Football Recruiting: Breaking Down the Top Remaining Targets in the State of Ohio

By Miles Joseph on April 30, 2013 at 4:30p

Keeping the best players in the state of Ohio to play their college football for the Buckeyes is one of the most important, if not the most important jobs of the Ohio State coaching staff.

Glenville's Marshon LattimoreLattimore is the top junior in Ohio

Last year the staff was able to land 10 players from the Buckeye state: Jalin Marshall, Cam Burrows, Evan Lisle, Gareon Conley, Jayme Thompson, Billy Price, Donovan Munger, Christopher Worley, Darron Lee, and Tracy Sprinkle.

You could argue the staff is doing even better in the 2014 class. They've already locked up five players from the state of Ohio, including Kyle Berger, Parris Campbell, Kyle Trout, and Sam Hubbard

The best sign is they are in very good position with their remaining in-state targets and have lost very few players to rival schools. In fact they've really only missed out on one in-state player, Michael Ferns, who has been committed to Michigan for a couple of months.

Today we are going to take a look at the remaining players the Buckeyes are targeting in the 2014 class from the state of Ohio. Keep reading to learn more about the elite Ohio talents the Buckeyes are still pushing to land.

ATH Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland Glenville

Lattimore is considered by many to be the top junior in the state of Ohio. While he is very, very quiet about his recruitment and hasn't really shown his hand, many believe the Buckeyes are in pretty good shape to eventually earn his verbal commitment.

He's made multiple treks to Columbus and hasn't taken many visits to other schools. Factor in the Glenville connection and I think things look pretty good for the Bucks as they currently stand, but Alabama and others could emerge as a threat down the road.

Prediction: Ohio State

LB Dante Booker, Akron St Vincent-St Mary

It's been known the Buckeyes have had a pretty sizable lead for Booker for quite some time, but another team could be emerging into the thick of the race to land him.

Until recently, Booker had almost exclusively taken visits to Ohio State; however, he has taken a few trips to South Bend to check out Notre Dame recently. I'm not too worried right now and I think he eventually joins his teammate Parris Campbell as a Buckeye commit, but don't count Notre Dame out.

Prediction: Ohio State

WR Derek Kief, Cincinnati La Salle

The Buckeyes are still looking to add playmakers in this class and Kief, considered by many to be the top pure receiver in the state of Ohio, is one of the staff's top priorities.

The 6-foot-5, 200-pound wideout is comfortable with the recruiting process, as he has his own website to tout his statistics and accolades.

He visited Ohio State twice in April, once on campus and again in Cincinnati to watch the spring game. Alabama and Kentucky are two schools to watch here.

Prediction: Ohio State

S Erick Smith, Cleveland Glenville

In addition to Glenville products Marcelys Jones, who already committed, and Marshon Lattimore, the top junior in Ohio, the Buckeyes would love to have Glenville safety Erick Smith in this class. Smith may be taking things the slowest of all Buckeye targets and is extremely quiet about his recruitment.

I think it will be a while before Smith commits, but I think the Bucks are in pretty good shape right now. Michigan has also offered and is a school to watch out for in this recruitment.

Prediction: Ohio State

QB DeShone Kizer, Toledo Central Catholic

Unlike the other prospects we have discussed, Kizer does not yet have an offer from the Buckeyes. In fact, Ohio State has only offered one quarterback thus far, Deshaun Watson, who is firmly committed to Clemson.

I would expect the next offer to go out to Drew Barker or Brandon Harris. If they strike out on either or both of those guys, I think there's a pretty good chance Kizer would get an offer. 

Prediction: Tennessee 

Others to watch

Ohio State is also keeping a close eye on several other players from the state, including Lima Central Catholic safety Darius West, Westerville Central offensive tackle Nick Richardson, Cincinnati Winton Woods defensive tackle Daniel Cage, Shaker Heights defensive end Joe Henderson, Massillon guard Nathaniel Devers, and Springfield linebacker Davonte James.

