Ohio State’s “Friday Night Lights” skills camp for aspiring college football players at Ohio Stadium has been moved up a month compared with the previous six years because of a new crunch in the July recruiting calendar, but running back Darvon Hubbard said the attraction is the same.
“We’re in the ‘Horseshoe,’ it feels like it’s a Saturday night,” Hubbard said. “So it’s a pretty cool feeling to be in there.”
He plans to show up Friday night for more than the ambience, though. A four-star 2020 prospect who is an Ohio native now living in Scottsdale, Arizona, he already has scholarship offers from Alabama, Arizona and Auburn, and that’s just among the A’s on his list.
>> Video: RB Darvon Hubbard to be at Ohio State Friday night lights
But Hubbard has yet to receive one from Ohio State, although his Chaparral High School quarterback and fellow 2020 prospect Jack Miller has. Both are expected to be on hand, and they are just part of the attraction for fans who are allowed to attend free starting at 6:30 p.m.
Hubbard will be on a mission, just as he was a week ago when he attended one of the regular one-day skills camps at Ohio State. He said running backs coach Tony Alford “told me I was very, very close” to an offer from the Buckeyes.
“Obviously his priority will be to finish it all and earn that offer,” Bucknuts analyst Bill Kurelic said.
Hubbard is not the only one. The spotlight also will be on 2019 quarterback prospect Brian Maurer of West Port High School in Ocala, Florida, according to Kurelic and Marc Givler of Rivals.
The Buckeyes have yet to gain a commitment from a QB for the '19 cycle, and Maurer has yet to receive an offer from Ohio State, although he holds one from at least 19 other schools, including Tennessee.
“So this will be a huge night for him,” Givler said. “If it’s a knock-your-socks-off performance by him, I think they try to get that locked down quickly.”
Maurer probably will be sharing time in the throwing lane Friday with two quarterbacks from the 2020 cycle who have already received offers from the Buckeyes: Miller and C.J. Dixon of Grayson High School in Loganville, Georgia.
“What do you do if one of those 2020 quarterbacks wants to commit, and you haven’t gotten one for 2019 yet?” Givler said. “That adds to the intrigue.”
Then consider that several prospects from the 2019 recruiting list will be on hand but not taking part because they will be on official visits, which for the first time are allowed from April through June.
Givler said the visitors will include three receivers: Marcus Washington of Trinity High School in St. Louis; Jameson Williams of Cardinal Ritter College Prep in St. Louis; and Elijah Higgins of Bowie High School in Austin, Texas.
“With ‘Friday night lights’ having to be held earlier, I think Urban Meyer and his staff have played this just right,” Kurelic said. “They are using the event to enhance the weekend for the kids on official visits.”