I know what you’re probably thinking: Why is The Hurry-Up running in the morning, and why is Dan Hope writing it?
Or maybe you’re wondering, what the heck happened to Zack Carpenter?
Well, in case you missed it, Zack's last day at Eleven Warriors was a week ago. We’ll be hiring a new recruiting writer soon (we’re still taking applications if you think you’re up to the task), at which point the nightly recruiting coverage you’re accustomed to will return.
Until then, I’ll be filling in with some Hurry-Ups of my own once or twice a week to keep you up to speed on what’s happening in the world of Ohio State recruiting.
Enough of me blabbering on; let’s get to the content.
Okunlola gets his offer
In news that had been expected for the past few weeks, Massachusetts offensive tackle Samson Okunlola announced Wednesday that he received an offer from the Buckeyes.
Blessed to receive an offer from Ohio State pic.twitter.com/Qylkk6CzS7— Samson Okunlola 23 (@SAMSONOKUNLOLA_) May 5, 2021
Okunlola said he was “excited to get the offer,” which came in a phone call from Ryan Day.
“It feels great,” Oklunlola told Eleven Warriors. “It feels like a blessing. It’s a blessing every day to have these offers and just keep on getting better.”
Okunlola said Ohio State’s coaches have told him they like his aggressiveness, how he uses both his hands and feet and his football IQ.
Ranked as the No. 78 overall prospect and No. 7 offensive tackle in the class of 2023, Okunlola was one of the stars of last month’s Under Armour All-America Camp in Obetz, Ohio, where he held his own quite impressively in one-on-one drills against five-star Ohio defensive end Brenan Vernon.
Brenan Vernon vs. Massachusetts offensive tackle Samson Okunlola pic.twitter.com/LTzxq6Yej9— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) April 11, 2021
The 6-foot-5, 320-pound rising junior already holds offers from more than two dozen schools including Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State and USC, among others. He isn’t ready to name any frontrunners in his recruitment yet.
“I’m just taking it real slow right now, just getting to know the coaches at each of the schools that offered me,” Okunlola said.
Okunlola hasn’t yet planned out any visits for this summer. But he did have an opportunity to check out Columbus and Ohio State’s campus while he was in Ohio last month and came away with a positive impression, calling Columbus a “pretty chill city.”
White, Bellamy include Buckeyes in top lists
Ohio State remains in the running for a pair of defensive targets who narrowed down the number of schools they’re considering by releasing lists of finalists this past week.
Enai White, a four-star defensive end from Imhotep Institute in Philadelphia, included the Buckeyes on his list of eight finalists that also includes Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Oregon and Texas A&M.
The No. 39 overall prospect and No. 2 weakside defensive end in the class of 2022, White is scheduled to visit Ohio State from June 25-27, the final weekend of the upcoming live recruiting period before another dead period starts. After releasing his top eight on Tuesday, White told Rivals he’s interested in the Buckeyes because of his communication with Larry Johnson and the role he’s being targeted to play at Ohio State.
“Coach Larry Johnson and I have been talking a lot,” White said. “He had little bit of a different approach. A lot of these schools want to play me at outside linebacker and as a pass rushing defensive end. He wants me to play as a hand in the ground defensive end. I liked that because it was different than what everybody else was telling me. I want to be versatile and put my hand in the ground and drop into coverage if I need to. That advice coming from a coach like him, I'm not going to take that lightly. If he's saying that's what he sees me as, he coached Chase Young, Nick Bosa, and all those guys, so why not listen to him?”
Ohio State doesn’t yet have any defensive line commits for the class of 2022, so it would certainly love to land White, who is one of the Buckeyes’ top targets at defensive end. He told Rivals he plans to make his commitment before the start of his senior season, though he will hold off if he’s not yet certain where he wants to go.
The Buckeyes also made the cut among the top schools for New Jersey three-star cornerback Jayden Bellamy, who included Ohio State along with Clemson, Notre Dame, Penn State, Rutgers and Oklahoma in a top six he released on Thursday.
Bellamy, who’s ranked as the No. 427 overall prospect and No. 39 cornerback in the class of 2022, is also set to visit the Buckeyes from June 25-27.
Adding another cornerback is no longer a top priority after Ryan Turner’s commitment on Wednesday, as the Buckeyes now have a trio of cornerback commitments from Turner, Jaheim Singletary and Jyaire Brown. They could still add one more cornerback to the class, though, while Bellamy told Eleven Warriors in March that they also believe he can play safety, where Ohio State still wants to add at least one more even after Kye Stokes’ pledge last Sunday.
Humphrey plans a visit
Another cornerback who will be visiting Ohio State next month: Julian Humphrey, who announced Wednesday that he’ll be on campus on June 3.
hio Sate June 3rd...— JULIO HUMPHREY (@JulianH2022) May 5, 2021
Humphrey, who attends Clear Lake High School in Houston, is ranked as the No. 135 overall prospect, No. 16 cornerback and No. 26 Texan in the class of 2022. He is also planning to visit Florida, Penn State and Texas A&M, and has a list of more than 30 offers that also includes LSU, USC, Miami, Tennessee and Washington, among others.
Tegra taking his talents to San Antonio
An offensive tackle who’s already committed to Ohio State also shared some news this past week. Tegra Tshabola announced Thursday that he had committed to the All-American Bowl, joining the growing list of top 2022 prospects who will take their talents to San Antonio in January.
Tshabola is the fourth Ohio State commit who has committed to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl, joining Quinn Ewers, Caleb Burton and Kyion Grayes. The All-American Bowl will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 at the Alamodome and will be televised on NBC.
DreamChasers returning to Ohio State
For the second time in three years, a group of international players will look to impress Ohio State’s coaches on the camp circuit this fall.
Brandon Collier, the founder of Premier Prospects International, announced Friday that his group of prospects from all over the world will participating in a one-day camp at Ohio State on June 8, as part of its DreamChasers Tour, which will also include stops at Alabama, Clemson, West Virginia, LSU, Texas and Texas A&M.
We will be at Ohio State June 8th— Brandon Collier (@BCollierPPI) May 7, 2021
We will have about 12 kids with that level talent in June! @PPIRecruits
As I profiled here at Eleven Warriors following the DreamChasers’ previous trip to Ohio State, the goal of the tour is for players from Europe and elsewhere in the world to earn scholarships to play college football in America. Recent alumni of the program who have signed with major programs have included Michigan defensive end Julius Welschof, Notre Dame defensive end Alexander Ehrensberger, Penn State defensive tackle Joseph Darkwa, Texas A&M offensive tackle Jordan Moko and TCU quarterback Alexander Honig.
Collier says this year’s group will include 22 total prospects and is the most talented one he’s had yet. He expects several of them to be recruited by the Buckeyes after attending the camp.