The Hurry-Up: End of Dead Period Paves Way for Buckeye Targets' Crucial Workouts, Omari Abor's Top 10, Kiyaunta Goodwin Announcement Still On

By Zack Carpenter on April 16, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Delian Bradley

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.

Crucial workouts open up

It's now officially official that the recruiting dead period is over. It had been trending that way for weeks, if not months, but on Thursday the cement dried with the NCAA's announcement.

There are still a ton of questions about what will be allowed/how many people will be allowed on official and unofficial visits, and other questions abound since we didn't get those answers. But what we do know is this – we got a critical answer from the NCAA's Division I Council this week in that on-campus evaluations will be allowed during unofficial visits for 2022 and 2023 prospects during the month of June's quiet period.

This is of monumental importance for Ohio State targets such as Springfield (Ohio) defensive back Delian Bradley and a litany of other prospects (especially of the in-state variety) who will be invited by the Buckeye coaching staff for private one-on-one workouts at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Bradley is the top target who has confirmed with Eleven Warriors that there are plans in place for Ohio State to host him for an in-person evaluation workout, but guys like Alter (Dayton) defensive tackle Derrick Shepard, Cincinnati La Salle running back Gi'Bran Payne, Lakota West cornerback Alex Afari, St. Edward (Cleveland) defensive end Trey Bixby and Eastlake North (Ohio) offensive tackle Ryan Baer are just some of the players who could wind up receiving such an invite to Columbus.

Each of those dynamic Ohio athletes plays at a position that the Buckeyes are still in need of in the class and could wind up being players without offers who earn one after being evaluated up close and personal.

For now, we know that the 6-foot-3, 295-pound Shepard – whose recruitment we have been following for the better part of a year as he has been targeted by Larry Johnson and Co. as one of his next possible offers – and the 6-foot, 185-pound Bradley are set for those workouts.

We are already familiar with what Shepard needs to show Ohio State's coaches in person – his motor and explosiveness being at the forefront – so we don't have to dive into that too deeply. But Dan and I both spoke with Bradley following his performance at Sunday's Under Armour Camp Series, where he proved once again to be a solid and consistent, not allowing any receptions during one-on-one drills against receivers and snagging an interception.

"I felt like it was good coming out here because I got to work in one-on-ones and man coverage. I actually had no balls caught on me, and I got a pick so it felt good," Bradley said. "Just coming out of this camp and with the dead period about to end, it gives me a sense of what I need to work on and just get ready for June since I’ll be in front of coaches. I’m working on man coverage and hip flexibility."

Bradley is a three-star ranked just inside the top 700 overall, and he is ranked No. 41 among safeties in the 2022 class. It's at that safety spot where he believes Ohio State's coaches want to evaluate him when they have him on campus in June, but he will get his chance to prove himself versatile as a nickel cornerback too.

"I talked to Coach (Kevin) Wilson and he let me know that in June it’s gonna be me, Coach (Matt) Barnes and Coach (Kerry) Coombs having a one-on-one, and I’ll be able to work out and get a visit with them," Bradley said. "If I work out good in the man coverage then I’ll probably be a slot corner but most likely free (safety) is where they think I'll play.

"There’s still a chance that they offer me, and with this dead period ending I’ll get the chance to go down there – which was the plan to begin with – it’s looking like a great chance that I’ll get the offer if I perform well."

So it's really just a waiting game for Bradley until he can show his stuff in person this summer. Until then, he's continuing to build a relationship with Barnes and Coombs – whose tandem recruitment of him provide an interesting dynamic since both are coaching the secondary with one being the defensive coordinator.

"They’re pretty cool people, and they give great advice," Bradley said. "They like to talk about things outside of football, which I really like and think is cool.  

"I feel like it’s good, just getting advice from them and seeing where I’m at. In the secondary, they said I’d probably fit best at the free (safety)."

Bradley is being recruited by plenty of other non-Buckeye schools, with Arizona State, Cincinnati, Michigan State and Nebraska each standing out, and he is hoping to visit Penn State, West Virginia and Notre Dame this summer.

"Right now, I’m undecided, but I feel like in the summer when I get to campuses and get in front of coaches and actually talk to them I’ll probably get some more opportunities and get to talk to them," Bradley said. "I’m really looking forward to it because we’ve been able to build up a relationship over this whole time during the dead period so now I’ll be able to get to visit them in person and talk to them which’ll be good.

"I’ve been very anxious because it’s been crazy in recruiting, but I’m ready. It’s going good, I’m just ready."

Abor releases top 10

One of Ohio State's top targets in the 2022 class, especially along a defensive line still looking for its first defensive end or defensive tackle commitment of the cycle, has released a recruiting update.

Omari Abor, the five-star defensive end out of powerhouse Duncanville (Texas) High School, announced on Friday that he is down to Ohio State, Alabama, USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri, LSU, Arizona State, Texas and Texas A&M.

Abor, the No. 23 overall player and No. 2 strongside defensive end in the nation, has the Buckeyes in his unofficial top five right now. That is easy to glean in the fact that he already has one of his five official visits set up to Columbus, where he will be in town June 4-6 for the Buckeye Bash 2.0.

The dynamic playmaker is one whom Ohio State's commits have mentioned steadfastly in the past as one they are recruiting hard to join them.

Goodwin announcement still on

On Wednesday, I wrote that it's at least possible that offensive tackle priority Kiyaunta Goodwin could delay his commitment announcement on Saturday in which he is intending to give his verbal pledge to Kentucky.

I've been told that's no longer the case. Goodwin still intends to make that announcement, and Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson and Michigan State are going to be left in the lurch.

As I've reported multiple times, however, his recruitment to Ohio State is not over. Goodwin is going to take his five official visits to that set of schools this summer, and then we will go from there. He will take those five visits as a Wildcats commitment, but the Buckeyes will not be out of it until he signs.

McClellan's stock soaring

As Ohio State continues to seek out three defensive tackle commitments in the 2022 cycle, and as Johnson continues dishing out offers to the position group, one target's soak continues to soar.

That's three-star Owasso (Oklahoma) High School's Chris McClellan, the No. 677 overall player and No. 50 DT in America whose ranking is going to explode soon and is 100 percent going to rise into four-star territory soon.

McClellan last week was the best performer at Dallas' Rivals Camp Series, blowing away the competition and looking every bit of a top-250 level guy to put it lightly. This week, he earned an invitation to the All-American Bowl as he continues to make himself a national prospect.

Header photo: Delian Bradley

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