Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star DE Joey Bosa now up to 270 pounds. The Buckeyes' commitment is firm.
Toledo & Ohio offers Dareian Watkins
Alex Anzalone unofficially visits Penn State
Damon Webb attends Wisconsin camp
Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School 2014 DB Quincy Wilson reports a new offer from Wake Forest
Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit 2014 LB/TE Vincent Jackson Jr just returned from camp at USC. Says best camp hes been to so far
OT Jamarco Jones will visit Wisconsin this summer
Indianapolis (IN) Pike 2014 WR Dominique Booth will visit Stanford on Monday and Cal on Tuesday
2014 S Todd Kelly says Ole Miss stays in constant pursuit
2013 All-American WR Laquon Treadwell will not be at the IMG7v7
DE/LB Tyquan Lewis said big reason why Ohio State is in his top 5 is the potential opportunity to work with Mike Vrabel
From the father of 4 star DB Jalen Ramsey: his son has not committed anywhere, is open right now and is narrowing his choices Jul 11
Alex Anzalone and his family ate dinner this evening with both Adam Breneman, Christian Hackenberg and their families.
Scout $ - Finley Names Current Favorites ('13 MI OL Dennis Finley)
By Scott.....Top 3 of Ohio State, Michigan State & Illinois. Would like to decide mid-season and is looking for good academics, a good football program & a family atmosphere.
BN $ - Westphal Likes What He Sees at OSU ('14 IL DB Parrker Westphal)
By BK...Coach Coombs loves his film and wants to build a relationship...likes the campus.
Scout $ - A Change Atop West's Leaderboard? ('14 OH DB Darius West)
Spin job by GBW...recaps camps at UM, MSU and OSU...the staffs at UM and OSU have told him he is near the top of their board for 2014...grew up a lifelong OSU fan but is going to consider other schools as well...OSU, UM and MSU make up his early top three.
24/7 $ - Lewis Narrows Focus ('13 NC DE Tyquan Lewis)
Down to LSU, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and UNC.
247 (Free) Hand warm on several programs ('14 VA DE Da'Shawn Hand)
Virginia Tech, Ohio State, UNC, Clemson, USC, Alabama and Michigan.
Highly-sought-after defensive tackle Michael Hill was supposed to make a final visit to Clemson Wednesday, but he texted Pendleton coach Paul Sutherland early in the morning asking to meet to tell him his mind was made up.
Sutherland and Hill were hoping to control the release of the news that the 6-foot-3, 300-pound senior would verbally commit to his favorite team since he was young, Ohio State, in fairness to the other schools that were recruiting the rising senior. In this day and age that proved impossible.
"Family members and Twitter," Sutherland said, referring to how the news was released. "There's no need to fight it."
Hill chose OSU over Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and LSU. He took visits to all of those schools plus Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Michigan.
Clemson and South Carolina put a full-court press on Hill, working harder than any other programs, Sutherland said. However, when new Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel, a former All-American at OSU, got involved it was a childhood dream come true.
"This is the age of ESPN," Sutherland said. "For some reason, growing up that was his favorite team to watch on television. It makes no sense to me or you, but that's when he was a 300-pound ninth grader."
On Hill's day-and-a-half visit to Columbus, Ohio, his feelings were confirmed.
He took the usual tours and met with all the coaches who had taken turns sending him handwritten letters each week of his recruitment. Yet, it was a wall outside the football offices that may have had the most profound effect on him. The writing on the wall refers to the 83 players that have been drafted by the NFL since 2000, the most in the nation.
"For a 17-year old that really resonates," Sutherland said.
From the beginning, Sutherland and Hill agreed there would be no press conference with a bunch of hats lined up on a table. Hill has made his decision and doesn't intend to talk to any other schools.
During his junior season, Hill, OSU's second defensive tackle recruit of the class of 2013, tallied 81 tackles (25 for a loss) and six sacks. Projecting as a nose tackle at the next level, he'll command plenty of double teams, but his quickness — Hill runs the 40-yard dash in 5 seconds flat — could also pay dividends for the Buckeyes.
"No one can believe the kid just turned 17 years old," Sutherland said. "Playing as a high school junior, 16 years old, he was 6-foot-3, 315 pounds and wears a size 17 shoe. Obviously his upside is tremendous. But to be a three-technique defensive tackle who is a space eater with his size, but he also had 25 tackles for a loss, his size and to be as light on his feet as he is separates him."
And for Hill, Ohio State certainly separated itself from the rest of the pack.
ST. LOUIS -- When success is the topic of discussion, ESPN 300 running back Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) considers it a black hole of sorts.
With all of the accolades the four-star athlete has on his résumé -- Ohio State commitment, Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 invite, Nike Football Training Camp running backs MVP at Champaign, Ill. -- nothing seems to be good enough to satisfy him. Even when he earned his invitation to The Opening earlier this month, it was enough to garner a smile but nowhere near enough to make him feel accomplished.
For Elliott, the uncanny state of never being satisfied fuels him unlike many other athletes. As he prepares for The Opening, which takes place July 5-8 at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., the future Buckeye will treat the prestigious training and competition event similarly to how he treats all other events he's a part of.
"It's my chance to show what I can do," Elliott said. "No one really thought I'd be recruited coming out of a small school, and I was able to prove them wrong. I've worked for everything I've gotten. Nothing's been handed to me."
