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Recruiting News - 03/07/05

Discussion in '2005/March' started by 3yardsandacloud, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. 3yardsandacloud

    3yardsandacloud Administrator Emeritus

    News from the past few days.

    <font color="#b90000">Monday, March 07, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 03/07/05

    Tebow rates USC, Clemson as favorites (Tim Tebow) - The State

    Posted on Mon, Mar. 07, 2005

    Tebow rates USC, Clemson as favorites


    USC and Clemson have worked themselves into position with highly rated quarterback Tim Tebow (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) of St. Augustine, Fla.

    Tebow has more than 40 offers, but, unofficially, the Gamecocks and Tigers are among his favorites.

    “(Steve) Spurrier being at USC is a big thing,” Tebow’s coach Craig Howard said last week. “And Clemson’s situation is also interesting with their new offensive coordinator. We’re waiting to get to know them better.”

    Others among his favorites include Alabama, Florida, Michigan and Nebraska.

    More offers have come in for Spring Valley quarterback B.J. Phillips (6-6, 235). Phillips’ coach, Jimmy Noonan, said Kentucky and Maryland have made offers, joining Rutgers. Stanford and Iowa State are showing strong interest.

    Phillips will attend either USC’s or Clemson’s spring games since they are being played on the same day at the same time.

    Crestwood coach Keith Crolley may have lost 24 seniors from last seasons 13-1 team, but two returnees give a reason for recruiters to visit. Defensive back Derrick Loney (6-3, 185) had 111 tackles and 3 interceptions last season. He also plays receiver and scored five touchdowns on seven catches.

    Athlete Deon Singleton (6-1, 185) plays quarterback for the Knights, but likely will be recruited as a defensive back or receiver. Last season he rushed for 177 yards and five touchdowns and passed for 362 yards and seven scores.

    Neither player has been offered but both are drawing interest from USC, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Duke.

    USC and Clemson are among the schools receiving film on wide receiver Brandon Whitley (6-4, 185), running back Ricky Young (5-9, 185) and offensive lineman Thomas Lewis (6-5, 270) of Monticello, Fla., according to their coach, Felix Curry.

    “Whitley is as talented as they come,” Curry said. “He’s a Fred Gibson type receiver.” A.C. Flora running back Chris Gaddist (5-8, 150) recently signed with North Greenville ...

    Swinney After One of the Best in the Nation (Tim Tebow) - Scout PREMIUM

    Swinney After One of the Best in the Nation
    By Robert Thorne
    Date: Mar 6, 2005

    Jacksonville, FL has been kind to the Tigers over the past few years and Clemson's Dabo Swinney is hoping he can work his magic again and pull in a top quarterback for the 2006 recruiting class. has the latest on one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, Tim Tebow, in this recruiting update.

    Marion-Franklin Lineman One to Watch (Torrence Nicholson) - JJ Huddle

    Marion-Franklin Lineman One to Watch
    by Duane Long, Recruiting Editor

    Torrence Nicholson of Columbus Marion-Franklin will be one of Central Ohio's top prospects this year. Nicholson lists his current measurements at 6-3, 270 and is hearing from a number of schools.

    "I'm hearing from Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Maryland, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech,"

    Nicholson can play on either side of the ball, and even though he would prefer to play defensive tackle, Nicholson says almost everyone's recruiting him as an offensive lineman.

    Nicholson has never attended any camps before but plans to go to at least three this year.

    "I'll likely go to the Nike at Penn State," Nicholson said. "I'll go to camps at Ohio State and Iowa, maybe Penn State."

    What will be the big factors in the school Nicholson chooses?

    "I want to play early, and I want to play defense," he said. "I will play offense, but the schools that are recruiting me as a defensive lineman are going to be at the top of my list."

    Nicholson describes himself as a heady football player.

    "I'm a smart player," he said. "I've been playing football all my life. I use my head; I have good football sense."

    Nicholson is also a fine all-around athlete. He has a 300-pound bench and a squat of 575, and he had a mark 35-1 in wrestling before the state meet.

    "The first match I lost was district finals," Nicholson said. "I put him on his back early, but he came back on me and beat me in overtime."

    Nicholson is carrying a 3.6 GPA and is scheduled to take the SAT in April.

    Connor Smith adds offers and schools - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 7, 2005
    Connor Smith adds offers and schools

    Bill Kurelic *
    Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain offensive lineman Connor Smith says his scholarship offer total has risen to three and he has added some schools to the list of the ones he may consider.

    Gamecocks in the mix for Florida's best (Jamar Hornsby) - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 7, 2005
    Gamecocks in the mix for Florida's best

    Tony Morrell *
    Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood safety/wide receiver Jamar Hornsby is considered by some analysts to be the number one ranked junior in the state of Florida. The 6-foot-4, 195 pound Hornsby has the early offers to back that thought process up.

