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Recruiting News - 02/02/05

Discussion in '2005/February' started by 3yardsandacloud, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    <font color="#b90000">Wednesday, February 2, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 02/02/05


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    Eighteen Student-Athletes Sign to Play Football at Ohio State - Ohio State Buckeyes

    Eighteen Student-Athletes Sign to Play Football at Ohio State

    Feb. 2, 2005

    COLUMBUS, Ohio: Seventeen high school football players from Ohio and around the country have signed the national letter-of-intent to continue their education at The Ohio State University beginning in the fall of 2005. Additionally, an eighteenth student-athlete has signed a Big Ten tender and will enroll at the beginning of Spring Quarter 2005.

    "This class is very capable both in the classroom and on the football field," said Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. "It meets the ever-rising standards that the university has put in place academically, and it is very gifted from a football standpoint.

    "One of the things that impress me about this class is its commitment to excellence. It is a group that is going to work very hard to succeed in all that it does."

    There are 11 student-athletes from the state of Ohio in the class, along with seven players from seven other states. Ten of the recruits are expected to play offense, the other seven will line up on defense for the Buckeyes who are coming off an 8-4 record and their third consecutive bowl victory. The class is peppered with Top 50 picks, All-Americans, all-state selections and players of the year. All 11 Ohio signees are rated among the top 25 in the state.
    *
    Tressel will get an early look at one of his signees, offensive lineman Jim Cordle from nearby Lancaster. Cordle will enroll in the spring and take part in spring practice. The other 16 players will report in the fall, joining a cast of 45 returning lettermen and 18 holdover starters.

    "This is a versatile and diverse group," said Tressel. "We were able to help ourselves in a number of areas."

    Tressel, who has compiled an overall record of 40-11 during his first four years at Ohio State, lauded his staff for its hard work during the year-long recruiting process.

    "Our assistants did an unbelievable job," he said. "They have been working on this class since last signing day. We will take a little time to enjoy this class and then start to work immediately on next year's class.

    "I also want to thank all the other people in the athletics department and with the university for their help. We had 27 players make official visits and 18 signed with us. That would not have been possible without the help of people like (Director of Athletics) Andy Geiger and (President) Karen Holbrook, along with our Compliance, SASSO, Sports Information and Athletic Training staffs. All of those people and many more, including our faculty, did a great job of showcasing this great university."

    Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Hometown/High School
    Amos, Andre 6-1 180 WR/CB Middletown
    Boone, Alex 6-8 315 OL Lakewood/St. Edward's
    Cordle, Jim 6-5 275 OL Lancaster
    Denlinger, Todd 6-3 265 DL Troy
    Hartline, Brian 6-3 180 WR/CB Canton/GlenOak
    Jenkins, Malcolm 6-1 180 WR/DB Piscataway, N.J.
    Laurinaitis, James 6-3 231 LB Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata
    Lenix, Freddie 6-0 193 RB/LB Cleveland/Glenville
    O'Neal, Jamario 6-1 180 WR/CB Cleveland/Glenville
    Robiskie, Brian 6-3 190 WR Chagrin Falls
    Russell, Anderson 6-0 190 RB/DB Atlanta, Ga./Marist
    Schoenhoft, Rob 6-6 225 QB Cincinnati/St. Xavier
    Spitler, Austin 6-3 228 LB/TE Bellbrook
    Washington, Donald 6-1 185 WR/DB Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central
    Wells, Maurice 5-10 185 RB Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood
    Williams, Ryan 6-6 245 DE Mission Viejo, Calif.
    Wilson, Lawrence 6-6 225 DE Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary
    Worthington, Doug 6-7 250 TE/DE Athol Springs, N.Y./Saint Francis

    Three Parade All-Americans (Boone, O'Neal, Wells)
    Consensus Top 100 Prospects: Boone (Rivals.com #20), O'Neal (Rivals.com #31), Worthington (Rivals.com #80)
    Three in SuperPrep National Elite 50: O'Neal (#18), Boone (#20), Wells (#45)
    SuperPrep Midwest Defensive Player of the Year: O'Neal
    Six SuperPrep All-Americans: Wells, Boone, Worthington, Denlinger, Lenix, O'Neal

    In Rivals.com Ohio's Top 40 prospects, all ten Ohio State signees are among the Top 24, including the top two OL (Boone, Cordle), top DB (O'Neal), top QB (Schoenhoft) and top DL (Denlinger).

    Rivals.com national position rankings...
    QB: Schoenhoft #6
    All-purpose back: Wells #4
    WR: Amos #25, Hartline #36, Robiskie #61
    OT: Boone #3
    OG: Cordle #7
    Strongside DE: Worthington #5, Williams #12
    DT: Denlinger #14
    ILB: Laurinaitis #28, Spitler #48
    CB: O'Neal #3, Jenkins #61
    Athlete: Lenix #22

    2005 Ohio State football signees

    Andre Amos
    WR/CB
    6-1, 180
    Middletown High School
    Middletown, Ohio
    12/2/86
    Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 wide receiver in Ohio and the No. 10 overall prospect ... also ranked by Rivals.com as the 25th-best receiver in the nation ... Scout.com rated him No. 21 nationally ... caught 35 passes for 500 yards and scored seven touchdowns as a senior ... picked off seven passes from his defensive back position as a senior ... was a first-team Greater Miami Conference and Middletown Journal All-Area selection as a defensive back ... totaled 30 catches and four touchdowns as a junior and added three interceptions ... committed to the Buckeyes in August before his senior season ... played for Dick Martin ... Personal: Son of Carey and Teresa Amos.

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    Alex Boone
    OT
    6-8, 315
    St. Edwards High School
    Lakewood, Ohio
    5/4/87
    USA Today and Parade first-team All-American ... ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 3 offensive tackle prospect in the country and the No. 20 player overall ... Rivals.com rated him the top prospect in Ohio in their January rankings ... Prep Star Magazine and ESPN's Tom Lemming both ranked him No. 3 on their lists ... Scout.com lists him as the No. 1 prospect in the Midwest and the No. 3 offensive lineman in the nation ... will already be one of Ohio State's biggest offensive linemen and has terrific footwork and a frame capable of carrying more muscle ... 2003 and 2004 first-team All-Ohio ... is an aggressive blocker that enjoys driving defenders away from the line of scrimmage ... 50 knockdowns as a senior ... started at right tackle in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 15 ... was Ohio State's second commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, committing before his junior season ... will be the first student-athlete from St. Edwards High School to play football at Ohio State since Rodney Bailey (1987-1990) ... Personal: Son of James and Amy Boone.

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    Jim Cordle
    OL
    6-5, 275
    Lancaster High School
    Lancaster, Ohio
    8/22/87
    Will enroll at Ohio State for spring quarter classes and participate in spring practice, therefore is not signing a national letter of intent at the present time ... is officially a member of the 2004 recruiting class ... ranked by Rivals.com and Scout.com as the No. 7 offensive guard in the nation ... Rivals.com rated him as the No. 4 overall prospect in the state in its January 2005 report and the No. 2 offensive lineman behind fellow OSU signee Alex Boone ... ESPN's Tom Lemming ranked him the No. 16 guard/center in the nation ... bench presses nearly 350 pounds ... was a devastating pulling blocker on stretch and counter plays ... was Ohio State's third commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, that coming in April after his junior football season ... 2003 and 2004 first-team All-Ohio ... was a first-team 2004 Dispatch-Agonis Club selection ... joins former Lancaster teammate Bobby Carpenter at Ohio State ... a heavyweight wrestler for Lancaster ... coached by Rob Carpenter, father of OSU linebacker Bobby Carpenter ... Personal: Son of James and Denise Cordle.

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    Todd Denlinger
    TE/DL
    6-3, 265
    Troy High School
    Troy, Ohio
    8/15/86
    Ranked as the top defensive line prospect in the state of Ohio and the seventh-best overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com ... ranked as the 14th-defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 13 by Scout.com ... rated No. 16 in the country by ESPN's Tom Lemming ... bench presses more than 350 pounds, squats more than 450 and has a 28-inch vertical leap ... 2004 first-team All-Ohio ... has great size and was timed at 4.71 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Ohio State's summer camp in 2004 ... carries a 3.75 GPA ... collected 60 tackles, including 13 behind the line of scrimmage and seven sacks, as a senior ... started at defensive tackle as a freshman and sophomore but moved to middle linebacker as a junior ... was just as good at the new position, totaling 125 tackles, including 17 stops behind the line of scrimmage, six sacks and an interception ... will be the first student-athlete from Troy High School to play football at Ohio State since Bryan Ferguson (1976-1979), who was a nephew of the late Bob Ferguson, an OSU All-American in 1960 and 1961 ... played for Steve Nolan ... Personal: Son of Bart and Teri Denlinger.

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    Brian Hartline
    WR/CB
    6-3, 180
    GlenOak High School
    North Canton, Ohio
    11/22/86
    Rated the No. 3 wide receiver in Ohio and the No. 12 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com ... ranked No. 31 nationally by Scout.com and No. 36 by Rivals.com at wide receiver ... was a do-it-all player for GlenOak, the same school that produced OSU offensive guard T.J. Downing and former Buckeye defensive back Dustin Fox ... as a senior, suffered a season-ending leg injury during the second quarter of the first game of the season ... as a junior, passed for 300 yards in the first four games before switching to receiver, where he caught 41 passes for 411 yards from his younger brother, Mike ... returned punts as a junior, averaging 16.6 yards per return on nine attempts, including a 60-yard touchdown against Canton McKinley ... also returned kickoffs as a junior, averaging 27.5 yards per return on four attempts ... played cornerback and handled the punting duties, averaging 36.7 yards per punt as a junior ... was all-conference and all-district as a junior ... also played running back as a sophomore, rushing for 316 yards and a touchdown on 79 carries ... caught 10 passes for 158 yards and two scores as a sophomore ... also a track and field standout, competing in the 300-meter hurdles (second in state 2004), 110-meter high hurdles (fourth in state 2004) and high jump (tenth in state 2004) ... has a 3.8 GPA ... played for Jack Rose ... Personal: Son of Dale and Laurie Hartline.

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    Malcolm Jenkins
    WR/CB
    6-1, 180
    Piscataway High School
    Piscataway, N.J.
    12/20/87
    Rated the No. 28 safety in the country by Scout.com ... led his high school team to the state championship as a junior and senior ... excels at man-to-man coverage and was rarely tested by opposing quarterbacks as a senior ... all-state selection as a defensive back as a senior ... totaled more than 300 yards receiving and scored seven touchdowns on offense as a senior ... has been timed at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash ... had 65 tackles, eight interceptions and four pass break-ups as a junior and also had 178 yards receiving ... recent Buckeyes from New Jersey include David Thompson (1999-2002) and Drew Elford (1996-99) ... also a track and field standout, winning the state title in the 400-meter dash and placing third in the 200-meter dash as a junior ... played for Daniel Higgins ... Personal: Son of W. Lee and Gwendolyn Jenkins.

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    James Laurinaitis
    LB
    6-3, 231
    Wayzata High School
    Hamel, Minn.
    12/3/86
    Name Minnesota's Defensive Mr. Football as a senior ... rated the 28th-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com ... ranked the top linebacker and No. 4 overall prospect in the state of Minnesota by Rivals.com ... timed at 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash ... collected 193 tackles, including 28 for loss, as a senior after totaling more than 160 tackles as a junior ... led Wayzata to the Minnesota 5A state championship game as a senior ... added five quarterback sacks and seven QB hurries as a senior ... is the first scholarship player from Minnesota to play for the Buckeyes since Sid Gillman (1930-33, captain in 1933) ... also a hockey standout and was elected team captain of the squad as a senior ... played for Brad Anderson ... Personal: Son of Joe and Julie Laurinaitis ... father was a popular professional wrestler in the 1980s and 1990s.

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    Freddie Lenix
    RB/LB
    6-0, 193
    Glenville High School
    Cleveland, Ohio
    10/31/85
    Ranked as the 22nd-best "athlete" in the nation by Rivals.com, which also rated him as the 18th-best overall prospect in Ohio ... ESPN's Tom Lemming rates him as the 24th-best inside linebacker in the country ... Scout.com lists him as the top linebacker and the No. 4 overall player in Ohio ... 2004 first-team All-Ohio linebacker ... was teammates with fellow OSU signee Jamario O'Neal ... that duo helped led Glenville to the Ohio Div. I state semifinals in 2004 ... totaled 85 tackles and two interceptions as a senior ... joins former Tarblooders Donte Whitner, Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Curtis Terry at Ohio State ... led Glenville in tackles in 2004 with 143, including 12 sacks, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns ... scored three defensive touchdowns as a senior ... has a 40-yard dash time of 4.4 ... also a track and field standout, placing third in the state in the 100-meter dash as a junior ... played for Ted Ginn Sr. ... Personal: Son of Joyce Lenix.

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    Jamario O'Neal
    WR/CB
    6-1, 180
    Glenville High School
    Cleveland, Ohio
    9/24/86
    Parade All-American ... ranked as the No. 3 cornerback in the nation and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state of Ohio by Rivals.com and Scout.com ... Prep Star Magazine ranked him third among the country's defensive backs, while ESPN's Tom Lemming listed him as the No. 5 cornerback ... clocked at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash ... started at cornerback in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Jan. 15 ... 65 tackles, three interceptions and three quarterback sacks as a senior ... 2004 first-team All-Ohio defensive back ... was teammates with fellow OSU signee Freddie Lenix ... that duo helped led Glenville to the Ohio Div. I state semifinals in 2004 ... joins former Tarblooders Donte Whitner, Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr. and Curtis Terry at Ohio State ... was Ohio State's first verbal commitment to its 2005 recruiting class, committing before his junior season ... also a track and field standout, placing fifth in the state in the 100-meter dash at the 2004 state championships ... played for Ted Ginn Sr. ... Personal: Son of Walter Jefferson.

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    Brian Robiskie
    WR
    6-3, 190
    Chagrin Falls High School
    Cleveland, Ohio
    12/3/87
    Ranked as the No. 6 wide receiver in the state of Ohio and the No. 22 prospect overall by Rivals.com ... a 2004 first-team All-Ohio selection ... set Chagrin Falls career receiving records with 118 catches for 1,885 yards and 34 touchdowns ... caught 47 passes as a senior for 754 yards and 12 touchdowns ... also scored on a 95-yard punt return and an interception return ... led Chagrin Falls to a 9-3 overall record in 2004 and the conference championship ... averaged 14.5 yards on punt returns ... had two interceptions ... is an honor student, carrying a 3.5 GPA ... played for Mark Iammarino ... Personal: Son of Terry and Cynthia Robiskie ... father is the interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

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    Anderson Russell
    RB/DB
    6-0, 190
    Marist High School
    Atlanta, Ga.
    5/30/87
    Outstanding athlete who can play several positions ... averaged 8.4 yards per carry as a senior on 90 attempts ... named one of Georgia's 50 best players by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution ... rushed for 758 yards and scored 14 touchdowns as a senior in Marist's wishbone offense ... was Marist's leading receiver with seven catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns ... averaged 19.1 yards on kickoff returns ... ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the Ohio State camp last summer ... joins Atlanta native Brandon Mitchell on the OSU roster ... played for Alan Chadwick ... Personal: Son of Kevin and Karen Russell ... current OSU graduate assistant Paul Nichols was a quarterback at Marist before playing college football at Davidson ... his older brother, Brandon, played football at North Carolina and played with Nichols at Marist ... his father, Kevin, also played college football and played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

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    Rob Schoenhoft
    QB
    6-6, 225
    St. Xavier High School
    Mason, Ohio
    7/30/86
    Ranked as the No. 6 pro-style quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com ... rated the No. 8 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com ... the No. 7 quarterback in the nation according to Prep Star Magazine and the No. 13 QB in the country according to ESPN's Tom Lemming ... was all-conference in football and basketball as a junior ... first-team all-conference as a senior when he completed 72-of-139 passes in eight games for 1,159 yards and 13 touchdowns with just three interceptions ... was selected to attend the Elite 11 Quarterbacks' Camp in southern California prior to his senior season - he was the biggest H.S. quarterback at the camp and had one of the strongest arms ... passed for 1,100 yards as a junior with 12 touchdowns and just four interceptions ... as a senior, helped lead St. Xavier to a 10-0 regular season record and to the second round of the playoffs ... will be the first student-athlete from St. Xavier to play football at Ohio State since Greg Frey (1987-90) ... committed to Ohio State in July before his senior season ... played for Steve Specht ... Personal: Son of Rob and Debbie Schoenhoft.

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    Austin Spitler
    LB/TE
    6-3, 228
    Bellbrook High School
    Bellbrook, Ohio
    10/26/86
    Rated as the No. 2 linebacker and the No. 24 overall prospect in Ohio by Rivals.com ... timed at 4.72 seconds in the 40-yard dash, bench presses 365 pounds and squats 500 pounds ... 2004 first-team All-Ohio ... at Ohio State's camp in 2004 he bench pressed 225 pounds 21 times ... as a senior totaled 132 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, seven quarterback sacks and two interceptions ... was named the conference linebacker of the year ... first-team all-conference as a junior and senior ... collected 120 tackles as a junior ... has a 3.3 GPA ... is the first Buckeye from Bellbrook since Jim Borchers (1990, Kettering Alter), who is now a team doctor ... played for Kevin Basinger ... Personal: Son of Greg and Dawn Spitler.

