I picked a heck of a time to start covering Ohio State recruiting, right?
I started my role as Eleven Warriors’ recruiting analyst a few days after J.T. Tuimoloau’s Fourth of July commitment put a bow on a magnificent 2021 recruiting class. And 2022 isn’t looking too shabby, either. Name, Image, and Likeness endorsements are running wild. It’s a crazy time, and I’m here for all of it.
A quick introduction: Hi, I’m Garrick Hodge, and I come to Columbus after spending the last two years covering Mississippi State. Some of you may have already interacted with me in my Ask Me Anything forum on Wednesday. I’m guessing most of you haven’t. I look forward to getting to know this community, and I will do my best to respond to your questions in the forums or on Twitter.
Anyway, the Hurry-Up is kind of a staple of the website, eh? Guess I better write one. Eleven Warriors hasn’t published a Hurry-Up since June 27 (mostly because Dan was on vacation and I was moving halfway across the country), so we have a lot to catch up on. Even if you already know most of the items in here, we’ll use this space to potentially bring you up to speed on something you may have missed over the last week, and we’ll start getting into some more detailed reports next week.
We’ll begin with a bit of immediate news.
Ohio State offensive line target George Fitzpatrick announced Thursday that he plans to announce his college decision on Friday afternoon.
I will be announcing my commitment tomorrow at 2:30 MST— George Fitzpatrick (@georgefitz88) July 8, 2021
That’s 4:30 p.m. ET, saved you a Google search.
The Buckeyes have plenty of reason to be optimistic about their chances of landing the 6-foot-6, 285-pound four-star Cherry Creek High School (Greenwood Village, CO.) offensive tackle. A few of his potential future teammates hinted Thursday that another #BOOM is on the way.
One more otw #BOOM— CJ KING Hicks (@imcjhicks) July 9, 2021
Should Fitzpatrick commit to OSU, he’ll be the second offensive lineman to give a verbal to the Buckeyes in the class, joining four-star product Tegra Tshabola.
Rueben Owens picks up offer
After decommitting from Texas in mid-June, Rueben Owens picked up an offer from Ohio State almost two weeks later on June 29.
A five-star running back from Texas, Owens is the No. 2 running back and No. 24 overall prospect in the class of 2023, according to 247Sports’ composite rankings.
Last season, he ran for 1,511 yards on 140 carries and rushed for 22 touchdowns for El Campo High School. Landing the prized running back could be a long shot, though. In an interview with Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports last month, Owens’ father said despite the decommitment, Texas is still the eventual favorite to land the younger Owens. The elder Owens told 247Sports that Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and USC are also under consideration.
One connection Owens does potentially have to the Buckeyes is a friendship with OSU offensive lineman target Kam Dewberry. Dewberry, like Owens, is also a Texas native.
A.J. Harris releases top 13
What's Understood Ain't For Everybody To Understand— Aaron-Joshua Harris (@Aj_harris04) July 7, 2021
But Imma Leave It In God's Hands Cuz All Of This God's Plan pic.twitter.com/eVSMedBLk7
Harris, a Phenix City, Alabama native, says his next announcement will be a commitment to his school of choice, though he has not announced a specific date. The No. 3 cornerback in 2023 according to 247Sports' composite rankings, Harris had four interceptions and four pass breakups over the weekend at The Opening.
Next Will Be My Commitment— Aaron-Joshua Harris (@Aj_harris04) July 7, 2021
“There could most definitely be something coming soon,” Harris told Eleven Warriors on July 2. “I want to get this commitment over with so I can just lock in with whatever program I go to and just stick it out with that program. I'm not trying to rush it, but I do want to get a commitment here soon.”
Four more targets narrow lists
Four other Ohio State targets also included the Buckeyes in trimmed-down lists of suitors over the past week:
- Shawn Murphy, a four-star recruit and the sixth-ranked linebacker nationally in the class of 2022, included Ohio State in his top five along with Alabama, LSU, Florida and Penn State.
- Three-star safety Jake Pope also has narrowed down his decision to five schools, with the other four besides OSU being North Carolina, Notre Dame, Georgia and Alabama. Pope said in a Tweet on July 3 he will “silently” be making a decision soon and will announce his commitment to the public shortly after that. No specific date has been set for his announcement.