- Derrick Green narrows his list to a top six of Michigan, Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Oregon and Virginia Tech
- Marcus Baugh will be leaving to visit Ohio State today, visit is scheduled for tomorrow
- Laquon Treadwell unofficially visits Ole Miss
Scout $ - Elder to focus on recruiting soon '13 TN ATH Cornelius Elder
- By Simmons....Hearing the most from Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, Nebraska & Ohio State. Plans on taking unofficials & officials this fall.
BG$--Kizer works on the little things '14 OH QB DeShone Kizer
- Almost identical to the Scout interview...offers from Boston College, Bowling Green, Illinois, Louisville, Nebraska, Syracuse and Toledo.
Rivals$--Standout WR/DB grew up Cane fan '14 FL WR Artavis Scott
- Artavis says his family loves the Canes and he doesn't care which side of the ball he plays.
Rivals$--North down to two? '13 NC WR Marquez North
- Marquez's coach believes the WR is down to UNC and Georgia with the Dawgs as the likely destination.
Rivals$--Reavis's stock is still rising '14 VA S C.J. Reavis
- C.J. loved his trip to Columbus and performed well. He holds offers from UNC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Maryland and Boston College.
Scout $ - McMillans Enjoys FNL, Will Take Visits '13 FL LB Daniel McMillan
- From the Florida site....Recaps his experience at Florida's FNL. Will visit Ohio State & Alabama.
Scout $ - Williams has Nine Offers '14 NC RB Donte Williams
- By Clark....Clemson, NC State, South Carolina, Purdue, Syracuse, Florida, Ohio State, Minnesota & Vanderbilt have offered. Says Clemson, Ohio State & Florida are his top 3. Likes Coach Meyer & Coach Withers and says Jamal Marcus has told him about Ohio State.
Michigan has made it clear that it intends to recruit bigger defensive backs for its secondary and safety Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) perfectly fits that mold.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound defensive back was on campus for the Wolverines’ BBQ in the Big House and it helped push Michigan up Nicholson’s list of offers.
“It definitely did help them a lot,” Nicholson said. “I like Michigan a lot. They’re pretty much on top of my list.”
The Wolverines are sharing that top spot right now with Pitt and Penn State -- two schools that have both also offered Nicholson. Initially, those two were in the lead because of his comfort level with the two schools. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, he has been around those colleges more than Michigan.
Marcus Baugh (Riverside, Calif./John W. North) can’t wait to be blown away.
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound tight end has only been on Ohio State’s campus once, and that was to check out a basketball game with his cousin at Value City Arena.
That will all change soon as Baugh, an ESPN 150 selection who committed to the Buckeyes on April 10, will hop on a plane today and arrive in Columbus in time to check out the first day of Ohio State's practice tomorrow.
For Da’Shawn Hand, the first day of high school football practice Wednesday meant he was back in his element.
No more cross-country trips to national combines or college camps. No more recruiting to think about for the moment.
He was home, ready to settle in as a member of a Woodbridge High School football team with high expectations this season after missing the playoffs last fall for the first time since 2003.
Of course, when you are 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and considered one of the top recruits if not the top prep football recruit for the class of 2014, it’s hard to hide in a crowd.
And Hand, so talented so early that he received his first Division I offer his freshman year, understands that.
Even on Wednesday as the Vikings convened practice down behind their school, there were two visible reminders that he’s not your ordinary high school football player.
One giveaway was the red A on the lower back of his helmet next to a white sticker with black ink spelling out the word Hand. The capital letter was a University of Alabama logo, a leftover from attending a Crimson Tide camp July 14-18.
The other giveaway was the USA Today free-lance photographer following him in preparation for an item on Hand that is scheduled to run Friday in the nation’s largest circulated newspaper.
Hand was aware of the photographer’s presence and talked to him for a moment, filling him in on the practice schedule that day. But the rest of the morning, Hand went about his business.
He joked with teammates, cajoled others and found a moment to needle Woodbridge assistant coach Justin Smith, who was overseeing conditioning drills to close out the day’s practice.