    Huge OL says OSU one of his co-favorites (Chris Meenan) - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 7, 2005
    Huge OL says OSU one of his co-favorites

    Bill Kurelic Recruiting Analyst *
    Wooster, Ohio, offensive lineman Chris Meenan says at least 30 schools are sending him mail and the list is growing. One of those schools is Ohio State and Meenan says the Buckeyes are one of his two favorites.

    Sunshine State Superstar Visits GT (Jamar Hornsby) - Scout PREMIUM

    Sunshine State Superstar Visits GT
    By Ryan Jordan
    Date: Mar 7, 2005

    Jamar Hornsby is an early candidate for 5-star consideration and is also in the running to be named the top prospect in the state of Florida overall. This weekend he made a trip north to visit Georgia Tech and the Jackets made nothing short of a ‘big’ impression on the Jacksonville standout.

    Prospect Video - Josh Chichester - Scout PREMIUM

    Prospect Video - Josh Chichester
    By Staff
    Date: Mar 7, 2005

    Josh Chichester of West Chester (Oh.) Lakota West has emerged as one of Ohio's best athletes. Chichester is a two-sport star who could play either basketball or football for major college programs. We have a look at him today on the gridiron in these football highlight clips.

    Massillon's Dailey Is One Of Ohio's Top Sophs - Bucknuts FB

    Massillon's Dailey Is One Of Ohio's Top Sophs
    By Bill Greene Ohio High Scout/Contributor
    Date: Mar 7, 2005

    Too early to look at sophomore football prospects? Not in Andrew Dailey's case. The promising Massillon standout is already receiving mail from major programs. Bill Greene recently had a chat with Dailey to learn more.

    In 2005, the Massillon Tigers will be hoping to rebound from what has been two sub-par seasons. The Tigers, coached by Rick Shepas, are not accustomed to rebounding from losing seasons, and all indications are that next year could see the Tigers return to being one of the top programs in Ohio.

    One of the top returnees for Shepas is sophomore safety Andrew Dailey. Dailey is listed as one of the top sophomores in the state by Ohio High magazine. The 6-3, 212-pound Dailey, who started every game but one, is known as a big hitter and is drawing the attention of college recruiters.

    "I'm getting letters from Purdue, Kansas, Boston College, Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State, as well as others. I stopped at Michigan last summer, and I've been to games at Notre Dame and West Virginia. Coach Shepas took me to the Ohio State-Michigan game last season, and that was great," Dailey said.

    As one of the top players in a school known for success, Dailey said the Tigers are working hard to turn around their fortunes. When asked about his goals for 2005, Dailey was quite direct and honest.

    "We need to make the playoffs and have a deep run in the playoffs. We need to start beating some of the best teams in Ohio. We especially need to start beating Canton McKinley again," Dailey said. "For my personal goals, I'd like to lead the team in tackles. I'd also like to play wide receiver to show my athletic ability. I'll play both ways if that helps us win."

    Andrew, who currently has a 3.5 grade average, loves playing at Massillon and enjoys playing for Rick Shepas.

    "Playing at Massillon is great because of the tradition. Nothing compares to the Massillon-McKinley rivalry. There's nothing like running out of the tunnel before that game," Dailey said. "Coach Shepas is someone I like a lot. He moved me to safety from linebacker, because he believed in me. He cares about the players and wants what's best for us, not just when we're playing for him, but even after we leave school."

    Since the end of the season, Dailey has been busy making himself a better player. His speed has improved dramatically and he hopes to get even faster.

    "I worked out in Akron with Butch Reynolds for 10 sessions. We worked on getting faster and I can tell it's working. We started baseball workouts this week, and my 60 yard dash time is .4 faster than last year. I ran a 4.57 forty last summer and I'm hoping to lower that time this year," said Dailey. "I like playing baseball but I feel my future is in football. I've read a lot about Jerry Rice's work ethic and I try to follow what he's done off the field. On the field I try to play like John Lynch."

    After a successful season on the freshman team, one might think the adjustment to varsity football would be difficult, but Dailey handled the transition just fine.

    "The speed of the game was tough at first, but it got better. I played my best football the last four games. The game seemed to really slow down and I was feeling more comfortable. I can't wait for next season to start. We need to get Massillon football back to where it should be," Dailey said.

    Andrew is good friends with another top sophomore football player, Devon Torrence of Canton South. They play summer baseball together and the two talk often, as they push each other to get better.

    "Devon and I are close. We're always trying to see who can beat the other one. I raced him a couple years ago and beat him in about a 30 or 40 yard race. I'll never let him forget it either," Andrew said with a smile. "It would be neat if we could go to the same college some day. He's a great athlete."

    Andrew Dailey is as mature a person as any sophomore you'll meet. He has a great attitude, as well as tremendous talent, and it appears he has a bright future in football. Dailey is a player that we will track very closely in 2005 at Ohio High magazine.


