion. I'm not gonna jump and say I'm gonna win it because we've got a week to work and get ready for Kirtland. They've got a great program, and we'll see.”
Both state championship games were moved from Fortress Obetz to Massillon's Paul Brown Stadium.
State football championships being moved from Fortress Obetz to Massillon's Paul Brown Stadium. Likely due to Franklin County's stay-at-home advisory that goes into effect Friday at 6pm. https://t.co/aHiISnYYD1— Matt Barnes (@Matt_NBC4) November 19, 2020
Here is a quick look at all of the Buckeyes' commits who will be in action this weekend, those who have opted out, those who have had their seasons pushed to the spring and whose seasons have wrapped up:
|Player (Class)||Team||Opponent||Day, Time (Record)|
|SDE JACK SAWYER (2021)||PICKERINGTON NORTH||SAWYER OPTED OUT|
|OG DONOVAN JACKSON||EPISCOPAL (TEXAS)||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 2-4|
|RB TREVEYON HENDERSON||HOPEWELL (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|QB KYLE MCCORD||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||IDLE||(4-0)|
|CB JAKAILIN JOHNSON||DE SMET (MO.)||HOWELL||W, 28-7 (5-0)*|
|WR JAYDEN BALLARD||MASSILLON WASHINGTON||CINCINNATI LA SALLE (@Marysville)||W, 14-10 (10-1)*|
|DT MIKE HALL||STREETSBORO||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 8-1|
|CB JORDAN HANCOCK||NORTH GWINNETT (GA.)||IDLE||(7-3)|
|LB REID CARRICO||IRONTON||ROGER BACON (@London)||W, 22-19 (11-0)*|
|RB EVAN PRYOR||WILLIAM AMOS HOUGH (N.C.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|WR MARVIN HARRISON JR.||ST. JOSEPH'S PREP (PA.)||IDLE||(4-0)|
|OG BEN CHRISTMAN||REVERE||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 4-3|
|S/CB ANDRE TURRENTINE||ENSWORTH (TENN.)||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 2-7|
|DT TYLEIK WILLIAMS||UNITY REED (VA.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|ATH DENZEL BURKE||SAGUARO (ARIZ.)||@ HORIZON||W, 26-0. (4-1)|
|S JANTZEN DUNN||SOUTH WARREN (KY.)||CHRISTIAN COUNTY||Friday, 7 p.m. (5-0)|
|S/LB JAYLEN JOHNSON||CINCINNATI LA SALLE||MASSILLON WASHINGTON (@Marysville)||L, 14-10 (8-3)*|
|TE SAM HART||CHEROKEE TRAIL (CO.)||@ OVERLAND||W, 34-0 (4-2)|
|OT ZEN MICHALSKI||FLOYD CENTRAL (IND.)||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 7-3|
|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.)||@ SHAWNEE MISSION NORTHWEST||W, 30-6 (6-2)*|
|LB C.J. HICKS||ARCHBISHOP ALTER||ST. FRANCIES DESALES (@London)||L, 23-13 (8-3)*|
|CB JYAIRE BROWN||LAKOTA WEST||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 8-1|
|OT TEGRA TSHABOLA||LAKOTA WEST||SEASON FINISHED||FINAL RECORD: 8-1|
|TE BENJI GOSNELL||EAST SURRY (N.C.)||SEASON PPD UNTIL SPRING|
|TE BENNETT CHRISTIAN||ALLATOONA (GA.)||@ LASSITER||W, 44-9 (8-0)|
*Denotes playoff game
Carter balancing winning, recruiting
As we've been discussing all year, Carrico is not the lone Ironton player being recruited by Ohio State.
Trevor Carter, a 2023 player ranked in the top 100 nationally, is also getting some interest from the Buckeyes. In his sophomore season, however, Carter has been trying to focus on balancing out the pursuit of winning a state championship and a college recruitment that has seen Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame, Maryland and Northwestern – in addition to his offers from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Pitt, Toledo and West Virginia – show interest in him.
“It’s kind of a lot to handle,” Carter told Eleven Warriors. “It kind of put a lot of pressure on me at the start of the year, but I’ve kind of picked it up now and it’s not as much pressure on me anymore. I don’t think about it as much when I’m playing, but it still makes me nervous before games, having to come out and execute the best I can.”
The nation's No. 75-ranked overall player, No. 15-ranked athlete and No. 2 prospect in Ohio, the 6-foot-1, 190-pound Carter believes this season has allowed him to showcase some of his all-around talents to college coaches.
“I like to show aggression, hitting’s another thing, toughness, tackling – I feel I’m pretty good at tackling – and speed. Those are the big things and speed to the ball,” Carter said. “Just come out and execute in every way possible, on special teams, whether I’m on punt team, kickoff return, kickoff, offense, defense – anything I can possibly do to help us win this game will help pull some more looks.”
For now, though, all the focus remains on this weekend as Carter looks to make a major impact for the Tigers against Kirtland.
“It means the world to me. There’s nothing else in the world that I’d rather have than going to this game this next week,” Carter said. “I was just a freshman last year when we went, and obviously that doesn’t happen a lot. We went to the state championship, and I really didn’t play much last year. I played on the kickoff team, and losing that game broke my heart. That was all I wanted so to have another shot at it this year means the world.
“For Reid and for all these seniors – not just for him, for all of them – they had a shot last year, and we couldn’t pull through with it. To have another shot at it and to have these guys, I’m gonna play my butt off for those guys. Not for myself, for the rest of the team, the coaches, everyone I wanna get them a ring.”