- Senior highlights of Dorian Johnson now available here
BN $ - Good-Bye Brady Hello Urban? '13 OH CB Gareon Conley
- By BK...visiting OSU and Oregon after the season...likes the coaches at OSU but hasn't been for a visit yet.
Scout$--Ohio St. offers Louisiana 5-Star '14 LA DB Laurence Jones
- Laurence has his tOSU offer and says he is open to everyone
Rivals$--Morgan adds Ohio State offer '14 IL LB Nyles Morgan
- Nyles now has offers from Illinois, Purdue, Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Michigan State, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Oklahoma and Ohio State. He definitely wants to see some schools after his season.
247$ - Daub backs off his commitment '14 FL LB Kain Daub
- Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood five-star junior inside linebacker Kain Daub has decommitted from LSU.
BN$--Harris Has Wow Moment On OSU Offer '15 KY RB Damien Harris
- Madison Southern coach Jon Clark said Coach Hinton could not speak with Damien per NCAA rules but his player wants to visit soon.
Scout$--Bere Completes Fine Junior Season '14 OH LB Tinashe Bere
- Tinashe says Illinois is his favorite because they are his only offer but he is very interested in Cincinnati, Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois and West Virginia.
Rivals$--Blazevich visits Buckeyes again '14 NC TE Jeb Blazevich
- Jeb loved his visit to tOSU and his time with Coach Meyer. He says he does not want to nitpick his visits as he has enjoyed them all but will instead pray on the decision and come up with a top five after the college season. He wants to decide before his senior season.
Scout $ - Conley Clarifies His Status '13 OH CB Gareon Conley
- By The Bank.....Focused on winning a state championship and not recruiting right now. Was told by Coach Mattison that if he takes any visits, he'll no longer be considered part of Michigan's class. Plans on visiting Oregon & Ohio State, but isn't able to schedule anything yet due to his playoff schedule.
Things starting to look up for St. Thomas Aquinas football (miami herald)
If you’ve had the chance to watch St. Thomas Aquinas play this year, the Raiders are certainly as talented as ever. What the two losses to Miramar and Don Bosco Prep represent is the lack of playmakers. But things are starting to change.
For a program that has maintained a high level of success through the years, the Raiders fully understand that having players who come up with that key catch, short run or open field tackle can make the difference in winning a state title or coming up short.
In last week’s district title win over Plantation, the Raiders used the running of senior Fred Coppet, and the blocking of an offensive line that has been mentioned as one of the best in the state.
Coppet, who had fallen behind in the exposure race to South Plantation’s Alex Collins, and Christopher Columbus standouts Lorenzo Woodley and Darryl Chestnut, ran for more than 200 yards and put this team on his back. It was something that had been lacking in big games for this program since winning a national title two years ago.
Coppet’s performance — along with the blocking up front — helped to take the pressure off of senior quarterback John O’Korn, who had a superb fourth quarter in the 24-20 win. O’Korn, headed to the University of Houston, has been up and down with his play this season, but has played well against Columbus and Plantation.
That offensive line that everyone has been watching includes seniors Zach Provin, Kyle Schafenacker and Austin Bland, and juniors Ryan Crozier, Nicholas Linder, Tyler Dever and Kai Absheer — to name a few.
As well as Coppet and the offensive line have played the past month, the Raiders have done well on defense.
Senior Joey Bosa (6-5, 270) and his freshman brother, Nick, a 6-2, 215-pounder, have been making plays all season. Even when he was banged up in games against Don Bosco and Miramar, the Ohio State-bound Joey Bosa has been impressive.
BALLWIN • After losing the last two Class 3 state championship games by eight points total, John Burroughs is on a mission this year to bring home the big prize.
“Most of the people on the team know how it feels to walk out of the dome not with that championship (trophy),” senior running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “We use that every day to drive us to work harder.”
The Bombers are one step closer to getting the crown they covet so much. Led by Elliott, who rushed 11 times for 57 yards and four touchdowns and had four receptions for 109 yards and two scores, Burroughs hammered Soldan 50-6 Monday night in a District 2 title game at Parkway South.
With the win, John Burroughs (11-0, No. 1 in the STLhighschoolsports.com small-schools rankings) advances to Saturday’s quarterfinal round. The Bombers will play at Park Hills Central at 1:30 p.m. The winner of that game will battle the winner of the Eldon-Monett game the following Saturday in the semis.
