The Hurry-Up: Five-Star Targets Tristan Leigh and Jaheim Singletary Set Commitment Dates, Buckeyes in Top Five for LB Malaki Hamrick

By Zack Carpenter on November 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm
Tristan Leigh

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.

Leigh, Singletary set commit dates

In a little more than a month, we will finally find out the college destination of five-star Virginia offensive tackle Tristan Leigh.

The No. 11 overall player and No. 4 offensive tackle in the 2021 class – and one of Ohio State's top remaining uncommitted targets in the cycle – has set a commitment date of January 2, as he announced on Sunday that he will be committing as part of the All-American Bowl's Declaration Day on NBC:

Leigh's final five are Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma and Ohio State, with the latter three being the perceived favorites in some order.

Leigh's mother tells Eleven Warriors that a visit to Ohio State between now and January 2 has not been planned or talked about much. She will have to work this coming weekend, so it's unlikely that a visit will happen.

Getting Leigh on campus for the Buckeye Bash on Oct. 23-24 did not happen as planned, and that was a pretty telling sign of where Leigh's possible recruitment to Ohio State stood – especially adding in the fact that Leigh's communication with the Buckeye commitments was very sparse:

Instead, Leigh was unable to visit this weekend, as we reported on Saturday, as his mom felt unwell the morning of the trip, and his dad was unable to take Leigh and his younger brother Aidan Leigh, who was also set to make the visit.

Leigh and his family being unable to visit this weekend probably tells us where his recruitment is likely to wind up, since this was going to be a critical visit for Leigh to get around the other guys to see if this was a group he could see himself being college teammates with. Instead, LSU and Oklahoma continue to stand above the Buckeyes here.

There is also this additional factor that we were told: Leigh’s communication with the 2021 commits had been pretty much nonexistent in terms of this weekend's planned visit. Leigh told at least one commit earlier this week that he was unsure whether or not he was going, even after multiple reports had come out (including ours) that he was set for a visit. He didn’t offer up much communication with them this week, so they didn’t know if he was coming until very late in the week.

If there was no communication with the commits during a commit-led recruiting weekend in which hanging out with the commits was a priority, it’s hard to believe that the Buckeyes remain heavily in the mix.

Prior to that Buckeye Bash weekend, it appeared Leigh was nearing lock status for a commitment to LSU, and we were told that was the most likely landing spot. Instead, Oklahoma has picked up some major momentum of late, and that's where the latest Crystal Ball predictions have him pegged.

Leigh is not the only Buckeye blue-chip target who's set a commitment date this week.

Five-star Florida cornerback Jaheim Singletary – the No. 10 overall player, No. 5 cornerback and No. 2 player in the Sunshine State's 2022 class out of Robert E. Lee High School – will also be committing on January 2. He announced that news on Twitter on Monday, also letting us know that he is down to Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Florida. The home state Gators are currently the Crystal Ball favorite.

The Buckeyes entered the race for Singletary later than those schools, not offering until Nov. 5 while Clemson (July 2), Florida (June 15) and Georgia (May 31, 2019) each offered much earlier in the process.

However, despite the late arrival to the part, Singletary told 247Sports' Blake Alderman that the Buckeyes have made a huge impression on him.

“It's Ohio State, they put a lot of DBs in the league and it's a dream to go to a DBU school,” Singletary said. “They got guys from Jacksonville there like Shawun Wade, Tyreke Johnson and [Marcus] Crowley. Since Ohio State offered me, I have talked to them every day.”

Hamrick top five

Though Shawn Murphy and Jalon Walker are probably the two highest-priority linebacker targets remaining for the Buckeyes in the 2022 cycle, four-star North Carolina linebacker Malaki Hamrick – the No. 140 overall player and No. 13 OLB in the class – has also come on as a top target. Some of that is due to the fact that Ohio State has projected him to have his hand in the dirt instead of roaming around as a linebacker.

Over the weekend, the No. 5 player in North Carolina dropped a top five list that consists of the Tar Heels, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Appalachian State.

Hamrick was offered by the Buckeyes in August, and he told Eleven Warriors of the lofty expectations he has of himself and the player he could become.

“I guess (the Buckeyes) like my speed and how I get off the ball and really know how to make the offensive linemen in front of me work to try to keep up with me,” Hamrick said. “And with my frame and abilities you could possibly be looking at the next Chase Young or maybe even better.”

That offer was impactful for Hamrick, but he took it in stride as much as he could, taking a step back at all his offers and now he's down to a select group.

“It definitely has a big impact on my recruiting,” Hamrick said of the Ohio State offer, “but I’m just enjoying the process and continuing to work hard to become a top-notch athlete.”

Another top schools list

Aliou Bah, a four-star offensive tackle out of Florida's IMG Academy, also dropped a top schools list over the weekend that featured the Buckeyes.

Bah, the No. 324 overall player, No. 37 OT and No. 43 player in Florida's 2022 class, has Ohio State, Florida State, Florida, USC, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Texas A&M and Penn State as the top group of schools he is considering.

The Buckeyes, who will be looking to land at least five or six offensive linemen in 2022, offered Bah in mid-August, and it left an impression.

“Coach (Greg) Studrawa and Coach (Ryan) Day (offered me),” Bah told Eleven Warriors previously. “That was a big-time offer. When I had got it, I sat back and was just like wow. It was jaw dropping.

“Ohio State is huge,” Bah said. “The program speaks for itself. They compete and win at the highest stages. They develop and (improve their) players. For any recruit, this school would most definitely stand out to them!”

Brown accepts All-America invite

As expected when he announced that he had received an invitation to the Under Armour All-America Game last week, four-star Ohio State cornerback commit Jyaire Brown announced over the weekend that he has accepted the invite to the all-star showcase.

Brown, the Buckeyes' first commitment in the 2022 class, is ranked No. 125 overall, No. 13 at cornerback and No. 4 in Ohio following his move back to the Cincinnati area from New Orleans.

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