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    Donald Washington
    WR/DB
    6-1, 185
    Franklin Central High School
    Indianapolis, Ind.
    7/28/86
    One of the top prep defensive backs and wide receivers in Indiana ... recruited mainly as a defensive back ... caught 45 passes as a senior and scored 10 touchdowns ... averaged better than 17 yards per catch on 47 receptions with eight touchdowns as a junior ... runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and has a 38-inch vertical jump ... has a 3.4 GPA ... was the state long jump champion as a sophomore and junior ... played for Lance Scheib ... Personal: Son of Donald and Cherry Washington.

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    Maurice Wells
    TB
    5-10, 185
    Sandalwood High School
    Jacksonville, Fla.
    2/5/87
    Parade All-American ... ranked as the No. 4 all-purpose back in the country by Rivals.com ... ranked the No. 15 overall prospect in Florida by Scout.com ... rushed for career totals of 5,955 yards and 55 touchdowns ... Prep Star Magazine ranked him the No. 10 running back in the nation, while ESPN's Tom Lemming rated him the No. 11 tailback ... led the state of Florida in rushing as a junior with 3,076 yards and scored 31 touchdowns ... in nine games as a senior, rushed for 1,908 yards and 18 touchdowns ... set the Florida single-game rushing record with 429 yards in two and a half quarters in a blowout of Stanton Prep as a junior ... compared in style to Warrick Dunn of the Atlanta Falcons ... clocked at 4.44-seconds in the 40-yard dash ... played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl ... played for Adam Geis ... Personal: Son of Kingsley and Panda Simons ... has several relatives in the Columbus area.

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    Ryan Williams
    DE
    6-6, 245
    Mission Viejo High School
    Mission Viejo, Calif.
    9/27/86
    Rated by Rivals.com as the No. 12 strongside defensive end in the country and the No. 27 overall prospect in California ... had four quarterback sacks as a senior ... as a junior, totaled 75 tackles and six sacks for the 13-1 Diablos ... was Ohio State's first commitment to its 2005 recruiting class from outside the state ... is the first Buckeye from Mission Viejo since Austin Moherman (1997-99, Capistrano Valley H.S.) ... played for Bob Johnson ... Personal: Son of Wes and Stephanie Williams ... was born in Washington Court House, Ohio.

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    Lawrence Wilson
    TE/DE
    6-6, 225
    St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
    Akron, Ohio
    7/21/87
    Ranked as Ohio's top defensive end and the No. 9 player overall by Rivals.com ... ranked as the No. 12 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com ... ESPN's Tom Lemming rated him the No. 16 defensive end in the country ... runs the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds ... bench presses 300 pounds, squats 600 pounds and has a 36-inch vertical jump ... 2004 First Team All-Ohio defensive lineman ... had 15 sacks as a junior and 10 as a senior ... also caught seven passes for three touchdowns as a senior ... has a 3.6 GPA ... averaged 15 points per game in basketball as a junior ... joins former Irish teammate Sian Cotton at Ohio State ... played for Keith Wakefield ... Personal: Son of Eugene and Sarah Wilson ... older brother attends Ohio State.

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    Doug Worthington
    TE/DE
    6-7.5, 250
    Saint Francis High School
    Athol Springs, N.Y.
    8/10/87
    Ranked as the fifth-best strongside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com ... rated the No. 2 prospect overall in the state of New York by Rivals.com ... ESPN's Tom Lemming rated him the No. 21 defensive end in the country ... Scout.com lists him as the No. 3 defensive end in the country ... collected 67 tackles and five quarterback sacks as a junior ... totaled 74 tackles and seven sacks as a senior ... also a standout basketball player ... timed at 4.75 seconds in the 40-yard dash ... is the first Buckeye from upstate New York since Will Smith (2000-03) ... played for Jerry Smith ... Personal: Son of Doug and Andrea Worthington.


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    My 2005 Buckeye Recruiting Odyssey In Pictures - Bucknuts

    My 2005 Buckeye Recruiting Odyssey In Pictures
    By Gary Housteau
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Some of the state's top seniors signed their names on national letters of intent all across the state of Ohio and all around the country today. Gary Housteau made his annual recruiting trek around Northeast Ohio today to meet up some of the players who officially became Ohio State Buckeyes today and he shares his story of the day in pictures.

    My first stop of the day was at GlenOak High School where Brain Hartline would sign his letter of intent at 8 a.m. in front of a small gathering of family and friends in the school's football office.


    On hand to celebrate the signing with their son were Brian's proud parents.
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    And Mike Hartline, who will be a top national recruit next season, was happy to be there to share in the event with his big brother.
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    Brian signed his letter shortly after 8 a.m. and then faxed it to the OSU coaching staff in Columbus.
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    GlenOak coach Jack Rose was proud to send Brian off to Ohio State and Brandon Long to Michigan State.
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    Needless to say it was a great start to a great day for Brian and the entire Hartline family.
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    At Glenville, Freddie Lenix (left) and Jamario O'Neal were at center stage as 12 Tarblooders signed a national letter of intent.
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    Freddie Lenix was living a long-awaited dream come true.
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    And Jamario O'Neal couldn't have been any happier or more proud for overcoming the personal adversity that he obviously has in his life to get to this point.
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    A packed room of family, friends and media turned out to celebrate all of the signings.
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    Ted Ginn Sr. was certainly proud to hand over two more of his top talents to Ohio State this year.
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    Lenix and O'Neal now increase the number of Tarblooders that have gone on to OSU over the past four years to seven.
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    One-year-old Freddie Lenix Jr. was there to celebrate with his dad.
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    And O'Neal's father was there to share in the special day with his son.
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    Brian Robiskie of Chagrin Falls High School was a late, albeit a tremendous addition to the OSU recruiting class. He picked Ohio State over Miami of Florida.
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    Robiskie happily signed one copy of his letter of intent while his coach Mark Iammarino looked on.
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    Brian's proud parents were on hand to celebrate with their son. Brian's dad Terry is the interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns right now.
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    And Brian's two younger brothers were on hand to support their big brother. Andrew (on the right) is a 6-1, 245 pound center and defensive tackle while Kyle is an 8th grade quarterback.
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    Although Robiskie said he couldn't have made a bad choice with Miami and Ohio State to choose from but he knew he made the choice that was the right one for him after visiting both schools.
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    Alex Boone (center) and his St. Edward teammates all signed their letters together.
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    Boone said that today was one of the best days of his life.
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    Head coach John Gibbons was on hand to celebrate with Boone and his other players who were signing their respective letters.
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    Boone's father and mother shared the special day with their son.
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    And Boone received his plaque for being named as a Parade All-American at the signing ceremony.
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    And Lawrence Wilson of St. Vincent-St. James was the last one today to sign his name on the dotted line for Ohio State.
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    After announcing his commitment on ESPN, Wilson went back to his school to sign his official letter and fax it in.
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    Wilson told those in attendance that his final decision to select Ohio State wasn't arrived at until late in the afternoon on Wednesday.
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    Wilson's family shared in his big day. Lawrence will now follow his brother to Ohio State.
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    Although he was torn between Ohio State and Notre Dame at the end, Wilson was happy and proud that he chose to stay close to home and play for the Buckeyes.


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    State begins producing more talent - Indy Star

    State begins producing more talent
    Still not a blue-chip hotbed, Indiana is making strides

    By Pat McKee
    pat.mckee@indystar.com
    February 2, 2005
    *
    ... In addition, Roncalli's Tim Sergi, Warren Central's Josh Bailey and North Central's Brandon Walker-Roby are among players bound for Indiana, while Roncalli's Patrick Kuntz will sign with Notre Dame and Franklin Central's Donald Washington III is headed to Ohio State...

    ... Wright also pointed at Ohio State's recruitment of Franklin Central's Washington as merely a Buckeye beginning.

    "I just received a note from Dick Tressel, brother of (OSU coach) Jim Tressel and member of his staff," Wright said. "He was here just last week, and he indicated they would be back in Indianapolis regularly.

    "It's clear that they have seen Michigan's success with the occasional Indiana player, and they want to get some, too."


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    High School Players Sign Letters Of Intent - ONN

    High School Players Sign Letters Of Intent *

    Wednesday was the first day high school football players could sign national letters of intent to play college football, and there was very little suspense regarding Ohio's top prospect.

    Lakewood St. Edward offensive lineman Alex Boone was one of 18 players to sign with the Ohio State Buckeyes.* Boone is excited to play for the Buckeyes' coaching staff, saying "they don't just see you as a football player, they see you as the person you are...I think their program is great." ...



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    Trotter: Loss of sports also a loss of opportunity - Middletown Journal

    Trotter: Loss of sports also a loss of opportunity

    Three Middletown High School football players will sign Division I letters of intent today. Andre Amos will ink with Ohio State, while Chris Wright and Cordelle Thompson will sign with Bowling Green.

    Meanwhile, football, along with every other extracurricular activity, at Middletown faces elimination, or at least submission to a pay-to-play program, if voters do not pass a May 9 emergency levy.

    Would Amos, Wright or Thompson have had the same opportunity to attend college via a football scholarship if the school district did not subsidize athletics?

    “If that had happened last year, I would not have been playing football for Middletown,” Thompson said.

    Amos and Wright said they probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to play either.

    If the three had not played high school football, they would have had no shot at football scholarships.

    “(Athletics) is some kids’ only way to college,” Wright said.

    Without sports to look forward to, some teens might look elsewhere for fulfillment. Amos said that many students wouldn’t have to look far to find trouble.

    “If they pay to play, some kids that can’t afford it would have more time to get in trouble,” Amos said.

    Emergency levies similar to Middletown’s have failed at nearby districts, including Edgewood and Franklin.

    “I think that it would be real unfair if the community votes no (on the levy),” Wright said. “I think that would be real selfish, considering a lot of people in the community have been Middies before or knew people who played for Middletown.”

    Amos said that future students should have the same opportunities that they have enjoyed and others have enjoyed before them.

    “I learned a lot playing here over the years and I think it’s an opportunity everyone should have,” Amos said. “I don’t think anyone should be short-handed.”

    Wright, who wants to be a communications major in college, said that he uncovered a lot about himself during high school.

    “High school is the time when you really find out who you are,” Wright said. “People who have a lot of talent find out what they want to do during high school. And pay-to-play really limits what you can do.”

    Perhaps voters should consider more than money before casting their May ballots.


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    Young Robiskie becomes a Buckeye - Cleveland Browns FB

    Young Robiskie becomes a Buckeye
    By Jeff Walcoff, Staff Writer
    February 2, 2005


    Ohio football fans may soon be hearing the name ‘Robiskie’ even more often than they already do.

    Tuesday at a press conference in Chargin Falls, Ohio, Brian Robiskie, son of Browns coach Terry Robiskie, signed a letter of intent to play football at The Ohio State University.

    Joined by his father, his mother, Cynthia, and his brothers, Andrew and Kyle, Robiskie signed his letter and told local media of the contentment he felt during a recent visit to the OSU campus.

    “The main reason (I chose Ohio State) was probably getting down there and being comfortable,” he said. “I went down there, talked to coach (Jim) Tressel…and wide receiver coach, coach (Darrell) Hazell, and talking to those guys, they made me feel like they were really interested and excited about me coming down.

    “Getting down there, I got a chance to see all aspects of the school. I had been down there a couple times. I had been down to the Horseshoe and seen the tradition there. I had been to the Woody Hayes (Athletic) Center. But being down there and seeing the business school – something I’m interested in – talking to some of the players, it felt like a good fit.”

    The 6-foot-4, 195-pound receiver from Chagrin Falls High School caught 47 passes for 754 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior to total 118 catches for 1,905 yards and 34 scores in his career.

    He chose the Buckeyes over Miami (Fla.), Penn State, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Duke. He was set to commit to Miami before getting a scholarship offer from Ohio State late last week.

    Robiskie’s father, meanwhile, had a good frame of reference to advise the young prospect. In addition to 25 years of coaching experience, Terry Robiskie attended Louisiana State, was the 1976 Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and played in the NFL for five seasons.

    Nonetheless, Brian insists his father allowed him to make the decision on his own.

    “He made sure to tell me wherever I go, I’m going to be there the next four years and being comfortable was a large part of it,” Brian Robiskie said. “Ohio State and the University of Miami – those are two of the best schools in the country and I couldn’t have gone wrong with either school. It’s just (about) location. Hopefully, my mom will get down to some of the games.”

    Brian’s father was even more convinced that his son chose wisely.

    “Through the whole process, we had a lot of discussions about it,” Terry Robiskie added. “There were a lot of schools that came up top, but in the end, I think it worked out good.

    “I’ve been going around the country to these schools for about 25 years and from all the years I’ve been around, I told him that history tells me Ohio State has been one of the best universities in the country.

    “I told him, from the years I’ve been going there, there was a guy named (Cris) Carter that came out of Ohio State who was a great football player. In recent years, there’s been David Boston’s and Joey Galloway’s. Ohio State is a tremendous football program and I thought it was great fit for Brian and a great mold for he and Ohio State to come together.”

    Dad also offered a quick scouting report on his son.

    “The last couple years…he has worked hard to skill his game to fit his body mold,” he said. “His hands are excellent. He goes out and attacks the ball, which is a trait we try to find in guys even on my level – guys that want the football. The ball is the air - they want to go get it. He has the ability to do that.

    “The thing he has improved the last couple years is his ability to ward off the defender, to use his body to play physical and get guys off of him. That will be an asset for him as he continues to grow and become stronger.”

    The time Brian has spent on NFL sidelines during the past several years may be one immediate edge he will have on some of his Buckeye teammates. He often warms up with Browns players and talks to them about life as a player on the pro level.

    “It helped me tremendously because I get to be around the guys who have made it to the highest level,” he said. “It shows me the type of work ethic you need to make it there and the type of focus you need to have, not only from being around those guys on Sunday, but I’m there over the summer in the offseason watching those guys work and watching what they need to do to be successful.”

    Having a player bring a professional work ethic to a prep atmosphere significantly helped the Chagrin Falls squad. This past season, the Tigers rolled to an 8-2 record and a playoff berth.

    “You can tell pros and major college football players - they practice at a different level,” Robiskie’s high school coach, Mark Iammarino, said. “The way they perform, the way they come for two or three hours at a time. He saw that and practiced like that. He didn’t just catch a ball and go back into line, he ran all the way for a touchdown.

    “The younger guys were able to see that and it started that whole work ethic there. Brian is a quality kid and I think Ohio State is a quality program. It's a great fit”

    Other Northeast Ohioans in Ohio State’s 2005 recruiting class include 6-foot-8, 295-pound offensive tackle Alex Boone from St. Edward’s, Canton GlenOak receiver Brian Hartline, and star defensive back Jamario O’Neal and linebacker Freddie Lenix of Glenville.

    “You probably can’t see it right now, but inside, I’m beaming,” Brian Robiskie said. “I’m real excited about the challenge that lays ahead and I’m excited about the opportunity I have to go down there and try to be successful.

    “I know we have a pretty strong class going down there and a good chance to start a good sense of unity and win some games these next couple years.”


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    Eighteen sign on the dotted line with Ohio State - WANE (AP)

    Eighteen sign on the dotted line with Ohio State *

    COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio State coach Jim Tressel was relieved today after the Buckeyes signed 18 players on the first day for the signing of national letters of intent.

    Months of N-C-Double-A investigations and allegations of payoffs to football players and academic fraud did little to hurt Ohio State's recruiting.

    Tressel says the kids that signed today definitely want to be at Ohio State.

    The highlights included six-foot-eight offensive lineman Alex Boone from Lakewood Saint Edward. Cleveland Glenville linebacker Freddie Lenix and cornerback Jamario O-Neal also signed with the Buckeyes.

    Tressel says he is confident that the current N-C-A-A investigation into his program would come out favorably.


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    Irish Gain Quinn; Lose Roche, Wilson; Wait on Lorig - UHND

    Irish Gain Quinn; Lose Roche, Wilson; Wait on Lorig
    UHND.com* - Frank Vitovitch
    2/2/2005

    Notre Dame, Ind (UHND) – Charlie Weis first class ended on somewhat of a low note this Signing Day with the Irish losing out Brian Roche and Lawrence Wilson. The Irish however came up with an 11 th hour commitment from Steve Quinn who was a surprise visitor this past weekend. So far 15 letters of intent are in, with 1 more possible in Eric Lorig.

    Steve Quinn (6-3, 220) had committed to Penn State earlier this season, but the lure of the excellent staff at Notre Dame got him to visit the Irish this weekend. He struggled with the decision, but choice the Irish on Signing Day. Quinn's name came up late and is an example of the aggressiveness of the new Notre Dame staff.