    <font color="#b90000">Sunday, March 06, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 03/06/05

    Some students choose entering college early - NN of Central Ohio (Lancaster Eagle Gazette)

    Some students choose entering college early
    What's the hurry?

    The Eagle-Gazette Staff

    Seniors Justin Boren (left) and Travis Curnutte have worked hard to graduate early and break away from the halls of Pickerington High School North.

    Advantages of early graduation:
    * A selective few students who graduate early can enter the work force early.
    * Graduating ear can allow the opportunity for travel beyond the United States for a year in a foreign exchange atmosphere.
    * Early graduation is good for more mature students who want to start their college careers early in a campus environment and don't want to attend college in a post secondary situation.
    * If the graduates are not 18 years old, there might be some limitations in obtaining a job, and they can't join the military.
    * If a student is active in sports or any extra-curricular activities, graduating early will take away one year of experience.

    Source: Dale Ferbrache

    FAIRFIELD COUNTY -- Sixteen-year-old Justin Boren is a 6-5, 310 pound behemoth who wants to enter college and start readying for college football -- now.

    Boren is one of several students from Fairfield County schools who filed to graduate earlier than expected. Instead of graduating with their peers, Boren and others are graduating anywhere from a semester to a full-year early.

    "I'm thinking wherever I go to college, I want to get an early start -- get a jump on classes," Boren said. "With football, it's a lot harder going in (during) the fall and learning a new program. My plan is to graduate (in December), enroll in January and get some classes under my belt and start learning the football program."

    The Pickerington High School North junior said he has been getting "numerous" scholarship offers to play college football -- namingly from Ohio State, the University of Michigan and the University of Florida -- some of the top college football programs in the country. But Boren also realizes he's a student-athlete, so he must focus on his education as well.

    Boren is following in the footsteps of another local mammoth football player. Lancaster's Jimmy Cordle stands 6-5 as well, and weighs just under 300 pounds. Cordle was done with his high school requirements in January and received his high school diploma in February. He begins taking classes at OSU later this month. Cordle was awarded an athletic scholarship to play football for the Buckeyes. He was inspired to enroll in college early so he could participate in spring practice by yet another player for the Buckeyes.

    "I went to spring practice last year and I saw (Steve) Rehring, and he went in early last year," Cordle said. "It really helped him. (Lancaster head football) Coach (Rob) Carpenter suggested it would really help me."

    But Cordle is the son of two educators who will not allow laziness. James and Denise Cordle are teachers for the Lancaster City Schools. Denise made Jimmy get a job so he wouldn't be lounging around the house until he started college. Jimmy works for a private contractor doing snow removal in the area.

    "She said 'you're not just going to sit around here for two months and do nothing,' " Jimmy Cordle said of his mother's edict. "Sometimes, I actually drive the truck. Sometimes I'm shoveling driveways and sidewalks. I'm out of school right now, so it's kind of like my summer break would be."

    Not all student-athletes are following their athletic dreams. Some want to focus on their careers.

    Fairfield Union High School's Christine Terry started the year as junior, but will graduate in June. Terry entered high school with two credits because of the advanced classes she took in junior high school. She said since she's completed all the requirements of high school, there's no need for her to be there. Terry also didn't take many study halls while she was a freshman and sophomore -- instead opting for a fuller schedule. She will attend Otterbein College in the fall majoring in athletic training with hopes of becoming a surgeon.

    "Next year I wouldn't have really been in high school anyway," Terry said. "I would've been doing post secondary (classes) at (Ohio University Lancaster Campus). If I would've actually been at high school, it would be different."

    Unlike Boren and Cordle, Terry doesn't have an athletic scholarship. But she did play basketball for her high school -- which was one of the better girls teams in the county. She could have come back to high school for another year and looked very impressive to a college basketball scout as she dominated younger, less athletic girls.

    "That was another thing I had to look at," Terry said. "But my education was still first. If something happened and I wasn't able to play basketball, that would've been another year that I didn't have to go to school."

    Terry is the youngest of four children. Her father, Kim, said he was "alright" with her decision to graduate from high school early.

    "My thoughts were I would've liked to have seen her play another year," Kim Terry said. "But she's been A-B honor roll all these years. She's looking at 7-8 years of college if she stays on track for what she wants to do."

    Even still, some students are just ready to move on with their lives -- regardless of academics or playing college sport ...

    Originally published Sunday, March 6, 2005

    Olson rusty in practice (Chane Moline) - LA Daily News

    Article Published: Sunday, March 06, 2005 - 12:00:00 AM PST
    Olson rusty in practice

    By Brian Dohn, Staff Writer

    Ben Olson's frustration grew, as did David Koral's confidence, as UCLA held its first lengthy scrimmage of spring practice Saturday ...

    ... Two commit: The Bruins hosted more than 50 high schoolers on Junior Day, and received non-binding oral commitments from defensive end Tobi Umodu of South Hills of West Covina and receiver Dominique Johnson of Valley View of Moreno Valley.

