The Hurry-Up: Will Johnson Set for USC Visit, Caleb Burton Isn’t Going Anywhere, Ohio State Going After Kaleb Brown, Two Top Lists for Four-Star RBs

By Zack Carpenter on January 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Will Johnson

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.

Johnson to visit USC

Exactly a month ago to the day, Deon Johnson’s father broke down he and his son Will Johnson’s first-ever visit to Columbus that happened the previous day.

“It was a good visit, and it was all positive from what we saw,” Deon told us. “Just from the atmosphere and the people we saw, it was a good visit. If I had to put a number rating on it, I don’t know if I can do that. We didn’t get a chance to see the coaches and all that. Just hoping we can get back down there when things open up so he can get a true gauge on the university and how it is.”

So the Johnsons, at least publicly, want to get back to Columbus. Before that may or may not happen, though, USC now gets its chance. Deon Johnson told us in December that a visit to USC was planned for mid-January, and he confirmed with us that the visit is set to take place this weekend.

It’s highly like that a fellow five-star cornerback ranked in the top 10 overall, Southern California native Domani Jackson out of Mater Dei High School, will be joining Will Johnson on that visit. Jackson has still not yet made a visit to Ohio State, but the two cornerbacks took a visit to Michigan together in November.

Jackson and Johnson have a good connection and would like to join the same college program, even though the package deal situation rarely works out as anticipated.

“We bonded well over at U of M,” Deon said. “We talked. Our sons could potentially be going to school together so we talked about that and we’ve talked a few times since the Michigan visit just trying to catch up and seeing what he’s heard, what I’ve heard. We’ve talked about them going to school together. Domani’s out in California, we’re out here in the Midwest. We’ll see how it works out.

“Those two talk three, four, five times a day. They DM each other all day. They talk a lot. I think that even if it doesn’t work out where they’re going to school together, they’ll still have that bond and that relationship that they’ve developed over the last few months.”

Deon previously told Eleven Warriors in December that his son's college decision was not imminent (which proved true). It's possible, however, that Will Johnson will make a decision at some point in the next few weeks.

Deon is, of course, a Michigan alum who played as a defensive back for the Wolverines in the 90s. Despite his son being a Michigan legacy, Deon says he isn’t opposed to Will picking Ohio State.

“I don’t wanna say it would be tough,” Deon said. “It would be obvious that he feels the best for him, and all I could do at that point is support him. You might not see me where too much Ohio State gear around, though. My daughter graduated from Michigan State. (I wore) Spartan gear at a track meet. But you know what? I got to the point that it was all about supporting my daughter so I would do the same thing with William.”

Burton “ain’t going nowhere”

With the commitment of Armani Winfield to Texas on Tuesday, we discussed what that meant for Ohio State's hierarchy of receiver targets in the 2022 class. We talked about the effect that Steve Sarkisian's Alabama offense (and the Buckeyes wanting to wait on Winfield) had in helping Winfield's decision.

We did not, however, talk about how Sarkisian's hiring affected the decision of five-star Ohio State receiver commit Caleb Burton. Frankly, because we didn't feel the need to.

Burton, though, felt the need to say a little something, and he took to Twitter last night to let everyone know he's not thinking about becoming a Longhorn.

Don't think we'll have to wait too long before Burton is joined in the Buckeyes' 2022 receivers class.

OSU pushing for Brown

Speaking of 2022 receivers, another whom we touched on yesterday is Chicago St. Rita four-star Kaleb Brown, a 5-foot-11, 175-pounder ranked No. 49 overall and No. 11 at receiver in the cycle.

Michigan continues to be the Crystal Ball favorite for Brown, but the Buckeyes are making a splash in his recruitment he told 247Sports' Steve Wiltfong:

Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita Top247 2022 receiver prospect Kaleb Brown was the top overall performer during Saturday’s pool play at the Dallas Pylon event according to our Mike Roach, and after competing Brown caught up with Roach regarding his recruiting process and who’s recruiting him the hardest.

That groups starts with a national powerhouse.

“I would say mostly Ohio State,” Brown started in. “Who else, probably a little bit of Illinois and that’s maybe about it. Maybe some Notre Dame, a few schools text here and there, Minnesota, all of those teams.”

Something that should make Ohio State fans feel good about Brown's recruitment? Assistant coach Keenan Bailey is reportedly the lead assistant on Brown, who says he wants to wait until he makes visits before making a college decision.

Pair of top lists for four-star RBs

Ohio State made a bit of progress in the hunt for landing a top running back in both the 2022 and 2023 classes.

Four-star IMG (Florida) Academy 2022 prospect Kaytron Allen has the Buckeyes in his top 10 that he released last week.

And 2023 four-star back Treyaun Webb decommitted from Georgia while simultaneously announcing a top-six list of Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Florida, Penn State and LSU.

Just like the Buckeyes' latest commit in five-star cornerback Jaheim Singletary, Webb hails from Jacksonville out of Trinity Christian Academy, which housed current Ohio State players Shaun Wade, Marcus Crowley and Tyreke Johnson.

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