    Lawrence Wilson decommitted to Notre Dame when Willingham was fired, but the Irish had made some huge strides thanks in part to a 7 coach in home visit. Notre Dame put on the full court press for Wilson , but in the end he choice Ohio State . Notre Dame was his other finalist, but he picked the Buckeyes today. He would have been a very nice addition to this class and I had a good feeling that he would end up at Notre Dame, but it just didn't happen and thus created a hole at defensive end in this class...



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    Wolverines lead the pack in Big 10 - Rivals

    February 2, 2005
    Wolverines lead the pack in Big 10
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    JC Shurburtt
    Rivals.com Editor *

    Coming off the Big 10 championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl, Michigan held off Iowa to claim the conference recruiting crown. Derrick Williams, the nation's top-ranked prospect, will play for Penn State.Here's how the classes in the Big 10 stack up:

    1. Michigan: Five star running back Kevin Grady headlines an outstanding class for Lloyd Carr and the Wolverines. Michigan also showed tremendous national appeal, signing top 20 prospects from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, Illinois, California and Ohio, in addition to sweeping the top three prospects in state Average star rating: 3.48. Points: 1,995

    2. Iowa: The Hawkeyes rode the momentum of their shocking win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl to a great class, which includes four of the top five prospects in-state and Kalvin Bailey, the top-ranked fullback prospect in the nation. Average star rating: 3.22. Points: 1,745

    3. Ohio State: Alex Boone and Jim Cordle will solidify the Buckeyes' offensive line in the coming years. Snatching defensive end Lawrence Wilson from Notre Dame and Florida on Signing Day was huge: Average star rating: 3.5. Points: 1,654

    4. Penn State: The nation's No.1 prospect, Derrick Williams is the crown jewel of this class. But five-star defensive back Justin King and four-star linebacker Jerome Hayes will keep them playing good defense in Happy Valley: 3.12. Points: 1,102

    5. Purdue: The Boilermakers painted the Hoosier state black and gold, signing eight of the top 10 prospects in Indiana, headlined by wide receiver Selwyn Lymon. Four-star defensive end J.B. Paxson is another solid pickup. Average star rating: 3.0. Points: 967

    6. Wisconsin: Linebackers Travis Beckum and Elijah Hodge headline a solid class for Barry Alvarez. Average star rating: 2.75. Points: 797

    7. Michigan State: Running back Javon Ringer will be a solid performer in the Spartans offense. Quarterback Domenic Natale was a top 10 prospect in New Jersey. Average star rating: 2.75. Points: 762

    8.Illinois: Ron Zook's first class at Illinois is a good one. Four-star Running back Rashard Mendenhall and prep school wide receiver Derrick McPhearson headline. Average star rating: 2.55. Points: 385

    9. Northwestern: Linebacker Chris Jeske headlines a solid class for the Wildcats. Average star rating: 2.5 Points: 382

    10. Minnesota: The Golden Gopers did a solid job going into Columbus, Ohio and signing four-star athlete Alex Daniels. Average star rating: 2.67. Points: 335

    11. Indiana: Three-star running back Demetrius McCray headlines Terry Hoeppner's first class in Bloomington. Average star rating: 2.09. Points: 70


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    Signing day brings big gains, losses - Springfield News Sun

    Signing day brings big gains, losses

    By Doug Harris, Cox News Service

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Highly touted running back Jason Gwaltney broke the hearts of untold numbers of fans Tuesday when he ended a feverish recruiting battle by choosing West Virginia over Ohio State and Southern California.

    The 6-foot, 235-pound Gwaltney was the highest-rated unclaimed prospect going into national signing day today.

    He is listed as the nation's No. 3 running back by Rivals.com as well as the No. 1 fullback by ESPN.com. He led North Babylon High School to the Long Island Class II championship (New York doesn't hold a state tournament), and he finished his career with a Long Island-record 7,800 rushing yards and 135 touchdowns.

    He originally committed to the Mountaineers last year but changed his mind once his stock rose.

    "They kept trying," he told ESPN. "Perseverance in my eyes is the biggest thing, whether it's on the field or off the field.

    "It's the place I want to be. The fans are great. Morgantown has the best fans. The state of West Virginia has the best fans of anywhere in the nation."

    The decision is a blow for the Buckeyes, who haven't had a power runner since Maurice Clarett roamed the backfield in 2002. They apparently will go into next season with just three scholarship tailbacks, all of them speed rushers.

    Antonio Pittman gained 381 yards as a true freshman last year, while classmate Erik Haw was redshirted. Incoming freshman Maurice Wells of Jacksonville is rated the nation's 11th-best running back by ESPN.com and the No. 4 all-purpose back by Rivals.com.

    But all the news for the Buckeyes hasn't been dire. They've gotten verbal commitments from 17 recruits, including four Parade All-Americans: Wells; offensive lineman Alex Boone of Lakewood, Ohio; defensive lineman Doug Worthington of Athol Spring, N.Y.; and defensive back Jamario O'Neal of Cleveland.

    Defensive end Lawrence Wilson will make his choice today after narrowing his list to OSU, Notre Dame and Florida. A commitment from the Akron native probably would assure the Buckeyes of their third top-10 recruiting class in the last four years.

    "I think he can really be a monster," Columbus-based recruiting analyst Duane Long said of Wilson. "He's a 6-6, 235-pound kid whose best position (in basketball) is as a swing man."

    Boone is rated the second-best offensive lineman in the nation by Scout.com, while O'Neal is a consensus pick as one of the top three cornerbacks.

    "Alex Boone is the best offensive lineman I've seen in Ohio since Orlando Pace," Long said, referring to the Sandusky native who starred for the Buckeyes in the mid-1990s.

    While the impact of an ongoing NCAA investigation and months of negative publicity generated by the football program is difficult to measure, the controversy has cost the Buckeyes at least one recruit. Offensive lineman Kevin Bemoll, a top-100 player from Mission Viejo, Calif., reneged on his verbal commitment to OSU and is expected to sign with California.


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    The national race: It's too close to call - Rivals

    February 2, 2005
    The national race: It's too close to call
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rivals.com staff
    Rivals100.com Staff Writer *

    National signing day always provides plenty of excitement and drama, as well as the occasional surprise. But 2005 has exceeded all expectations, as an unusually large number of signing-day announcements has made for a rollercoaster ride for teams and fans across the country. Rivals.com
    Players still on the board like DeSean Jackson make it tough to crown a recruiting champion.

    How wild has this day been? Rivals.com was set to unveil its recruiting national champions for the class of 2005 at 6 p.m. EST. That announcement, however, will be delayed as that race is currently too close to call.

    Will USC claim the title for the second consecutive year, which would be a first in Rivals.com history, or could Oklahoma sneak in and capture the top spot? And don't count out red-hot Florida State, which is cleaning up on signing day as it seems to do every year. The reality, however, is that we won't know for a few more hours who ultimately is crowned No. 1.

    Why is it too close to call?

    There are still five Rivals100 prospects who have yet to make their announcements, and each of them could directly influence which team is crowned the recruiting national champion.

    USC easily could move into the top spot if things go as planned with defensive end Kyle Moore of Warner Robins (Ga.) Houston County and receiver DeSean Jackson of Long Beach Poly. Moore, the nation's No. 40 player, is likely USC bound and expected to pick the Trojans over Miami.

    Jackson, a five-star receiver who ranks as the No. 18 player overall, is believed to be USC's to lose, but Cal reportedly has made things very interesting in the last 24 hours and could make his decision (8:45 p.m. EST) more interesting than people think.

    Two players who would give Florida State a major boost are five-star defensive tackle Callahan Bright and four-star offensive tackle Matt Hardrick. Bright is down to Texas A&M and Florida State and is expected to announce his decision at 8:50 p.m EST, while Hardrick appears to be torn between the Seminoles and Ole Miss.

    If USC lands both Moore and Jackson, they are likely going to be the No. 1 team in the nation. If they miss on one of those players then it could get extremely interesting as both Oklahoma and Tennessee also have a very compelling case to be the nation's top ranked class.

    And don't even get started talking about what happens if Florida State gets both of their remaining targets and USC splits. If you thought the past two presidential elections were complicated, just wait, because this could cause a lot of people to clamor for recall before it's all over.


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    V for Victory: Trojans repeat as recruiting champs - Rivals

    February 2, 2005
    V for Victory: Trojans repeat as recruiting champs
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jeremy Crabtree
    Rivals100.com Editor *
    [ The Rivals.com National Team Rankings ]

    Winning never gets old.

    After capturing back-to-back national championships on the field and finishing with the top recruiting class in 2004, Southern California closed strong on the recruiting trail in 2005 with a finish that would make any recruiting coordinator jealous.Rivals.com

    Luthur Brown's pledge is a big reason why USC is the Rivals.com recruiting champion.With the addition of studs like Luthur Brown, Kyle Moore and Brian Cushing, Rivals.com is proud to crown USC as the recruiting national champion for the class of 2005.

    After racking up eight five-star players in 2004, the Trojans landed four five-star players ñ and that number could grow to five if DeSean Jackson signs later tonight ñ and continued their national recruiting dominance.

    It's hard to point out just one or two players who top USC's class because it's so deep with talent. However, the Trojans did land three players who were ranked as the top player at their respective positions, highlighted by the nation's No. 1 signal-caller, Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo, Calif.

    "I'm just honored to be included in such an incredible class like this," Sanchez said. "USC has always made it a priority to go out there and sign the nation's best players, and if you look at what happened this year, there is no question that this group is the best out there."

    Along with Sanchez, USC's class features the nation's No. 2 player and No. 1 receiver, Patrick Turner of Nashville (Tenn.) Goodpasture. Turner was the center of a heated recruiting battle that saw the Trojans beat out recruiting-seasoned coach Phillip Fulmer of the Tennessee Volunteers.

    "I just like the school, the program, their style of offense, the coaches, and the players," Turner offered. "I just like them the best. USC just has more to offer. They have a great history of throwing the ball and I have a chance to be a part of a dynasty there. They can win three in a row."
    Behind USC is Florida State.

    The Seminoles closed with an amazing run that is the stuff of legends. FSU was sitting toward the bottom of the top 25 for more than a week now, but after the additions of Fred Rouse, Antone Smith and Callahan Bright, the Seminoles quickly leaped toward the top of the charts.

    "Once again Florida State came out of nowhere on signing day to put together one of the nation's top recruiting classes," Gene Williams of Warchant.com said.

    "Going into Wednesday there were several uncommitted blue-chip prospects on FSU's board, including three five-star recruits, and it seemed like all them fell to the Seminoles. Bobby Bowden and his staff are known as the best closers in the business but on Wednesday they set a new standard."

    The Sooners closed with a strong day that included the commitments from four star defensive backs Reggie Smith and Nic Harris. Smith, a Rivals100 cornerback, picked the Sooners over USC and Nebraska. Harris, also a Rivals100 member, was leaning toward Michigan for the past months but changed his mind the night before signing day and is now headed to Norman.

    "This is our most diverse and national class," Sooner coach Bob Stoops said. "The continual national exposure with television and championship games has generated a lot of attention for this program and enabled us to attract prospects from all over the country."Rivals.com

    Montario Hardesty was a nice surprise for the Vols.Tennessee is currently sitting at No. 3 in the Rivals.com team rankings, and its signing day was highlighted by the addition of Rivals100 athlete Montario Hardesty, who changed his original commitment from North Carolina to the Vols. UT also added three-star defensive end Vladimir Richard, giving Fulmer plenty of reasons to smile.

    "I'm very excited about this recruiting class," Fulmer said. "This recruiting class has its own dynamics. We did fill some needs at our positions, which is always our first objective. Now it's a matter of seeing how they develop and how fast they can adjust to the college game and being away from home."
    Rounding out the top five is Nebraska.

    The Cornhuskers struggled on the field this season, but they hardly struggled on the recruiting front. Coach Bill Callahan and company signed 30 players and landed a group that's loaded with impact high school players and junior college prospects. What makes this Huskers class especially impressive, though, is the impact junior college prospects.

    "I believe that this group of players really, truly complements the core players we have on this team," Callahan said.

    "I just want to say also that these players we're bringing in want to be here. They want what we want, and they want to win, just like our current players want to win. They will contribute in every way to help get this program where we need to be. There's no doubt in my mind that they will add to positive team chemistry here at Nebraska."


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    Tressel Excited About '05 Recruits - Rivals PREMIUM

    February 2, 2005
    Tressel Excited About '05 Recruits
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mark Rea
    BuckeyeSports.com Managing Editor *
    Jim Tressel restocked his program by signing 18 high school prospects on Wednesday, the culmination of another recruiting cycle. Among the new Buckeyes are 11 Ohioans and seven out-of-state players including some of the best players in the nation. And some OSU fans lamented the last-minute losses of running back Jason Gwaltney and defensive lineman Walker Ashley, Tressel said he was delighted about the players that signed with Ohio State.


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    Tressel Discusses His 2005 Recruiting Class - Bucknuts

    Tressel Discusses His 2005 Recruiting Class
    By Steve Helwagen Managing Editor
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    The late signing of Akron standout Lawrence Wilson put OSU coach Jim Tressel in a good mood as he met with the media on national signing day. Click here for a look at his comments on the players OSU landed.

    Ohio State wrapped up its football recruiting effort for 2005 with the signing of Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary defensive end Lawrence Wilson late this afternoon. Wilson, who picked OSU over Notre Dame and Florida, became the 18th and final member of this class.

    OSU coach Jim Tressel discussed the class at his late afternoon press conference at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

    “I think it was a good day for the Buckeyes,” Tressel said. "This class is very capable both in the classroom and on the football field. It meets the ever-rising standards that the university has put in place academically, and it is very gifted from a football standpoint.

    "One of the things that impress me about this class is its commitment to excellence. It is a group that is going to work very hard to succeed in all that it does."

    As of 6 p.m., the OSU class was ranked seventh in Scout.com’s national rankings. The class includes 11 players from Ohio, including six of Ohio High’s top 10 prospects, as well as seven players from outside the state. It includes 11 players on defense and seven on offense.

    Unlike in past years when OSU has had 40 or more players make visits, the Buckeyes welcomed just 27 prospects for visits. The staff also had to do with fallout from the ongoing NCAA investigation. That probe may have had a hand in losing one verbal commitment, California offensive lineman Kevin Bemoll, who decommitted and went to Cal.

    “We had 27 young people in for official visits,” Tressel said. “We got 18 of them, so that’s a pretty darn good batting average. That is a testament to the selection process we had and the work our staff did once we got people here. It is low, but that was definitely by design.

    “Something that we are especially proud of is that we feel we got the type of young men who want to be Ohio State Buckeyes. They want to achieve great things on the field. They want to achieve things off the field and get a meaningful degree here at Ohio State.”

    Tressel was proud of the way his staff worked through the tough questions and the difficulties to land this class.

    “There are always certain battles to fight,” he said. “It’s always tough and it’s never easy. These guys battled through all of those things. The thing I admire the most about them and these recruits is that, in their opinion, they believe Ohio State is a great place to be.”

    Wilson announced his verbal on ESPN News just minutes before Tressel took the podium. The coach could not discuss the verbal until Wilson had returned to his school and faxed in the letter-of-intent documents.

    “You’re not leaving until we get a fax,” the coach laughed and said to the assembled media.

    Up until Wilson’s 11th-hour signing, the stretch run was looking bleak for the Buckeyes. OSU lost New York running back Jason Gwaltney to West Virginia on Tuesday and saw Minnesota defensive lineman Walker Ashley go with USC earlier today.

    “Sometimes if you don’t get a guy or two at the end, it overshadows the great guys you got in the beginning,” the coach said. “That’s huge for us to come down to the wire and get a couple of guys.”

    Tressel talked about Wilson, who had originally committed to Notre Dame before decommitting after Tyrone Willingham’s firing.

    “We really felt that Ohio State was a very natural place for Lawrence,” Tressel said. “We thought it was a good fit. It was a couple hours from home and he has a brother here at Ohio State. He really enjoyed our players and his time here at Ohio State. He came down to camp here.

    “Obviously, he made a decision and you live with his decision. We didn’t call him up after that original decision. But when he came out publicly and said he was rethinking that, yes, our eyes lit up. We felt like we had another chance. I thought our coaches did an extraordinary job of reentering the fray. His parents are wonderful people. His brother is as happy as can be in the Fisher College of Business.

    “But, truly, we did not know until 3:49 this afternoon where Lawrence Wilson was going, and we’re ecstatic.”

    Tressel will get an early look at one of his signees, offensive lineman Jim Cordle from nearby Lancaster. Cordle will enroll in the spring and take part in spring practice.

    “Jimmy will be enrolling in spring quarter and Jim Bollman thinks he has a chance to be an outstanding offensive center,” Tressel said.

    The coach remarked that he and his staff recruited enough speed to “put together a pretty good little track team.”

    “We have two guys who hope to bee the number one and number two 100-meter guys in the Division I meet with Jamario O’Neal and Freddie Lenix,” he said. “They bring great speed to the table. Brian Hartline reminds me he has an open spot on his wall for the hurdle events. He placed second and fifth last year. He is coming off an injury, but his rehab is ahead of schedule.”