Elliott played a key role in getting the Bombers to the state title games the last two years, and he’s stood out again this fall. He dominated against Soldan, scoring on runs of 4, 2, 17 and 3 yards in the contest and on passes of 46 and 52 yards from Burroughs quarterback Nicholas Duncan.
“We knew that they were going to try to load the box, so we decided that we were going to try to attack through the air,” said Elliott, who also had an interception and a fumble recovery on defense. “It worked out pretty well. The first (touchdown) pass they weren’t expecting, and they had me on one-on-one coverage. On the second one, I just leaped out and was open -- it was like a last resort -- but everything worked well.”
Duncan did a nice job throwing the ball to Elliott and others. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns.
Ohio State football: Coaches tout 10-0 record to recruits (columbus dispatch)
At first glance, it appeared the Ohio State coaching staff was using this bye week to bask in the glory of its team’s 10-0 start and as a good excuse to travel.
By late Sunday, offensive coordinator Tom Herman already was tweeting upon his arrival in Dallas. Receivers coach Zach Smith was in Washington, D.C., and one had to figure that assistant head coach Everett Withers was on his way to the Carolinas, while some of the others scattered to other corners.
Mark Pantoni, OSU’s director of player personnel, tweeted, “Our coaches will be bringing the JUICE to 16 different states this week.”
By juice, he was referring to the sales pitch endorsed by Urban Meyer. At the start of this bye week, those assistants weren’t on vacation; they were recruiting. The Buckeyes are zeroing in on the final six to eight spots in the 2013 class while getting a head start on the 2014 class.
They’re also dealing from a position of strength, because even though the Buckeyes are not allowed to play in the postseason this year, they have quarterback Braxton Miller in the Heisman Trophy race, and they are gaining publicity for being undefeated.
“I’ve never been undefeated on the road recruiting,” said Withers, who came to OSU this year from North Carolina. “I’m anxious to see how it is. I’d imagine it’ll be easy to go into that high school and talk to that high-school coach and counselor with people knowing that you’re 10-0.”
As far as he’s concerned, it only has added to the luster of the product he’s trying to sell.
“Obviously this is one of the top two, three, four schools in America, I believe,” Withers said. “With the tradition here, there’s a lot of people that know Ohio State football. Whether they know the entire background and tradition or not, they know Ohio State football, with the players they’ve put out and the championships they’ve won.
“So I don’t think at any time I’ve had any issue with somebody calling me back or taking my call, because people know what Ohio State football means.”
They are the best of the best. The players wanted by every program and destined to make a big impact at the college level and beyond.
Rivals.com has identified the first five-star prospects for the 2014 class and is unveiling them this week. Ten prospects have been awarded five-stars but are not ranked at this time and we will profile two each day. One of today's five-stars is Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic cornerback Jabrill Peppers.
Jabrill Peppers, CB, Paramus (N.J.) Paramus Catholic
Attributes: 6-0/190, 4.5 40
Scouting report: Peppers is a solidly built, tough, fast athlete who could play multiple positions in college. As a defensive back, Peppers has the proper footwork, speed and explosiveness to stick with just about any wide receiver and he isn't afraid to come up and stop the run. His agility and closing speed make him nearly impossible to shake. Peppers can see the play develop and breaks on the ball or ball-carrier very quickly and finishes with aggressiveness. Offensively, Peppers can carry the load as a running back. He runs very hard and is tough to bring down with just one defender. Peppers can outrun defenders or juke them using his agility and quick feet. He is also a viable receiver. He has the ability to make tough catches, shows great concentration when making a catch in traffic, and runs good routes. He prefers cornerback and his future is in the defensive backfield, but he is one of the nation's most versatile players?
