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. 17, Columbus St. Francis DeSales
12 players from DeSales have been listed on 31* Ohio State rosters.
DL Luke Fickell (1992-96) started in a record 50 consecutive games and was four-time Academic All-Big Ten player. Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Saints in 1997. NFL career ended after he tore his ACL in 1997.
In 1999, Fickell joined the Ohio State staff as a graduate assistant. He was Akron's defensive line coach for two seasons (2000-01) before returning to Ohio State in 2002. Fickell was with the Buckeyes from 2002-16 and was the interim head coach for the 2011 season. When Urban Meyer was hired, Fickell stayed on the staff as co-defensive coordinator and coach of the linebackers.
Cincinnati hired Fickell as head coach in 2017 and the Bearcats have gone 15–10 in his two seasons. However, the team was 11–2 last year and defeated Virginia Tech to win the Military Bowl. Fickell returns to Columbus on September 7 to take on Ohio State.
Fickell was the DIII Lineman of the Year as a senior and was considered one of the top defensive ends in the country. He also won three consecutive state titles as a heavyweight wrestler...he went undefeated as a sophomore, junior and senior. Fickell was also a two-time junior national champion in freestyle.
DB Gary Berry (1996-99) led the team with five interceptions and returned them for a school record 166 yards in 1997. Played in 47 games and started in 34 during his Ohio State career. Scored three touchdowns with two of the coming against Michigan State in 1997 (interception return and returned a blocked punt). The Packers signed Berry in the 4th round of the 2000 NFL Draft.
Started his high school career at Thomas Worthington before transferring to DeSales as a junior. Was a consensus All-American and rated the nation's No. 3 defensive back. Ran for over 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior despite missing three games because of an injury.
Berry and Nick Goings were two grades behind me at Indianola Alternative Elementary school. The two regularly dominated the tag football games at recess and it was known to royally piss off the older kids (myself included).
|No.||POS||PLAYER||YEARS||OHIO STATE CAREER||HS CAREER|
|80||TE||CHRIS ROY||1988-91||Missed the 1989 and 1990 seasons due to knee injuries, hurt his left knee when a motorcycle he was sitting on fell over, hurt his right knee in spring practice.||AP All-Ohioan at DE and UPI All-Ohioan at TE, DeSales was 33–2 and won 2 state titles.|
|99||DL||LUKE FICKELL||1992-1996||See above.||See above.|
|99||WR||MIKE MERRICK||1993||On the roster for 1 season.||Nothing listed.|
|76||C||DEAN KREUZER||1994-95||On the roster for 2 seasons, earned a varsity letter in 1995.||Nothing listed.|
|1||DB||GARY BERRY||1996-99||See above.||See above.|
|63||C||KURT MURPHY||1996-99||Played in 44 games, had 32 starts with a string of 31 straight to finish his Buckeye career. Was a 3x Academic All-Big Ten (97-99).||All Ohioan and considered the top center in the Midwest. Three-year starter in football and track.|
|9||DB||ADAM GRIFFIN||2010-12||Played in 11 of 12 games as a senior and recorded 13 tackles and broke-up a pass, son of some guy named Archie.||All-District and played RB, DB and return specialist, also started on the basketball team.|
|28||HB||WARREN BALL||2012-15||Missed the 2012 season with a foot injury, finished his Buckeye career with 40 carries for 185 yards and 0 TDs. Transferred to Akron in 2016 where he rushed for 513 yards and 5 TDs over two seasons.||All-Ohioan who had 6 TDs in a game against Brookhaven, 2nd commit of the 2012 class.|
|91, 44||TE||CHRIS ROCK||2013-14||Walked-on in during spring drills of 2013, played against Florida A&M, not related to the comedian.||Was a scholarship member of the 2011 Michigan recruiting class, red-shirted in 2011, then left UM in May of 2012.|
|28||K||DOMINIC DiMACCIO||2018-||Started his career at Missouri, joined Ohio State in the spring of 2018.||Twice named second team All-Ohio, is the Godson of 3X All-American punter Tom Skladany.|
*Note, DeSales' roster count will increase to 32 after Dominic DiMaccio completes the 2019 season.
Back To School
DeSales is located in Franklin County and is currently in the Central Catholic League. The team competes in Division III, Region 11. The Stallions went 5–5 in the regular season. The last time the team made the playoffs was 2016, they made it to the state semi-finals where they lost to Archbishop Hoban, 23-14.
The football program's first state title was in 1985, they then won back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998.
DeSales has won 27 state titles.
Boys' soccer has a school best seven (2017, 2015, 2014, 2009, 1997, 1992, 1986), girls' soccer (2011, 1998, 1997, 1995) and boys' gymnastics (1993, 1992, 1991, 1990) have four, baseball (2012, 2011, 1979), football (1998, 1997, 1985) and wrestling (1977, 1974, 1971) have three and boys' lacrosse (2018), boys' basketball (1987) and girls' volleyball (1982) have one.
Famous names you may know: NFL players Matt Stewart and Patrick Omameh, NBA player Antonio Daniels, Arena Football Player Matt D'Orazio, Kent State head football coach Paul Haynes, bass guitarist for Attack Attack!, John Holgado and Olympic silver medalist in gymnastics, Blaine Wilson.
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.
2,818 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
108 days until The Game.
Are you a former player, graduate, live near or have something to add about today's featured high school? Please share your story with us in the comments. What makes the 11W community unique is the amount of great information everybody is willing to share.