    Two of the top names in this class – Scout.com top-20 prospects OL Alex Boone and DB Jamario O’Neal – committed to the Buckeyes long ago. Tressel said they were good cornerstones for this class.

    “That was huge,” Tressel said. “Jamario O’Neal committed to us here three seasons ago it seems like. We knew he was going to be a great one. When I talked to him today, he was so excited. I told him on the phone I could see his smile over the phone. He is so excited to finally be here.

    “Then to also have a guy like Alex Boone who everyone in America had at the top of their offensive line board, that is a great boost.”

    Gwaltney’s late decision to reaffirm an early verbal to WVU left the Buckeyes with just one running back, Florida’s Maurice Wells, in this class. He will be among just three backs on scholarship this fall, along with Antonio Pittman and Erik Haw.

    “That will be a top priority for us next year, for sure,” Tressel said. “We wanted to bring in two. Obviously, we had our sights set. We did not want to offer three or four and not be able to bring them all in. We wanted to be honest with kids. Maurice is one of the best in the country. We’ll probably have to move some people around a little bit, some of the troops we have here.

    “But for next year, running back would be one of the priorities for that class.”

    Here are more comments from Tressel’s press conference:

    * On late addition WR Brian Robiskie -- “He is a 6-3-plus guy who just turned 17 in December. He has been around the game of football forever. His dad Terry Robiskie is a first class guy.”

    * On RB Maurice Wells -- “A year ago as a junior, he was only the second or third guy in the state of Florida in the large school division to rush for over 3,000 yards. It was he and Emmett Smith as the most recent ones. He comes with pretty good credentials. He brings great speed and skill.”

    * On QB Rob Schoenhoft -- “Rob is a competitive kid. Everyone we talked to at St. X and the people who played against Rob is that he had command of the quarterback position.”

    * On OL Alex Boone -- “We have one guy who is renowned across the country as one of the finest offensive linemen. He has a passion to be a great player.”

    * On DE Ryan Williams -- “Ryan comes from a great program at Mission Viejo, Calif., He brings an interesting vida. As a young boy, he was sitting with his grandfather at (OSU’s) James Cancer Hospital. He pointed out the window and hoped that one day Ryan would have a chance to play (at Ohio Stadium). Fast forward 14 years and Ryan has a chance to sign with the Buckeyes. That is a special thing for him and we think he will do a great job on the edge.”

    * On DE Doug Worthington -- “He was very renowned in recruiting services and all-star teams.”

    * On whether there is a Ted Ginn Jr. in this class -- “If there are 18 guys stepping on the field in the preseason, you usually think that half of them will help in the 2005 year. I wouldn’t pretend to know which half. They can run, they’re smart, they’re physical and they have the passion to be Buckeyes. To say there may be a Ted Ginn Jr. in there, I don’t know who that may be.”

    Also Notable

    * Tressel said the NCAA has not issued a ruling on kicker Josh Huston’s attempt to get a sixth year of eligibility.

    * The coach also said he had no indication when the NCAA will complete its ongoing investigation into the program.

    “Of course we are looking forward to that,” he said when asked if he was ready for the probe to end. “I look anxiously to an end to those discussions and more discussions on what the kids are doing here.”

    * He also had no indication when a final ruling will be made on quarterback Troy Smith’s suspension. As things stand, Smith could miss the 2005 season opener against Miami (Ohio) for taking illegal extra benefits.

    * He also talked about the stiffening of admissions regulations at the school.

    “No question at Ohio State, admissions are done as an institution,” Tressel said. “Go and talk to (high school) guidance counselors. When we were an open enrollment school, if you had a diploma you could pretty much be sure you could get in. Now we have third and fourth generation families who have gone here and kids are finding they can’t go to Ohio State.

    “But it’s real. It’s pretty clear to us what the mission is and what we need to shoot for.”

    Here is OSU’s list of signees:

    Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Hometown/High School
    Amos, Andre 6-1 180 WR/CB Middletown


    Boone, Alex 6-8 315 OL Lakewood/St. Edward's

    Cordle, Jim 6-5 275 OL Lancaster

    Denlinger, Todd 6-3 265 DL Troy

    Hartline, Brian 6-3 180 WR/CB Canton/GlenOak

    Jenkins, Malcolm 6-1 180 WR/DB Piscataway, N.J.

    Laurinaitis, James 6-3 231 LB Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata

    Lenix, Freddie 6-0 193 RB/LB Cleveland/Glenville

    O'Neal, Jamario 6-1 180 WR/CB Cleveland/Glenville

    Robiskie, Brian 6-3 190 WR Chagrin Falls

    Russell, Anderson 6-0 190 RB/DB Atlanta, Ga./Marist

    Schoenhoft, Rob 6-6 225 QB Cincinnati/St. Xavier

    Spitler, Austin 6-3 228 LB/TE Bellbrook

    Washington, Donald 6-1 185 WR/DB Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central

    Wells, Maurice 5-10 185 RB Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood

    Williams, Ryan 6-6 245 DE Mission Viejo, Calif.

    Wilson, Lawrence 6-5 240 DE Akron, Ohio/SVSM

    Worthington, Doug 6-7 250 TE/DE Athol Springs, N.Y./Saint Francis


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    Peterson Pleased With Recruiting Class - Scout PREMIUM

    Peterson Pleased With Recruiting Class
    By Dave Biddle
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    John Peterson is in his first year as Ohio State's recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach. Despite a lot of pessimism from the outside, the Buckeyes finished with a top 10 class and Peterson helped make it happen. Bucknuts.com caught up with Peterson for his thoughts on the class and the world of recruiting as a whole.


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    Dantonio big reason why 3 select Cincinnati - Toledo Blade

    Article published Wednesday, February 2, 2005

    Dantonio big reason why 3 select Cincinnati


    Today's national signing day is a day they have been waiting for, a day to remember, a day they'll never forget. For Marcus Waugh of St. John's Jesuit, Steve Gawronski of Rogers and Jared Martin of Clyde, the dream of playing in the Super Bowl begins today when they sign on the dotted line with the University of Cincinnati.

    Waugh, Gawronski and Martin will join high school seniors across the country who sign letters of intent with their respective colleges for an opportunity to play football on scholarship.

    For some, the dream of Super Bowl glory won't extend beyond college. But national signing day is a defining moment in all of their lives because it is cause for celebration and reflection on years of hard work and sacrifice.

    "It only happens one time. You're never going to get recruited again. I really enjoyed it," said Martin, a quarterback and defensive back who was recruited to play wide receiver and defensive back.

    "Having all those coaches calling and talking to me put me in awe," said Waugh, who expects to play his natural fullback position with the Bearcats.

    Gawronski, a two-way lineman who will play offense exclusively at Cincinnati, said: "You have to choose wisely. You're going to be living with your decision for a long time."

    The three northwest Ohio football stars discussed how they each decided on Cincinnati.

    Each player used a different set of variables, but they all emphasized that Bearcats coach Mark Dantonio and his staff made them feel like they truly cared about them beyond football.

    Cincinnati's impending move to the Big East was another big selling point. Martin, Gawronski and Waugh agreed that having an opportunity to play for a national championship in a BCS bowl game swayed their decision.

    MARCUS WAUGH
    Waugh thought his heart had been broken when Ohio State didn't offer him a scholarship.

    Waugh's father, Tom Waugh, was an All-Big Ten center for the Buckeyes' 11-1 squad in 1979. Like father, like son, Marcus figured.

    That all changed when Ohio State coach Jim Tressel visited Waugh at St John's last year.

    "When I saw coach Tressel, my heart jumped," said Waugh, who has also starred in wrestling and track. "But it wasn't going to turn out the way I wanted.

    "I talked to him. He didn't look like he was very impressed. I believe it was the size [5-11, 228].

    "With Cincinnati, they impressed me because they judge by the heart of the player, not just the size."

    Waugh said he bonded with Dantonio immediately. The two first met when Waugh attended Ohio State's football camp as a linebacker and Dantonio, then the Buckeyes' defensive coordinator, was his position coach.

    While other schools wanted him to play linebacker, Dantonio promised Waugh he would play fullback at Cincinnati.

    "Ohio State's a big name, my dad went there. That was all big in my decision where I first wanted to go to college," said Waugh, who turned down scholarship offers from Bowling Green and Ohio University. "When I took my trip to Cincinnati I realized that going to a smaller school, you have a better chance of being a key player.

    "I learned to take your time. Don't go for the first school you see. Every coach that I talked to about a scholarship always treated me like I was the best player on earth. But it's always the call after, the extra effort they put in to recruit you, which Cincinnati did. Right after I got back from my visit, there was a call. That's what really impressed me."

    STEVE GAWRONSKI
    Gawronski appreciated the personal attention he received from Cincinnati. He didn't feel the same way when he was recruited by Big Ten schools like Purdue and Indiana, where he said he was made to feel like he was just another number.

    At Toledo, he said he felt pressured to sign quickly - too quickly, for his taste.

    "I felt that with a lot of the Big Ten schools, there's not as much of that personal attention. Their coaches are under pressure to win. You're more like just another player to them," said the 6-3, 295-pounder. "You have to find the best place for you, or you're going to be miserable."

    UT made the first scholarship offer to Gawronski at the Rockets' football camp last summer - as a defensive lineman.

    "It was a pressure deal. They told me they liked me the best, and they offered me first. They wanted me to commit the same day they offered. I wasn't comfortable doing that," Gawronski said.

    Gawronski found a comfort level at Cincinnati.

    "I've known coach Dantonio since Ohio State was recruiting Fred [Davis, the former Rogers standout who went to Southern California]. I just got a better feeling at Cincinnati.

    "Right off the bat, coach Dantonio told me they wanted me to play guard. I feel good about going into college as a guard. They do a lot of zone blocking at Cincinnati. Our coaches at Rogers taught zone blocking the last two years. I feel like I have the best chance of playing at Cincinnati as a freshman, and I feel like I have a better chance of playing at the next level on offense than on defense."

    JARED MARTIN
    Martin, who was also recruited by Michigan State, Bowling Green and Kent State, said he was stunned when Cincinnati offered him a scholarship following a one-day workout at the Bearcats' football camp.

    "I wasn't really recruited a lot by Cincinnati. It didn't seem serious like they were calling me every week or whatever."

    Dantonio made the offer on the heels of Martin, a track star, wowing Cincinnati's coaches by running a 4.5 in the 40 and a 4.19 in the flying 40 (a 40-yard dash with a three-yard running start).

    "When they offered right on the spot, I was pretty much in awe," he said.

    Martin played quarterback and defensive back for Clyde coach Mike Martin, his father.

    "When they made him the offer, I felt very confident that's the kind of program I'd like to see my son go to," Mike Martin said. "It's a program that's on the upswing, and they say what they mean."

    "It pretty much all boiled down to they're a pretty big program and they're moving to the Big East. You couldn't pass up the offer," Jared said. "I'm not saying I'm going to play at the highest level [NFL], but I wouldn't pass it up if it came. I'm going to college to get an education and play football."


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    Tough Decision For Wilson Ends Well For Buckeyes - Buckeye Sports Bulletin

    February 2, 2005
    Tough Decision For Wilson Ends Well For Buckeyes
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Eric Loughry
    BuckeyeSports.com Staff Writer *
    And so, for the Buckeyes, at least there was a happy ending.

    Surrounded by more than 50 of his friends and teammates, his parents and various coaches, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary defensive end Lawrence Wilson announced that he will be playing his college ball at Ohio State.Rivals.com"Basically, I wanted to be home and Ohio State is home," he said.

    Wilson was noticably nervous while talking to the gathering ó perhaps surprising, since moments earlier he told a national TV audience of his plans on ESPNEWS.

    "It was real tough," he said. "It came down to the wire. I didn't make the decision until 2 o'clock today. I came to school and told everybody I don't know where I'm going. I said, 'I don't know.'"

    The press conference opened with the Ohio State fight song blaring from a stereo and with Wilson donning a customary OSU hat.
    "I never thought me, Lawrence Wilson, would get all this attention."

    Rivals.com ranks Wilson the nation's No. 12 weakside defensive end, though the Buckeyes staff appears to want him to play at tight end, where OSU currently sports a decided lack of depth.

    The Fighting Irish star had committed to Notre Dame several months ago but decommitted following the firing of Tyrone Willingham. His interest in ND, however, was rekindled by new head coach Charlie Weis.

    But the Buckeyes had the last shot at Wilson with an in-home visit following the prospect's basketball game on Jan. 28. OSU, it seems, made its last-ups count.


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    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/sfl-signing2feb02,0,1845398.story?coll=sfla-sports-headlines]A signed letter-of-intent no guarantee for athlete[/URL] - South Florida Sun Sentinel

    A signed letter-of-intent no guarantee for athlete
    By Steve Gorten
    Staff Writer
    Posted February 2 2005

    Fort Lauderdale <sum> Helen Kennedy never expected what would happen to her son after he signed the papers that were supposed to secure his future.

    It was National Signing Day 2004, and like many Broward and Palm Beach County football recruits will do today, Stranahan running back Dennis Kennedy grabbed a pen and proudly inked his name.

    Ohio State, 2002 national champs. He had prepared for this moment -- rushing for 967 yards and seven TDs as a senior -- and so had his mom.

    Helen Kennedy, who jokes that friends call her "Nosy" because she'll "dig it out" when she wants to know something, took precautions to prevent a mix-up. She perused the Internet and found a "wealth of information" about just what her son would be signing -- a national letter-of-intent.

    "I wanted to know about the process," she said.

    She knew it so well by that day that she said she prepared packages for Stranahan's other potential recruits and held a seminar for parents about it. So why now is her son at Akron University, his contract with Ohio State voided, copies of it sitting in her house and in Stranahan coach Keith Skinner's office as harsh reminders?

    "Even though kids sign the national letter-of-intent, there's no guarantee," Helen Kennedy said. "That's the bottom line.

    "If you have an upcoming scholar-athlete, you need to really do your homework."

    RULES AND REGULATIONS

    Just what are these papers that prospective student-athletes sign on the first Wednesday in February?

    The biggest misconception is that the national letter-of-intent is tied to the NCAA, but the governing body has nothing to do with NLOI rules and regulations. It's actually administered by the Collegiate Commissioners Association.

    A group of college athletic conference commissioners presented a plan for the NLOI at the 1961 NCAA Convention to curb what it deemed as nasty recruiting practices. Three years after two efforts were voted down at the convention, seven conferences and eight independent schools agreed to create the NLOI. Today more than 50 conferences and 500 institutions participate.

    According to the Web site www.national-letter.org, the NLOI is a signed agreement that binds a student-athlete to an institution for one academic year in return for financial aid. Some mistake it as a four-year guarantee, but the school must decide whether to extend it each year. Among the rules:

    * A letter is valid only if signed after 7 a.m. on National Signing Day. Once a prospect has signed the letter in triplicate -- one copy for the recruit to keep, two copies to go to the college, which will pass on one to its conference -- he or she can no longer be recruited by other schools participating in the NLOI program. All Division I schools, except for the service academies, half of the Patriot League and the Ivy League schools, are members.

    * An NLOI may be signed before the prospect receives final academic certification from the NCAA Clearinghouse, but it's valid only if the athlete is later deemed a qualifier.

    * An NLOI prevents a signee from playing elsewhere for two years unless the original school gives him a release. Even if granted a release, which happens often, the student-athlete must sit out one season at the new school unless he or she wins an eligibility appeal heard by the national letter-of-intent steering committee, composed of five conference commissioners.

    Chaminade-Madonna football coach Mark Guandolo said college coaches regularly review the rules and regulations with recruits when they make "house visits" before signing day, often after the player commits. But Ely quarterback Carlton Jackson Jr. said that didn't happen with him -- he planned to review it himself. Former Suncoast standout Da-Juan Morgan, who committed to Ohio State but signed with North Carolina State after the Buckeyes told him late he didn't meet their academic standards, said many recruits, including him, weren't aware of all NLOI guidelines.

    NO GUARANTEE

    Ohio State officials won't comment on Kennedy's case, adhering to a policy concerning students who never enroll, sports information director Steve Snapp said. Helen Kennedy will talk, though.

    She says OSU offered her son a scholarship Feb. 3. Dennis signed the next day -- National Signing Day -- with his dad there. Two days later, his dad was hospitalized. On March 3, Kennedy's dad died from cancer. Late June, things got worse for Dennis. One of the coaches called him to say "he wasn't going to make it."

    His grades and ACT score, while meeting NCAA Clearinghouse standards, were too low for Ohio State. Helen Kennedy said she understood the NLOI was contingent on athletes qualifying academically, but nowhere were OSU's specific standards printed on the contract. While they had copies of his transcripts, they never told her of a potential problem during the process either, she said.

    "It was a blow," she said.

    When Dennis told her of the phone call, she called the Buckeyes back. No answer.

    "It was a nightmare," she said. "We were just holding out that everything was going to work out."

    She said she left numerous messages with nearly everyone in the athletic department -- at the office, on their cell. "I got a lot of hogwash and being passed around." When she finally spoke to someone in the compliance office, she was assured "things are in motion" for a resolution. Two weeks before players were to report for fall practice, she received notification in writing that the contract was void. She still hasn't heard from coach Jim Tressel about the matter, she said.