    Umodu, who said Friday he would commit during his visit, was recruited to play outside linebacker. He made 71 tackles and had 17 sacks as a junior. Johnson, who is 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, had 26 catches for 384 yards. Committed offensive lineman Walter Watts of Los Banos also was in attendance.

    Among others on campus were Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks kicker Kai Forbath, Crespi of Encino offensive lineman Sione Fua, Valencia quarterback Mike Herrick, Mission Viejo running back Chane Moline and Westview of San Diego receiver Daniel Lofton, son of former NFL player James Lofton ...

    St. X seizes the moment (Rob Schoenhoft) - Cincinnati Enquirer

    St. X seizes the moment
    Springfield South hits only 11 of 34 free throws

    By Carey Hoffman
    Enquirer contributor

    St. Xavier coach Scott Martin (front left) and the Bombers bench react after Rob Schoenhoft scored the winning basket with two seconds left to defeat Springfield South 49-47. The Bombers advance to play Troy in the regional semifinals.
    Tony Tribble for the Enquirer

    DAYTON - A struggle by Springfield South at the free-throw line set the stage, and then a layup by St. Xavier's Rob Schoenhoft with two seconds remaining sealed the deal, as St. X upset the No. 2-ranked team in the state in a district final 49-47 Saturday at University of Dayton Arena.

    "We knew they had the speed and that we had the size," St. X coach Scott Martin said. "We hoped those two things would counter each other, and they did until those last seconds."

    St. X star Johnny Wolf made only one jump shot but was crafty enough to get to the basket for layups or fouls. He finished with 20 points and made the pass to set up Schoenhoft's final basket.

    St. X inbounded the ball to Wolf with 11.2 seconds remaining and the score tied 47-47. He ran into resistance trying to drive around the left side, then delivered a pass through traffic to Schoenhoft in the lane, who had a clear path to the basket.

    It was a risky pass, given South's defensive quickness. The Wildcats forced 20 turnovers.

    "(Schoenhoft) ran to the middle like he's supposed to, and it was just a fantastic pass from Johnny," Martin said.

    Said Wolf: "I was just dribbling for my life out there, and I was dribbling tired. It was a rough shooting night, so I thought I would try and get as close as I could, and then I saw (Schoenhoft's) man coming toward me."

    Wolf called the play almost identical to the one he and Schoenhoft came up with to beat Hamilton earlier in the season.

    South's final chance ended with a baseball pass past halfcourt that went off the fingers of Nate Miller and into Schoenhoft's possession.

    St. X, the No. 4-ranked team in the final Enquirer Division I area coaches' poll, came into the game at 18-4. South entered 22-1.

    The Bombers advance to the regional semifinals and will play Troy at 8 p.m. Thursday at UD.

    The Wildcats made only 11 of 34 free-throw attempts. Leading scorer Nate Miller converted only two of 12. Point guard Jabril Thomas, an 89 percent foul shooter, was 4-of-11.

    "We just had a mental block, I guess," said South coach Larry Ham, who led his team to districts for the eighth time in 10 years. "When you shoot that poorly against a solid team, you're not going to win."

    At one point in the fourth quarter as South tried to rally, it missed nine straight foul shots while trailing by four or less.

    South finally tied the score at 45-45 on a Miller stickback with 1:47 to play. A layup by Wolf put St. X back ahead, and then South's Tyrice White tied the game again with another second-chance basket with 1:08 to play.

    St. X got a big lift from 6-foot-6 senior center Kyle Gibler, who played his first complete game since breaking his foot in the eighth week of football season. Gibler totaled 13 points, 10 rebounds and three steals and was part of St. X's size advantage that made inside points hard to earn for South.

    St. Xavier (19-4) - Scales 2 0 4, J. Wolf 7 6 20, Gedeon 1 0 2, Schoenhoft 2 4 8, Peck 1 0 2, Gibler 4 5 13. Totals: 17-42 15-22 49.

    Springfield South (21-2) - Miller 5 2 12, DeArmond 3 1 7, Thomas 5 4 14, White 3 1 7, Davis 0 3 3, Fudge 1 0 2, Jones 1 0 2. Totals: 18-51 11-34 47.

    Aldridge adds to offer total (James Aldridge) - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 6, 2005
    Aldridge adds to offer total

    Bill Kurelic *
    Merrillville, Ind., running back James Aldridge had a number of scholarship offers on the table in early February. He has more now. Who are the latest two schools to offer Aldridge a scholarship and who are his two favorites?

    Connor Smith - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 6, 2005
    OL Smith compares OSU-UM junior days

    Bill Kurelic Recruiting Analyst *
    Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain offensive lineman Connor Smith, who the Buckeyes offered in early February, has a couple more offers now. But Smith's decision may still come down to the two schools he mentioned a month ago, Ohio State and Michigan. Smith talks about the latest including his timetable for a decision.