Analyst's take: "Physical tools aside, Peppers' leadership qualities and toughness set him apart from other players with comparable measurables and should prove invaluable at the next level. Peppers has a variety of skills that make him an excellent all-around athlete. His toughness and aggressive mentality make him a shoe-in for the defensive side of the ball, most likely at cornerback. Peppers' technique and footwork make it extremely difficult for a receiver to get any separation, especially because Peppers has great closing speed. He is very physical when going in for a tackle and is always a threat when it comes to causing a turnover, whether he is picking off a pass or causing a fumble. He is even a disruptive force when rushing the passer because he disguises the blitz and has the speed and strength to beat the blocker." -- Adam Friedman, Mid-Atlantic Analyst, Rivals.com
Why he's a five-star: "Peppers could easily be a running back in college, but he knows he's more special as a cornerback. If he continues to grow and fill out, he could end up at safety as well, but he will not lose his ability to match up in single coverage and be physical in press. Peppers also has very impressive instincts in coverage and is more than willing to come up and hit in run support. He has a very thick build and reminds me of a bigger Joe Haden coming out of high school, a great athlete who plays all over the field and could have an All-American career in college." -- Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Analyst, Rivals.com
His coach says: "Put aside the fact that he's 205 pounds and physical and extremely fast, his mentality and the mental aspects of his game, I think, make him what he is. He is so smart on and off the field and he really gets it. He understands the game. He feels it out and understands the schemes and what we are trying to do. His leadership is also great. He really is the total package. His work ethic is excellent. He is a competitor in everything he does. You can't ask for anything more and he's a leader and pushes his teammates. I can't predict the future but the sky is the limit for Jabrill. If he stays on this path, we're going to see some great things out of him. When he does move on, he's going to choose the right place and do some big things with his life." -- Paramus Catholic coach Chris Partridge
Odds and ends: Peppers, a two-way starter at Paramus Catholic, transferred before the start of this season from national powerhouse Don Bosco Prep where he was a two-way starter as a sophomore. ... Since his transfer, Peppers has reportedly packed on 12 pounds of muscle. ... Peppers is interested in becoming a doctor. ... Peppers has been a starter at cornerback since his freshman year at Bosco and became an offensive threat as a sophomore.
NFL player comparison: Joe Haden, Cleveland Browns
Battleground Recruits: West (247sports)
Today, we will elect a new president and there are several battleground states that will play a huge role in selecting our country's next commander-in-chief. With that in mind, there is not a better time to take a look at five “battleground” recruits in the West region for the 2013 cycle.
UCLA is likely to close the deal on four-star receiver Devon Allen the next time he visits.
5. Devon Allen, WR, Phoenix (Az.) Brophy Prep
Allen is one of several standout prospects in the state of Arizona in the class of 2013. The vertical threat with elite straight-line speed has long been thought to be a tough pull for the in-state programs, and that continues to be the case with a Pac-12 storied program likely to end any hopes of Arizona State or Arizona to keep the two-sport star home.
West coast analyst Justin Hopkins on Allen’s recruitment: “Allen's campaign initially had huge traction out of the East with Ohio State leading the surge. But a late push from the West has placed the UCLA campaign front and center. Stanford and Oregon also remain at large, but oddly enough the Ducks haven't offered a football scholarship and is being recruited for track. An upcoming visit to UCLA on Nov. 16 could be enough to seal the deal for the Bruins and bring an end to this campaign. Allen is exactly the type of big-play game-breaking receiver the Bruins have sorely missed."
4. Danny Mattingly, LB, Spokane (Wa.) Mead
Mattingly has been committed to Notre Dame since the end of June, but he continues to be one of the most heavily south prospects on the upper West Coast. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder is the level of prospect that in-state Washington does not want to let get away, and it now appears that the Huskies and other Pac-12 programs are having an impact.
West Coast analyst Justin Hopkins on Mattingly’s recruitment: "Mattingly is not exactly 'closed for voting' despite being committed to Notre Dame. Recently the four-star jumbo athlete visited Washington and could also be at Oregon in a few weeks. UCLA, Stanford and Oklahoma are also being considered for future visits. Notre Dame has not decided to 'pull' his scholarship offer, but is continuing to evaluate other options which could fill his spot. The latest news suggests Mattingly is more likely to end up in another region before the final votes are tallied."
Urban Meyer tours Northeast Ohio (espn insider)
The myth that Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t recruiting the Buckeye state hard is just that. He's hitting Ohio this week as hard as the presidential candidates have for the past month.
The first-year Buckeyes coach toured Northeast Ohio on Monday, stopping at Cleveland Heights, Cleveland Glenville, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Shaker Heights.