Smith joined Hand and senior defensive back Evrett Edwards at the Alabama camp. While picking up a number of tips on how to be a better coach, Smith also adopted Alabama’s way of getting their players in shape.
When Hand asked Smith what they were going to do next in Wednesday’s practice, Smith told him much to Hand’s chagrin. It was going to be 10-minute sessions at three different stations.
Hand had experienced the conditioning drills in Tuscaloosa and wasn’t overly thrilled about doing them again. So he slapped his head and then teased Smith, saying “I should have told you don’t go,” in reference to Smith going to Alabama.
But aside from some fun verbal jousting, Hand did everything asked of him as he found peacefulness under the rising heat as the day got closer to noon. He even took his place along the offensive line, lining up at left tackle with the first team.
For his first two varsity seasons, Hand just played defense. But with Woodbridge’s need for experienced players this season upfront, Hand was told he was going both ways. With his size and talent, there was no way the Woodbridge coaching staff could limit Hand to just one side of the ball.
Although Hand wasn’t excited about the prospect of playing offense, he assumed the role without complaint.
“I don’t like hogging the spotlight,” Hand said. “I’m a Viking. This is not Da’Shawn’s Vikings. We’re the Vikings.”
Woodbridge head coach Kevin Smith could tell Hand was getting tired of all the travel when Hand called him one day while down at Alabama.
Before the Alabama trip, Hand was one of three juniors at the invite only and Nike-sponsored The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. July 5-8. The event brought together 152 of the nation’s top high school football prospects.
Hand also attended the invite-only Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta (June 22-24) and took unofficial visits to University of North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech this summer.
Hand is grateful for the opportunities he’s received. Among the different schools and coaches he’s come into contact with face to face, he especially loved meeting Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide’s highly successful head coach who has led Alabama to two national championships, including last season.
Hand already has over 50 offers, include one from Alabama and has a game plan in place to narrow down his choices to 10 schools after the end of his junior season.
But for the moment, enough was enough.
Hand, the Cardinal District Co-Defensive MVP who recorded 21 sacks in 10 games in 2011, was scheduled to attend the Friday Night Lights event at Ohio State July 27, but canceled. Instead, he took a few days off and visited family in Delaware.
“He was getting a little tired,” Kevin Smith said. “He was looking forward to getting back with the guys.”
In Smith’s mind, that conversation with Hand when Hand was in Alabama captured his star lineman at his best.
“He’s just so humble,” Kevin Smith said. “Here he is at Alabama and he’s calling to say he misses his teammates.”
When Ohio State received a verbal commitment from Suitland (Md.) High School’s Taivon Jacobs last month, I was immediately intrigued. Having coached football in that area of the country, I started looking at his highlight reel and began wondering how Urban Meyer would utilize a player of his class.
Jacobs possesses tremendous speed, and we already know how Meyer feels about speed. He loves it, he wants as much of it as he can possibly muster and Jacobs has it. He has been clocked several times in the sub 4.4-range in the 40-yard dash.
Anyone who runs a sub 4.4 is moving.
Many people have said that Jacobs is a tad undersized with his 5-10, 160-pound frame. No doubt, 160 pounds is a tad light in the rump, but he should be fine once he arrives in Columbus where he will partake in Ohio State’s lifting regimen and the newly implemented dietary program initiated by Coach Meyer and his staff.
The speculation is that Jacobs will be utilized in the manner many envisioned for Middletown product Jalin Marshall, which is in step with playing the so-called ‘Percy Harvin role.’ Now we are hearing the name Chris Rainey when it comes to comparing the talents of Taivon Jacobs and the role he will serve at Ohio State, but there has already been a Taivon Jacobs at Ohio State.
Does the name Lamaar Thomas ring a bell?
His stay in Columbus was a short-lived, but Thomas could have been Ohio State’s Chris Rainey or Percy Harvin in the right system. For reasons known only to those smarter than I (and Jim Bollman), Lamaar couldn’t see the field at Ohio State.
