Another week, another Buckeye victory, and although it was a bit closer than most would have liked, the Buckeyes are 18-0 in the Urban Meyer era. With that win streak under his belt, Meyer and his staff prepare for a bye week, a well-deserved week off that will mean a number of high school recruits throughout the country will see Buckeye coaches at their high schools and on their sidelines these next two weeks.
One player that has seen the Buckeyes recently is Cincinnati Moeller star — and Buckeye commitment — Sam Hubbard. While Ohio State routinely checks in on their commitments, the last conversation between Hubbard and Kerry Coombs, the assistant coach responsible for his recruitment, shed some light on what has been an area of some uncertainty for Hubbard: what position will he start his Buckeye career playing?
Hubbard has the answer, and so do you after the jumpy jump, so meet us there won't you?
"Coach (Buckeye defensive backs coach Kerry) Coombs told me that I will be starting off at the SAM linebacker spot," Hubbard told 11W Sunday afternoon. "I'm excited about that, I think it's my best fit. He mentioned that I could potentially play some nickelback as well."
Of course, Hubbard is not talking about the awful Canadian band but rather the likelihood that Ohio State could line him up against wide receivers in the slot, taking advantage of his unique athletic skill set. At nearly 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, Hubbard runs the 40-yard dash in just under 4.6 seconds. It's his ability to do multiple things on the football field that had Hubbard lined up occasionally this weekend against Alabama wide receiver commitment Derek Kief as Moeller hosted — and bested — Cincinnati LaSalle. The Crusaders took home the 31-27 victory.
"They had a really strong offense," Hubbard said of LaSalle. "We did a great job stopping them when it mattered. I think I had eight tackles or so. I lined up against Kief a few times and he didn't have a catch against me."
One of Hubbard's biggest goals between now and Ohio State is to put on weight. A challenge for most high school athletes, but even more of a challenge for a lifelong lacrosse player used to running from sun up to sun down. Hubbard is currently contemplating whether or not to suit up for his final season of lacrosse at Moeller.
"There's of course the concern about potential injury," Hubbard said, citing what makes the choice a tough one. "The Buckeyes are leaving the choice about playing up to me. I of course want to play my senior year with the guys I've known my whole life, but if I don't play I'll be training four-to-five days all winter and spring in order to put on weight so I can be more ready as I head to Ohio State."
ST. PETERS PREP (N.J.) STAYS UNBEATEN, BEATS BERGEN CATHOLIC
Ohio State is hitting the New York/New Jersey area hard in 2014, as evidenced by the commitments of wide receivers Noah Brown and Curtis Samuel, as well as the continued recruitment of Mike Gesicki, Thomas Holley and Chad Mavety. The Buckeyes' staff continues to comb over the area as they look ahead to 2015 as well: they've offered two players from St. Peters Prep, the home of 2014 running back Jonathan Hilliman — quarterback Brandon Wimbush and defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick — and they will recruit both of those players hard. This weekend that St. Peters Prep team, ranked third, took on No. 8 Bergen Catholic, which features former Buckeye tight end target Garrett Dickerson in a huge game that featured no less than 10 potential D1 players.
St. Peters has yet to really be challenged this season, but Bergen traded blows with them for nearly 48 minutes before Wimbush and Hilliman — a Rutgers commitment — combined on a 60-yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes remaining to pull out a 25-18 win.
Wimbush threw three touchdown passes, two of which were to Fitzpatrick (including a 77-yarder) despite not playing his most efficient game of the year. Wimbush and Fitzpatrick are each scheduled to attend Ohio State's October 26th game against Penn State. You can see video of the game against Bergen Catholic here.
WEAKER COMPETITION MEANS SELF-MOTIVATION IS NECESSARY
If you're following the numbers every week, you may notice that a few different Buckeye commitments seem to play on teams that are not regularly challenged by their level of competition. Two of those commitments, Noah Brown and Demetrius Knox, shared some interesting thoughts about how they keep themselves working as hard as possible despite lackluster opponents.
Brown, whose Pope John XXIII team rolled Montville (N.J.) 37-0, didn't play much this weekend as the game was under control early. It's the fourth straight week that Brown and his teammates have won easily, and it's leading to some self-evaluation for the Buckeye commitment.
"It's definitely a little harder than some people who play a national schedule," Brown said of keeping himself motivated. "That's where work ethic makes up for the gap (in competition.) I push myself week in and week out in practice trying to stay sharp and making sure I'm always improving some part of my game so that in the offseason I can hit the ground running and hopefully put myself in position to have an impact as a freshman. Once you think you can take a day off because you're 'good enough,' it's all downhill from there."
Knox, the personality-rich guard from Fort Worth has faced similar challenges at All Saints Episcopal. Running over their opponents on a weekly basis a year after winning a state title, Knox used this summer's camp circuit as a way to motivate and challenge himself to improve when the competition he's facing isn't up to the task. In fact, Knox sees similarities between the negativity Ohio State faces for their schedule and what his Saints do.
