Brendan Ferns, Jonathon Cooper, Ethan Tucky Lead Strong 2016 Defensive Group

By Jeremy Birmingham on June 10, 2014 at 3:10p
64 Comments

Towards the end of April we took our first look at what could be is a loaded 2016 recruiting class in the state of Ohio. In that story we introduced a few key names to watch on the offensive side of things and today we're flipping the script and peeping the scene on defense.  It's a very strong class with a lot of players who will likely end up very high on Ohio State's radar, so let's not waste time chatting.

ETHAN TUCKY // OLB // DELAWARE

When it comes to athletes in 2016, there may not be a better one than Rutherford B. Hayes standout Ethan Tucky. Eleven Warriors first profiled the 6-foot-3, 220 pounder here, and since that time it's more and more clear how rare of an athlete he is. Last weekend, Tucky ran the 100-meter-dash in 10.9 seconds, a ridiculous time for a 16-year-old his size. He's recently named a top three schools that include Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State, where he camped this past weekend. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Despite just learning the position (Tucky has played defensive end most of the time in high school) he's a high-major prospect with elite level athleticism that will translate very well to linebacker. He'll camp at Illinois this weekend and Ohio State on June 21st, and while I don't think he'll get an offer that day, it's a matter of when — not if — the Buckeyes make him an offer. When that happens, expect him to be a Buckeye soon thereafter.

JONATHON COOPER // OLB // GAHANNA

Gahanna Lincoln's Jonathon Cooper is going to be a major name on the recruiting scene over the next two years and it's well-deserved. He's camped at Ohio State twice this June (Once for the NFTC and once for Ohio State's one-day camp) and has been impressive on each occasion. He's built similarly to Tucky, standing 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds now, but has the frame to easily get to 245-pounds and maintain his speed. At Ohio State this past weekend, Cooper won the "smokehouse" sprint as the fastest defensive lineman in attendance and was dominant in one-on-ones. 

HIGHLIGHTS

As far as Ohio State goes, Cooper and his family don't hide their affection for the Buckeyes and an offer almost guarantees a commitment to Ohio State. 

BRENDAN FERNS // LB // ST. CLAIRSVILLE 

The brother of Michigan freshman-to-be Michael Ferns, Brendan Ferns is an impressive physical specimen who appears to be ahead of his brother at the same stage in his career. 6-foot-3 and almost 230 pounds, Ferns has the size to play in the middle of a defense but the quickness and agility to play outside if needed. Despite having his brother at Michigan, the younger Ferns has always rooted for the Buckeyes. His family ties aside, Ferns' recruitment could be significantly different than his older brothers. Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State are all in the mix — as well as Michigan — but a Buckeye offer could be difficult for Brendan to turn down. 

HIGHLIGHTS

He and his father talk to Ohio State's Luke Fickell regularly and if you watch his tape you know why. He's an instinctive and fluid defender who easily adjusts on the run. 

PRINCE SAMMONS // DE // CINCINNATI 

Prince Sammons is not the most recognizable name on this list, but he may very well have the biggest upside of any player in Ohio for 2016. Ohio State has yet to offer, and Sammons is raw and new to the game of football but a 6-foot-8, 260-pound frame makes him intriguing to coaches all over the country. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Ohio State's coaching staff will get their first up-close-and-personal look at Sammons on June 21st and it could be a big day for the Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy standout. Right now his only offers are from Kentucky, Bowling Green and Akron, but a big camp season could make him a household name by the time his junior season starts. If the Buckeyes offer early, they could move into this forefront of his recruitment. Watch for Michigan to be a player here as well.

TYRECE SPEAIGHT // DB // AKRON 

Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary has become a hotbed for all sorts of athletic talent and defensive back Tyrece Speaight is on his way to becoming the next big name from SVSM. At 6-foot-tall and 180 pounds, he has ideal size to play cornerback and a sub-4.5 forty that makes him a threat on the offensive side of the ball as well. Speaight currently has zero offers, but that won't be the case for long. A consensus four-star prospect, Michigan has been the leader for him for some time now, but Ohio State continues to evaluate his game and a Buckeye offer would definitely muddle his thought process.

HIGHLIGHTS

Speaight has a nose for the ball and is excellent in run-support from the strong safety spot he mans for the Irish. He's 247Sports.com's 165th-ranked player nationally for 2016.