    Focused On Four (Akeem Hebron) - Scout PREMIUM

    Focused On Four
    By Bob Lichtenfels
    Date: Mar 6, 2005

    Before any prospect tries to stake claim to the top linebacker spot in the Northeast, they better head to Wheaton (Md.) and check with Good Counsel standout Akeem Hebron. Hebron has built himself an impressive early offer sheet. The All-State linebacker is expecting many more in the very near future.


    Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets - Bucknuts

    Mr. Bucknuts Bucket of Bullets
    By Mr. Bucknuts
    Date: Mar 6, 2005

    This year has been a true example of the fact that recruiting never ends. As soon as the class of 2005 signed on the dotted line, the focus shifted towards 2006. The Buckeyes are already off to an excellent start; what other names are on the horizon? Mr. Bucknuts gives his opinions on the 2006 recruiting scenario today.

    The First Class of 2006 Recruiting Review

    In an attempt to weave together both February, March and historical recruiting episodes of note, I reference an American who might have made a great tight end, Abraham Lincoln. He did remind us about the pursuit of happiness which leads directly to the pursuit of high school kids. And 150 years ago – this week – he gave what was thought to be the greatest inaugural address of all time. A good way to inaugurate our Class of 2006 coverage, no?

    Well, two months later he was shot and killed…

    Lincoln also described my Mr. Bucknuts Recruiting Review mission in a pithy quote: “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met”. And he had not even met Mr. Bucknuts!

    Four score and seven days from now (87, if you are doing the math at home…), we won’t even ready to report on Ohio State recruiting camps (end of June). And the not-so-civil recruiting wars that rages all year long will just be heating up. So, let’s evolve gracefully into this new recruiting season, shall we?

    First, we will look at the possibilities, the players and give you a snapshot synopsis of their backgrounds

    How many schollies for 2006?

    Let’s keep it simple – I say 20. There are 15 seniors graduating and only 83 scholarships being used. That implies the availability of 17 new scholarships from the get-go. Even if Tressel hands out two more to walk-ons, they will probably be to walk-on seniors. Plus, there will be attrition (grades, disciplinary problems) plus at least one guy (Santonio Holmes) will leave early, more than likely. That leaves 20, in my mind. And that’s the mind you have to deal with for the rest of this review, so let’s work with it.

    Here’s what we will be looking for in the Class of 2006:

    I am taking Managing Editor Steve Helwagen’s outstanding (and previously published) analysis and adding on my comments – in red. To wit:

    Position Analysis

    * QB -- OSU has three returning scholarship QBs, as well as one signee for 2005 (Rob Schoenhoft). To keep the pipeline adequate and spacing appropriate, OSU will take one more QB.

    * TB -- OSU has two returning scholarship tailbacks, as well as one signee for 2005 (Maurice Wells). OSU also has one verbal for 2006 (Chris Wells). All of the backs are now officially “young”. If a Top 100 TB emerges, OSU will look at him. Otherwise, they are done.

    * FB -- OSU has three scholarship fullbacks, including one senior (Brandon Schnittker). Dionte Johnson is the only “pure” FB; we need another to get back in balance.

    * WR -- OSU has seven scholarship wide receivers, although one (Dukes) is in limbo. The Buckeyes have three signees for 2005 (Andre Amos, Brian Hartline and Brian Robiskie). Some of the presumed WR’s might end up being CB’s. Hey – you always take two if you find good ones (but the Buckeyes only need one)!

    * TE -- OSU has four returning scholarship tight ends, including one senior (Ryan Hamby). At least one more here, two if they are both blockers and catchers.

    * OL -- OSU has 11 returning scholarship linemen, including three seniors (Nick Mangold, Rob Sims and Andree Tyree). The Buckeyes also have two signees for 2005 in Alex Boone and Jim Cordle. OSU wanted three last year and got two. They want four this year and could take five.

    * DL -- OSU has 12 returning scholarship linemen, including one in limbo (Maupin) and three seniors (Mike Kudla, Redgie Arden and Marcus Green) OSU has four signees for 2005 (Ryan Williams, Doug Worthington, Lawrence Wilson and Todd Denlinger). They need two in the middle and one on the end to keep the rotation in order.

    * LB -- OSU has nine returning scholarship linebackers (not including Kerr), including three seniors (A.J. Hawk, Bobby Carpenter and Anthony Schlegel). OSU also has three signees for 2005 in Freddie Lenix, Austin Spitler and James Laurinaitis. They also have a verbal for 2006 (Ross Homan). The Buckeyes need guys on the outside. They got one already (Homan) and will take one more – perhaps two. These guys make great special teams players, as well.

    * CB -- OSU has five returning scholarship corners, although one (E.J. Underwood) is in limbo. He is also a senior. The Buckeyes have two signees for 2005 in Jamario O‘Neal and Malcolm Jenkins. It seems like you always take two no matter what.

