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.
Update on Goodwin
When Kentucky's associate head coach/recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow tweeted the following on Wednesday night, speculation began swirling about who the Wildcats may have landed.
BBN get them dice ready something coming soon. Go Big Blue.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) April 1, 2021
Marrow has proven to be a phenomenal recruiter, especially in landing players from the state of Ohio. He is one of the people who have formed the best relationship with future five-star offensive tackle Kiyaunta Goodwin as Kentucky has emerged as the favorite to land Goodwin.
As it turns out, the player Marrow was referring to was another offensive tackle in the 2022 class, Kentucky four-star Grant Bingham, who committed to the Wildcats on Thursday morning.
Love that home cooking. Boom lets go BBN.— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) April 1, 2021
It should be a sigh of relief for Ohio State that it was not Goodwin who committed. But I wouldn't look at that as a massive sigh of relief.
As we've mentioned over the past couple weeks, ever since Goodwin broke down his top five schools with Eleven Warriors, the Wildcats are in the lead for the nation's No. 5-ranked offensive tackle, who plays his high school ball just outside Kentucky's borders and trains in the city of Louisville.
Goodwin is all about relationships, and it's Kentucky's assistants who he is the closest and most comfortable with. The staff offered him when he was a 13-year-old still in seventh grade, and he's been on campus more times than he can count. Certainly more than he's been to any other college.
If he wanted to make a commitment today or tomorrow, the pick would be Kentucky because of those relationships and because he knows that the Wildcats (contrary to what some may think) offer him a chance to be developed into an NFL prospect and fill his potential.
Now it's all about whether Goodwin will be patient enough to wait until June when there's real optimism that the dead period will come to an end and official visits will be allowed. Ohio State (or any of the other three non-UK programs in his top five) is not going to land a commitment from him unless he can visit, so getting him on campus is crucial.
If Goodwin does elect to commit to Kentucky before taking visits, Ohio State is likely to continue its pursuit of the future first-round NFL draft pick. I've been told there's a good chance he will still take his official visits even if he makes a pre-June decision, so there could still be some hope all the way up until he signs.
Consider Kentucky to be in the driver's seat with a quarter-lap or half-lap lead. But the race isn’t over.
Buckeyes extend another DT offer
With defensive tackle being one of the Buckeyes’ top positional needs in 2022, they were back at it on the offer trail again this week by extending their 10th total offer to a player listed at DT.
Domonique Orange, a four-star prospect out of Kansas City, announced that Ohio State, Ryan Day and Larry Johnson came calling with his 18th offer.
“I was surprised that they even offered me cause we’ve only been talking for a couple weeks,” Orange told Eleven Warriors. “(Coach Day and Coach Johnson) are both are great coaches and are really there to help you make it to the league and make you a better man.”
Orange is rated as only the No. 358 overall player, No. 29 DT and No. 10 player in the state of Missouri, but he has been one of the nation’s fastest-rising defensive tackle prospects over the past six weeks.
Since Feb. 17, he has racked up offers from Oregon, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and now the Buckeyes to add to notable offers he had previously accumulated from Florida State, Georgia, Iowa, Texas A&M and Wisconsin.
At 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, it’s likely Orange is being looked at as a nose tackle by the Buckeyes, though he says it’s his versatility that has the Buckeyes interested.
“I bring speed, especially for my size. I bring strength, and I bring knowledge of the game and they want to use me both a nose and a 3-tech,” Orange said.
Even if the staff does like him as a 3-tech, that doesn’t mean that other targets such as Caden Curry or Christen Miller are headed elsewhere. I still like Ohio State to land Curry, and if the Buckeyes can get Miller on campus, I like their chances over Georgia and USC.
But we have to add Orange to the mix here as someone who could fit what Ohio State likes to do as a defensive unit.
“Their defense is crazy good, especially now with the players they are bringing in from my class, and from what I’ve seen their defense revolves around the D-line and it’s something that obviously I’m interested in,” Orange said.
Top prospects in mix
I went over some of this in Wednesday’s recruiting mailbag. I wrote that mailbag prior to Ryan Day giving his own answer during Monday’s press conference.
After the Buckeyes have seen plenty of attrition at key spots but loaded up on talent with their No. 5-ranked 2020 recruiting class and their No. 2-ranked 2021 recruiting class – one that has the chance to go down as the best haul in program history – there are a number of players who will emerge from those two groups to become valuable contributors or even starters this season.
Day alluded to some of the same players I think have a good shot (and, of course, left off some that I think will have a chance to make key contributions):
“The three receivers that just came in mid-year, those guys are gonna be in the mix, two young running backs that both look really talented, those guys have a chance to get on the field for us,” Day said. “Certainly, I would say that the quarterbacks, they’re young. And then the D-line, we’ll see what the D-line (can do).
“The secondary, some of those guys are here and some of those guys are getting here this summer so it’ll be interesting to see which of those guys can get on the field because that’s a position where we could use some depth there and use some guys getting on the field. That’ll be fun to watch, some of those young guys – certainly in the secondary – who are competing.”
Header photo: Kiyaunta Goodwin – Matt Stone/USA Today