Meet the Ohio State Football Recruiting Class of 2015

By Jeremy Birmingham on February 4, 2015 at 4:59 pm

The "Elite '15" began in a rather pedestrian manner.

It was May 27th, 2014 and the Ohio State recruiting class had two verbal commitments — one from Eric Glover-Williams and one from Jamel Dean — but had been bone dry since early December of 2013 when Dean surprised everyone with his Sunday evening commitment. Yes, there had been a brief moment when Stanford signee Ben Edwards looked to be heading to Columbus, but his mind changed almost suddenly as it has been initially made up.

The "Elite '15" needed a pick me up, and it received just that in the form of Athens High School's Joe Burrow. The third (solid) commitment for the Buckeyes (and his video game-like stats) would become a weather vane of things to come. 

After Burrow's pledge, the Buckeyes picked up the pace; seven more prospected committed in June, and OSU was in position to land two huge fish in early July. Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell gave us 10-Star Wednesday, and the class finally had its first nationally-known superstars just days before Nike's The Opening. The gates were officially open.

Today — after all the blood, sweat and tears — the finishing touches were put on a masterpiece recruiting class that features 12 Ohioans and 12 players who were at one time committed to other programs. 

The 2015 Ohio State recruiting class features a long-snapper, two quarterbacks and six offensive lineman. It includes three Ohio-born-and-bred linebackers for the traditionalists and a defensive backfield group that can run and hit with anyone in the country. There are three Floridians, two Virginians and three players from states that Ohio State has never — at least as far back as 1970 — farmed prospects: Arkansas, South Dakota and Utah.

It's clear the Buckeye brand, fresh of the eighth national championship is school history, has never been stronger. 

Here now is the 2015 Ohio State football recruiting class, the "Elite '15." 

 All biographical information is taken from

Josh Alabi

Josh alabi // ★★★

  • OL/DL
  • 6-5/295
  • detroit, mi (cass tech)


Joshua Alabi is rated as the No. 1 defensive line prospect in the state of Michigan by Scout and a Top 30 strong side end by both Rivals (No. 26) and 247Sports (No. 30). He, along with fellow '15 recruit Mike Weber and current Buckeye Damon Webb, gives Ohio State three recruits in the past two years from the prominent Cass Tech program that has won a state title in 2012 and back-to-back Detroit Public School League championships in 2013 and 2014.

Alabi started along the defensive line since his sophomore season when Cass Tech made the state championship game … he accumulated more than 100 tackles in his career … was also an accomplished offensive lineman who helped his team rush for over 3,000 yards 2014 … three-star prospect was named Division 1-2 first-team All-State in 2014 as well as Detroit News All-Metro, Public School League All-City, PrepStar All-Midwest Region and a member of MLive’s 2014 Dream Team … called a “quiet giant” by his mother, Felicia Jones … father is Charles Alabi.

AJ Alexander

ARamis (aj) alexander // ★★★

  • ATH
  • 6-4/220
  • burke, va  (lake braddock)


A.J. Alexander has been described as having a “unique blend of size, power and speed” and as a result has received national rankings as a tight end and wide receiver.

Alexander has four-star ratings by both ESPN and 247Sports despite missing most of his senior season with a knee injury … he had six receptions and scored two touchdowns as a senior, including a 95-yard kickoff return … he is rated as high as the No. 16 tight end nationally by ESPN and 247Sports and is considered a Top 100 receiver by Scout … a Virginia all-state honoree in 2013 after catching 41 passes for 650 yards and seven touchdowns, plus intercepting five passes on defense … also chosen All-Metro as a junior and helped Lake Braddock to the Class 6A North Region state semifinals … second-team all-state in basketball as a junior … parents are Katrina and Anthony Alexander.

