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. 43, Elyria
Seven players from Elyria have been listed on 19 Ohio State rosters. The first Pioneer was defensive end Jack Marsh. He was a senior in 1970, but didn't have any playing time as a junior in 1969. Marsh wasn't listed on the two-deep in the 1970 Media Guide. The starting defensive ends were Mark Debevc and Ken Luttner, and the backups were Stan White and Rich Cappell.
DT Thomas Szabo (1971) made the roster once as a sophomore defensive tackle. At Elyria, he was an offensive tackle and linebacker and led the team to consecutive undefeated seasons and 20 straight wins.
Next up for Elyria were three guys that were career roster players. First, was offensive guard John Husband (1971-73). Second, was offensive lineman William Pawlikowski (1997) and finally was defensive lineman Brett Daly (2004-07). Daly earned a varsity letter in 2007 and was the only one of these players to do so.
Chase Farris (2011-15) started his Ohio State career as a defensive lineman, but was switched to the offensive side during his redshirt freshman season. However, the switching back and forth wasn't completed. During his sophomore year, Farris was unsuccessfully battling Taylor Decker for the right tackle position, so the staff placed him back on the defensive line in 2013. He played in 3 games and recorded 3 tackles, included 1.5 sacks.
To start the national championship season of 2014, Farris was again switch from the defensive line to the offensive line. This time the switch stuck. Farris had the most snaps (270) of any non-starting offensive lineman. He played in all 15 games with the most snaps coming against Kent State, Rutgers, Maryland and Illinois.
Farris was the starting right tackle for 2015 and following the season was picked up by the Lions as an undrafted free agent. He never made it off the practice squad and was later picked up by New England. With the Patriots, Farris was able to play in the team's Super Bowl LI victory over the Falcons. He tore his Achilles tendon and was waived by the Patriots in the summer of 2017. In 2018, he signed with the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football.
At Elyria, Farris was an All-Ohioan and selected as the team, county, conference and district Defensive Lineman of the Year after tallying 95 tackles, 11.5 sacks and 31 tackles for loss as a senior. He was also named the defensive MVP of the Offense-Defense Bowl, Ohio North-South Classic and Big 33 Game.
DT Tracy Sprinkle (2013-17) had an interesting career in Columbus. Before the start of his redshirt freshman campaign, Sprinkle was arrested and charged with drug possession at the Grown & Sexy Lounge. Because of the error in judgement, Sprinkle was dismissed from the team for the 2014 season. He was later re-instated, but it was after the 2014 roster was released.
Sprinkle made his comeback during the 2015 season when he played in all 13 games and recorded 4 tackles and recovered a fumble in the Fiesta Bowl victory. After his 60-snap display against Notre Dame, Sprinkle was on track to further distance himself from the disastrous 4th of July of 2014. However, lady unluck struck again as Sprinkle injured his knee in the first quarter of the first game of the 2016 season. He missed the entire season due to the injury.
The fifth-year senior completed his comeback becoming a captain of the 2017 team. In the summer of 2014, many would have doubted that Sprinkle would have been apart of the team in 2017. For him to become a captain says a lot about how he turned his life around. Sprinkle played in all 14 games of the 2017 season, became a leader of the team and recorded 16 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. He was picked up by the Panthers as an undrafted free agent in April of 2018 and later signed with Alliance of American Football in January of 2019. In April, Sprinkle signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
At Elyria, Sprinkle was an All-Ohioan and was the Division I Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He had 103 tackles, 30 TFL and 19 sacks as a senior. Sprinkle was the first defensive player to win the Lorain County Golden Helmet award (best player in the county) since Matt Wilhelm won it in 1999.
Back To School
Elyria is located in Lorain County and is a member of the Greater Cleveland Conference. The team competes in Division I, Region 2. The Pioneers went 0–10 last season and have lost 14 straight games. The program has lost 24 of its last 25 games and 2015 was the last time the Pioneers had a winning regular season record. That was the last season the program made the playoffs. Elyria traveled to Olentangy in the first round and lost 21-31.
Elyria has won 5 titles in three different sports. The softball team has three titles (2017, 2009, 2002), girls' track and field (2003) and wrestling (1973).
Steve Tovar attended Elyria West high school where he graduated from in 1989. In 1996, the schools were consolidated when Elyria West was closed. Since Tovar attended West, he does not count for Elyria because the consolidation happened after he graduated. He is the only player from Elyria West to make an Ohio State roster.
Vic Janowicz is also a former Buckeye who attended Elyria. His Ohio State jersey, No. 31, is retired in Ohio Stadium. Janowicz won the 1950 Heisman Trophy and played two seasons with the Redskins. He also played two seasons of MLB with the Pirates. Janowicz died of cancer in 1996 and is buried at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Lockbourne.
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Explanation of the Rankings
School "A" had 14 players appear 16 times on Ohio State's roster. School "B" had 11 players appear 20 times on Ohio State's roster. School "B" will have the higher ranking. Why? Even though school "B" has less players, those players played for more years.
If two or more schools have the same number of appearances, the tie will be broken by the school with the highest average of roster appearances per player. If there is a tie in the average, the tie breaker will be the school with the most prominent Ohio State player.
2,792 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
134 days until The Game.
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