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.
“It’s Gonna Be A Great Journey Ahead”
When Ben Christman assessed his recruitment during his sophomore year, he had a plan in place.
Yes, he was an in-state Ohio player with an Ohio State offer, but he was still going to take his time with the process. He wanted to take visits, check out what other places had to offer and see which coaches might be the best fit for him.
And then everything changed for the Revere four-star prospect, one who was ranked in the top 50 overall after he was extended an offer by the Buckeyes in February. For some reason, he felt like he had to jump on board the Buckeyes' 2021 class sooner than he wanted to in the summer heading into his junior year, and he committed in June.
“That was so hard for me because initially I wanted to take my time, take my visits and all that, and then the situation (with Ryan Day replacing Urban Meyer) happened and I felt like I had to make a decision,” Christman told Eleven Warriors recently. “I felt kind of rushed at first, but having the conversations with the coaches they made me feel comfortable as people I could lean on. I kind of always felt that, but now it’s become stronger. I trust those guys, my family trusts them, and it’s gonna be a great journey ahead.”
Perhaps that might sound a bit off that an in-state commit would not be entirely 100 percent in his commitment, but as soon as he really started to get to know the staff and the fellow commits in his class, Christman's worries dissipated.
“Coach (Greg Studrawa) had been there before, but yeah some of the guys were new,” Christman said. “Some guys moved on and some guys came back. As long as they’ve got Coach Day, Coach (Mickey Marotti) and Coach Stud, it’s one big brotherhood.
“Coach Stud, Coach (Kennedy) Cook (are the two I talk with the most). Really, they’re all cool, but those are the guys I talk to the most. Before them, Coach (Tony) Alford was recruiting me and talking to me a lot because he recruited my area. He’s a really cool dude, and I talk to Coach Day. They’re all cool, I just talk to those guys more.”
Christman's journey took the next step last week, as he became one of 21 players in Ohio State's 2021 recruiting class to sign during the early period.
|Player||Pos||Overall Rank||Position Rank|
|JACK SAWYER||DE||No. 4||No. 3 (SDE)|
|EMEKA EGBUKA||WR||No. 9||No. 1|
|DONOVAN JACKSON||OG||No. 17||No. 1|
|TREVEYON HENDERSON||RB||No. 24||No. 1|
|KYLE MCCORD||QB||No. 25||No. 3 (PRO)|
|JAKAILIN JOHNSON||CB||No. 47||No. 3|
|MIKE HALL||DT||No. 49||No. 4|
|JAYDEN BALLARD||WR||No. 66||No. 8|
|JORDAN HANCOCK||CB||No. 67||No. 4|
|EVAN PRYOR||RB||No. 81||No. 2 (APB)|
|REID CARRICO||LB||No. 84||No. 5 (ILB)|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||No. 91||No. 15|
|BEN CHRISTMAN||OG||No. 124||No. 6|
|TYLEIK WILLIAMS||DT||No. 161||No. 12|
|ANDRE TURRENTINE||S||No. 167||No. 4|
|DENZEL BURKE||CB||No. 192||No. 8 (ATH)|
|JANTZEN DUNN||S||No. 203||No. 12|
|ZEN MICHALSKI||OT||No. 318||No. 23|
|SAM HART||TE||No. 390||No. 15|
|JAYLEN JOHNSON||S||No. 411||No. 29|
|JESSE MIRCO||P||No. 1979||No. 2|
Looking back at the entire recruiting process, Christman enthusiastically jumped at the chance to make it crystal clear that he's happy he made that early decision and that his worries about feeling rushed at the time seem trivial now.
“Yeah, no it worked out perfectly,” Christman said. “It went from what felt like a rushed decision to being the right decision, and just having those conversations with them I felt the most comfortable. I’m happy that I’m gonna be a Buckeye.”
The next step is actually getting on campus as an official Ohio State player. His move-in date is January 9 with classes starting a couple days later. Though classes will likely be exclusively online throughout the semester, Christman is still going to be afforded the opportunity to reconnect with his fellow 2021 signees for the first time since the Buckeye Bash in late October – a day Christman said was exactly what they all needed at that time.
“I can’t wait,” Christman said. “That Buckeye Bash was just such a great day. We couldn’t do too much, but just playing with those guys and just working with those guys, I can’t wait.”
Buckeye signees earn award nominations
Christman will one day be blocking for one of the top high school players in America in five-star quarterback Kyle McCord, who this week received yet another honor after having won Red Division Player of the Year in the Philadelphia Catholic League.
And now, the nation's No. 25 overall player and No. 3 pro-style quarterback has been nominated for the All-American Bowl's Adidas Player of the Year award.
McCord is one of five finalists, pitted against Barrett Carter (Clemson linebacker signee), Cooper DeJean (Iowa athlete signee), Ty Thompson (Oregon quarterback signee), Brock Vandagriff (Georgia quarterback signee) and James Williams (Miami safety signee).
Kings of Prep— All-American Bowl (@AABonNBC) December 22, 2020
3 St. Josephs Preparatory School standouts will be virtually presented their All-American jerseys tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET. #AAB21 #AllAmericanBowl @adidasFballUS pic.twitter.com/TFtcE7YAna
McCord was not the only Ohio State signee to recently earn some recognition.
The Maxwell Football Club announced its semifinalists for its National High School Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Linebacker Reid Carrico is nominated for the Defensive POY honor, while McCord, Donovan Jackson and Jayden Ballard are nominated for the Offensive POY award.
The Maxwell awards were established in 2007, and past winners include Trevor Lawrence, Derrick Henry, Will Grier, Noah Spence, Taron Vincent, Bryan Bresse and Bryce Young.