    * S -- OSU has six returning scholarship safeties, including two seniors (Tyler Everett and Nate Salley). OSU signed two safeties in 2005 in Anderson Russell and Donald Washington. I think you take two more here as they are usually variable enough to play corner (the smaller ones) or linebacker (the bigger ones) and/or special teams (the athletic ones).

    K-P -- OSU has three returning specialists on scholarship, including one senior (Huston). Whoa – no more punters and kickers! They have enough already to field a whole practice squad…

    So…for those keeping score, that’s about 20. The caveat is that OSU will “over-take” positions if the player is good enough, and “under-take” if we want to bank scholarships for the following season (like they did last year on the O-line – ‘banking” for the quality and quantity that was coming) or if they fail to land guys at a position they need.

    Already Committed to OSU for 2006

    Chris Wells
    We might have gotten the biggest commitment first-est. OSU needed a great back. OSU needed a big back. They needed a national commitment that will call other big names. Chris Wells is all of those things. He has been the top-rated player in his class for three years now – and he is just 16! From Akron Garfield, Wells will play college at about 6’2” and 230. He has speed, he runs hard between the tackles, and he has vision and loves to cut back. Hey – he can catch the ball, too. He might be Maurice Clarett without the personality disorder. Last year, he ran for 2000 yards and 20 TD’s without dominating the offensive game plan. This is a guy you should be excited about.

    Ross Homan
    A quiet assassin at Coldwater, we have been following Ross since the eighth grade when one of his coaches alerted us to the possibility that he might be the biggest talent they have ever had in a football-famous school. The big stat in the eighth grade was “6”. That was the number of times Ross was tackled – all year! Since then, he has gotten bigger and better. He will get to Ohio State at about the same size as Chris Wells and has the same kind of instincts (and humility) as AJ Hawk. Last season’s stats? 200 tackles and eight sacks. And a pretty good fullback – but he was tackled more than six times for the Faucets, errr Cavaliers.

    Ohio Offers for the Class of 2006

    Justin Boren
    One of the top 2-3 O-linemen in Ohio and in on some early Top 100 national lists. This Pickerington 6’4” 295-pounder was offered three months ago by the Buckeyes. While his Dad played at Michigan, Justin avers that will have no bearing (let TJ Downing – same situation – be his host). Boren says he wants to get the process over with by summer.

    Aaron Brown
    The early line from Duane Long has Aaron as the best O-lineman in the state. A glittering array of offers already fill the desk at the Brown house including many of the national powerhouses in the South. Brown is 6’6” and 275 and will keep getting bigger. And stronger. And better. Duane sees him eventually in the NFL and Bucknuts sees him stopping at OSU first. Brown is playing now at Cincinnati Princeton.

    Conner Smith
    From the Colerain juggernaut, Conner is mentioned in the same rarified air as Boren and Brown. The large (6’6” and 300 pounds) Conner has great feet and a nasty disposition. Also seen as an early “lean” to the Buckeyes but – hey – it is Cincinnati, so beware. Yet, Conner’s father – Joe – was an O-lineman for Ohio State from 1979-1982.

    Robert Rose
    Yes, even the big guys are fast at Glenville. The 6’5” 240 pound Rose runs a 4.7-forty (faster than Clarett!) and just transferred into Glenville last year so his best football is in front of him. Rose is seen as a rush defensive end. He will follow the Glenville tradition of waiting until the end to commit but is there any other place for a Tarblooder to go than Columbus? I think not…

    Ray Small
    A good receiver but a great DB, also from Glenville (they have had – arguably – the best DB in the nation the last three years: Whitner, Ginn, and O’Neal). I say Small is the next in line and although he professes a passion for USC (so did Teddy at one point), the Columbus draw should reel him in. Small is 6’0” 190 and runs 4.4 or better. As a freshman, Ray played tailback for Lakewood St. Ed!

    Thaddeus Gibson
    The Buckeyes have one of the top two linebackers already in the barn in Ross Homan. Thaddeus is probably the other. At 6’3” and 205, Gibson will get bigger and probably is destined for an OLB spot, which is a position of need for the Bucks. From Euclid HS, he had 12 sacks last year. LSU and Notre Dame are in early, as well, on Thaddeus.

    Jeff Cumberland
    From U. of Minnesota territory (Columbus Brookhaven), Cumberland might be the best “pure” tight end prospect in Ohio. At 6’6” and 220, Jeff has 4.55 speed to go with his other skills. Jeff told our Duane Long on Friday that Luke Fickell has, indeed, offered him and that he has offers as well from Minnesota (natch) and Illinois.

    Out-of-State Offers for the Class of 2006

    Asher Allen
    Currently a receiver, running back, cornerback and track star at Tucker High School in Georgia, Asher will play CB at the next level. Home state Georgia is the team to beat but he indicates an interest in the Buckeyes.

