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.
Jackson’s final six
When five-star Mater Dei (California) cornerback Domani Jackson tweeted last week "7 days till" there was instantly plenty of Internet chatter that a decision could be coming sometime in the near future for the nation's No. 3 overall player, especially as he was coming off an impactful visit to Michigan with fellow five-star cornerback and good friend Will Johnson.
Soon enough, though, we found out that Jackson's news was set to be a top-six list, and we found out which six programs still stand in his recruitment on Thanksgiving Day. The top-ranked cornerback released a final six of Ohio State, Michigan, Clemson, Oklahoma, USC and Arizona State, with the two likely favorites being the Buckeyes and Wolverines.
6ix... pic.twitter.com/2dCR7K66R5— domanijackson (@domanijackson1) November 26, 2020
Following the release of that list, Jackson's father, Randy, discussed at length their visit to Michigan with 247Sports' Sam Webb, as Randy – a lifelong Michigan fan whose son grew up rooting for the Wolverines as well – was "thoroughly impressed" coming out of that weekend:
“It felt like home. I’m always wearing Michigan gear. Always rooting for Michigan, supporting Michigan throughout the years. And then seeing the block M everywhere and not being one of the few people to have the block M on. Seeing everyone with Michigan gear on. It felt like it was at home.”
Of course, more important is how Domani felt about the trip, and Randy said the 2022 star was just as comfortable:
“You ever see the movie Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory? The little boy? That’s how he looked. That’s how he felt from a far. He felt really good about it. He felt really good about everyone having that positive Michigan vibe. Despite what happened on the field. That was my analogy I would use for it.”
“He seemed very comfortable. He was excited. He had a lot of emotion going through him for him to actually be there. And when he was able to talk to the other possible recruits that were there and then having the same feeling about Michigan. The common denominator, they all felt that they were in a good spot with Michigan.”
The Jacksons are still looking to potentially visit Ohio State sometime in the near future, but they do not have anything scheduled yet. Mater Dei's season is set to begin in January, which is about the time when the Buckeyes' 2022 commits are trying to set up a second Buckeye Bash.
Williams trims list, sort of
Jackson was not the lone Mater Dei standout to narrow his options on Thanksgiving.
After teasing a trimmed list on Wednesday, four-star receiver C.J. Williams – the No. 38 overall player, No. 6 receiver and No. 5 California prospect in the 2022 class – released that trimmed list yesterday. Though it's not much of a trim, as Williams is now down to 16 schools.
That contingent is headlined by Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Oregon, and it features Stanford, Notre Dame and USC as well.
Beyond thankful for the life God has blessed me with. Thankful for every single coach that offered and recruited me. As my decision date gets closer, these will be the schools that I will focus on as my recruiting continues! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! pic.twitter.com/lZGWGMgH2z— CJ Williams (@CJWilliams_03) November 27, 2020
Williams spoke with 247Sports' Greg Biggins about the top-16 list:
“I didn’t want to do a top five or even top 10 this early,” Williams said. “Our class (2022) is the one that might be most affected by the scholarship numbers. I’ve heard schools can go over their numbers for the ’21 class but if they have to get back down to the 85 total for my class, it means there’s going to be a lot of small recruiting classes.
“So I wanted to be careful and not cut my list so small and then not have a lot of options if those classes filled up. I was going to to 15 but I wanted to add Howard on there and that offer meant a lot to me.”
Williams said the plan is to take some visits but knows some of those will have to be dead period visits.
Buckeyes No. 1 in football, basketball
The Buckeyes have a substantial lead for the No. 1 ranking in the 2022 class right now as the commits look to surpass the 2021 cycle.
But football recruiting isn't the only recruiting taking center stage, as Chris Holtmann's crew is now making waves. Following the commitment of four-star point guard Bruce Thornton – the No. 30 overall player and No. 7 point guard in America's 2022 cycle – Ohio State now holds the No. 1 recruiting class in both sports.
While football is certainly going to make a run at the program's first-ever recruiting crown, basketball won't remain at the top, but right now it's a hell of a storyline.
Day talks recruiting character
One of the main reasons the Buckeye football program has been doing such a great job on the recruiting front comes down to the energy and effort that the assistants put into building relationships. Their reputation is strong nationally for how full throttle they go at it on the recruiting trail, as countless recruits and parents have told us that Ohio State has a kitchen sink approach that leaves an impact.
“I will say that Ohio State is very aggressive with its recruiting. You hear from someone from Ohio State every day,” Randy Jackson, Domani's father, told Eleven Warriors previously. “They communicate not only with Domani but the family as well.”
Well, as Ryan Day said on his radio show on Wednesday, that's the coaches' main task at Ohio State.
“That’s their No. 1 job is to recruit and develop their players,” Day said. “Scheme and all that stuff, that comes later. The scheme’s a lot better when you have good players. So the No. 1 job for all these guys is to recruit.”
That has fed into a pair of classes in 2021 and 2022 that are going to be as good of back-to-back recruiting classes that you are going to see over the next two years.
“It’s a lot of momentum for us right now,” Day said. “It’s been hard because guys haven’t been able to visit, but we’re been trying to do the best we can to build these relationships virtually and stay in touch with them. I think people nationally are very, very excited about what we’re doing here. It’s been great. I think we’re getting really talented young men, but we’re also getting great families and adding to the culture, which is the most important especially in times like this. There’s a lot of excitement around the program right now and our assistant coaches, everybody involved in recruiting, Mark Pantoni, are on their A game and we wanna keep it going.”
Header photo: Domani Jackson – Greg Biggins/247Sports