The Hurry-Up: Rico Flores Says Ohio State Will Be “Hard to Top” After Recent Visit, Jelani Thurman Includes OSU in His Top Eight

By Garrick Hodge on April 19, 2022 at 5:30 pm
Rico Flores Jr.

Eight days ago, four-star California 2023 wide receiver Rico Flores put out a tweet that surely excited a lot of Ohio State fans. 

The tweet seems especially relevant now because Flores’ decision is drawing nearer. On Monday, Flores officially set a commitment date for July 3, when he will choose a school from his top five of Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, UCLA and Georgia. He still stands by what he tweeted and thinks Ohio State will be in his recruitment until the very end. 

“Because of the things they offer, first off,” Flores told Eleven Warriors of why Ohio State will be tough to top in his recruitment. “They develop you to be in the NFL. What they produce there, I love it. Also the people and the school, everything about Ohio State, I literally loved everything about it. There were no cons at all.” 

Flores sent the tweet just a few days after he had visited Ohio State on April 7-8. He was blown away by what he witnessed on his trip to Columbus.

“I loved everything about it,” Flores said. “I experienced downtown, the outside area, the facilities. Talking to coaches and players after the spring practice, that was super tight, I liked that a lot. I got to see the coaches in action and putting in the work and how they got down with the drills. I liked everything about it.” 

Flores spent some time watching Ohio State’s wide receivers practice and spoke with Emeka Egbuka on his visit. He was impressed by how tightly knit Ohio State’s receivers are.

“They all push each other,” Flores said. “They don’t get down on each other at all, they uplift one another and learn from one another.” 

One of the main driving forces of Flores’ recruitment to Ohio State is his relationship with wide receivers coach Brian Hartline. Flores said he and Hartline speak at least once a week, sometimes as frequently as every other day. 

“We talk a lot,” Flores said. “He’s a cool dude, really straight up and really transparent.” 

But Hartline isn’t the only one recruiting Flores to OSU. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound wideout said he was contacted by Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud on Friday, the night before the spring game. They talked about a variety of topics. 

“C.J. Stroud recently reached out to me,” Flores said. “It was crazy. It was like out of the blue. He basically was just saying what’s up and wondering when I was coming back down, that kind of stuff. We’re both from California and stuff so we talked about that for a little bit.” 

Answering Stroud’s question, Flores plans to return to OSU for one final visit before his commitment, an official visit in mid-June. 

“We’re setting up an official for probably the week after I go to Notre Dame, which is June 10-12,” Flores said. “So the very next weekend is what we’re trying to plan for.” 

Although UCLA, Georgia and Texas are also in his top five, Flores is only certain he’ll make official visits to Notre Dame and OSU.  

“I’m just really feeling everything out right now,” Flores said. “As of right now, the two that are going to get an official visit for sure are Notre Dame and Ohio State.” 

Flores said the deciding factor in his college recruitment will be relationships, where he fits in outside of football, academics and on-field development. 

Ohio State landed its first wide receiver for the 2023 class with Bryson Rodgers’ commitment to the Buckeyes on Sunday. The Buckeyes plan to take three or four wide receivers in the 2023 class. Other targets include Noah Rogers, Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate, Jalen Hale, Hykeem Williams, Johntay Cook and Jaquaize Pettaway.

Thurman puts OSU in Top 8

After visiting Columbus last weekend, four-star Georgia tight end Jelani Thurman included Ohio State in his top-eight list he released Tuesday. The Buckeyes made the cut for the 6-foot-5, 230-pound tight end along with Ole Miss, Tennessee, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn, Michigan State and Oregon. 

Thurman’s visit for the spring game was his first visit to Ohio State. While on his visit, he showed off his athleticism by throwing down a slam dunk assisted by five-star 2024 quarterback Dylan Raiola. It may not be the first time Raiola and Thurman connect on a pass if both decide to play collegiately at Ohio State. 

Wilson warming up to OSU

One of the top defensive ends in the 2023 class is paying more attention to Ohio State after visiting Columbus last weekend for the spring game. 

Four-star Florida defensive end Damon Wilson told 247Sports this week that after taking a trip to OSU, “my interest in Ohio State for sure went up.” 

The spring game was the first visit to Ohio State for Wilson, who received his Buckeyes offer on Jan. 24.

“I learned a lot about the people and the culture,” Wilson told 247Sports. “The stadium is good. And I talked to the coaches. I met Larry Johnson at my school and I’ve been keeping contact with him since then. I’ve been texting with him everyday. I’ve been talking to the (Ohio State) coaches for about four or five months now. I liked everything.”

View 10 Comments