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. 16, Westerville South
13 players from Westerville South have been listed on 32* Ohio State rosters.
LB Andy Katzenmoyer (1996-98) became the first player since Archie Griffin to wear the number 45 for Ohio State. Katzenmoyer lived up to the iconic expectations of the jersey by being an All-American and four-time All-Big Ten player. He was also won the Randy Gradishar Award twice ('97, '98), the Butkus Award and Jack Lambert Trophy in 1997. In 1996, he was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
The Buckeyes were 32–5, won two Big Ten titles and won the Rose and Sugar Bowls with Katzenmoyer on the team. The game-changing player also set Ohio State linebacker records in 1996 for sacks (12) and tackles-for-loss (23) in a season. Katzenmoyer also became the first Buckeye freshman linebacker to start every game in a season. In 2009, he was inducted into the Varsity O Hall of Fame.
The New England Patriots selected Katzenmoyer with 28th overall pick of the 1999 NFL Draft. He played in every game as a rookie and started the first 11 games of the season at middle linebacker. The Big Kat finished his rookie season with 107 tackles, 3.5 sacks and returned an interception 57-yards for a touchdown. His NFL playing days were cut short by a career-ending injury.
USA Today, The Ohio AP, the Columbus Touchdown Club and the Atlanta Touchdown Club named Katzenmoyer as the Defensive Player of the Year when he was a senior at Westerville South. He became the first defensive player to be named Ohio's Mr. Football and was a two-time All-Ohioan. Even though he was double and triple teamed, Katzenmoyer made 114 stops, 16 TFL and 8 sacks during his senior year.
FB Branden Joe (2000-04) was recruited as a tailback, but was moved to fullback during his freshman season. Had career highs in attempts (11) and yards (46) against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. As senior, Joe played in 10 games, had 50 rushing attempts, gained 162 yards and scored once.
Joe was an All-Ohioan as a senior for his outstanding play as a linebacker and running back.
H-Back Jaelen Gill (2018-present) saw playing time against Rutgers and Tulane last year. He was on the field for a total of 15 snaps and had one catch for 11 yards. It is projected that Gill will have a larger role in the offense this season.
Even though Gill missed his entire junior season with an injury, he was still ranked as the No. 2 player in Ohio as a senior. As a sophomore he rushed for an eye-popping 1,553 yards and 19 touchdowns. Gill was also an elite baseball player and was a member of Westerville South's school-record setting 4x100 meter relay team.
|No.||POS||PLAYER||YEARS||OHIO STATE CAREER||HS CAREER|
|59||DT||TONY GIULIANI||1983-1984||Attended SMU before transferring to Ohio State. Started 23 games and recorded 89 tackles, 9 TFL and 5 sacks during his 2 seasons.||Lettered in three sports.|
|66||DT||STEPHEN ROBBINS||1988||On the roster for 1 season.||Nothing listed.|
|12||LB||BRAD POPE||1991-92||Played in 2 games and had 1 assisted tackle in 2 seasons.||Nothing listed.|
|59||DT||ROBERT GIULIANI||1993-94||Played in 2 games and had 1 assisted tackle in 1993, did not see the field in 1994.||Nothing listed.|
|44||LB||CHRIS KIRK||1995-96||Reserve linebacker who did not see the field in 1995. Missed spring practice of 1996 due to academics, played in 6 games and recorded 8 tackles and 1 TFL in 1996.||Had 6 fumble recoveries and forced 8 fumbles as a senior, All-Central Ohio and started 3 years.|
|45||LB||ANDY KATZENMOYER||1996-98||See above.||See above.|
|3||DB||DAVID MITCHELL||1997-2000||Started for the first time in 2000, scored on a fumble recovery and an interception against Fresno State, led the team with 5 INTs in 2000.||Played WR and CB, had 4 INTs, 46 tackles and 37 catches as a senior. Set a school record with 7 3-pointers in a basketball game.|
|38||FB||BRANDEN JOE||2000-04||See above.||See above.|
|74||OL||BEN NASH||2002||On the roster for 1 season.||Nothing listed.|
|25||DB||ROCCO PENTELLO||2007-09||Primarily a scout team player.||2x All-Ohioan, 3x All-League and All-District, played QB and S, threw for 6,400 yards and 77 TDs, ran for 3,100 yards and 39 TDs in HS career.|
|46||LB||NICK SNYDER||2013-14||Walked on in spring of 2013, played against Florida A&M and recorded 1 tackle.||All-OCC player in football and lacrosse.|
|26||S||JARROD BARNES||2016||On the roster for 1 season.||Nothing listed.|
|26||H-BACK||JAELEN GILL||2018-||See above.||See above.|
*Note, Westerville South's roster count will increase to 33 after Jaelen Gill completes the 2019 season.
Back To School
Westerville South is located in Franklin County and is currently in the Ohio Capital Conference. The team competes in Division II, Region 7. The Wildcats went 3–7 last year. The last time the program made the playoffs was 2012. They traveled to Hilliard Darby and lost, 31-10 in the first round.
The football team was state runner-up in 1994.
Westerville South has won 9 state titles.
Cheerleading leads the way with five (2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1998), girls soccer has two (1995, 1994) and boys' basketball (2016) and boys' soccer (1989) have one.
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.
2,819 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
107 days until The Game.
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