ZACH SANDWISCH // LB // ELMORE 

When Toledo Central Catholic got the news that senior linebacker Chris Green was going to ruled ineligible this fall due to OHSAA age restrictions, the sting had to be lessened knowing that Elmore's Zach Sandwisch was transferring in to CCHS. Another big, fast linebacker from Ohio, Sandwisch's transfer will give him the chance to compete at a higher-level of play and will get him excellent coaching from Central's Greg Dempsey.

HIGHLIGHTS

Right now only Toledo has offered the northwest Ohio rising-star, but you should expect many more to enter the fray before too long. With an elite athleticism and size combination, the biggest hurdle for Sandwisch and an eventual Ohio State offer could be numbers at linebacker. If Ohio State takes only two in 2015, which is likely, they could look at four in 2016, and the state is loaded as the names above him in this column shows. Four Ohio linebackers in 2016? That would silence many of the "Urban Meyer isn't recruiting Ohio" crowd.

64 Comments

Comments

JDunc686's picture

Yes please! And you know Hoke is going after guys whose last names are so close to salmon and sandwich, cannot resist.

+10 HS
kholmes's picture

Small correction - M Ferns will be a freshman this year not sophomore. He enrolled early this past semester but hasnt been there during the season. I think its a symptom of following recruiting too much...you hear about these names for years and time passes so slow that you end up thinking a guy has been there for awhile when he just got there.

+10 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

Thanks. Seems like he's been there forever already, haha.

kholmes's picture

Just wait and see how many similar mistakes you end up making with Danny Clark over the coming years...

+12 HS
Mortc15's picture

I do believe "Cin. Christian Hills Academy" should be CIn. Hills Chr. Academy(CHCA), as well. 

Buck-I4Life

+2 HS
osu407's picture

Ohio just keeps pumping out the elite linebackers. It's amazing. 

+3 HS
ISURVIVEDCOOPER's picture

Imagine if they took up hockey instead!  O.O

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
PoKeY21's picture

Or soccer even. I mean a World Cup for the US is like the SB to the Browns.

When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass - Robert Knight

buckeyeradar's picture

Thanks Birm.  I like all the guys you mentioned.  I know it's way early but Urban likes to slow play these Ohio kids and I just hope they are keeping in communication with each other.  Do you think the 2016 recruits who would commit on the spot understand that it's best for the coach and school to wait a year?  

Buckeye in Texas

Ahh Saturday's picture

Birm, looks like another deep year at LB for Ohio. Any chance Ferns, Tucky, and Cooper all get offers? Which LB do you think gets offered first.

mphillips87's picture

Is there a Glenville drought? Haven't heard of any guys on the radar for 2015 and now nothing for 2016.  It's unusual for them...

+2 HS
EDUGOON's picture

Tucky has to be a "MUST GET" sheesh he's only going to be a Junior folks!!!!! Wowsers!

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

+1 HS
dubjayfootball90's picture

Recruiting never ends. Love the updates.

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

+1 HS
RedStorm45's picture

Pretty much since Urban got here we've heard "Oh, they'll recruit Ohio more next year."  I think we just need to accept less than 50% (probably even 60% in some years) of Urban's recruiting classes will be from Ohio.  You see the drop off immediately - the Tressell/Fickell/Meyer 2012 class had 15 of 25 kids from Ohio.  14 of 24 in '11.  Urban hasn't come close in '13, '14, and it doesn't look like much will change for '15.

chirobuck's picture

that's true but I would hope he would recognize the difference in class strength for 2016, he knows what he is doing so I'm sure he will be on these kids quickly....if he doesn't we really run the risk of losing pipeline schools, hs coaches don't like it when they have a kid they think is worthy of an OSU offer and is either slow played or never gets one.....and we can't let TTUN start taking kids outta ST VM, that's really starting to turn into a nice new pipeline  

 
^ best post ever ^

mh277907's picture

As long as Urban keeps the top in-state talent here at OSU then I am happy. I think he got the top 6 players in the state last year if I remember correctly and 9 or 10 overall. Fact of the matter is that the talent in Ohio this year is not nearly as deep as it has been in the past so obviously Ohio State won't get (and in my mind shouldn't want) 60-70 percent of its class from Ohio. Next year looks to be a different story.

buckeyebobcat

+2 HS
RedStorm45's picture

4 of the top 10 (same number as scUM) in the '13 class.  And 6 of the top 7 in '14, plus Trout, Jones, & Taylor.

mh277907's picture

Works for me

buckeyebobcat

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Put the fence back up...

