The Hurry-Up: Zion Branch Set for Official Visit to Ohio State, More Names Added to June Visitors List

By Zack Carpenter on April 7, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Zion Branch

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.

Branch to make OV

There are a number of big names that have been added to Ohio State's visitors list for its mega recruiting weekend June 4-6 for the Buckeye Bash 2.0, which we will get to below.

The biggest visitor to be added on Thursday, however, is four-star safety Zion Branch out of Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) High School. The nation's No. 54 overall prospect, No. 3 safety and No. 2 player in Nevada's 2022 class announced via Twitter that he will be making a trip to Columbus that weekend to meet up with all 11 of Ohio State's commits in the cycle and a host of top uncommitted targets – including fellow blue-chip safety target Xavier Nwankpa.

Nwankpa, who is set for an official visit to Notre Dame on June 18, and Branch remain targets No. 1 and 2 at the safety spot with a couple others lining the back half of the list.

If the Buckeyes could possibly land both Nwankpa and Branch, that would be a massive, massive pull and instantly give them inarguably the best safeties class in the country from here until signing day.

That's a big if, of course, as Branch is still going to be a hard pull from the West Coast and USC.

And speaking of the Trojans, keep an eye peeled for safety prospect Kamari Ramsey, who set an official visit to USC for the weekend of June 18-20. Ramsey has the Buckeyes in his top five that consists of four other West Coast programs (Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, USC).

With Nwankpa and Branch as Ohio State's top-two targets at safety in the 2022 cycle, it's not likely the Buckeyes are looking at Ramsey as seriously as they await the visits/decisions of those two prospects. Ramsey's likely to side with a Pac-12 program when it's all said and done. Branch will also be making a June 18-20 visit to USC along with Ramsey, and Branch is set for an Oregon official visit on June 25-27 as well.

More names added to June visitor list

Nwankpa already added his name to the list of official visitors at the BB2.0 last week, but there are a few others who have joined the bandwagon as well.

As we said above, all of the Buckeyes' 11 commitments in the 2022 cycle are scheduled to be making visits that weekend. And 2022 targets players such as Nick James, Omari Abor, Aamil Wagner, and perhaps the most noteworthy recent addition to the list, highly prized cornerback target Toriano Pride, have locked in a visit for that weekend.

Pride also has an official visit to Clemson set up for the June 12 weekend, and his recruitment has become a clear Ohio State vs. Clemson battle.

Ryan Turner may also wind up visiting for the BB2.0 weekend, and he is is coming off self-guided visits to Ohio State and Clemson. Boston College is the dark horse in his recruitment, as a visit to Jeff Hafley's crew is also on the horizon.

No. 1 defensive tackle target Caden Curry is also expected to visit Columbus on June 4-6, but that is not official as of yet.

As we broke down in Tuesday's Hurry-Up, and as Andrew hit on in his latest Heat Check, we expect the month of June to be a monumental one for the Buckeyes on the recruiting trail. And for many high-major college programs.

It wouldn't at all be shocking to hear of multiple silent commits coming out of the BB2.0, and we won't be surprised if a flurry of commitments come in the middle of the month or the last week of June. Once again, it's going to be an exciting time on the recruiting trail this summer (if we're assuming the optimistic route that the dead period finally ends once and for all.)

Matthews' top six

When Louisiana cornerback Jyaire Brown announced his Ohio State commitment in April 2020, we fully expected an offer to be coming around the corner for his good friend and fellow Louisianan Jacoby Matthews.

We were told it was likely to happen in the week or two following Brown's pledge, but we waited and waited.

That offer never came from the Buckeyes, and Matthews – now a five-star safety – has whittled his list down to a final six schools, and it's become clear that Ohio State is not in play. Instead, the final schools vying for Matthews are Alabama, Clemson, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and Oklahoma.

Header photo: Zion Branch – Blair Angulo/247Sports

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