Rivals$--Hillside junior duo already up to 11 offers '14 NC WR Trevion Thompson & '14 NC RB Donte Williams
- Trevion is wide open but says Clemson, Florida and Ohio State are standing out.
- Donte is wide open but says Clemson, Florida and Ohio State are standing out. Could be a package deal here
BN$--Ohio State One Of Johnson's Choices '13 PA OT Dorian Johnson
- Dorian's coach says recruiting is not a priority right now but will likely be revisited in about a month.
24/7 $ - Garrett Talks Top Five '14 IL LB Clifton Garrett
- Talks about his top 5 (Oklahoma, OSU, MSU, ND and Wisconsin in order)...plans to be at two ND games this fall.
Rivals$--Malik McDowell focused on season, not recruiting '14 MI OT/DE Malik McDowell
- Malik says he does not have any favorites but will likely attend games at ND, Michigan, and Michigan State.
With his senior year under way, Austintown Fitch lineman Billy Price can’t wait for Friday night’s lights to illuminate.
Asked how he feels on the sideline when the national anthem ends and the ball is about to be booted, the future Ohio State player said, “Electric.
“If you’re not bouncing out of your pads, jumping around, then you’re in the wrong sport,” said Price, who measures 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds. “That opening kickoff means that you are going. That first snap, that first play of the ball — defense, offense, no matter what it is — it’s crazy, it’s insane, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
No matter whether the Falcons receive or kick off, Price will be on the field. He’s one of the rare Division I high school football players who plays offense and defense.
“He’s not just a defensive player,” Falcons line coach Doug Barnhart said, noting that Price will play defense for the Buckeyes. “We play the best five on both sides of the ball.”
Since making his verbal commitment to Ohio State six months ago, Price has been getting ready for his final season. He was happy when the recruiting calls, emails and what-have-yous evaporated after his decision.
“It felt great because I’m kind of a low-key guy when it comes to publicity,” Price said. “I’m not that attention-craving kind of person. After I got the verbal commitment out of the way, it made it a lot easier on my heart and mind, especially when it comes down to publicity.”
Ohio junior Dareian Watkins favoring Illinois (espn insider)
Depending on which team you ask, Dareian Watkins (Galion, Ohio/Galion) could be a future quarterback, receiver, cornerback, linebacker or safety. But you would be asking a lot of teams, because Watkins is generating interest from just about every program in the Midwest.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect has offers from Illinois and MAC schools Akron, Bowling Green, Ohio and Toledo. Those showing interest include Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The Fighting Illini project Watkins as a quarterback, and he admits he enjoys having the ball in his hands. But it’s not as if he does not enjoy defense either, though.
Elyria’s Tracy Sprinkle is trying to turn tragedy into triumph (North Coast Now)
A teenager isn’t often forced to experience the lowest of life’s lows followed by the highest of life’s highs within a matter of months. But such was the case for Elyria senior Tracy Sprinkle.
Sprinkle’s world was shattered in December when his older brother Jamelro Hicks was shot and killed during an argument in Cleveland.
“It was a huge devastation,” Sprinkle said “It’s a tough thing, it’s still something I’m dealing with. I think about him daily, and I know my family does, too. I try not to think about it too much because I might just break down.”
It’s a rare glimpse into the pain Sprinkle manages to keep hidden from those who know him best. He manages to stay upbeat while playing video games with friends, tweeting to the universe and delivering punishing hits on the football field.
Those hits are what helped the defensive end earn that high point — a scholarship offer from Urban Meyer to play for Ohio State.
“It was pretty exciting because growing up I was always a big Ohio State fan,” Sprinkle said. “When I first talked to them it was with the former staff, with (Coach Jim) Tressel. Then the new staff came on, and I was pretty excited when they called me and said they were still interested in me.”
He gave his oral commitment in April.
A dream come true. Four months after his greatest nightmare.
Ranking of Top 50 high school football players in Northeast Ohio for 2012 season by The Plain Dealer (Cleveland.com)
1. Tracy Sprinkle
DE, Sr., 6-4, 256
Ohio State recruit managed more than 100 tackles and eight sacks last season despite being double- and triple-teamed. Rated three stars (out of five) by Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Woodbridge's Hand has good grip on his future (usa today)
When Da'Shawn Hand gives you a handshake, you get an inkling of what opposing quarterbacks feel seeing the Woodbridge (Va.) High defensive end shed a blocker: There's no easy escape, and in a few seconds you're likely to feel pain.
