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. 4, Middletown
17 players from Middletown have been listed on 61 Ohio State rosters.
DB/LB Todd Bell (1977-80) earned All-Big Ten honors at linebacker in 1979, then switched to cornerback and was named to the All-Big Ten team in 1980. Ohio State won two Big Ten titles with him on the team (1977, 1979) and won 36 games. Bell had the winning touchdown in the 1979 version of The Game.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, Ohio State forced Michigan to punt from its own in its own 38-yard line. The Wolverines led 15-12 when Brian Virgil attempted to punt, but Jim Laughlin and Michael D'Andrea broke through the line and blocked it. Bell recovered at the 15 and raced in for an 18-15 lead.
At Middleton, he was a two-time All-Ohioan and also earned All-American honors at linebacker. Bell also won three state championships in the long jump. More impressive is that he broke Jesse Owens record by leaping 24' 6.75".
WR Cris Carter (1984-86) won two Big Ten championships during his shortened time with the team. The Buckeyes also defeated No. 9 BYU to win the 1985 Citrus Bowl and No. 8 Texas A&M to win the 1987 Cotton Bowl with Carter in uniform. Another signature win was over No. 1 Iowa in 1985.
Carter's individual accomplishments included being the team MVP, All-American and All-Big Ten player in 1986. He also earned All-Big Ten honors in 1985. In 2013, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Cris Carter was the wide receiver of my youth. I remember his great route running, one handed catches and confidence that oozed off of him. I remember the excitement surrounding the Buckeyes going into the 1987 season.
Then the excitement went silent when news broke that Carter is ineligible for the season for signing with an agent. I was only eleven at the time, but I knew that Ohio State wasn't going to be the same that year. In fact it took many years for Ohio State to return to dominance.
It was refreshing to hear Cris Carter apologize and acknowledge his regret and during his induction speech for the NFL Hall of Fame.
As a Middie, he was a two-time All-Ohioan and a Parade All-American. During his HS football career, Carter caught 80 passes for over 2,000 yards. He was also a star on the basketball court as he scored 1,600 points in three seasons.
WR Jalin Marshall (2013-15) As a redshirt freshman in 2014, Marshall finished the season with the second most receptions for a freshman in program history. He hauled in 38 passes for 499 yards and 6 touchdowns that season. The only freshman to do more was Cris Carter in 1984.
Marshall missed the first game of the 2015 season because of a violation of team rules. He finished his final year with the Buckeyes with 36 receptions for 477 yards and 5 touchdowns. Although he had two years of eligibility remaining, he opted to enter the NFL Draft. The Jets picked him up as an undrafted free agent on April 30, 2016.
At Middletown, Marshall played quarterback and rushed for a school record 4,759 yards during his career. As a senior, he ran for over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. Marshall also passed for 2,240 yards that year. He also helped Middletown win the Greater Miami Conference championship in 2010, the school's first in over 20 years. Marshall also competed in track and won the 2012 Division I long jump championship by leaping 23.0 feet.