"I think of it like this," Knox said. "Our competition really is not a match for us, but we're just playing who is scheduled. Some people say the Big Ten isn't a match for Ohio State, too. All I know is that I worked my tail off and this summer when they flew me out to Chicago (for the Rivals Five-Star Challenge) it showed because I was going undefeated in my matchups. I got the best of the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country (Virginia's Andrew Brown) three or four times. I proved that I'm one of the best and this is Ohio States's year, they are going to go undefeated again and hopefully play for a national championship. They can say "Yes we had to play FAMU but we just won a national championship,' and no one cares that Alabama played Georgia State."
"So right now, I am focusing on technique every chance I get," Knox added. "Once the season is over, it won't stop for me, I'm hitting the weight room hard and going out there on the field and work on some conditioning. I can't wait to get the workout plan that the Ohio State coaches will give me after the season. When I was up there talking to the Ohio State coaching staff (on his official visit, during the Wisconsin game) about next year and all the work that we're going to put in, I just know I'm going to dominate next year. My personal goal for next year is to be a freshman All-American."
Big goals for big players.
High School Football Review
|QB||Stephen Collier||Lee County (Ga.)||at Columbus Hardaway (Ga.)||Won 26-0. 156 yards passing with 2 scores and 138 Yards and a rushing TD. Two interceptions.|
|WR||Parris Campbell||St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)||Canal Fulton Northwest (Ohio)||Won 61-7, had an 89 yard punt return for a score.|
|WR||Terry McLaurin||Cathedral (Ind.)||at Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (Ind.)||Won 47-30. Mclaurn had 8 receptions for 167 yards and a touchdown.|
|OT||Jamarco Jones||De La Salle (Ill.)||at Burbank St. Lawrence (Ill.)||Won 38-16, first game back for Jones following labrum surgery.|
|OT||Kyle Trout||Lancaster (Ohio)||at Groveport-Madison (Ohio)||Won 21-14.|
|OG||Marcelys Jones||Glenville (Ohio)||at Cleveland John Adams (Ohio)||Won 48-0.|
|OG||Demetrius Knox||All Saints Episcopal (Texas)||Arlington Oakridge (Texas)||Won 49-9.|
|DE||Jalyn Holmes||Lake Taylor (Va.)||Chesterfield Bird (Va.)||Lost 21-14, Holmes second game back from suspension.|
|DE||Dylan Thompson||Montini Catholic (Ill.)||Elmhurst IC Catholic Prep (Ill.)||Won 38-21, had four tackles for loss.|
|OLB||Kyle Berger||Ignatius (Ohio)||Indianapolis Lawrence Central (Ind.)||Won 23-20 in OT. DNP (Knee)|
|OLB||Dante Booker||St. Vincent-St. Mary (Ohio)||Canal Fulton Northwest (Ohio)||Won 61-7|
|CB||Damon Webb||Cass Tech (Mich.)||Detroit Ford (Mich.)||Won 69-0, had one touchdown reception.|
|S||Malik Hooker||New Castle (Pa.)||at Beaver Falls Blackhawk (Pa.)||Won 45-42, had two long touchdown runs and an interception.|
|ATH||Noah Brown||Pope John XXIII (N.J.)||at Montville (N.J.)||Won 37-0, had a touchdown reception.|
|ATH||Sam Hubbard||Moeller (Ohio)||Cincinnati LaSalle (Ohio)||Won 31-27.|
|ATH||Lonnie Johnson||West Side (Ind.)||Hammond Morton (Ind.)||Lost 63-56.|
|ATH||Curtis Samuel||Erasmus Hall (N.Y.)||Brooklyn Fort Hamilton (N.Y.)||Won 48-0, have not allowed a point since week one.|
|K||Sean Nuernberger||Oldham County (Ky.)||Bye||DNP, Bye week.|
|TE||Mike Gesicki||Southern Reg (N.J.)||Brick Township (N.J.)||Lost 13-7, had only touchdown for Southern.|
|OT||Chad Mavety||Nassau C.C. (N.Y.)||Hudson Valley C.C. (N.Y.)||Played only two quarters in 68-20 victory.|
|OT||Damian Prince||Bishop McNamara (Md.)||Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.)||Lost 41-0.|
|DT||Thomas Holley||Abraham Lincoln (N.Y.)||at Campus Magnet (N.Y.)||No information available|
|ILB||Raekwon McMillan||Liberty County (Ga.)||at Glenn Hills (Ga.)||Won 21-19|
|S||Erick Smith||Glenville (Ohio)||at Cleveland John Adams (Ohio)||Won 48-0, active with a number of tackles.|
|ATH||Marshon Lattimore||Glenville (Ohio)||at Cleveland John Adams (Ohio)||Won 48-0, had two catches, a touchdown and an interception.|