Some will say he should have done more with the time he did have. However, the staff at that time was not exactly known for offensive wizardry. It did not appear they knew how to utilize a weapon like Lamaar Thomas.
Lamaar was sort of a tweener in size and stature—though bigger than Taivon Jacobs—not quite a receiver and not quite a running back.
But he was certainly a weapon. Jacobs is similar to Thomas in many ways aside from the fact they were both Prince George’s County products in Maryland.
Those who know anything about PG County know the athletic lands there are fruitful in talent.
The good news is for Jacobs, and Ohio State, is that Meyer not only knows how to implement a player of this skill set, he actively seeks this kind of player.
But speed alone won’t always get the job done. The player needs the “quicks” to really do damage in the open space. Having watched the Jacobs highlight reel, it’s hard not to be impressed by his quicks. He has an ability to make people miss in the open field—a talent that is absolutely paramount in Urban Meyer’s offense.
Moreover, he catches the ball well. Jacobs seems to have a nice ability to track the ball while running full stride on deep passes as the ball hangs in flight. This is not the easiest athletic task in the world, so he is more than just a kid who can run.
Jacobs made the All-Met team last season in Maryland. Here is a flavor sampling of the type of kids who’ve made the All-Met team in the past
Conner Crowell – LB (Ohio State), Stephon Diggs – WR (Maryland), Alex Carter – WR (Stanford), Evan Royster – RB (Penn State), Joe Haden – DB (Florida), Lamaar Thomas –WR (Ohio State), Josh Furman – SS (Michigan), Bryn Renner – QB (North Carolina), Dominic Clarke – DB (Ohio State), Devon Smith – WR (Penn State), Kenny Tate – DB (Maryland), Arrelious Benn – WR (Illinois), Vontae Davis – DB (Illinois), Marvin Austin – DT (North Carolina), Derrick Williams – ATH (Penn State) and Navarro Bowman – LB (Penn State)
The list could go on and on, but suffice to say the level of play is pretty doggone good in order to be named to the Washington Post All-Met team. Jacobs is in good company.
Because there is such a dearth of speed at the skill positions at Ohio State, I look forward to seeing how Taivon Jacobs develops under Urban Meyer, Zach Smith and offensive coordinator Tom Herman. He is the kind of player who can turn a bubble screen or a slip screen into a huge play. He can run jet sweep and turn it into six points in the blink of an eye.
It appears Meyer has an appreciation for the talent that resides in Maryland. Former OSU head coach Jim Tressel had begun to make strides in the area for sure, but Meyer already had a sense of what gems could be discovered in Maryland, and he has developed great relationships with numerous coaches in the area.
Much of what has been written here remains to be seen. All of the prognosticating and wondering is part of the fun. We won’t really know what Jacobs can do until we see him in a Buckeye uniform next fall.
ALLIANCE, Ohio — Ohio State running back Bri’onte Dunn has pleaded innocent to a disorderly conduct charge after a weekend arrest resulted in police finding marijuana in the car he was driving.
Dunn, a 19-year-old incoming freshman who was a star back at Canton’s GlenOak High School, was arrested early Sunday in a routine traffic stop. Police found a small amount of marijuana and a marijuana pipe in the car, which belonged to his mother. Dunn denied that the marijuana or drug paraphernalia belonged to him.
His arraignment is set for Aug. 8. The Buckeyes open practice this Friday with Dunn expected to vie for playing time.
The disorderly conduct charge is a minor misdemeanor. The police report says he nearly hit a patrol car.
James Quick's list off official visits this fall is coming into focus.
Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity), the nation's No. 57 overall prospect and ninth-best receiver said he will definitely take official visits to Louisville, Ohio State and Oregon, the three schools he's primarily considering. He said he'll likely take official visits to Cincinnati and Kentucky as well.
Certainly, the Cardinals have Quick's heart on their side. Quick's father, Ronyae' Quick, played football for Louisville in the early 1990s.