While he couldn’t talk to all the targets -- NCAA rules prohibit direct contact with underclassmen -- Meyer did get to check in on more than a few recruits.
Ezekiel Elliott scores 6 TDs in playoff win (espn insider)
Ezekiel Elliott (St. Louis/John Burroughs) certainly knows how to make an impression. With Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton in attendance, the Buckeyes commit did what he usually does in pressure situations.
In a 50-6 Class 3 playoff victory over Soldan, Elliott rushed 11 times for 57 yards and scored four touchdowns. When a ball was thrown his way, he made four catches for 109 yards and scored twice more.
Add a bone-crushing block on a kickoff and Drayton had to walk away feeling happy about the backfield of the future with Elliott coming in the fall. Elliott has scored 41 touchdowns this season and 83 in the last two years.
His John Burroughs team, which won its third consecutive district title, advances to play Park Hills Central on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
Dorian Johnson sets two official visits (espn insider)
One of the top remaining targets for Ohio State and Pittsburgh has set official visits to both schools.
ESPN 150 offensive tackle Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon) will officially visit Pitt the weekend of Nov. 16. His official visit to Ohio State will take place the weekend of Dec. 7, he told ESPN.com in a text message.
Johnson has Pitt as his top school with Ohio State close behind.
Raekwon McMillan talks UF visit, top five (espn insider)
One of the top prospects in Georgia for the 2014 class, ESPN Watch List selection Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) was in Gainesville, Fla., over the weekend to check out the University of Florida. Following his trip, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound junior had good things to say about the Gators.
“The visit to Florida was really nice and I enjoyed spending time with Will Muschamp,” McMillan said. “He told me about how he wants me to come in and play in his system, and what it is like playing for a defensive-minded head coach. He wants me to make plays at traditional middle linebacker.”
McMillan likes the thought of staying in the middle in college, but more than that, he is hoping for an opportunity to come in and play early at the next level. He met one player at Florida who was able to do just that in linebacker Jon Bostic.
Ohio State offers 2016 DE Nick Bosa (espn insider)
Might there be another Bosa headed to Ohio State in four years?
That remains to be seen, but the Buckeyes threw their hat in the ring early with an offer to freshman defensive end Nick Bosa (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas).
Bosa is certainly not a strange last name to recruiting cirles as his brother Joey Bosa is an Under Armour All-American, ESPN 150 defensive tackle and 2013 Ohio State commit. His father, John Bosa was a a first-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 1987 NFL Draft.
Hayes down to Ohio State, Wisconsin (espn insider)
There is a battle brewing between a pair of Big Ten squads for the services of power forward Nigel Hayes (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer). The 6-foot-7 post recently eliminated Minnesota and Stanford from his list, leaving Wisconsin and Ohio State left in the running.
Hayes is the No. 4-ranked senior player in Ohio and is on the cusp of being a Top 100 talent after enjoying a strong spring and an even better summer on the hardwood. He has continued to make strides this fall and could be in line for a huge senior campaign.
Hayes is a combo forward who is more of a power forward at this stage of his career. His versatility is what is so attractive to college coaches. Hayes runs the floor well on the break and is a good finisher. He has a solid offensive scoring package that allows him to score inside the paint and from the perimeter. Hayes can post smaller defenders, scoring over his left shoulder or using his quickness to spin off of defenders playing him too tightly. On the perimeter he makes plays from about 20 feet and in.
The class of 2013 keeps getting better and better -– at the expense of the 2014 class. There was Wayne Selden at the beginning of the summer, Noah Vonleh last month, and then Andrew Wiggins a couple of weeks ago. Three five-star prospects moving up a class.
And now there's one more: Elite big man Dakari Johnson is moving from 2014 to 2013, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.
Johnson, a 6-foot-10 center from Montverde Academy (Fla.), is one of the more dominant post players in the country. He has terrific hands and excellent footwork, and is essentially a lock once he gets position down low. Highly touted for a few years, Johnson was ranked No. 4 in the class of 2014. He immediately becomes the No. 1 center in the class of 2013 and will also move into the top 10 nationally.
As far as recruiting, Kentucky and Florida are strongly in the mix for Johnson, while Georgetown is also making inroads with him. Schools like Syracuse, Kansas, Louisville, Ohio State and others are also heavily involved.