    Jamar Hornsby
    A big (6’4”) DB from Jackson Sandalwood in Florida, he has played on both sides of the ball. All the traditional biggies are in on Jamar. OSU’s edge? He is a teammate of Buckeye commit Maurice Wells.

    Jeremiha Hunter
    Hunter is a LB/RB who will probably play LB at the next level. He counts OSU in his top five schools and has already camped in Columbus.

    Javarris James
    One of the nation’s best backs, Florida’s Javarris James is not small but not a big banger, either (205). He has offers from most of the Florida powers already.

    Stefan Welsh
    Tall wide receiver from Virginia with a dozen early offers from big-time programs.

    Myron Rolle
    Some have listed Myron as the premier player in the country in this class. Could be a cornerback or a safety; could have as many as 50 offers by this summer!

    Antwine Perez
    Plays mostly QB in high school but will be a nationally recruited safety at the collegiate level. Already sports offers from Tennessee, OSU, Virginia, Wisconsin and NC State.

    Tim Tebow
    Rumored to have an offer, Tim is getting attention nationwide. 6’3” and 225 from Florida, he expressed an early interest in Ohio State’s attentions. Fantastic stats (4286 yards throwing, 1266 rushing and 70 touchdowns!), Tim already has 20+ offers. Duane Long is one of a very few that is not overwhelmed with Tim’s mechanics, FWIW.

    Sean Hakes
    Also rumored to have a Buckeye offer, this Texas QB grew up in Columbus (Dublin). The strange part of the Hakes story is that he only threw 54 passes in 2004 so this next season will tell the tale.

    Darrin Walls
    Already with a number of official offers, Walls hails from the same high school as current Buckeye receiver Devon Lyons and is “best friends” with Devon’s younger brother (and possible Buckeye recruit) Wesley. Plays both sides but is likely to be a cornerback in college.

    James Aldridge
    A battering ram of a running back, this Indiana “big back” (6’1” 215) lists OSU and Oklahoma State amongst his passel of offers. He is buddies with Buckeye Nick Patterson and says he wants to commit early and get to school early.

    Micah Johnson
    A relatively new name on the Buckeye scene, Micah is a 6’2” 260 pound DE who wants to play as a LB (who are we to say no?). From Kentucky, he is a Top 100 kind of kid with a whole bunch of early offers.

    JB Walton
    When you realize how special this year’s crop of Ohio O-linemen are, an out-of-state kid with an early Buckeye offer has to be pretty special, as well. That’s JB, all 6’3” and 270 pounds of him. From Maryland, he also has a lot of early offers from around the nation.

    Other notable names

    Mike Hartline
    One of three (and the leading candidate at this early date) in the Ohio quarterback derby. We suspect that there will be one schollie available at this position for the Bucks and the 6’5” 190 pound Hartline has a shot. He completed 57% of his passes at Canton GlenOak in 2004 despite not having the services available of his best receiver, Brian Hartline, his brother who committed to Ohio State. Good athlete – great bloodlines!

    Miles Schlichter
    Speaking of your good bloodlines, Miles is the second of the three potential derby winners. He is the smallest and plays in the most run-oriented offense. But this Miami Trace QB has the poise, athleticism and arm strength to make some noise. Only threw 162 passes in his junior campaign. I feel he is the least likely of the group to end up at OSU.

    Nate Davis
    Nate is an outstanding athlete out of Bellaire is more of the “Troy Smith” mold that the “Justin Zwick” type. He is 6’3” and 215 and has thrown for 4500 yards his last two seasons.

    Rudy Kirbus
    An interesting alternative in the derby if the Bucks choose to go that way, Rudy is the “fourth” of the three early QB entrants. From the quarterback factory at Cleveland’s St. Ignatius, Kirby is 6”4” and 190 and runs as well as he throws. Most Iggy QB’s come on their senior season and we will see if Kirby is no exception.

    Anthony Elzy
    Anthony is the one running back that might be taken in Ohio after Chris Wells has committed; at least at this early juncture. Playing out of Warren Kennedy (not a UM school there!), Elzy is 5’10 and 195. He gained nearly 2500 yards and scored 30 times last year.

    Jake Ballard
    From Springboro, Jake (6’7”, 245) has been mentioned at positions including DE, LB, OL and TE. He really seems like the prototypical good tight end that could convert to a great offensive tackle. Not yet offered…

    Lee Tilley
    Huge wing span, quick feet and a whole bunch of early attention, Springfield South’s Tilley is 6”7” and 310 pounds and has those really good feet that a basketball player would have. With scant football behind him, his best potential remains ahead. With his mother an OSU grad, the Buckeyes have to be considered front-runners if they offer.

    Mark Jackson
    Part of the state championship team at Brookhaven last year, the 6”6” 300-pound Jackson will be an anchor on the offensive line this season as well.