West is a four-star talent, thought to be among the dozen or so best safeties in the country. He currently does not have an Ohio State offer, but does hold offers from other heavies, including Penn State, West Virginia, Missouri, and Louisville.

Richardson is another four-star prospect and he visited Ohio State for the Michigan game in November. His current offers include the likes of Michigan State, West Virginia and Vanderbilt, but he's still waiting on the coveted Ohio State offer.

Cage's size – 6-foot-3 and 275-pounds – is intriguing to many staffs, reflected in the increased attention he's receiving on the trail. While he does not presently have an Ohio State offer, the Florida Gators moved in to extend one in early March.

Henderson, Devers and James are all high on Ohio State and starting to garner attention. Solid camp work this summer could lead to an uptick in consideration from traditional powers.


Comments Show All Comments

Eye27's picture

Anyone hear any news on 2014 LB/DL Noah Furbush from Kenton?  I know that he got an offer from Michigan a few weeks ago and possibly Purdue has offered as well.  The word was that he was moving up the charts for Ohio 2014 talent.  If he camps at OSU, he could have a chance to earn an offer.

UrbzRenewal's picture

Based on the current DL/LB board, it would take a serious showing for him to earn an offer. JMO.

sfgoody's picture

I know it's not news but I never get over just how much talent glenville produces, year in year out.


buckeyechad's picture

If I'm not mistaken, Cleveland has a high school system where students can go to any school in the city that they want to. So I think it's more a result of most of the really good players in Cleveland choosing to go play for Glenville, then combining that with how good the coaching is there.

tdible2132's picture

Agreed.  Same with Cass Tech honestly.  Glenville and Cass Tech will probably never go a year without a major D1 prospect.  It's definitely pretty cool that there are high schools like that.

cinserious's picture

Yep, similar to Poly-Tech in Los Angeles.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Hope we get all of those guys.  We are pretty good at QB for the foreseeable future so it is understandable that Kizer would go to another school.  I think the Bucks will have a top 5 recruiting class again when it is all said and done!
Go Bucks!!

otrain2416's picture

I knew Kief was good but didn't realize how much of a stud he was til I watched his video. He's a must get IMO.

We were born to love Ohio State and hate that team up north.

Mi.Buckeye's picture

I agree, this kid is quick. Can't wait until I see a grey box stating Kief commited!

pcuzz1's picture

I would love to see cass tech and da villee meet up on the field!

pat cozzens

BuckeyeMike2002's picture

I think having an elite quarterback in this class is pretty important.
It will give the kid a year to learn with Braxton on campus. I don't think Braxton will be leaving for the NFL after his junior season and learning Urban's offense from Braxton would be a big deal. Especially if the kid could be on campus for the 2014 spring game.
Also, I think it pushes Cardale Jones to improve. I like Jones but one of the reasons that Ohio State is really good year in and out is that we have good ones in the pipeline pushing kids to be better all the time.

Q: What is the difference between the Michigan Football Team and a bag of crap. A: The Bag.

Buckeye_in_SEC_country's picture

I agree that a QB in this class is very important but for different reasons. I think Barrett will pass Jones as the starter once Braxton is gone. I think once this happens that Jones will transfer leaving us with the 2014 QB as our back up. We really need a quality QB in this class, not a project. 

D. Anthony's picture

West is a super fast kid... was faster than any DB's or receivers at camp last year... a safety with top flight corner speed would be nice. Hope the Buckeyes offer him soon.

D. Anthony

Buckabroad's picture

If we secure our top priority players from Ohio (Lattimore, Booker, Kief and Smith) and manage to recruit a good number of our OL targets, I think this class will fill the needs we have. The icing would be to have any of McMillan, Kitt, JuJu or Autry. Also, I really hope things work out with Curtis Samuel. His film looks pretty good.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

2014nationalchamps's picture

at this point, i just know Urb is going to consistently pull top 3 classes.  Its all he knows how to do....I just cant wait till we start owning the nfl draft again.  That is the ultimate recruiting tool that OSU and Tsun have been missing and a true measure of how great a coach is

O-H-I-O  for life