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.
OSU offer a game-changer for Bellamy
Ohio State’s list of top cornerback and safety targets in the 2022 class has been hit on ad nauseam in this space. The Buckeyes, however, added a new name to their list of offers this week by extending one to Bergen Catholic (New Jersey) standout Jayden Bellamy.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback has offers from nearly 20 other programs, highlighted by Notre Dame, Rutgers, Oklahoma, Pitt and Penn State – five schools that he tells Eleven Warriors are standing out the most and recruiting him the hardest – but when Ryan Day, Kerry Coombs and especially Matt Barnes came calling, that was a game-changing moment for the three-star prospect.
“When I got the offer from OSU from Coach Day I was immediately happy and brought a lot of joy to me,” Bellamy said. “What I like about OSU is how consistent they are with putting people in the first round in the draft and the history with defensive backs. Coach Day and Coach Coombs are both fierce competitors and they both have great personalities.
“Their message to me was what to expect from Ohio State football and basically that you would think they would talk a lot of football, but they take their academics serious too.”
Bellamy is similar in his rankings (No. 424 overall, No. 40 cornerback, No. 7 in New Jersey) to the 2022 corner we will discuss last today (Ryan Turner) at the time of his Buckeye offer. We saw how that went down, as Ohio State, Clemson, Boston College and several other teams got in on Turner early before a substantial rise over the past two months.
Bellamy could be on the way up, too, as the Buckeyes see the multi-talented defensive back who fills a goal Coombs has discussed multiple times when talking about the types of players they seek on the recruiting trail – versatility.
“What I bring to the table is my aggressiveness towards the ball and that my game is versatile – that I can play safety and corner and in the slot. They offered me because I’m versatile and they know I can play just more than one position – and my point of attack,” said Bellamy, also noting what he thinks about the Buckeyes’ scheme. “I like how they run their defense and what they do with their DBs. The reason they produce great corners is because they’re going against the best receivers so it’s just a competing mentality.”
That iron sharpens iron mantra that Ohio State has been able to utilize in its recruiting pitches for years has been part of what they’ve spoken about in talks with Bellamy.
“They never said a certain amount,” Bellamy responded when asked if the coaches have told him how many defensive backs they’re wanting to bring into the class, “but they want the best of the best because at the end of the day everyone is going to compete.”
Bellamy, who says that “most” schools see him as a safety while some see him as both a corner and a safety, says that he has not set up a visit to Ohio State yet.
Buckeyes enter race for potential five-star CB Harris
The other defensive back who was recently offered this week, cornerback AJ Harris out of Alabama’s Glenwood School, is a potential five-star prospect down the line and another whose offer from the Buckeyes is a game-changer.
“OSU is BIA,” Harris told Eleven Warriors. “I love the culture, the family atmosphere and I’ve watched them for a long time. I was shocked. I love this one big time.”
Harris is currently unranked in the 2023 class, but the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder will fly up the boards once the recruiting services come out with their full 2023 ratings. That’s especially after he shined at this past weekend’s Under Armour Camp Series in Atlanta last weekend, where he showcased exactly what makes him so valuable.
“Ohio State offered me because I am a long DB – 6-foot-2, 180 – that loves to play press man. I’m a competitor. They love that,” said Harris, noting how the Buckeyes’ defense fits his style perfectly. “You can’t be labeled BIA if you don’t play man. I love man. They have put a lot of DBs in the league. That’s an ideal school for a top DB if you looked at who they produced.”
Those players they have produced was one of many subjects that Harris and Coombs touched on when they spoke as the two have started fast in building up a relationship.
“I got to talk to Coach Coombs. Coach Coombs seems like a good dude,” Harris said. “He asked me a lot of questions. I like coaches like that. It keeps me on my toes. Someone I would love to learn from.”
Obviously, as we’ve noted with a few other recent 2023 offers from Alabama, the Buckeyes have never signed a high school player out of Alabama. So getting him from the claws of the Crimson Tide, Georgia and others in the area will be a hard pull, but Coombs and Co. are now invested in making that happen.
“They understand I’m In SEC territory so they wanted to make sure they got a chance to get me,” Harris said. “They like what they see on film and believe if I give them a chance I will love it.”
Clearly Harris is hyped about this offer in the same way that five-star 2022 commit Jaheim Singletary was when the Buckeyes came calling. We'll see if it pays off in the same way for Ohio State.
Turner visiting this week
We’re saving the most important item for last here.
Ryan Turner, one of those priority cornerback targets in 2022 as alluded to above, is on Ohio State’s campus today through Sunday.
We spoke extensively with Turner just three weeks ago, and he told us he was hoping to make a commitment in March or April but that he would not be making that decision until after he could make visits. He said he was looking to make self-guided visits to Ohio State and Clemson, first and foremost, in addition to Boston College.
Wouldn’t be surprised to see a visit to Clemson follow this four-day Columbus trip. And, again as I’ve noted before, wouldn’t be surprised to see a decision from Turner sooner than later – perhaps in April or early May.
Header photo: Jayden Bellamy – Gus Ramos/247Sports