His work at John Burroughs serves as proof of his ridiculous work ethic on the field. The 6-foot, 205-pound back rushed for 1,802 yards and 34 touchdowns and also caught 23 passes for 401 yards and six touchdowns during the 2011 season. The past two seasons, he's led his team to the Missouri Class 3 state championship game. Losing both title games eerily similar -- in the final seconds of the fourth quarter -- gives him astronomical goals for his final high school season in 2012.
Give partial credit for Elliott's competitive nature to his parents. His father, Stacy, was a linebacker for Missouri in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His mother, Dawn, was a heptathlete at Missouri.
"He's definitely a competitor," Dawn said. "He's never really satisfied with any results. You could tell that back when he was a little guy."
Elliott is just as competitive in other sports. Along with being a two-way player for the John Burroughs football team, he's a combo-guard on the basketball team, as well as a track and field standout. He won the 110-meter hurdles and placed second in the 300 hurdles at the Missouri Class 3 state meet as a sophomore. He finished second in the 110 hurdles, second in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the 100 at state this past season.
The Opening, which will have 150 of the nation's best in attendance, gives Elliott another chance to show he belongs. It gives him the opportunity to show why he had nearly offered by 20 programs, including Missouri, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arkansas and Georgia.
It also gives him a chance to show exactly why Ohio State wanted him. Opponents have come to respect Elliott for his healthy combination of speed, power and field vision. He's good enough to showcase one of those traits when necessary or combine all three to make a play.
"I like to use the whole field and take what the defense gives me," Elliott said. "I use a lot of cutbacks. I'll use some speed, I'll use some power. I'm not just one-dimensional."
Elliott defined playing at Ohio State as "a dream come true." He had a chance to visit the campus during the Buckeyes' spring game and was impressed that despite the cold, rainy weather that day, roughly 81,000 people still showed up to support the team.
Meeting coach Urban Meyer for the first time, Elliott said, was something he'll never forget.
"He is a very humble person," Elliott said. "If you were sitting in the room and hadn't seen him on TV, you wouldn't know him. He's a winning coach who's about business.
"I think the best thing is that he lets you know that his plan is to win national championships."
Elliott's long-term focus stays on winning a state title, but for four days, his short-term goal is to be the player most talked about at The Opening. Earning the running backs MVP accolade at the NFTC in Champaign over highly touted USC commit Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) was enough to make Elliott feel like he's well on his way to achieving all of his ultimate goals.
Ask him now and he'll be the first to admit he's still got a long way to go.
"He knows what he wants," Dawn said, "and he's not going to stop until he gets it."
A year ago at this time, Vonn Bell was just trying to fit in with his new Ridgeland High School football teammates. Now there are entire Internet message boards dedicated to him and where he might matriculate with his considerable talents.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior safety and receiver is ranked as high as the 19th best overall prospect in the country by 247Sports.com. He has more than 20 big-time scholarship offers -- big as in Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
His junior statistics were off-the-chart good: 180 total tackles, 119 solo tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles and three recoveries for touchdowns. He added 31 receptions for 487 yards and six touchdowns receiving and 280 yards and five scores rushing.
Those are video game stats, almost too-good-to-be true stats. Are half the tackles the kind you get for touching the pile of bodies already on the ground at the end of the play? Was the competition that bad?
So you find an online video that contains Bell's junior highlights and you get it the way Lane Kiffin got it. The Southern California coach reportedly needed all of 30 seconds of the video before he OK'd an official offer to Bell. The video was so strong that even though Bell had yet to attend a single prospect camp, he was getting Southeastern Conference offers by the handful.
"I guess there's some good stuff on it," Bell said laughingly, a smile spreading across his face as he took a brief break from a 7-on-7 passing league game. "Things have definitely changed in the last year -- gotten kind of crazy -- but it's all good."
While Bell has enjoyed the recruiting process, for the most part, Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis and his staff have honed their process of dealing with college recruiters. That has been something of a necessity with such prospects in recent years as current Oklahoma State defensive lineman Nigel Nicholas, Alabama receiver Mike Bowman and Georgia defensive back Devin Bowman.
The staff used to spend hours trying to piece together highlights to send out to colleges. Now, thanks to a digital editing program that does most of the work, the DVDs are put together in minutes and are more inclusive.
"It's a system where we tag plays throughout the season, and when the season's over we push a button and it spits it out," said Mariakis, who mailed out the 2011 DVDs shortly after the end of Ridgeland's season.
By the first week of January he had gotten a phone call from Georgia coach Mark Richt with Bell's first scholarship offer.
"The technology made that so much easier, and it really helps the kids and the college coaches," Mariakis said.
Earlier this month Bell attended Ohio State's camp and walked away with MVP honors. Urban Meyer's Buckeyes staff, according to recruiting services, made Bell their No. 1 camp priority and are hoping OSU makes his soon-to-be-pared list of possible schools.
"I'll be cutting my list to seven soon, but it's really wide open," said Bell, who has managed so far to keep his preferences secret. "It's a real tough cut with all these big-name places and coaches, so me and my family and the people who support me are going to sit down and talk about it."
If he hasn't made up his mind by then, Bell will do so at the Under Armour All-American game in January. Until then he plans to keep the Ridgeland highlight machine busy with what he hopes to be a memorable senior season. Everything switched in the last year.
"We're working hard to get ready for the season, and that's what I'm concentrating on right now," said Bell, who was eager to get back on the field in the waning moments of the 7-on-7 game. "Personally, I want to get stronger and faster and refine my technique to be the best I can. I'm not there yet."