    Helen Kennedy has her suspicions -- that Ohio State "over-recruited" and later gave her son's spot to another recruit it coveted -- and said two other players who are now Dennis' teammates at Akron had similar problems with other schools.

    "We learned we were not the only ones," she said.

    Helen Kennedy calls Ohio State's nullification of his NLOI "bogus." Friends encouraged her to research the average GPA and ACT/SAT scores for OSU's 2004 incoming class and appeal to the NLOI steering committee.

    But "We had already been through enough," she said. This past weekend, she attended Akron's football banquet. Dennis Kennedy, who redshirted this season, is happy there, she said.

    Lack of understanding about the national letter-of-intent isn't uncommon.

    "I've tried to just encourage parents to really do their research, ask about everything, like academic standards," she said. "It's a recruiting game. Some kids get hurt."


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    Walker Ashley expected to choose USC this morning - Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Walker Ashley expected to choose USC this morning
    Chip Scoggins,* Star Tribune
    February 2, 2005 UNOT0202

    Barring a last-minute change of heart, Eden Prairie defensive tackle Walker Ashley will sign a national letter of intent to play football at Southern California today, according to two people with knowledge of his decision.

    Ashley, the state's top recruit and one of the nation's top defensive linemen, is expected to announce his decision at a morning news conference at the school. Reached at home Tuesday night, Ashley's father, Walker Lee Ashley, said the USC commitment was only a rumor and declined to comment further.

    Ashley had narrowed his final list to USC, the Gophers, Ohio State and Penn State. He maintained throughout his recruitment that USC, which won its second consecutive national championship this season, held a slight edge over the other schools.

    The Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year, Ashley is ranked as the eighth-best defensive tackle and 88th-best prospect nationally by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.

    Ashley (6-4, 290 pounds) collected 85 tackles (25 for loss) with 14 sacks and six forced fumbles as a senior.

    Mr. Football finalists
    Ashley and Eden Prairie linebacker Mike Pavelko are among the 10 finalists for the first Mr. Football Award. The list of finalists also includes two other metro players, linebacker James Laurinaitis of Wayzata and wide receiver Greg Martin of Maple Grove.

    The six outstate finalists are wide receiver/safety Eric Decker of Rocori, running back/linebacker Nick Grewe of Bertha-Hewitt, quarterback/defensive back Ben Kuznia of Bird Island-Olivia-Lake Lillian (BOLD), quarterback/defensive back Nick Mertens of East Grand Forks, running back Isaac Odim of Rochester Century, and running back/linebacker Joe Sveen of Plainview/Elgin-Millville.

    The winner will be announced Feb. 13 at the Nike Coach of the Year Clinic at the Southwest Marriott in Minnetonka.
    It is being presented by the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association and the Minnesota Vikings.

    Etc.
    • Laurinaitis is believed to be the first Minnesotan to sign a football scholarship with Ohio State, according to a Buckeyes sports information department official.


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    All OSU’s Tressel can do now is wait for the faxes - Canton Repository

    All OSU’s Tressel can do now is wait for the faxes
    Wednesday, February 2, 2005
    By TODD PORTER Repository sports writer

    COLUMBUS — Mile after miserable mile, home-cooked meal after home-cooked meal is in the books, and belly. Now comes the most difficult aspect of Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel’s job this time of year.

    Waiting.

    Tressel is keeping his fingers crossed that all 17 recruits who have verbally committed to the Buckeyes keep the fax machine in Ohio State’s football office humming with letters of intent being sent back. Tressel can do little else now.

    He is armed with a proverbial glass of water to throw on the fires. In political elections, they’re known as dirty tricks. In college football recruiting, it’s part of the under-sided aspect of recruiting. Coaches are friends until this week, and then anything goes in some circles.

    Earlier this week, Tressel received a call from the high school coach of one of his commitments. A coach from a rival Big Ten school told the recruit’s mother that Tressel would be fired before signing day and wanted to try to change the young player’s mind.

    “Sometimes there are midnight-hour shenanigans that other people try to employ to turn a kid’s head,” Tressel said. “I haven’t seen those work, though. For the most part, a kid has been through the process for a year and a half. ... By this point, they’re pretty adept at knowing what to believe.”

    Recruiting expert Duane Long has heard of the midnight witching hour in recruiting before. But telling a player a coach is going to get fired?

    “That’s below the belt,” Long said. “This is the worst time for coaches because all they can do is sit and wait for the players.”

    NCAA rules forbid coaches from contacting players beginning this past Sunday. However, a recruit or parent can call the coach and ask questions.

    Ohio State hopes to land a class of 19 signees today. The Buckeyes have received 17 verbal commitments, including GlenOak’s Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie, the son of Browns Coach Terry Robiskie.

    Tressel will find out today if two others join the ranks. St. Vincent-St. Mary tight end Lawrence Wilson is expected to name his school at an afternoon press conference. It is between Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida. Long believes Wilson will end up a Buckeye.

    Walker Ashley, a defensive lineman out of Minnesota, also will make a decision today.

    “For the most part, you’re just sitting and waiting,” Tressel said. “Usually, you have 80 or 90 percent of the guys who are 100 percent committed. There are a couple you wait to hear on some time Wednesday.”

    As it stands right now, Ohio State has four wide receivers, three linebackers, two offensive linemen, two running backs, two defensive ends, two defensive backs, one quarterback and a defensive tackle. If Wilson signs, Tressel adds a tight end.

    Long puts Ohio State’s 18 or 19-member class among the country’s top 10. That is significantly high considering the Buckeyes are signing less than 20 prospects when most others will bring in a crop of about 25. OSU’s recruiting class is smaller because there are less seniors graduating from last year’s team, and Tressel wants to hold a scholarship or two back to roll over for next season and to award walk-on players each year.

    “It could be top five depending on what happens,” Long said. “You’ve got star power at every position. Alex Boone is the best offensive lineman in the state. Doug Worthing reminds me of Alonzo Spellman. Jamario O’Neal is a star. ... Everyone is fretting about these last couple of guys, but when the smoke clears and people stop worrying about what you didn’t get instead of what you got, it’s easily a top 10 class.”

    More so than skill, Tressel is impressed with this group’s grades. Not one player will be held up because of test scores or grades.

    “I think it’s going to be a very good class. It’s good, and can get taken to the next notch if we’re able to land one of the last couple,” Tressel said. “When it’s all said and done, academically, it’s one of the strongest groups we’ve had.

    “Along those lines, it would be comparable to the group we had three years ago with Justin Zwick and those guys who were extraordinary academically. This one could come close to matching that. Athletically, it’s going to be a very good class. If we land one of the last couple of guys, it will put the icing on the cake.”


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    Top 25 national football recruits, with college plans - Dayton Daily News

    Top 25 national football recruits, with college plans

    By the Dayton Daily News

    The top 25 high school senior football players as rated by four of the top college recruiting analysts — Rivals.com, Max Emfinger, Tom Lemming of ESPN.com and Allen Wallace of SuperPrep Magazine/Scout.com.

    Players are listed with position, height, weight, hometown and school verbally committed to, if any (in parentheses).

    National signing day is today.



    RIVALS.COM

    1. Derrick Williams, Athlete, 6-foot-1, 187 pounds, Roosevelt, Md. (Penn State)

    2. Patrick Turner, WR, 6-5, 220, Nashville, Tenn. (USC)

    3. Eugene Monroe, OT, 6-6, 315, Plainfield, N.J. (Virginia)

    4. Melvin Alaeze, DE, 6-3, 277, Randallstown, Md. (Maryland)

    5. Rey Maualuga, LB, 6-3, 253, Eureka, Calif. (USC)

    6. Fred Rouse, WR, 6-4, 190, Tallahassee, Fla. (Undecided)

    7. Mark Sanchez, QB, 6-4, 215, Mission Viejo, Calif. (USC)

    8. Martellus Bennett, TE, 6-7, 242, Taylor, Texas (Texas A&M)

    9. Reggie Youngblood, OT, 6-6, 285, Houston (Miami)

    10. Jonathan Stewart, RB, 5-10, 225, 4.52, Lacey, Wash. (Oregon)

    11. DeMarcus Granger, DT, 6-2, 325, Dallas (Oklahoma)

    12. Kenneth Phillips, DB, 6-3, 216, Miami (Undecided)

    13. Marlon Lucky, RB, 5-11, 200, North Hollywood, Calif. (Nebraska)

    14. Callahan Bright, DL, 6-4, 320, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Undecided)

    15. Jason Gwaltney, RB, 6-1, 242, Long Island, N.Y. (Undecided)

    16. Ryan Perrilloux, QB, 6-2, 210, Reserve, La. (Undecided)

    17. Tray Blackmon, LB, 6-0, 200, 4.5, LaGrange, Ga. (Auburn)

    18. DeSean Jackson, WR, 5-11, 170, Long Beach, Calif. (Undec.)

    19. Justin King 6-0, CB, 180, 4.24, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Penn State)

    20. Alex Boone, OL, 6-8, 300, Lakewood, Ohio (Ohio State)

    21. Demetrice Morley, S, 6-0, 180, Miami, Fla. (Tennessee)

    22. Kevin Grady Jr., RB, 5-10, 227, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Michigan)

    23. Darren McFadden, Ath., 6-0, 198, Little Rock, Ark. (Arkansas)

    24. Jerrell Powe, DT, 6-2, 332, Waynesboro, Miss. (LSU)

    25. Antone Smith, RB, 5-8, 182, 4.25, Pahokee, Fla. (Undecided)


    ALLEN WALLACE

    1. Eugene Monroe, OT, 6-6, 315, Plainfield, N.J. (Virginia)

    2. Mark Sanchez, QB, 6-4, 215, Mission Viejo, Calif. (USC)

    3. Derrick Williams, Ath., 6-1, 187, Roosevelt, Md. (Penn State)

    4. Patrick Turner, WR, 6-5, 220, Nashville, Tenn. (USC)

    5. Kenneth Phillips, DB, 6-3, 216, Miami (Undecided)

    6. Brian Cushing, LB, 6-3, 230, Oradell, N.J. (Undecided)

    7. Justin King 6-0, CB, 180, 4.24, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Penn State)

    8. DeMarcus Granger, DT, 6-2, 325, Dallas (Oklahoma)

    9. Antone Smith, RB, 5-8, 182, 4.25, Pahokee, Fla. (Undecided)

    10. Fred Rouse, WR, 6-4, 190, Tallahassee, Fla. (Undecided)

    11. Rico McCoy, LB, 61-, 212, Washington, D.C. (Tennessee)

    12. Callahan Bright, DL, 6-4, 320, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Undecided)

    13. Melvin Alaeze, DE, 6-3, 277, Randallstown, Md. (Maryland)

    14. Derek Pegues, CB, 5-10, 175, Batesville, Miss. (Undecided)

    15. Marlon Lucky, RB, 5-11, 200, North Hollywood, Calif. (Nebraska)

    16. Jerrell Powe, DT, 6-2, 332, Waynesboro, Miss. (LSU)

    17. Ryan Perrilloux, QB, 6-2, 210, Reserve, La. (Undecided)

    18. Jamario O'Neal, CB, 6-1, 180, Mansfield, Ohio (Ohio State)

    19. Josh Portis, QB, 6-3, 190, Woodlands, Calif. (Florida)

    20. Alex Boone, OL, 6-8, 300, Lakewood, Ohio (Ohio State)

    21. DeSean Jackson, WR, 5-11, 170, Long Beach, Calif. (USC)

    22. Selwyn Lymon, WR, 6-5, 190, Ft. Wayne, Ind. (Purdue)

    23. Dace Richardson, OL, 6-6, 290, Wheaton, Ill. (Iowa)

    24. Kevin Grady Jr., RB, 5-10, 227, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Michigan)

    25. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, 5-11, 203, Skokie, Ill. (Illinois)



    TOM LEMMING

    1. Ryan Perrilloux, QB, 6-2, 210, Reserve, La. (Undecided)

    2. Jonathan Stewart, RB, 5-10, 225, 4.52, Lacey, Wash. (Oregon)

    3. Toney Baker, RB, 5-11, 218, Jamestown, N.C. (N.C. State)

    4. Mark Sanchez, QB, 6-4, 215, Mission Viejo, Calif. (USC)

    5. Patrick Turner, WR, 6-5, 220, Nashville, Tenn. (USC)

    6. Fred Rouse, WR, 6-4, 190, Tallahassee, Fla. (Undecided)

    7. Kevin Grady Jr., RB, 5-10, 227, Grand Rapids, Mich. (Michigan)

    8. Marlon Lucky, RB, 5-11, 200, North Hollywood, Calif. (Nebraska)

    9. DeSean Jackson, WR, 5-11, 170, Long Beach, Calif. (USC)

    10. Kenneth Phillips, DB, 6-3, 216, Miami (Undecided)

    11. DeMarcus Granger, DT, 6-2, 325, Dallas (Oklahoma)

    12. Antone Smith, RB, 5-8, 182, 4.25, Pahokee, Fla. (Undecided)

    13. Demetrice Morley, S, 6-0, 180, Miami (Tennessee)

    14. Brian Cushing, LB, 6-3, 230, Oradell, N.J. (Undecided)

    15. Callahan Bright, DL, 6-4, 320, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (Undecided)

    16. Rey Maualuga, LB, 6-3, 253, Eureka, Calif. (USC)

    17. Derrick Williams, Ath., 6-1, 187, Roosevelt, Md. (Penn State)

    18. Jerrell Powe, DT, 6-2, 332, Waynesboro, Miss. (LSU)

    19. Michael Oher, 6-5, 330, Memphis, Tenn. (Mississippi)

    20. Melvin Alaeze, DE, 6-3, 277, Randallstown, Md. (Maryland)

    21. Jason Gwaltney, RB, 6-1, 242, Long Island, N.Y. (Undecided)

    22. Travis Beckum, 6-5, 220, Oak Creek, Wisc., (Wisconsin)

    23. Justin King 6-0, CB, 180, 4.24, Pittsburgh (Penn State)

    24. Jamaal Charles, RB, 6-1, 200, Port Arthur, Texas (Texas)

    25. Victor Harris, CB, 6-0, 185, Highland Springs, Va. (Virginia Tech)



    MAX EMFINGER

    1. Ryan Perrilloux, QB, 6-2, 210, Reserve, La.

    2. Patrick Turner, WR, 6-5, 220, Nashville, Tenn. (USC)

    3. Derrick Williams, Ath., 6-1, 187, Roosevelt, Md. (Penn State)

    4. Mark Sanchez, QB, 6-4, 215, Mission Viejo, Calif. (USC)

    5. DeMarcus Granger, DT, 6-2, 325, Dallas (Oklahoma)

    6. Fred Rouse, WR, 6-4, 190, Tallahassee, Fla. (Undecided)

    7. Melvin Alaeze, DE, 6-3, 277, Randallstown, Md. (Maryland)

    8. Martellus Bennett, TE, 6-7, 242, Taylor, Texas (Texas A&M)

    9. Rey Maualuga, LB, 6-3, 253, Eureka, Calif. (USC)

    10. Ryan Reynolds, LB, 6-2, 220, Las Vegas (Oklahoma)

    11. Antone Smith, RB, 5-8, 182, 4.25, Pahokee, Fla. (Undecided)

    12. Justin King 6-0, CB, 180, 4.24, Pittsburgh (Penn State)

    13. Jonathan Stewart, RB, 5-10, 225, 4.52, Lacey, Wash. (Oregon)

    14. Tray Blackmon, LB, 6-0, 200, 4.5, LaGrange, Ga. (Auburn)

    15. Kenneth Phillips, DB, 6-3, 216, Miami (Undecided)

    16. Reggie Smith, DB, 6-1, 190, Edmond, Okla. (Undecided)

    17. Demetrice Morley, DB, 6-0, 180, Miami (Tennessee)

    18. Jamario O'Neal, CB, 6-1, 180, Mansfield, Ohio (Ohio State)

    19. Victor Harris, CB, 6-0, 185, Highland Springs, Va. (Virginia Tech)

    20. Eugene Monroe, OT, 6-6, 315, Plainfield, N.J. (Virginia)

    21. Dan Doering, OT, 6-7, 290, Barrington, Ill. (Iowa)

    22. Reggie Youngblood, OT, 6-6, 285, Houston (Miami)

    23. Adam Myers-White, S, 6-3, 195, Hamilton, Ohio (Tennessee)

    24. Derek Nicholson, LB, 6-1, 230, Winston Salem, N.C. (Florida State)

    25. Jason Gwaltney, RB, 6-1, 242, Long Island, N.Y. (Undecided)


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    Buckeyes lose battle for bruising fullback - Dayton Daily News

    Buckeyes lose battle for bruising fullback

    Long Island prospect shuns Ohio State for West Virginia

    By Doug Harris
    Dayton Daily News

    COLUMBUS | Highly touted running back Jason Gwaltney broke the hearts of untold numbers of fans Tuesday when he ended a feverish recruiting battle by choosing West Virginia over Ohio State and Southern California.