    Ryan Palmer
    A teammate of the Hartline brothers at Canton GlenOak, Palmer is 6”7” and 280. Yes, there are a bunch of really big and really good O-line candidates from Ohio this year! Ryan is one of them.


    And One That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere

    David Lighty
    David Lighty is probably the best receiver in Ohio and possibly one of the best in the country. So was LeBron James at the same stage. And, as with LeBron, the “problem” with Lighty is that he doesn’t play football anymore! But OSU is recruiting him for basketball and – as with Rickey Dudley – you just never know…


    And A Group to Watch Down the Road
    Wesley Lyons WR Pittsburgh PA
    Chane Moline RB Mission Viejo CA
    LeSean McCoy RB Harrisburg PA
    David Ausberry WR Lemoore CA
    Konrad Reuland TE Mission Viejo CA
    Stafon Johnson RB Los Angeles CA

    Commentary: Wells a key recruit for 2006 class - NN of Central Ohio

    Commentary: Wells a key recruit for 2006 class

    Gannett News Service
    Everything seems to happen early for Chris Wells. The best recruiting news seems to happen early for Ohio State.

    Perhaps the two were destined for each other.

    The Akron Garfield running back is only 16 years old. He's only a junior in high school.

    Already he's projected as the best prep running back in the nation in the Class of 2006. Already Wells has been offered scholarships by Oklahoma and Michigan. The Sooners' staff said Wells could be the next Adrian Peterson.

    If Wells lives up to that kind of hype, he's going to do it at Ohio State.

    The 6-foot-1, 228-pound Wells offered a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes on Sunday, after returning home from Junior Day festivities.

    Wells is related to former Michigan standout Billy Taylor, and reportedly grew up a Wolverine fan. His first trip to the Horseshoe included a 37-21 pounding of Michigan. On Saturday, Wells watched the basketball team administer a similar beating to the Wolverines and heard the students chant "Just like football."

    For an Ohio youngster, whose mother wanted him to stay close to home, Wells said that was all it took. He was done with recruiting.

    "I'm 100 percent sure about Ohio State," Wells told on Sunday. "I haven't called the other coaches, but I will call them (Monday) and let them know about my decision. I couldn't be happier and my mother couldn't be happier. I couldn't put into words how I am about this decision."

    Wells is rated the seventh-best overall prospect in the nation by, and the No. 1 running back.

    As a junior (playing at the same school that sent Antoine Winfield to Ohio State), Wells rushed for 1,939 yards and 20 touchdowns. He averaged 9.1 yards per carry while flashing a punishing style and surprising speed. recruiting analyst Duane Long describes Wells as the state's best running back since Maurice Clarett, without the baggage.

    Wells is also the big back that hammers a defense, and that doesn't exist on the OSU roster.

    Finally, for Ohio State, the Wells commitment continues an interesting trend. Jim Tressel has absorbed more than his share of abuse for being unable to land a big fish on or about National Signing Day.

    Such criticism arrived over the past three years as Ohio State lost nationally-rated prospects including Shawn Crable (Michigan), Stanley McClover (Auburn), Dwayne Jarrett (USC) and Jason Gwaltney (West Virginia) at the very end of the process.

    Those scenarios led some to question Tressel's ability as a closer. However, no one can question Tressel's ability as a starter.

    Ohio State's strong recruiting classes in the Tressel Era have traditionally been bolstered by early commitments, including Clarett, Justin Zwick, and Jamario O'Neal. In fact, O'Neal committed as a sophomore at Mansfield Senior and went on to play in the Army All-American Bowl last month. Clarett and Zwick both committed as juniors. Clarett pulled the trigger shortly after Tressel was hired as the OSU coach. Zwick followed suit a couple of months later and lured other stars in the 2002 class, which was rated No. 2 in the nation.

    According to Long, Wells has a similar mindset that could draw others to next year's Buckeye recruiting haul.

    No matter who else OSU lands on National Signing Day 2006, the key recruit for the class is already on board, and he won't turn 17 until August.

    It's an early bonanza for both.


    <font color="#b90000">Saturday, March 05, 2005</font> Recruiting News - 03/05/05

    Moline talks about UCLA Jr. Day - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 5, 2005
    Moline talks about UCLA Jr. Day

    Greg Biggins *
    Our early choice as the top fullback prospect in the West region is Mission Viejo's (Calif.) Chane Moline. Moline attended UCLA's Junior Day Saturday and said he had a great time.

    Two sport star could fill tall order (Josh*Chichester) - Rivals PREMIUM

    March 5, 2005
    Two sport star could fill tall order

    Brian Shacochis *
    Chichester has reportedly been offered basketball and/or football scholarships by Purdue, Xavier, Dayton, Cincinnati, Iowa, Miami (Ohio), and Bowling Green, but he recently added an east coast offer to his midwest collection.
    MililaniBuckeye likes this.

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