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. 3, Cleveland St. Ignatius
19 players from St. Ignatius have been listed on 63 Ohio State rosters.
C LeCharles Bentley (1998-01) won many awards during his final year with the team. In 2001, Bentley was named the Ohio State Offensive Player of the Year, was the Rimington Award winner, an All-American and All-Big Ten player. He was also named the team's Offensive Lineman of the Year as a sophomore and junior.
The Saints selected Bentley in the second round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He was Sports Illustrated's Offensive Rookie of the Year and was named to two Pro Bowl's during his NFL career.
At St. Ignatius, Bentley was a three-year starter and an All-Ohioan. Was considered Ohio's best offensive line prospect as a senior.
WR Anthony Gonzalez (2003-06) was talented on and off of the field. Gonzalez was an All-Big Ten selection and an Academic All-American in 2006. He was also on the Academic All-Big Ten team in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Ted Ginn Jr. and Santonio Holmes received many of the accolades during Gonzalez' time with the team, but Gonzalez was also a talented receiver that defenses had to account for. His incredible leaping catch in the 2005 version of The Game enable the Buckeyes to get the winning score with 37 seconds remaining on the clock. The Colts took Gonzalez in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
In high school, Gonzalez was an All-Ohioan and The Plain Dealer's Co-Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his senior season with 71 receptions for 1,873 yards and 21 touchdowns.
DT Dre'mont Jones (2015-18) closed out his Buckeye career as an All-American and All-Big Ten player. He started in the second game of his freshman season and was a starter in 37 of the 39 games he played in. In 2018, Jones was the first defensive lineman in Ohio State history to score two touchdowns in the same season. The only defensive linemen in Buckeye history to start 10 or more games as a freshman are Dan Wilkinson, Luke Fickell and Jones.
The Broncos selected Jones in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Jones was an All-Ohioan who only played two years of high school football. He had 47 tackles, 21 tackles-for-loss, 4 sacks and 4 forced fumbles as a senior.
|No.||POS||PLAYER||YEARS||OHIO STATE CAREER||HS CAREER|
|12||QB||JOE PICKENS||1990-91||Was a drop-back passer with roll-out ability, played in 3 games in 1991 and completed 1 pass for 34 yards.||Won 2 state titles and went 27–0 during his last two seasons.|
|65||OL||JUAN PORTER||1992-96||3-year starting center and captain of the 1996 team, his cousin is Eric Gohlstin.||All-Ohioan and went 14–0 as a senior.|
|97||DL||JOHN DAY||1993-97||Was Mike Vrabel's backup for 2 seasons and Matt Finkes for one, played in 22 games during his career and had 1 tackle as a senior.||Had 23 sacks and was an honorable mention USA Today All-American.|
|50||OL||ERIC GOHLSTIN||1994-97||Started 2 years at right tackle and was an All-Big Ten center in 1997.||The Wildcats went 28–0 and won 2 state titles his junior and senior seasons, was an All-Ohioan and All-American.|
|69||OT||JIM MASSEY||1997-01||Played in 5 games for 13 minutes in 1999.||All-Cleveland player who started for 3 years.|
|68||C||LeCHARLES BENTLEY||1998-01||See above.||See above.|
|62||OT||JOHN McLAUGHLIN||2001-04||Walk-on who was a 2x Academic All-Big Ten (2002, 2004) player||Only played as a senior and started at tackle and guard on a state championship team.|
|51||OG||MIKE BOGART||2002||Nothing listed.||Nothing listed.|
|52||OL||MIKE KNE||2002-04||Started his career at Fordham, transferred to Ohio State in 2001, on the roster and saw extensive playing time from 2002-04.||Played defense for 3 seasons before becoming a starter on the offensive line, won a state title as a senior.|
|59||OL||JOHN CONROY||2002-05||2002 Academic All-Big Ten, walked-on in 2002 to follow in his dad footsteps, saw his first game action in 2004 on the FG unit.||Played for 2 seasons and started at tackle, also was a 4-year letterman in lacrosse.|
|11||WR||ANTHONY GONZALEZ||2003-06||See above.||See above.|
|33, 52||LB||JOHN KERR||2004-06||Played for Indiana in 2002, transferred to OSU in 2003, recorded 40 tackles and 1.5 TFL loss with the Buckeyes.||2x All-Ohioan won 2 state titles (soph. / senior) and was the Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.|
|35||FB||RYAN FRANZINGER||2004-06||Had 1 carry for 4 yards against Illinois in 2005.||All-District at FB/LB as a senior, won state championship in 1999 and 2001, won state title in the shot put as a junior.|
|38||LB||SCOTT McVEY||2010||Nothing listed.||All-Ohioan as a junior and senior, Plain Dealer Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.|
|33, 18||DB||NIK SARAC||2011-14||Nothing listed.||Played 3 years for St. Ignatius, lettered 3 years in track, has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.|
|89||TE||BLAKE THOMAS||2012||Nothing listed.||49 catches for 506 yards and 8 TDs during his final 2 years of HS football.|
|44, 39||LB||KYLE BERGER||2014-15||Had multiple knee injuries and left the team after the 2015 season with a medical hardship waiver.||Did not play his senior season due to a knee injury, considered one of the top defensive players in Ohio as a junior.|
|63||OL||KEVIN WOIDKE||2015-18||Walked-on in 2015, 2017 Academic All-Big Ten.||Played 4 years with the Wildcats,|
|86||DL||DRE'MONT JONES||2015-18||See above.||See above.|
Back To School
St. Ignatius is located in Cuyahoga County and is independent in sports. The team competes in Division I, Region 1. The Wildcats went 8–2 in the regular season last year. They hosted St. Edward in the first round of the playoffs and lost 21-19.
The football program has an Ohio record 11 state titles, including a state record five consecutive championships between 1991 and 1995. The Wildcats also won six titles in seven years between 1989 and 1995.
St. Ignatius has won 41 state championships. The football program's 11 state championships (2011, 2008, 2001, 1999, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1989, 1988) are the most in the school, soccer has eight (2016, 2015, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2005, 2004), hockey has seven (2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2010, 2000), rugby has five (2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014), cross county has four (2015, 2009, 1994, 1993), baseball (2019, 2002) and track (2016, 2001) have two, and basketball (2001) and wrestling (1988) each have one.
Famous names you may know: NFL players Jacob Bell, Brian Dowling (inspiration for B.D. in Doonesbury), Dan Fox, Chris Hovan, Brian Hoyer, Oliver Luck (Andrew Luck's dad), Scott Mutryn, Dave Ragone and Jake Ryan, MLB players Mike Buddie, Derek Dietrich, Luke Farrell (son of John), Mike Hegan (tv and radio announcer for the Indians), Matt Kata, Nick Margevicius and Garry Roggenburk, Indians' owner Larry Dolan, Indians' fan John "The Drummer" Adams, Colorado Rockies' tv and radio announce Jack Corrigan, MLS players Justin Morrow and Barry Rice, Broadway actor Rory O'Malley, comedian Dave Hill and actor Jack Riley (The Bob Newhart Show, Spaceballs, Rugrats).
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.
2,832 days since Ohio State has not defeated That Team.
94 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.
Today, the Countdown is brought to you by Liam Gallagher's song, One Of Us. It was released this morning.