    The 6-foot, 235-pound Gwaltney was the highest-rated unclaimed prospect going into national signing day today.

    He is listed as the nation's No. 3 running back by Rivals.com as well as the No. 1 fullback by ESPN.com. He led North Babylon High School to the Long Island Class II championship (New York doesn't hold a state tournament), and he finished his career with a Long Island-record 7,800 rushing yards and 135 touchdowns.

    He originally committed to the Mountaineers last year but changed his mind once his stock rose.

    "They kept trying," he told ESPN. "Perseverance in my eyes is the biggest thing, whether it's on the field or off the field.

    "It's the place I want to be. The fans are great. Morgantown has the best fans. The state of West Virginia has the best fans of anywhere in the nation."

    The decision is a blow for the Buckeyes, who haven't had a power runner since Maurice Clarett roamed the backfield in 2002. They apparently will go into next season with just three scholarship tailbacks, all of them speed rushers.

    Antonio Pittman gained 381 yards as a true freshman last year, while classmate Erik Haw was redshirted. Incoming freshman Maurice Wells of Jacksonville is rated the nation's 11th-best running back by ESPN.com and the No. 4 all-purpose back by Rivals.com.

    But all the news for the Buckeyes hasn't been dire. They've gotten verbal commitments from 17 recruits, including four Parade All-Americans: Wells; offensive lineman Alex Boone of Lakewood, Ohio; defensive lineman Doug Worthington of Athol Spring, N.Y.; and defensive back Jamario O'Neal of Cleveland.

    Defensive end Lawrence Wilson will make his choice today after narrowing his list to OSU, Notre Dame and Florida. A commitment from the Akron native probably would assure the Buckeyes of their third top-10 recruiting class in the last four years.

    "I think he can really be a monster," Columbus-based recruiting analyst Duane Long said of Wilson. "He's a 6-6, 235-pound kid whose best position (in basketball) is as a swing man."

    Boone is rated the second-best offensive lineman in the nation by Scout.com, while O'Neal is a consensus pick as one of the top three cornerbacks.

    "Alex Boone is the best offensive lineman I've seen in Ohio since Orlando Pace," Long said, referring to the Sandusky native who starred for the Buckeyes in the mid-1990s.

    While the impact of an ongoing NCAA investigation and months of negative publicity generated by the football program is difficult to measure, the controversy has cost the Buckeyes at least one recruit. Offensive lineman Kevin Bemoll, a top-100 player from Mission Viejo, Calif., reneged on his verbal commitment to OSU and is expected to sign with California.


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    SVSM's Wilson to decide today - Cleveland Plain Dealer

    SVSM's Wilson to decide today

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Tim Rogers
    Plain Dealer Reporter

    Is it Notre Dame? Is it Ohio State? Or is the University of Florida still in the running?

    We will find out today when St. Vincent-St. Mary star Lawrence Wilson announces his college decision on ESPNews.

    Is it possible that Wilson, a 6-5, 240-pound, two-way end, will not make up his mind until just before the cameras start rolling around 4:40 p.m. and someone from ESPNews asks him to reveal his decision?

    That's how indecisive Wilson was late Tuesday when contacted by The Plain Dealer.

    However, it appears his list has dwindled to Notre Dame and OSU.

    "I honestly don't know, his mother doesn't know, his older brother doesn't know and I can tell you that Lawrence doesn't know," said Wilson's father, Eugene, after excusing himself from a family discussion about the topic.

    Eugene Wilson indicated that Florida's distance from Akron may rule it out.

    "Lawrence re ally likes Flor ida, and he and coach [Urban] Meyer got along great during our visit," Eugene Wilson said. "But, it is hard for me to justify paying for a plane ticket every time I want to watch my son play football, especially with Ohio State being two hours down I-71 and Notre Dame being four hours across the turnpike."

    The Wilsons' oldest son, Eugene, is a junior at Ohio State.

    Lawrence Wilson originally committed to Notre Dame but became disenchanted when coach Tyrone Willingham was fired. OSU, Michigan and Florida were the first to become involved, and Notre Dame, despite the family's disappointment with the Willingham firing, never really was out of the picture, a picture that will become clear today.


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    Buckeyes still awaiting decisions from prospects - Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Buckeyes still awaiting decisions from prospects

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Bruce Hooley
    Plain Dealer Reporter

    Columbus- Analysts rate the talent Ohio State will sign today among the nation's elite, regardless of whether the Buckeyes suffer their third straight fizzle at the finish in the annual beauty contest known as Division I football recruit- ing.

    Running back Jason Gwaltney's announcement Tuesday night that he will attend West Virginia left OSU without the power back it hoped to attract and leaves the Buckeyes hoping for better news from two prospects who have delayed their decisions until National Signing Day. As a result, the Buckeyes are likely to have their class rated slightly below conference rivals Iowa and Michigan.

    Defensive linemen Lawrence Wilson of St. Vincent-St. Mary and Walker Ashley of Eden Prairie, Minn., are Ohio State's likeliest hopes for a final-day flourish to a class that analysts otherwise rate solid, but not spectacular.

    "Gwaltney to me was the key," said Jamie Newberg, national recruiting expert for Scout.com. "Without him, this is a good group. There are some franchise guys in there, but by not getting Gwaltney, Ohio State missed on a big need area. I'd give them a solid 'B.' "

    OSU has just two scholarship tailbacks returning next season in sophomore Tony Pittman and freshman Erik Haw, who redshirted in 2004.

    Final recruiting rankings won't be determined until players sign today, but Scout.com has OSU No. 8 nationally, behind No. 2 Michigan and No. 5 Iowa in the Big Ten.

    ESPN's Tom Lemming, author of Prep Football Report, enters the final day with Ohio State No. 10. Lemming has Iowa (4) and Michigan (5) in front of the Buckeyes in their conference.

    Rivals.com rates Ohio State 12th, with Michigan No. 4 and Iowa No. 7.

    OSU could move up or down depending on the decisions from Wilson, who will choose between Ohio State and Notre Dame, and Ashley, who is down to the Buckeyes and Minnesota.

    Ohio State went 0-for-2 on signing day decisions a year ago, including the loss of wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett to USC. Jarrett wound up leading the Trojans in receiving and caught six passes for 115 yards and one score in the Orange Bowl victory that clinched the national championship.

    Two years ago, Ohio State entered the final day still on the radar with five top prospects and signed none of them. Still, recruiting is an inexact science that often turns rankings on their head once players show up on campus and actually play.

    In 2002, Ohio State's class rated No. 2 in the country on signing day because of three headliners - tailback Maurice Clarett, linebacker Mike D'Andrea and offensive tackle Derek Morris.

    Morris never played at OSU and transferred to North Carolina State. D'Andrea has been injured and hasn't contributed significantly. Clarett led the Buckeyes to the national championship, but birthed so much bad publicity for the school in his one season that he has become a headache that won't go away.

    The other players in that class, however, form the bedrock for OSU's 2005 team.

    A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, Quinn Pitcock, Nate Salley, Justin Zwick, Troy Smith, Mike Kudla, Jay Richardson, Nick Mangold, Santonio Holmes, Roy Hall and Tyler Everett are all likely to be starters or major contributors for the Buckeyes this fall.

    Ohio State's top prospects in the class expected to sign today include offensive tackle Alex Boone of Lakewood St. Edward, cornerback Jamario O'Neal of Glenville, quarterback Rob Schoenhoft of Cincinnati St. Xavier and defensive end Doug Worthington of St. Francis, N.Y.

    The Buckeyes failed to attract several top in-state talents, including wide receivers Mario Manningham of Warren Harding (Michigan) and Trey Stross of Avon Lake (Iowa), fullback Mister Simpson of Cincinnati Colerain (Michigan), linebackers B.J. Travers of Westlake (Iowa) and Alex Daniels of Columbus Brookhaven (Minnesota) and tailbacks Javon Ringer of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne (Michigan State) and Tyrell Sutton of Hoban (Northwestern).

    OSU, so far, has suffered the loss of only one verbal commitment in the wake of Smith's suspension from the Alamo Bowl for taking cash from a booster, and the unflattering publicity generated by an ongoing NCAA investigation of the Buckeyes.

    Offensive tackle Kevin Bemoll of Mission Viejo, Cal., cited those matters in re-opening his selection process that is expected to see him sign today with California.

    "I think the jury is still out on how bad the Troy Smith thing and the NCAA investigation hurt Ohio State," said Duane Long, recruiting expert for Ohio High Magazine. "Maybe it had an impact on some guys, but the ones who did commit were pretty solid, other than Bemoll. I think he was going to change his mind anyway, and that off-the-field stuff gave him a convenient excuse."

    If Wilson chooses Ohio State, that will give the Buckeyes seven of the top 10 in-state players on Rivals.com's ranking.

    Scout.com gives OSU just four of the state's top 10.

    "The core group of guys like Boone and O'Neal, they aren't going to care even if Ohio State is on probation," Newberg said. "They're going to Ohio State, regardless. They've always wanted to play there, so nothing is going to change their mind. Then, when Ohio State is good, like it has been the past couple of years, it just makes them want to go there even more."



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    Singees - The Ozone

    February 2, 2005 3:50 PM
    Football: Defensive end Lawrence Wilson has announced that he will play for Ohio State. Wilson will be faxing his Letter of Intent to OSU later this afternoon. He is expected to be the last commitment to the Buckeyes this year.

    February 2, 2005 12:10 PM
    Football: Safety Malcolm Jenkins from Piscataway, New Jersey and defensive end Ryan Williams of Mission Viejo, California have now signed their letters of intent to attend Ohio State. That brings the number of players signed to the expected number of 17.

    February 2, 2005 11:05 AM
    Football: Linebacker James Laurinaitis from Plymouth, Minnesota has signed to be a Buckeye, bringing the total number of signings to 15.

    February 2, 2005 10:45 AM
    Football: Defensive end Doug Worthington from Athol Springs, New York, has signed a letter of intent to attend Ohio State. That is the 14th signing of what is expected to be 17 to 19.

    February 2, 2005 9:45 AM
    Football: DB Jamario O'Niel and LB Freddie Lenix have signed their letters of intent. Also in the fold is OL Jim Cordle. Cordle will enroll early at OSU. The total number now signed today is thirteen.

    February 2, 2005 8:45 AM
    Football: Offensive tackle Alex Boone from Cleveland and quarterback Rob Schoenhoft from Cincinnati have now signed their letters of intent with the Buckeyes.

    February 2, 2005 8:25 AM
    Football: Wide receivers Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline have now signed with the Buckeyes bringing the total signed thus far today to eight.

    February 2, 2005 8:10 AM
    Football: Running back Anderson Russell from Atlanta has now signed and faxed to the Buckeyes his letter of intent. Thus far, six players have been signed today in a class expected to number 17 to 19.

    February 2, 2005 8:05 AM
    Football: Florida running back Maurice Wells has signed his letter of intent with Ohio State.

    February 2, 2005 7:45 AM
    Football: Defensive tackle Todd Denlinger and linebacker Austin Spitler have signed and returned their letters of intent to the Buckeyes. Thus far, four of the 17 to 19 expected to sign today have done so.

    February 2, 2005 7:25 AM
    Football: WR/DB Andre Amos is the first to get his letter of intent to the Buckeyes. Also signed and sealed is safety prospect Donald Washington from Indianapolis.


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    Signees List - The Ozone

    2005 Signees

    Andre Amos
    WR
    6-1
    175
    4.60
    Middletown HS -

    Alex Boone
    OL
    6-8
    300
    5.10
    St. Edwards HS -

    Jim Cordle
    OL
    6-5
    280
    5.10
    Lancaster HS Enrolling early

    Todd Denlinger
    DT
    6-3
    275
    4.80
    Troy HS -

    Brian Hartline
    WR
    6-2
    175
    4.40
    Glenoak HS -

    Malcolm Jenkins
    DB
    6-0
    180
    4.50
    Piscataway Township HS
    Piscataway, NJ -

    James Laurinaitis
    LB
    6-2
    230
    4.70
    Wayzata Sr. HS
    Plymouth, MN -

    Freddie Lenix
    LB
    5-11
    195
    4.50
    Glenville HS -

    Jamario O'Neal
    DB
    6-1
    205
    4.45
    Glenville HS -

    Brian Robiskie
    WR
    6-3
    190
    4.50
    Chagrin Falls HS -

    Anderson Russel
    RB
    6-0
    195
    4.60
    Marist School
    Atlanta, GA -

    Rob Schoenhoft
    QB
    6-3
    235
    4.80
    St. Xavier HS -

    Austin Spitler
    LB
    6-3
    225
    4.60
    Bellbrook HS -

    Donald Washington
    WR
    6-1
    185
    4.45
    Franklin Central HS
    Indianapolis, IN -

    Maurice Wells
    RB
    5-9
    185
    4.40
    Sandalwood HS
    Jacksonville, FL -

    Ryan Williams
    DE
    6-5
    230
    4.70
    Mission Viejo HS
    Mission Viejo, CA -

    Lawrence Wilson
    DE
    6-5
    235
    4.60
    Akron St. Vincent - St. Mary -

    Doug Worthington
    DE
    6-7
    255
    4.70
    St. Francis HS
    Athol Springs, NY -


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    Hurricane brewing in Rivals.com rankings? - Rivals

    February 2, 2005
    Hurricane brewing in Rivals.com rankings?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Jeremy Crabtree
    Rivals100.com Editor *

    The fax machines are rolling and the letter of intents are starting to spit out all over the nation. Heading into the biggest day of the recruiting season, Tennessee sits atop the Rivals.com national team rankings. But will that be the case at the end of the day? Will USC or Miami push toward the top? Only time will tell, but Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree breaks down the entire updated Rivals.com top 25 team rankings.

    School Total Commits Points Stock On 1/31 Breakdown
    1 Tennessee 23 2,274 2 Expect the Vols to remain in the top five after today's smoke clears.

    2 Oklahoma 22 2,233 1 If the Sooners get one of the final three on their board, then they have a shot at staying at No. 2.

    3 Nebraska 30 2,178 3 Huskers have to be proud of the great job that they did this season.

    4 Michigan 20 1,878 4 The Wolverines are about to have a very big day with two top 100 guys likely heading their way.

    5 Texas A&M 24 1,836 7 The Aggies landed the top player in Texas and a great class with speed and skill.

    6 Southern Cal 14 1,825 5 USC is likely to bump up today after landing a few final top 100 prospects.

    7 Georgia 19 1,814 7 UGA is waiting word on two four-star players that could give them a slight bump.

    8 Iowa 23 1,745 6 Iowa has to be pumped about this class and for good reason. It's solid all the way around.

    9 Miami-FL 16 1,723 9 The Canes have a great shot at finishing at No. 1, too, if things go right today.

    10 Virginia Tech 25 1,601 10 The surprise of the ACC and likely the most impressive job by coach Frank Beamer on the recruiting front in years.

    11 Auburn 19 1,554 11 Used it's perfect season on the field to win plenty of recruiting battles.

    12 Ohio State 17 1,524 13 Ohio State's class was never big on numbers, but is plenty big on talent.

    13 Florida State 16 1,511 22 If Miami doesn't jump toward No. 1, then Florida State has a great shot at doing it too.

    14 Alabama 28 1,434 18 Mike Shula and Co. have to be impressed with this class, especially at running back.

    15 Maryland 24 1,433 16 A solid class all the way around, with a great five-star headliner.

    16 Clemson 25 1,431 17 Another mild surprise, the Tigers really leapt up the rankings with a strong close.

    17 Virginia 22 1,417 14 The long-time nation's No. 1 class finishes in the top 20, not bad at all considering all the competition in the ACC.

    18 California 19 1,414 15 The Bears went head-to-head with many of the nation's best in California and won their fair share of battles.

    19 Texas 15 1,409 12 Losing their star quarterback late in the process and the top player in the state stings, but still a good all-around group.

    20 Florida 17 1,399 20 Can't wait to see what Urban Meyer will do when he has a full year to recruit under his belt.

    21 Arizona 22 1,326 18 Mike Stoops and his staff have raided Texas and California, and will go down as another surprise class nationally.

    22 UCLA 21 1,107 21 The Bruins made some strides with Southern California kids and signed a top 25 group

    23 NC State 23 1,077 24 The Pack will be back again after what will go down as one of the ACC's best.

    24 South Carolina 26 1,055 23 Steve Spurrier closed with the best of the best this year.

    25 Arkansas 20 1,036 NR The Hawgs' class is always overlooked by national experts, - not this year.


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    Players' Thoughts On Signing Day - Rivals PREMIUM

    February 2, 2005
    Players' Thoughts On Signing Day
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mike Wachsman
    BuckeyeSports.com Staff *
    Today is national letter of intent signing day for colleges around the nation, and Ohio State is no exception. The Buckeyes should pull in another very good recruiting class, and though there are some players who opted to go elsewhere, there were plenty who wanted to wear the Scarlet and Gray. A few signees, including defensive lineman Todd Delinger of Troy, Ohio, shared their thoughts with BuckeyeSports.com


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    Rea's Say: Integrity vs. Recruiting - Rivals PREMIUM

    February 2, 2005
    Rea's Say: Integrity vs. Recruiting
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Mark Rea
    BuckeyeSports.com Managing Editor *
    For the last couple of days, integrity has taken a major hit and the name of a little something called college football recruiting. Who lied and who didn't? Who claims to have had information and really didn't? Who took the moral high ground and who decided to crawl in the gutter? We all know how the individual sagas of Jason Gwaltney and Walker Ashley turned out. But how would you like to know the rest of the story?


