The Hurry-Up: Predicting the Next Commitment, More on Latest Rivals Rankings, C.J. Hicks Flip Rumors

By Zack Carpenter on December 2, 2020 at 6:30 pm
Kyion Grayes

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.

Next commitment, flip candidates?

Question 1

This question was posed to the Real Pod Wednesdays forum, and I thought I would address it here.

When looking at the 2021 class, there are four main players Ohio State really seems to be looking at to fill out the rest of the class, and all four are names you have heard a billion times: Defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau, wide receiver Emeka Egbuka, offensive tackle Tristan Leigh and outside linebacker Raesjon Davis.

With Tuimoloau, we're not going to find out anything about his decision until February, as he's willing to push his decision all the way until National Signing Day, or perhaps even further than that. And he's probably the best player in the country. He can afford to wait as long as he wants.

With Ohio State now having to wait out Egbuka's upcoming Oklahoma visit, it's possible Egbuka will feel comfortable by the early signing period (Dec. 16-18) to pull the trigger on a decision. It would make sense if he does, given that he's been to Washington more times than he can count, has visited Columbus twice and will have finally checked out Norman by the time that week arrives. I think Egbuka is the Buckeyes' best shot among those four when talking about the next player to fall. Tuimoloau might wind up being their best overall chance at a major commitment of that group.

But recruiting momentum is a real thing, and we so often see a player commit to the school he most recently visited. That scenario is in play with Egbuka if his Oklahoma visit leaves a strong enough impression on him. Ohio State still sits in the pole position, but now that a Norman visit is happening the lead could wind up slipping. If it does, it'll be interesting to see if the Buckeyes make a run at Wisconsin receiver commit and in-state 2021 prospect Markus Allen.

As for Leigh, in reading the tea leaves it still looks as if Ohio State is not in a great position there.

Davis is perhaps the most interesting of the bunch, as Ryan Day and Al Washington continue to make a strong connection in his recruitment and the Buckeyes are not out of the race there. He has visited Columbus twice, but getting his parents to visit with him was a big factor for him. Not sure if he'd feel comfortable flipping to Ohio State, but we can't rule it out.

As for the next domino to fall in the 2022 class, that's something we've been addressing in recent Hurry-Ups, as I believe Ohio State is in a terrific position to land both receiver Armani Winfield and get a flip from Arizona receiver commit Kyion Grayes. It could be a matter of time before both wind up in the class, and I feel the best about Grayes at this point.

More rankings movement

On Tuesday, we hit on some of the latest Ohio State commits who were featured in the latest Rivals recruiting rankings, and even though the Buckeyes have a pair of five-stars on that list, the most interesting (if that's the right word to use) ranking came in at No. 79 overall as TreVeyon Henderson continues to be underrated.

Henderson had a thought to share about that ranking.

Henderson wasn't the only 2021 Buckeye prospect to move up or down that list, as we failed to mention some additional commits who had some movement in the new rankings. Ohio State tied LSU and Clemson for the second-most commits in the top 250 with 14, with both schools trailing Alabama's 16:

To recap, every Ohio State commit in the top 250 except for Harrison and Hancock moved down multiple spots in the rankings.

In the composite rankings, there were no major movements except for Harrison, who moved back into the top 100 at No. 91 overall.

McCord was not ranked as a five-star prospect on Rivals, though the composite five-star prospect was one of a handful of recruits who just missed the mark of gaining that fifth star:

QB Kyle McCord — McCord has improved in many areas and was debated briefly but we don’t see the consistency when it comes to accuracy that we need to make him a five-star.

Hicks flip rumors

There have been some rumors being floated around that a possible flip could be coming from C.J. Hicks, with Luke Farrell and Cincinnati making a run at him.

There were differing opinions from the folks at Rivals in analysts Mike Farrell and Adam Gorney:

Farrell’s take: FACT. These rumors began a few days ago and seemed ridiculous. Yes the Bearcats are a top 10 team and Luke Fickell has done an amazing job. But most assume Fickell will be gone for a bigger job and there’s no way Hicks, a five-star, would spurn Ohio State.

But let’s remember one thing. The Bearcats were his first offer, he loves Fickell and Hicks knows he can find his way to the NFL no matter where he goes. I’m not saying this happens, but it could, and that’s all that matters.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. I asked Hicks about this and he said Cincinnati was his first offer and he thinks the Bearcats are a solid program. He loves the coaches and that they’ll be “family” no matter where he goes because they have such a great relationship but I find it very hard to believe he could flip to Cincinnati. It is a great program and Fickell is fantastic but Hicks is already committed to Ohio State. That’s a better program and puts more people in the NFL. Almost no one says “no” to the Buckeyes, especially in-state superstars.

I don't at all believe Ohio State fans have anything to be worried about here. I think it would be downright shocking for Hicks to flip anywhere, especially after he's been such a strong leader carrying the Buckeyes' flag as their top recruiter in the 2022 class.

Header photo: Kyion Grayes – Blair Angulo/247Sports

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