Next off-season sure sounds like it's going to be a hoot. I think I might stick around here for awhile.
 

I am not very smart, but I recognize that I am not very smart.

+4 HS
SilverBullet-98's picture

Put the fence back up, but this time built it extra strong  and extend it around the "Cinncy Area" !!!

I am hoping Urban can beat out ND for the GCL studs ounce and for all !!

 

"The Past Builds the Future"

+1 HS
Max Power's picture

I am all for Ohio kids getting to fulfill their dreams of suiting up for the Bucks...if they have the talent. If we want a NC contending team every year, we need national talent every year. If a kid from out of state is better than an Ohio kid, so be it. There will always be Ohio guys at Ohio State because Ohio is a football hotbed. If the staff feels that the talent is better outside our borders and can reel said talent in, I am fine with that. I trust Urbans evaluation of talent. The top Ohio players will always be on OSUs radar because those guys will be presumably elite national talents.Nice to see so much defensive talent in our state in '16. Go Bucks

+4 HS
woodcocklives@osu's picture

South Dakota and Maryland 3 stars don't support your position ....

-10 HS
otrain2416's picture

Other teams when they try to cross the Ohio boarder to recruit and run into the wall Urban built.

 

+7 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Too too too funny

Byaaaahhh's picture

The way the left leg pops up is just perfect. The second cherry on top of the first, bigger cherry, which is the hat flying off.

Buckeyebrowny919's picture

I absolutely love Harper and I'm a Tribe fan, but as a long time baseball player...warning track...WARNING track

To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift - Steve Prefontaine

ab1993's picture

Lock up Kraemer, Eichenburg, George Hill, McCall, Tucky, Ferns, Cooper, Sammons, and Speight then recruit elite talent from OOS. Ooooh yaaaa

+4 HS
luckynutz's picture

Dont forget jake hausmann

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Ferns becomes a Buckeye, brother transfers from scUM for Boren 2.0.  

+5 HS
Max Power's picture

Really impressed with Tucky's explosion off the line and great closing speed on his tackles. Should be a special player with a couple years of growing left.

Sammons is a Man Child. Could be a scary defender once he learns the game a little more. Kid is huge!

UrbanRenewal's picture

That's quite a few stud linebackers. Hopefully the dream 14 linebacker depth doesn't have these guys thinking twice about coming here. 

O-H born & raised

+1 HS
AtomBuckeye's picture

I live close to where M Ferns & B Ferns are from & have friends who also graduated from St.C. My buddies have mentioned on a few occasions that M Ferns doesn't have the toughness you would want on the defensive side of the ball. Really, they pretty much summed him up as a sissy. Didn't M Ferns talk some smack on "the twitter" about the Buckeyes?

AtomBuckeye

sivaDavis's picture

Toledo is my hometown so I might have to go check out that Sandwisch guy at Central before Hoke gets to him.

"I've had smarter people around me all my life, but I haven't run into one yet that can outwork me. And if they can't outwork you, then smarts aren't going to do them much good." - Woody Hayes

+6 HS
Oldschoolbuck's picture
+1 HS
Crimson's picture

Screw you!  567!

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I don't know how Urban can compete with Hoke for a kid named Samich.

 

 

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Ohio seems stacked for 2016. Gotta think this is why we are recruiting 2015 a little differently. 

+2 HS
woodcocklives@osu's picture

So, is it a mutually exclusive type thing?  Could a case be made that the signing of 3 stars from out of state in 2015 class opens the door earlier for other schools for 2016 ohio class? 

I think it's a fair question.

-4 HS
Hayze's picture

You're right, because all three stars are exactly the same.

+5 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Not at all. You don't think we we aren't recruiting the hell of of the top 2016 OH kids already?

+2 HS
woodcocklives@osu's picture

But the post I replied to inferred the out of state approach in 2015 was because 2016 was in state heavy.  Can't this coexist?

-2 HS
luckynutz's picture

Well...look at it this way. Its been stated this class will be on the smaller side. And that the talent level in state isnt what it usually. But half the current commits are Ohio kids. And the staff is sitting well not only with the best players in state, but some of the top national talent as well.