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    Cordle ready to go - Rivals PREMIUM

    February 2, 2005
    Cordle ready to go
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bill Kurelic
    BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
    Lancaster, Ohio, offensive lineman Jim Cordle signed a Big Ten letter of intent early this morning. Cordle is getting a jump on his Ohio State football career and could be a factor on the Buckeyes line next season.


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    Ashley selects USC - Rivals PREMIUM

    February 2, 2005
    Ashley selects USC
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bill Kurelic
    BuckeyeSports.com Recruiting Analyst *
    Eden Prairie defensive lineman Walker Ashley has announced a commitment to USC over scholarship offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Oklahoma, and many others across the country.


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    Buckeyes Offer Juniors On Signing Day - Scout PREMIUM

    Buckeyes Offer Juniors On Signing Day
    By Duane Long
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    While fans were anxiously waiting to see what uncommitted recruits would sign with Ohio State today, the Buckeye staff was one step ahead of the game for next season. OSU offered at least four Ohio juniors today, including OL/DL Aaron Brown of Cincinnati Princeton. Read on for more.


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    Wilson Picks Ohio State - Bucknuts

    Wilson Picks Ohio State
    By Dave Biddle Assistant Editor
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Defensive end Lawrence Wilson had debated his decision for months and finally made it official on Wednesday. He will be an Ohio State Buckeye. Click here for more.

    Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary defensive end Lawrence Wilson ended the suspense Wednesday when he announced he would be attending Ohio State.

    The 6-5, 240-pound Wilson narrowed his choices down to OSU, Notre Dame and Florida, with the latter being a darkhorse candidate. He had committed to Notre Dame previously, but decommitted in December when Tyrone Willingham was fired

    He made his announcement on live national television on ESPN News. He was expected to have a press conference at his school later this afternoon.

    “Well, basically, there’s no place like home, so it’s going to be the Buckeyes,” Wilson said. “I like coach (Jim Tressel). I love the coaching staff. That’s pretty much why I chose them.”

    Wilson tallied 77 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior at SVSM. He earned first-team All-Ohio honors in Division IV as a senior. He is ranked as Ohio’s eighth-best prospect by Ohio High. He is also ranked as the nation’s 29th-best defensive end by Scout.com. SuperPrep ranks Wilson as Ohio’s 21st-best prospect and as the No. 50 prospect in the Midwest.

    He boasts 4.6-second speed in the 40. He also plays basketball for SVSM. He originally committed to Notre Dame at midseason. He holds a 3.6 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.

    Bucknuts.com recruiting editor Duane Long on Wilson: “The thing that stands out the most is not that he is 6-5, 240. But it’s that at every camp he went to, he ran a 4.6 40. There was no variation in speed. He is big and fast and is just going to get bigger. Some schools are recruiting him as a tight end. I like him as well as a defensive end. His best position in basketball may be on the wing, and that says something when he is 6-5, 240. He is a pretty special athlete. He is a great kid and wherever he goes he will work hard.”

    Bucknuts.com will have more on Wilson in the near future.


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    Washington Makes It Official - Bucknuts

    Washington Makes It Official
    By Bucknuts.com Staff
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Earlier this month, Donald Washington of Indianapolis Franklin Central likely did not have much hope of receiving an offer from Ohio State. Things changed quickly though, and today, Donald Washington officially signed with the Buckeyes. Check out some photos of the signing ceremony.

    One of the most excited players to sign with Ohio State today was wide receiver/defensive back Donald Washington out of Indianapolis Franklin Central. Sometimes, recruits can find offers pulled out from under them if they wait too long to make a decision, but Washington proved that good things can come to those who wait. Washington seemed set to decide between Illinois and Indiana, but Ohio State came through with an offer just over a week before signing day.

    "I think he's always had the incredible dream to play at Ohio State and it is starting to finally materialize for him," Franklin Central head coach Lance Scheib said last week.

    Below are three photos of Washington's signing day ceremony, sent in by Mike Wells:

    Washington getting ready to sign

    Coach Lance Scheib with Donald Washington

    Washington and his family after faxing the letter of intent and talking with the coaches on the phone.


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    Ohio State Football - Class Of 2005 - Bucknuts

    Ohio State Football - Class Of 2005
    By Bucknuts.com Staff
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Finally, Signing Day is here. The letters of intent are being sent in, and the OSU verbal commitments are officially becoming Buckeyes. Follow along with this page as we add names to the list as they fax their letters of intent in to the OSU staff.

    Ohio State got off to a hot start to this year's recruiting class, perhaps more so than any team in America. But the month of January saw its ups and downs for Ohio State recruiting as some players committed, some didn't, and one -- OL Kevin Bemoll of Mission Viejo, California -- decided he wanted to stay on the West Coast and switched his commitment from OSU to Cal.

    This class, however, brings in a very talented group of players to Ohio State. Follow along with us as we post their profiles throughout the day as they fax their binding letters of intent to OSU, officially becoming members of the Ohio State Buckeyes.


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    Amos, Andre -- Wide Receiver, Middletown, Ohio* (6-2, 175, 4.6)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 30 WR, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 9 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Ninth Commitment
    Committed 8/25/2004

    Amos was a bit of an unknown early on in the season. When news surfaced that this mysterious prospect from Middletown had received a scholarship offer from Michigan, everyone was quick to wonder who he was.

    A coaching change between Amos' junior and senior season may have had something to do with a lack of publicity, but the local schools knew about him as Notre Dame, Purdue, and Ohio State eventually anted up with offers. Amos took unofficial trips during the summer and was originally looking hard at the Boilermakers, but a trip to Ohio State won him over, and Amos decided to announce his final choice before his season got underway.

    Amos could wind up at either wide receiver or cornerback at Ohio State, and he seems to be open to either. He had 32 catches for 502 yards during his senior season. He may prove to be one of the more underrated members of this class.

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    Boone, Alex -- Offensive Tackle, Lakewood, Ohio* St. Edward* (6-8, 300, 5.1)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 2 OL, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 1 senior Ohio prospect
    U.S. Army All-American
    Parade All-American
    USA Today All-American
    OSU Class of 2005 - Second Commitment
    Committed 7/31/2003

    Alex Boone has won just about all the accolades a high school offensive lineman can receive. He is truly an all-everything prospect as he is one of the top overall recruits in America, regardless of position. Boone may also be the best offensive line prospect to come out of Ohio since Orlando Pace.

    Boone was offered a scholarship before his junior season as he showed up at Ohio State camp and dazzled coaches with his ability. Boone announced his decision to commit to Ohio State weeks later, although he later stated it took him "about thirty seconds" to decide that he wanted to go to OSU after receiving his offer.*

    Boone did take a look around at some other campuses before the season as the offers came pouring in from all over the country, but his trips just helped reaffirm his commitment to the Buckeyes. The lineman then focused on his senior season, during which his team went through some turmoil due to an OHSAA suspension for use of an ineligible player, but he continued to get better week in and week out and prove to be the state's most elite prospect.

    Many feel Boone may have more upside than any offensive lineman in the country. He is expected to see significant playing time as a freshman.

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    Jim Cordle not signing a national letter of intent today because he is enrolling in the spring:

    Cordle, Jim -- Offensive Line, Lancaster, Ohio* (6-5, 285, 5.1)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 30 OL, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 6 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Third Commitment
    Committed 4/6/2004

    Jim Cordle is the antithesis of the hype and publicity surrounding recruiting and national signing day. Whereas some prospects love the spotlight and want to get as much recruiting attention on them as possible, Cordle seemed to want nothing to do with it.

    Cordle was starting to receive big-time attention from schools across the country when he was offered by Ohio State at the end of March 2004. He committed to the Buckeyes about a week later, saying he just wanted to "get it over with." The quiet All-Ohio lineman has never wavered and had a fine senior season, proving he will be a big part of the OSU offensive line picture in the future.

    Cordle admitted before his senior season that he needed to work on his pass blocking as he played in a run-dominated offense at Lancaster, but this lineman is right up there with the top offensive line prospects to come out of Ohio in the past few years. Cordle played high school ball for ex-NFL player Rob Carpenter, father of current Buckeye linebacker Bobby Carpenter.

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    Denlinger, Todd -- Defensive Tackle, Troy, Ohio* (6-3, 265, 4.8)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 13 DT, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 5 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Fifth Commitment
    Committed 6/2/2004

    If you are looking for the most underrated player in this class, Todd Denlinger might be the guy. Denlinger is rated highly nationally as it is, but this is a player who may prove he deserved to be rated as an elite defensive tackle prospect.*

    Denlinger originally played linebacker and was quite good, racking up 125 tackles as a junior. This season, he moved to his projected position of defensive tackle and finished with 60 tackles, seven sacks, 12 forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.

    Denlinger made an early commitment to Ohio State, officially selecting the Buckeyes in June of 2004. The offers were really starting to pour in for Denlinger as in addition to OSU, he had offers in hand from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Penn State, Wisconsin, and many others. Expect big things from this fast, athletic defensive tackle once he gets to Ohio State.

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    Hartline, Brian -- Wide Receiver, Canton, Ohio* GlenOak* (6-3, 175, 4.5)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 31 WR, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 11 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Sixth Commitment
    Committed 6/29/2004

    Brian Hartline had his eye on the Buckeyes all along. Other schools were all over him, but when Hartline got an offer from Ohio State after his showing at camp in late June, he turned right back around and made a commitment.*

    Hartline got the offer he dreamed of and had his recruitment out of the way by July, but the start of his senior season two months later was like something out of a nightmare as he broke his leg during the first game of the season. Hartline would not play again as a senior, but his rehabilitation is proceeding and he expects to run track (Hartline is one of the state's top hurdlers) and play in the football all-star games this summer.

    An outstanding athlete and an electrifying playmaker, Hartline may be another guy who proves he was underrated. He could play on either side of the ball, but receiver will be his position in most likelihood. Hartline could also contribute as a return man on special teams. He is also a high-character person with a tremendous work ethic.

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    Jenkins, Malcolm -- Defensive Back, Piscataway, N.J.* (6-0, 185, 4.5)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 28 S, *
    OSU Class of 2005 - Eighth Commitment
    Committed 8/4/04

    It's become a yearly tradition -- a player not many people know much about comes to OSU camp, the player puts on a show at camp, the player gets offered by OSU, and the player commits. This year, one of those players is Malcom Jenkins.

    Jenkins, who could play cornerback, safety or even wide receiver, came to OSU's four-day session in June and caught the eye of defensive backs coach Mel Tucker. Jenkins, who came to camp with the goal of getting an OSU offer, impressed the coach during drills and received his scholarship offer shortly after the session.**

    Jenkins did not immediately accept the offer as he also considered offers from Virginia Tech and hometown school Rutgers, but after about a month of consideration, he selected the Buckeyes. Look for cornerback to be Jenkins' primary position at Ohio State.

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    Laurinaitis, James -- Linebacker, Plymouth, Minn. Wayzata* (6-3, 235, 4.6)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 45 LB, *
    2004 Minnesota Mr. Football
    OSU Class of 2005 - Thirteenth Commitment
    Committed 12/13/2004
    *
    A tackling machine, Laurinaitis was originally an early commitment to the home-state Minnesota Golden Gophers. Other options became open to Laurinaitis, however, and he decided to look into them.

    One of those options was a scholarship offer from Ohio State. Laurinaitis visited the OSU campus in December and decided he had seen the place he wanted to go to college. He committed to the Buckeyes on his visit, and even though shortly after his OSU commitment he was thinking of giving Minnesota one last look, Laurinaitis has stuck with Ohio State.

    The numbers are impressive -- 193 tackles in 14 games in 2004 and 128 in 2003. His senior year performance gained him the Mr. Football award for the state of Minnesota. Laurinaitis comes from an athletic family as his father Joe was the well-known professional wrestler Animal of the tag team Legion of Doom, while his mother was an all-state track athlete in high school. Laurinaitis is also an outstanding hockey player and is friends with current OSU freshman hockey player Johann Kroll.

    In addition to Ohio State and Minnesota, Laurinaitis was also offered a scholarship by the new coaching staff at Notre Dame. He is an excellent student, carrying a 3.6 GPA and a 25 on the ACT.

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    Lenix, Fred -- Linebacker/ATH, Cleveland, Ohio* Glenville (5-11, 195, 4.4)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 27 LB, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 14 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Fourteenth Commitment
    Committed 1/9/2005

    Fred Lenix was one of the best -- if not the best -- football players in the state of Ohio his senior season. His size prevented him from being rated higher as a recruit, but this is a kid who can flat-out play. In the 2004 regular season, Lenix had 86 tackles (51 solo), seven sacks, nine pressures, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles.*

    The question of what position Fred will play at Ohio State still remains, even to the OSU coaching staff. Lenix could get a look at three positions at Ohio State -- linebacker, safety and running back. He brings great speed as he is one of the state's top track runners and tremendous instincts and hitting ability.*

    Lenix became the latest Glenville player to join the Buckeyes after his official visit in early January. Lenix also considered offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.

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    O'Neal, Jamario -- Defensive Back, Cleveland, Ohio* Glenville (6-1, 205, 4.45)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 3 CB, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 4 senior Ohio prospect
    U.S. Army All-American
    OSU Class of 2005 - First Commitment
    Committed Feb. 22, 2003

    One of Ohio State's earliest commitments ever, Jamario O'Neal gave a verbal declaration to Ohio State while he was still a sophomore in high school and has stuck with it ever since. O'Neal has seen plenty of ups and downs since then, but he has stayed the course with Ohio State and now officially becomes a Buckeye.

    An outstanding athlete, O'Neal is versatile enough to play corner, safety, or even wide receiver or running back, but cornerback may be in his future at OSU. O'Neal has not lined up much at corner and will need reps, but he has All-American ability wherever he plays.

    O'Neal was a first-team All-Ohio performer this season. He played safety much of the season and was a key player in Cleveland Glenville's run to the state semifinals. He had 80 tackles and three interceptions as a senior.

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    Robiskie, Brian -- Wide Receiver, Chagrin Falls, Ohio* (6-4, 190, 4.5)
    Scout.com Rating: NR WR, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 27 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Seventeenth Commitment
    Committed Jan. 31, 2005

    It's probably safe to assume that it has been a year Brian Robiskie will never forget. If being a major football recruit isn't enough, Robiskie's father Terry was called upon to become interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns after the firing of head coach Butch Davis. Then, Brian's future changed completely when Ohio State presented him with a late scholarship offer earlier in January.*

    Robiskie was a player that generated a lot of talk on Bucknuts.com earlier in 2004, but as the season progressed, the chances of OSU being a factor seemed to decline. Robiskie seemed to be destined to choose between Miami (Fla.) and Stanford, but the Buckeyes had in fact been keeping in touch the whole way, and their late scholarship offer opened things up a bit. He took an official visit to Ohio State this past weekend and announced the decision to become a Buckeye the next day.**

    A big-bodied receiver with excellent hands and great football intelligence, Robiskie could prove to be a steal for Ohio State. It's unknown why Robiskie was not highly rated on a national scale, but anyone who saw him play came away impressed with his ability. Robiskie had 38 catches for 643 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2004, along with a punt return for a touchdown.*

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    Russell, Anderson -- Defensive Back/Running Back, Atlanta, Ga. Marist* (6-0, 205, 4.45)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 84 RB, *
    OSU Class of 2005 - Twelfth Commitment
    Committed Dec. 12, 2004

    Another player who could become a steal, Anderson Russell is making the move to Columbus all the way from Atlanta, Georgia. Many like Russell as a running back, but in most likelihood, he will start his Buckeye career as a safety.*

    Russell was given exposure to Ohio State by his team's offensive line coach, Doc Spurgeon, who was affiliated with Jim Tressel for several years when Tressel was at Youngstown State. Russell came up to camp at Ohio State and caught the eye of the coaching staff when he put up a tremendous performance, running a 4.44, posting a 34-inch vertical leap and putting up 19 bench press reps at 185. The staff kept in touch and issued an offer during the season.

    Russell took his official visit to Ohio State in December and saw all he needed to see as he chose the Buckeyes that weekend over Duke. An outstanding all-around athlete, Russell also runs track and is an excellent student, carrying a 3.0 GPA and a 1130 SAT.

