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. 33, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
Six players from Cardinal Mooney have been listed on 21 Ohio State rosters. The first Cardinal to be a Buckeye was John Lucente. He played in three games between 1981 and 1983. At Cardinal Mooney, Lucente was an All-Ohian and won a state title as a senior.
OL Bob Maggs (1982-86) was a two-time All-Big Ten player and played center, tackle and guard for the Buckeyes. He started every game of his senior season at center and started in 28 games over his career. During his last two years at Mooney, the team went 22–1 and won the title in 1981.
S Mark "Bo" Pelini (1987-90) had a team-high 4 interceptions in 1989 and started in 20 consecutive games to end his time at Ohio State. As a senior, Pelini was third on the team with 66 tackles and led the team with 6 passes broken-up. He was a standout quarterback and safety as a Cardinal and earned All-Ohio honors as senior.
DE RC Jones (1992-93) was a reserve during his two years in Columbus. He was an All-Ohioan with Mooney where he had 135 tackles and 8 sacks as a senior.
DT John Simon (2009-12) was the leader of the undefeated 2012 team and a favorite of Urban Meyer. After the Cal win in 2012, Simon addressed the team. From the akronbeaconjournal.com:
Ohio State senior defensive lineman John Simon’s postgame speech was so stirring that coach Urban Meyer vowed to name his next child after him.
The co-captain addressed the team after a 35-28 victory over the University of California Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Simon had battled a shoulder injury all week and although trainers kept telling Meyer that he should be fine, it didn’t heal as quickly as they had hoped.
Yet Simon played anyway, finishing with one tackle for loss and a sack.
“He just lost it in the locker room as far as just sharing, opening up his soul,” Meyer said. “It makes us all look in the mirror and say, ‘Are we doing enough for our team?’
“Can you put a jersey up there or something that says John Simon, because that’s a grown-ass man, excuse my language. If we have another child, I want to name him Urban John Simon Meyer or something. That’s how much I love that guy.”
Simon joked about the improbability of another Meyer child.
“That’s between him and Shelley,” Simon said of Meyer’s wife. “I don’t know if he’s planning on having another son, but that’s all in the family.”
Simon set an Ohio State record when he recorded 5 tackle for loss against Nebraska in 2012. He also has the program record for sacks in a game when he had 4 against Wisconsin in 2012. The Buckeyes were 41–10 with him on the team. Simon was a two-time captain, two-time All-Big Ten player, team MVP and the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year.
CB/WR Trevon Forte (2015-17) was a walk-on in 2013 and made his way to the roster in 2015. Was a defensive back until he switched to wide receiver during his senior year. Forte played four years for Mooney and he also qualified for state at track.
Back To School
Cardinal Mooney is located in Mahoning County and is currently competing in sports as an independent. The team competes in Division IV, Region 13. The Cardinal went 4–6 last year. The last time they made the playoffs was 2017, the team traveled to Poland Seminary and won, 13-7, in the first round. Steubenville dropped Mooney, 19-14 in the second round.
The football program has eight state titles with the latest coming in 2011.
Cardinal Mooney has a total of 13 state championships. The football team leads the way with 8 (2011, 2009, 2006, 2004, 1987, 1982, 1980, 1973) golf has 2 (1989, 1988), soccer (2002), cross country (1999) and track (1990) each have one.
Famous names you may know: College football coaches Tim Beck, Bo Pelini, Carl Pelini, Bob Stoops, Mark Stoops and Mike Stoops, NFL players Jerry Diorio, Ishmaa'ily Kitchen and Ed Muransky, NFL owners Denise DeBartolo York and Ed DeBartolo Jr., MLB player Mark Malaska, former lightweight WBA World Champion Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini.
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.
2,801 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
125 days until The Game.
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