|No.||POS||PLAYER||YEARS||OHIO STATE CAREER||HS CAREER|
|29||DB||JEROME DAVIS||1973-74||Played in 11 games during his 2 seasons.||Played HB and CB.|
|25||DB/LB||TODD BELL||1977-80||See above.||See above.|
|39||CB||SONNY GORDON||1983-86||Captain in 1986, started in 36 of the 46 games he played in. Led the team with 7 INTs and was 2nd on the team in tackles as a senior. The Bengals took him in the 6th round of the 1987 NFL Draft.||All-Ohioan at safety.|
|2||WR||CRIS CARTER||1984-86||See above.||See above.|
|17, 3||CB/LB||SEAN BELL||1984-88||Broken leg cost him 6 games in 1986, played in 29 games without a start, had 8 tackles in 1987.||All-Ohioan in football and also had the best long jump in the country as a senior.|
|20||DB||DWIGHT SMITH||1984-88||Played in 29 games and had 7 starts, led the team with 2 INTs as a senior.||Played football and basketball,|
|63||LB||DEDRICK HOWARD||1985-87||Did not see any game action during his time with the team.||All-Ohioan at DE and the UPI Defensive Lineman of the Year.|
|75||OL||JOHN PETERSON||1987-90||Started 3 games, then dislocated his elbow at LSU in 1987, had shoulder surgery that cost him the 1989 season, started all 12 games of his senior year at guard.||All-Ohioan, All-American and Ohio Lineman of the Year, broke the Middletown shot put record that was owned by Jerry Lucas.|
|73||OT||PAUL SHERRICK||1988-91||Back problems derailed his Ohio State career, had disk surgery in late 1989 and follow-up surgery in 1990. Played in 2 games for 3 minutes for the Buckeyes.||All-Ohioan and All-American in football.|
|8, 29||HB||JEFF COTHRAN||1991-93||Known as a tremendous blocker, he was also a punishing runner, started 19 games for his career and rushed for 183 yards and a TD as a senior, the Bengals selected him in the 3rd round of the 1994 NFL Draft.||All-Ohioan and All-American, broke his hand as a senior, but still rushed for 1,850 yards and 21 TDs in limited action.|
|38, 22, 5||S||DAN COLSON||1992-96||The last Buckeye to wear the No. 22, played in 29 career games, recorded 7 tackles as a senior.||All-Ohioan and SuperPrep All-American.|
|11||WR||MIKE YOUNG||2000-03||2002 Academic All-Big Ten, played in 2 games for a total of 2 minutes.||Nothing listed.|
|60||LS||KYLE ANDREWS||2001-04||3-year starter at long-snapper, walked-on and earned a scholarship at the end of the 2003 season, had good accuracy and speed on his snaps.||Played DT and DE at Middletown.|
|52||DL||SAM WILLIAMS||2002||Nothing listed.||Nothing listed.|
|13||DB||ANDRE AMOS||2005-09||Played in 12 of the 13 games and had 12 tackles during his senior season, did not play in the Rose Bowl against Oregon.||2nd Team All-Ohio, played both WR and DB, had 7 INTs and caught 35 passes for 500 yards and 7 TDs as a senior.|
|94, 17||DL||RASHOD FRAZIER||2012-14||Transferred from Purdue in the summer of 2012, injuries sideline him 2013, played in 12 of the 15 games during the 2014 championship season, had 0.5 TFL against Oregon.||All-County and All-Cincinnati player who had 55 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a senior.|
|17||WR/H-B||JALIN MARSHALL||2013-15||See above.||See above.|
Back To School
Middletown is located in Butler County and is in the Greater Miami Conference. The team competes in Division I, Region 4. The Middies went 2–8 last year. Since 2016, the program has only won three games and went 0–10 in 2016 and had a 18-game losing streak between 2016 and 2017.
The last time the Middies had a winning record was 2011. The team went 9–1 in the regular season and won a playoff game.
Middletown has won nine state championships. The boys' basketball team has seven titles (1957, 1956, 1953, 1952, 1947, 1946, 1944), boys' cross country (2004) and boys' track (2002) each have one championship.
The basketball team is tied with Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary for the most of any Ohio high school.
Famous names you may know: MLB players Kyle Schwarber and Dave Swartzbaugh, NBA player and coach Butch Carter (Cris' brother), NBA player Vincent Edwards, 2012 Olympic gold medalist in Judo, Kayla Harrison (first woman to win a gold medal in Judo), bestselling author J.D. Vance, Pullitzer Prize winner, Clarence Page and former Ohio State basketball player Jerry Lucas.
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.
2,831 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
95 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.
If you like Ohio high school football, or want to read about the best teams of the '50s and '60s, you should check out Tim Raab's book: Powerhouses of Ohio High School Football.