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    Schoenhoft, Rob -- Quarterback, Cincinnati, Ohio* St. Xavier* (6-5, 235, 4.8)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 17 QB, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 13 senior Ohio prospect
    Elite 11 Passing Camp Participant
    OSU Class of 2005 - Seventh Commitment
    Committed July 22, 2004

    Rob Schoenhoft is a perfect fit for the Ohio State program. He has a great blend of size and arm strength and also may have better speed than many believe. By many accounts, Schoenhoft still needs some time to develop before becoming a college starter, and at Ohio State, he will be in a good situation, being in no rush to contribute early and having the chance to learn from experienced quarterbacks.*

    Schoenhoft first played as a varsity quarterback last year for St. Xavier and has shown great strides. He has a fine work ethic and good leadership to go with his already outstanding raw tools. During his senior season, Schoenhoft had 1,268 yards passing on 88 of 182 with 14 TDs and six interceptions.

    Schoenhoft ended his recruitment before his senior season. The quarterback was being hotly pursued by Michigan, Notre Dame, and many other schools, but he chose the Buckeyes in July. Schoenhoft has not wavered on his verbal and has even been a recruit who has talked to others about possibly coming to Ohio State.*

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    Spitler, Austin -- Linebacker, Bellbrook, Ohio* (6-3, 235, 4.6)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 87 LB, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 20 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Eleventh Commitment
    Committed November 29, 2004

    Despite being not very highly rated by national analysts, Spitler's play drew considerable buzz in Southwest Ohio this year. Spitler seemed to be looking hard at Wisconsin, who had been hot on his trail for months, but when Ohio State offered in November, it proved to be the one he was waiting for.

    Spitler is a player who is known for making plays. He put up 135 tackles and two interceptions for Bellbrook's 7-3 team and was named Division III District Defensive Player of the Year. On film, Spitler is anactive player who is around the ball and truly makes an impact on the game. Spitler also shows great strength as he has posted 21 bench press reps at 225 pounds and put up 29 reps at 185 at the Nike Combine.*

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    Washington, Donald -- Safety/Wide Receiver, Indianapolis, Ind. Franklin Central* (6-2, 185, 4.45)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 86 WR, *
    OSU Class of 2005 - Sixteenth Commitment
    Committed Jan. 30, 2005

    Every year, there are cases of players who wait too long to commit, but there are also cases of players whose patience pays off in the end. Donald Washington is a player who saw the offer he was waiting for unexpectedly come his way as the clock was approaching midnight on this recruiting season.*

    Washington had always been a fan of Ohio State, the school which his coach called Donald's dream school. He attended camp at OSU and reportedly put on a very good showing. But as time progressed, it became less likely that an offer was coming from Ohio State. In January, Washington seemed set to select from Illinois and Indiana.

    The Buckeyes, who had been keeping contact in previous months, stepped back in about a week before signing day. Washington did not keep his intentions much of a secret, stating that he would likely commit to OSU on his official visit. On Jan. 30, Washington made his commitment official.

    Washington is best known for his ability as a wide receiver, but Ohio State is bringing him in as a safety. In 2004, Washington caught 45 passes for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions on defense.*

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    Wells, Maurice -- Running Back, Jacksonville, Fla. Sandalwood*(5-9, 185, 4.4)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 19 RB, *
    Bill Buchhalter No. 8 Florida Prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 - Fifteenth Commitment
    Committed Jan. 15, 2005

    The buzz started early on Maurice Wells. After a 3,000+-yard performance in his junior season, some anointed him the top running back in Florida and a five-star running back nationally. Wells unfortunately did not receive rankings as high at the end of his senior season, but this is still a tremendous pickup for Ohio State.

    Wells had offers from the best programs in college football, including USC. In the end, Wells picked Ohio State, a school he had followed for quite some time, over Georgia Tech. Wells has family roots in Columbus, which will help make the transition from Florida to Ohio much easier.*

    Most think of Ohio State and think of big, bruising, between-the-tackles running backs, but Wells is more of an elusive scat-back. He brings tremendous speed and elusiveness to the backfield and should provide exciting options for the OSU offense. Wells rushed for over 1,800 yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior season.

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    Williams, Ryan -- Defensive End, Mission Viejo, Calif.* (6-5, 230, 4.7)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 61 DE, *
    OSU Class of 2005 - Fourth Commitment
    Committed May 27, 2004

    Williams is making the longest move out of all the OSU commitments, coming from the West Coast all the way out to Columbus. But in a sense, Williams is just coming home.*

    Williams' family has Buckeye roots as he was born in Washington Court House and attended school there before moving to California. Williams had originally not thought that he would wind up at Ohio State, but more schools further from Mission Viejo began to take interest. Schools like Oklahoma and Colorado came in with offers, but once Ohio State extended an offer, Williams turned around quickly and made his decision.*

    Williams is a big defensive end with a frame reminiscent of tall Buckeye ends of past years like Simon Fraser and Mike Vrabel. He is just the second player from California to sign with Ohio State since 1997.

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    Wilson, Lawrence -- Defensive End, Akron, OH* St. Vincent-St. Mary*(6-5, 235, 4.6)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 29 DE, *
    Ohio High Magazine No. 12 senior Ohio prospect
    OSU Class of 2005 -* Eighteenth Commitment
    Committed Feb. 2, 2005

    Lawrence Wilson was this year's OSU camp phenom. Largely unknown before making his trip to OSU Senior Advanced Camp, Wilson dazzled by running a 4.6 40 and posting a 36-inch vertical leap. Ohio State offered Wilson a scholarship after camp, and to prove it wasn't a fluke, Wilson went to Notre Dame camp right after that and also ran a 4.6 40 and received an offer from the Fighting Irish.

    Wilson seemed to be as surprised as anyone by the sudden attention. He had transferred from Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit to St. V-St. M before his junior season, but a coaching change after his junior year may have hurt his chance for exposure. His secret was out after getting offered by OSU and Notre Dame, and as fate would have it, the Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish battled it out until the end.

    Wilson originally committed to Notre Dame, but the firing of head coach Tyrone Willingham prompted him to look elsewhere. The Irish did not stop recruiting him though and kept Wilson -- and everyone else -- guessing until signing day. Ohio State was the school able to reel in Wilson's signature though as he announced his decision to become a Buckeye earlier in the day.*

    Wilson had 11 sacks and 77 tackles as a senior and 15 sacks as a junior. He is also a fine basketball player who may give hoops a shot in college.

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    Worthington, Doug -- Defensive End, Athol Springs, N.Y.* St. Francis (6-7, 257, 4.7)
    Scout.com Rating: No. 3 DE, *
    Parade All-American
    OSU Class of 2005 - Eighth Commitment
    Committed Sept. 15, 2004

    Ohio State landed a major out-of-state coup by securing the signature of five-star defensive end Doug Worthington. Worthington committed early in the season and still took a good look around the country as he took official visits to Alabama, Florida, Wisconsin, and Boston College, but none were able to make him change his mind.

    Worthington took a set of unofficial visits to college campuses in the summertime, but his trip to OSU stood out from the rest. Worthington made his announcement at a banquet in September.*

    A huge-bodied player and unique athlete, Worthington had 74 tackles, seven sacks and 27 quarterback pressures as a senior. He is also a standout basketball player. With Ohio State in need of defensive ends, look for Worthington to possibly be an early contributor for the Buckeyes.


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    Verdict On Ashley: USC - Bucknuts

    Verdict On Ashley: USC
    By Steve Helwagen Managing Editor
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Minnesota defensive lineman Walker Ashley made it official early this morning when he signed a letter-of-intent to attend USC, according to a secretary at the school.

    Eden Prairie, Minn., defensive tackle Walker Ashley made his college choice known early this morning when he signed a letter-of-intent for USC.



    He picked the USC over Ohio State, Minnesota and Penn State.

    Ashley was a three-year starter at Eden Prairie, helping his team win a state title as a sophomore in 2002. As a junior, he had 74 tackles, 10 sacks and four caused fumbles. This year, his team went 11-1. Ashley finished up with 89 tackles, 14 sacks, 24 tackles-for-loss and six fumbles caused. He also had a touchdown catch on offense. He was named the Minneapolis Star-Tribune metro player of the year.

    His father, Walker Lee Ashley, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Nittany Lions from 1979-82. He helped PSU claim its first national championship in 1982 before going on to a seven-year career with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

    Ashley is rated as the No. 19 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com and as Minnesota’s No. 3 overall prospect. SuperPrep ranks him as the No. 1 player in Minnesota, the No. 17 player in the Midwest. He is also a SuperPrep All-American, ranking as the No. 23 defensive lineman in the country.

    He holds a 2.6 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT. He was debating between Ohio State, USC, Minnesota and Penn State.

    Here are comments from Bucknuts.com recruiting editor Duane Long on Ashley: “I think wherever he goes he is going in as a defensive tackle. But, if he would allow the move, the position he should embrace is maybe on the offensive line. He may play on Sundays as a defensive tackle, but I think he would probably play on Sundays as an offensive tackle, if that makes any sense. He is a big, athletic kid. He can run and move and slide. I think he’d be a good pass protector.”


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    Good and Long: Comments On OSU's 2005 Class - Scout PREMIUM

    Good and Long: Comments On OSU's 2005 Class
    By Steve Helwagen
    Date: Feb 2, 2005

    Bucknuts.com recruiting editor Duane Long provides his insight on how the Class of 2005, led by prep All-American Alex Boone, will fit in at Ohio State. Plus, we have detailed bios (stats, awards, rankings and academics) on all of OSU's projected signees.


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    Wells Only Running Back In OSU Class - Scout PREMIUM

    Wells Only Running Back In OSU Class
    By Jesse Herman
    Date: Feb 1, 2005

    Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood running back Maurice Wells discussed signing with Ohio State today as well as Jason Gwaltney's decision to sign with West Virginia. That move leaves Wells as the only back in this class and one of just three tailbacks on scholarship for 2005.


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    Football Signing Day (Links) - Big Ten

    Football Signing Day
    Announcements from Big Ten institutions regarding their incoming classes

    Feb. 2, 2005

    Check below for information regarding new signees for your favorite football program below. This list will be updated throughout the day.
    Institution Signings* * * Live Announcement
    Illinois Release Audio / Video (4:30 p.m. CT)
    Indiana Release Transcript
    Iowa Release Video (4:00 p.m. CT)
    Michigan Release Transcript
    Michigan State * Audio (4:00 p.m. ET)
    Minnesota Release Audio (3:45 p.m. CT)
    Northwestern Release Video (6:00 p.m. CT)
    Ohio State Release Audio (4:00 p.m. ET)
    Purdue Release Audio (4:00 p.m. ET)
    Wisconsin Release Video (4:00 p.m. CT)

    Note: Penn State does not release letter of intent signees.


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    OSU Signees Slide Show - NBC4 Columbus FB


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    List Of 2005 Ohio State Football Signees - NBC4 Columbus

    List Of 2005 Ohio State Football Signees

    Andre Amos
    Alex Boone
    Jim Cordle
    Todd Denlinger
    Brian Hartline
    Malcolm Jenkins
    James Laurinaitis
    Freddie Lenix
    Jamario O'Neal
    Brian Robiskie
    Anderson Russell
    Rob Schoenhoft
    Austin Spitler
    Donald Washington
    Maurice Wells
    Ryan Williams
    Lawrence Wilson
    Doug Worthington


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    OSU Receives Letters From High School Football Stars - NBC4 Columbus

    OSU Receives Letters From High School Football Stars

    Middletown's Amos First To Sign

    POSTED: 8:21 am EST February 2, 2005
    UPDATED: 4:33 pm EST February 2, 2005

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State football program on Wednesday received letters of intent from some of the nation's top high school players, including a top-ranked defensive end from Akron.

    The fax machine began ringing early Wednesday, NBC 4 reported.

    Wide receiver and defensive back Andre Amos from Middletown, Ohio, was the first to give his letter of intent to the team.

    Others who signed on the dotted line include Maurice Wells, a standout running back from Jacksonville, Fla. Wells owns several state records for rushing.

    One of the more interesting players is James Laurinaitis, a punishing linebacker from Minnesota. He is the son of legendary professional wrestler Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis of the Road Warriors tag team.

    The lone question mark for Ohio State was defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson of St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron. Wilson (6-5, 240) made his decision to become a Buckeye Wednesday afternoon live on ESPNews.

    His final choices were Ohio State and Notre Dame.

    NBC 4 will have coverage of National Signing Day beginning at 5 p.m., and nbc4i.com will have updates throughout the day, along with complete information of the signees and comments from coach Jim Tressel.


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    Gophers lose out on Ashley, land Ohio star - In-Forum

    Gophers lose out on Ashley, land Ohio star
    By JON KRAWCZYNSKI AP Sports Writer
    The Associated Press - Wednesday, February 02, 2005
    · advertisement ·
    MINNEAPOLIS

    The Minnesota Gophers lost out on the state's top recruit on Wednesday, but continued their success in talent-rich Ohio by signing one of the nation's top linebacker prospects.

    The Gophers signed 18 recruits to national letters of intent, including highly touted linebacker Alex Daniels of Columbus, Ohio.

    Eden Prairie star Walker Ashley, however, spurned his home state Gophers for two-time defending champion Southern Cal.

    "We're working our tails off," Gophers coach Glen Mason said, referring to in-state recruiting. "Sometimes we're having success and sometimes we're having disappointments, but I don't know of a state anyplace that keeps all their players."

    Ashley, rated one of the top 10 defensive tackles in the nation by several recruiting services, said he couldn't resist the opportunity to play for the Trojans' burgeoning dynasty.

    "Through the whole last seven days I've been hopping back and forth between three different schools - Minnesota, Ohio State and USC," Ashley said. "I just felt USC was the best fit me."

    The Gophers landed seven Minnesota players, including running back Jay Thomas of Tartan, who rushed for 1,549 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.

    Simley quarterback Marcel Jones and Cretin-Derham Hall offensive lineman Ned Tavale also stayed home.

    "We were able to blend size with speed and once again we put a high premium on athleticism," Mason said.

    It is Daniels, however, who some think will make everyone forget about Ashley.

    Mason and offensive coordinator Mitch Browning used their strong connections in Ohio to lure the 6-3, 230-pounder away from marquee programs Oklahoma and Ohio State.

    Daniels had 100 tackles, five sacks and returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns to help lead Brookhaven High School to the 2004 state championship. He is rated as the 11th best athlete in the nation by recruiting service Rivals.com and illustrates the vast inroads that Mason and Browning have made dating back to their days at Kansas.

    "We had good players (from Ohio) at Kansas and pretty good players from Ohio since we've been here," Browning said. "(Daniels) just seems to be the guy that's making a big splash because he visited Oklahoma and Ohio State wanted him and he's a tremendous football player."

    He also brings with him two talented teammates. Defensive backs Dominic Jones and Keith Massey also committed to Minnesota and should help bolster Minnesota's mediocre defense.

    "I've made no bones about it that we need to play better defense," Mason said. "We need to do a better job coaching defense and we need better defensive players. That was one of our priorities."

    Landing Ashley, whose father Walker Lee Ashley was an NFL linebacker, certainly would have helped.

    Ashley initially narrowed his choices to USC, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State, where his father played. But the Trojans' considerable success set them ahead of the pack.

    "They're two-time national champions, they get a lot of exposure," Ashley said.

    Other top players to leave the state include Cretin-Derham Hall lineman Rafael Eubanks (Iowa), Wayzata linebacker James Laurinaitis (Ohio State) and Waconia tight end Joey Hiben (Notre Dame).

    It wasn't easy for Mason to see them leave.

    "Of course you'd like to get everybody," he said. "But I think we did all right.

    "I'm very pleased with this class for the most part. We've met our needs across the board."

    Including Matt Stommes, a 6-6, 245-pound defensive lineman from Eden Valley-Watkins High School. He grew up the first of nine children on a family farm in rural Richmond, Minn.

    "He wants the opportunity," Mason said. "If I had (eight) brothers and sisters at home, had to milk cows and do farm chores, I couldn't wait to go to college either. He's excited."
     
  2. jwinslow

    jwinslow A MAN OF BETRAYED JUSTICE Staff Member Tourney Pick'em Champ

    What happened to Tuesday, February 1.5?

    Just bustin your chops...
     
  3. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus


    :lol: I was hoping no one would catch tht BFS. I've been compiling so many links & articles lately that a few mistakes have slipped through. Obviously I'm using a template and filling it in for each new day and forgot to change the day Monday/Tuesday.

    There's also a busted link in this thread that I can't fix. The post editor will only let me add so many characters in one post. So I have to make several posts to get everything in. Clarity has installed a "flooding" feature which rolls these new posts into the first if no one else has posted on this thread between the times of my posts (this works the same for all members), or if I make a new post within a certain time frame (1 hour I think). This is nice as it keeps the multiple posts from one person on one thread to a minimum. But (for me) it can create gigantic posts. So big in fact that when I need to go back and make an edit the editor can't display the whole post. I went to edit this one and the editor would only display about 1/4 of the post ... not enough to fix the link. I worry about making any changes at all this way because if I do, then I think the post would then be paired down to the size the the text editor can handle. Instead of the gigantic post I have now, it would be 1/4 the size or whatever amount of characters the editor can handle. I think this just happened as I tried to edit the Monday, Feb. 1/Tuesday, Feb. 1.5 thread. I'm pretty sure I just lost about 2/3's of that thread by making the edit. Oh well, yesterday's (or the day before's :lol: ) news.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2005

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