Remember one thing...this staff has proven to be quite adept at evaluating guys who fit the profile of what they want. May not always be the highest rated, but guys that come in and get after it when no ones watching. In the offseason with coach mick. On the practice fields and in meetings and film sessions. Sometimes you take a guy based on potential and not on offer lists or star ratings. Yeah, you need in state guys. And you need the big time national guys. And you need the guys who will push them every day to step up their game.

+2 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

The boarder will be reinforced baby if we get these guys

+1 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great new Birm! A lot of players to keep an eye on. If we can get some of these guys that would be outstanding.
Go Bucks.

Jordan Wagner's picture

As first reported by Scout's Bill Greene, Ohio State has offered Brendan Ferns today. 

Knarcisi's picture

Great news. Any idea on his timeline?

+1 HS
FitzBuck's picture

As much as I love seeing guys from Ohio play for OSU if we don't get Nick Bosa to join his brother I won't be happy.  

congrats to my favorite Ferns brother on his offer.  

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+5 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

If Bosa ends up somewhere other than Ohio State it will be a major surprise and a big loss.

ODEEZ330's picture

Ferns cooper tucky and bosa are My biggest defensive wants in 2016 to this point.

O'Deez330
stark county football

+3 HS
Shangheyed's picture

Great read thanks!

steveoz49's picture

The team I think that Urban needs to keep an eye out for when it comes to taking kids from the great state of Ohio is Kentucky. 

 

Whatever happens, whoever commits... It's becoming obvious that Urban doesn't care what state the players are in, he wants the best kids for his program.  I just hope that the top talent in Ohio is just as high on The Ohio State as we (the fans) are on them.

+2 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I disagree in regards to UK. Notre Dame & TSUN can legitimately beat Ohio State head to head for players in Ohio. That isn't the case for the Wildcats. Kentucky is a threat to schools like Indiana & Purdue which have been the traditional destination for the next tier of players.

steveoz49's picture

I hope you're right and I would love to be dead wrong on this.  I'm just sensing a change of culture in Kentucky.  I don't think it will translate to Kentucky becoming a powerhouse, but I have this feeling that the new coaching staff is going to target Ohio for it's top level players.

+1 HS
cinserious's picture

It already is! Mike Stoops (Ohio guy) and staff already have been targeting Ohio for next tier recruits with the pitch that they could play at Kuntucky in the mighty SEC or go to some crap in the B1G like Purdue, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, etc. Kuntucky is as close or closer proximity to Ohio players as most B1G teams. The tier-2 Ohio talent is still obviously talented so Stoops might find a measure of success with this approach, which might lead to him becoming more emboldened and target tier-1 talent down the line. Give it a couple years, Kuntucky might start making a splash in the SEC like Vandy did.

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

+2 HS
toad1204's picture

If Stoops can win a bowl game and 8 or 9 games I'm guessing the coaching carousel takes him away.

Nothing like dancing on the field in 02... 

SilverBullet-98's picture

Kentucky hired a OHIO based coaching Staff purposely to built in-roads into the state of Ohio for recruiting.

Kentucky and the SEC's hopes are to turn Kentucky into the same situation as Texas A/M did to Texas. Using the SEC as a main recruiting tool.

In the mean time, even if Kentucky doesn't achieve that goal they(UK), like ND take away solid to Blue Chip recruits away from the B1G. If anything the SEC and their paid friends at eSECpn and cbSEC love this. This is why I hope Indiana gets to some Bowls and wins.

"The Past Builds the Future"

+1 HS
Jeremy Birmingham's picture

**UPDATE** 

Prince Sammons has offers currently from Duke, Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Louisville, Cincinnati, Akron, Toledo, Buffalo and a few other MAC schools, per his head coach. 

Buckeyefan23's picture

Jango Glackin 2016 OLB from Lebanon Ohio is another player that needs to be on that list. Been tearing up the Camps.

 

Buckeyefan23's picture

Jango Glackin has been to 5 camps and 5 offers. He just picked up Indiana yesterday to go with his 4 MAC offers. MSU , Michigan, and Purdue are very interested in him. Heard he had great Camps at MSU and Purdue. A kid getting 5 offers from Camps in a week is pretty impressive.

 

Buckeyefan23's picture

Jango Glackin impressed Coach Fickell and Staff. Had an outstanding Camp and picks up another offer from OU. Spent most the Camp with Coach Fickell.

Buckeyefan23's picture

Prince Sammons had a great three days. Looked good and worked hard