The Hurry-Up: Aliou Bah Leaves Ohio State Out of Final Mix, Quinn Ewers Commits to All-American Bowl, Linebacker Domino Falls

By Zack Carpenter on March 29, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Aliou Bah

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.

Bah leaves Buckeyes off final list

In early February, well-backed rumors began to swirl that three-star IMG (Florida) Academy offensive lineman Aliou Bah was nearing a commitment to Ohio State.

Now, after a recruiting update from Bah over the weekend, it looks like the Buckeyes are no longer in the mix for the No. 527 overall player, No. 53 OT and No. 68 prospect in Florida's 2022 class. The Memphis native, who originally attended Whitehaven High School – Cormantae Hamilton's alma mater – released a final six on Sunday, leaving Ohio State out of the running.

Instead, Florida, Penn State, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida State and Texas A&M cracked that list.

The Buckeyes extended an offer to the 6-foot-6, 325-pounder in August 2020 after they had been recruiting him since April behind assistant Tim Hinton. Ohio State's interest had Bah telling Eleven Warriors “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. The program speaks for itself. They compete and win at the highest stages. They develop and better players. For any recruit, this school would most definitely  stand out to them.”

So when it appeared that Bah would be the next Buckeye commit in the 2022 class just six weeks ago, there wasn't much of a surprise. But it appears the two sides were not synced up, and we continued to wait for a commitment that never came to fruition.

Ohio State is still pursuing five-star tackles Kiyaunta Goodwin and Zach Rice in addition to Huber Heights' Aamil Wagner as its top targets at offensive tackle in the class.

Ewers commits to All-American Bowl

When Ohio State had nine commitments in its 2020 class to elect to play in the All-American Bowl, it set a program record only to be outdone by the 2021 class with 12 such players.

Well, it's surely possible that the 2022 follows up with another run at that program record.

Over the weekend, the biggest headliner of the class, five-star Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, added his name to the list of All-American Bowl commitments from this group of future Buckeyes.

Walker is a Dawg

It was entirely expected that North Carolina 2022 prospect Jalon Walker, the No. 50 overall player and No. 4 outside linebacker in the nation, was going to choose somewhere other than Columbus to continue his athletic career. Walker, in fact, kept the Buckeyes out of his final three after they had made their way to his final six previously.

However, Walker was expected to wind up picking Clemson until a late push from Georgia had the Salisbury product choosing the Bulldogs over the weekend.

Walker coming off the board leaves Ohio State with just three uncommitted linebackers who have been offered in Shawn Murphy, Justin Medlock and Jaishawn Barham. Murphy is at the top of the board in the Buckeyes' search for a fourth 2022 linebacker to add to a class featuring C.J. Hicks plus Gabe Powers and Dasan McCullough, the latter two of whom may ultimately wind up as defensive ends later during their collegiate careers.

And speaking of Georgia, the Bulldogs are the hottest program on the recruiting trail in the 2022 cycle, picking up a bevy of commitments of late (including another one on Monday) that has them on the precipice of taking over Ohio State's lead for the No. 1-ranked class in America. Georgia now trails the Buckeyes by 5.32 points.

Henderson recruiting Singleton

For everyone who followed along with Eleven Warriors' coverage of the TreVeyon Henderson and Evan Pryor recruitments, nobody was surprised that Henderson and Pryor wanted to go to the same school. One of the chief factors that each running back told us multiple times was important in their college decisions was making sure there was a second running back in their class.

“I had one school, and I won’t say what school it was, but there was one school that tried to pit those two against each other and say, ‘Well, they’re trying to do this and they’re trying to do that,’" Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford said last week. “Well, had that school done any amount of research, they would have found out that those kids knew better. Because they were intricately involved in the recruitment of the other guy. And so that’s how we’ve done it. I’m not saying that’s the way to do it. That’s how we’ve done it. And I’ve done it in our room and it’s been successful for us, and hopefully will continue as such.”

Well, in the 2022 class, there's a clear similarity between those two running backs' view of being recruited in the same class and another one of Ohio State's prime targets at the position.

Four-star Pennsylvania running back Nicholas Singleton spoke with Lettermen Row's Jeremy Birmingham this week, saying that he is not against being one of two running backs in the Buckeyes' class if they go that direction. Singleton said that he embraces the competition, just like Henderson and Pryor said during their recruitments.

In fact, Singleton says that the Buckeyes have a familiar lead peer recruiter who has built up a solid relationship with him:

"Along with Coach Day, I've been talking to TreVeyon Henderson," Singleton said. "He's been telling me that he wants me to be part of the class. He's been telling me he likes my game and wants me to be part of Ohio State's running backs room."

Singleton has set up his five official visits already, with Wisconsin (June 4-6), Penn State (June 11-13), Northwestern (June 15-17), Notre Dame (June 18-20) and Ohio State (June 25-27) each on the schedule. Have to like that the Buckeyes are getting that final visit from Singleton.

Header photo: Aliou Bah – Ariel Cobbert/USA Today

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