Recruiting is said to be the lifeblood of college football. This series will countdown the top 100 high schools in Ohio that have provided the Buckeyes with football players. The rankings are based on how many times a player from each high school has been listed on Ohio State's roster between 1970 and 2018.
No. 47, Beechcroft
Five players from Beechcroft have been listed on 17 Ohio State rosters. The first Cougar to make an Ohio State roster was fullback Bill Matlock. He came to Columbus as a walk-on in 1985 and made the roster between 1986 and 1988. As a senior, he was the second leading rusher on the team with 317 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Matlock was a standout fullback and linebacker at Beechcroft, but was considered too small (5-9, 220 pounds) to play major college football. When he earned his scholarship after his freshman season, he fulfilled his childhood dream, "I have wanted to play at Ohio State since I was five years old."
OT/DT Paris Long (1996-99) had some academic difficulties when he arrived and missed playing time. Started his career as an offensive lineman, but was moved to the defensive line before the 1998 Sugar Bowl. At Beechcroft, he tallied 50 tackles and 10 sacks as a senior and was an All-American and All-Ohioan. Long also played tennis and was the No. 2 singles player for the Cougars.
DB Antonio Smith (2003-06) was a preferred walk-on in 2002 and eventually became a scholarship player. Played behind Ashton Youboty and became the starter in 2006. Smith was second on the team with 71 tackles and was third with 10.0 tackles for loss. He also had two interceptions and returned the first 55 yards for a touchdown in the 28-6 win against Penn State.
At Beechcroft, Smith was the team MVP and named to the All-District team.
S Sirjo Welch (2004-05) never had the career many expected for him with Ohio State. He was rumored to transfer to Ashland or Cincinnati, but ended up at Kentucky State. In high school, Welch was an All-Ohioan and had eight interceptions as a senior. He also averaged 16.0 points per game on the basketball team.
S Khaleed Franklin (2013-16) was a preferred walk-on and had his first game time against Kent State in 2014. At Beechcroft, Franklin was the team captain on the football and basketball teams. He was also the class president and salutatorian of his class.
Back To School
Beechcroft is located in Franklin County and is a member of the Columbus City League. The team completes in Division III, Region 11. The Cougars went 6–4 in 2018. The last time the program made the playoffs was 2016. Beechcroft traveled to Eastmoor Academy and defeated the Warriors, 19-15, in the first round. They lost to Desales in the second round. Since 2011, the football team has made the playoffs five times. The program has 18 playoff appearances, with the first coming in 1982.
Beechcroft received national attention from Sports Illustrated and ESPN in 2008 when the football team defeated Centennial 96-0. The Cougars scored 55 points in the first quarter which tied a national record for the fourth most points ever scored in a high school football game quarter.
The boys' basketball team has two City League titles and has made the State Final Four three times.
2,788 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
138 days until The Game.
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