Hand, a junior who is 6-4 and 245 pounds, had 84 tackles and 21 sacks last season. He is considered the top player in his class by 247sports.comand has more than 30 scholarship offers.
Though confident, Hand doesn't act like a can't-miss prospect, because he knows there's no such thing.
"I never think like that," Hand said. "That never goes to my mind. If that goes to your mind, you get comfortable. If you get comfortable, you start slacking off. So I try to think like I don't have any offers at all."
Hand's humility has its roots in the experience of his uncle, Damone Boone.
2012 High School Football: St. V-M’s Dante Booker draws national attention as top-ranked Ohio junior (ohio.com)
Dante Booker is only halfway through high school at St. Vincent-St. Mary and already he is on the radar of several Division I college football coaches.
A scholarship to a school of his choice seems like a certainty, especially after a national recruiting website, Rivals.com, ranked Booker as the No. 1 player in the Class of 2014 in Ohio.
His play as a sophomore was impressive after logging time on the Fighting Irish varsity team as a freshman.
Expectations for his junior year are high.
Booker, 16, knows that and said he is ready to roll as an outside linebacker and tight end.
“I don’t think it adds any pressure to me,” Booker said of the No. 1 distinction in Ohio’s junior class. “I want to just go out there and prove that label of being No. 1 is accurate with my playing style.
“I am OK with it. It is not really nerve-wracking. I can deal with it.”
Big Ten programs interested in RB Horton (espn insider)
CINCINNATI -- It was a busy summer for 2014 running back Mikel Horton. Not only was he going to camps to gain exposure, he was also switching to a new high school. Horton left Lakota East for Lakota West (West Chester, Ohio).
“It was a big transition this summer,” Horton said.
Horton is learning a new offense, too, going from East’s triple option into West’s shotgun-based offense. To expedite the adjustment, Horton spent the summer working on his footwork, vision and burst through the hole.
After a strong sophomore season, the 6-foot-1, 223-pound junior camped at Cincinnati and Ohio State.
Playing at a school in Southwest Ohio, Horton already has a strong relationship with Buckeyes assistant Kerry Coombs, a former Cincinnati assistant and high school coach at Cincinnati Colerain.
"I love Ohio State. Coach Coombs is one of the closest coaches I talk to," Horton said. "I've been talking to him since he was at Cincinnati."
What a difference a year makes. That is certainly true for the recruiting profile of Plainfield (Ill.) South linebacker Clifton Garrett. The 6-2, 215-pound junior wasn't on any watch lists prior to last season, but by the end his sophomore campaign he was considered to be one of the top prospects in the Midwest.
"I missed my freshman year with a torn meniscus," Garrett explained, so 2011 was actually his first year playing high school football.
"I think I did pretty good," he said. "When I watch my film, I could have made some better plays, but overall I feel I had a pretty good season."
That's a modest assessment in the eyes of many scouts. Garrett's 78.5 tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception is an impressive rookie stat line to be sure, but talent evaluators were much more taken aback by the intimidation he exuded on the football field.
WR Devon Allen is setting visits (espn insider)
Wide receiver Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep) released a top-15 list in early July, but that group is beginning to narrow as the 6-foot, 187-pound speedster focuses on fall visits and finalists.
Allen did plenty of traveling and research this summer as he visited several Pac-12 and Big Ten campuses. But his first official visit will be to an SEC program, as Arkansas will host Allen on Sept. 14. It is the only trip Allen has firmly scheduled, but official visits to Notre Dame on Sept. 21 and Texas on Oct. 5 are also possibilities. With so many programs in the mix, Allen will eventually settle on five official visits, but that likely won’t be the end of his travels before signing day, as several unofficial visits could take place as well.
“I would like to visit Washington, UCLA and Ohio State hopefully as well,” he said. “I’ve been to Ohio State and Notre Dame already, so I’m not sure which one I’ll go visit again. I’ll have to decide. Notre Dame is showing me a lot of interest.”