Damon Arnette

Damon Arnette // ★★★

  • CB
  • 6-2/185
  • Ft. lauderdale, fl  (St. thomas aquinas)


One of the last in this class to commit to attending Ohio State, Damon Arnette carries a four-star rating from ESPN and comes from St. Thomas Aquinas, the Floridian prep power and alma mater of All-American Joey Bosa

Arnette provided length and strength as a roving defensive back with most of his time spent at cornerback … he is ranked as the No. 24 safety by ESPN and the No. 51 cornerback by Rivals … the 247Sports composite ranks him No. 60 at cornerback … he is ranked as Florida’s No. 83 prospect … Arnette had three interceptions, five additional pass break-ups and three quarterback sacks as a senior … he earned honorable mention all-defensive team honors on Broward County’s Class 8A-7A-6A list.

Jerome Baker

Jerome baker // ★★★★

  • ATH
  • 6-2/205
  • Cleveland,OH (Benedictine)


Jerome Baker is a Top 10 linebacker prospect nationally whose last high school game was a state championship game win over Kettering Alter, 21-14, in Ohio Stadium. In that game, Baker scored twice, including the winning score early in the fourth quarter, to cap a 14-1 season and give St. Benedictine its seventh state title. Baker also had 11 stops on defense to earn MVP honors.

Bakers' outstanding senior season included being named first-team Division IV all-state by the Associated Press and earning co-defensive player of the year honors … called an “absolute force from his linebacker spot on defense” and “one of the most disruptive players in the state,” Baker is a consensus four-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 41 player nationally by Rivals and the No. 67 player on the ESPN 300 … earned impressive outside linebacker ratings by Rivals (No. 4) and Scout (No. 10) … a U.S. Army All-American, Baker was used sparingly on offense as a senior but still finished with 3,065 career rushing yards … parents are Theodora and Jerome Baker Sr.

Rashod Berry

Rashod berry // ★★★

  • ATH
  • 6-5/245
  • Lorain, oh (lorain digital)


Rashod Berry is a two-time Associated Press all-state honoree, including first-team Division I honors in 2014, for Lorain High School. Berry helped Lorain, under coach Dave McFarland, to a 7-4 season in 2014 and the first state playoff appearance in school history. Barry  had 37 receptions for 578 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior, plus an additional 11 tackles-for-loss, including six sacks, plus six forced fumbles and an interception on defense

A three-star prospect and among the Top 40 defensive ends in the nation, Berry has national positional rankings of No. 20 by Rivals, No. 26 by Scout and No. 36 by 247Sports … had 6.5 sacks and earned second-team all-state honors in 2013 for coach Tony Shoulders … also plays basketball … adds to the list of Lorain County players to play football at Ohio State, including Raymont Harris and Matt Wilhelm, and current Buckeyes Chase Farris and Tracy Sprinkle … mother is Lashonda Berry.

Branden Bowen

Branden bowen // ★★★

  • OL
  • 6-7/330
  • draper, ut  (corner canyon)


Huge offensive lineman Branden Bowen is one of the top players in the state of Utah this season and holds the No. 2 ranking in the state by Scout. Bowen is rated No. 58 nationally among tackles by Scout and rated as a Top 100 offensive lineman by 247Sports.

Bown played 2013 and 2014 seasons at new school Corner Canyon after starting his prep career at Juan Diego … helped lead Corner Canyon to the Utah Class 4A state semifinals in 2014 with a 12-1 record and into the state quarterfinals in 2013 in its first year of football … named first-team all-state in 2014 by the Deseret News … coached by former Utah Ute offensive lineman Don Eck at Corner Canyon ...  trained under former Ute John Madsen, who was a member of Urban Meyer’s 2003 and 2004 Utah teams … born in Tennessee and moved to Utah in 2005 … is the son of Natalie and Jordan Halling.

Matthew Burrell, Jr.

Matthew burrell, jr // ★★★★

  • OL
  • 6-4/321
  • woodbridge, VA (c.d. hylton)

Virginia All-State offensive lineman Matthew Burrell is considered a Top 10 offensive line prospect in the class of 2015 with four-star classification by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … he is a Top 100 player nationally overall as a member of the ESPN 300 (No. 94) and he also earned high overall rankings from 247Sports (No. 105) with Rivals and Scout each listing him among their top 175 players.

Burrell  is the No. 1 offensive line prospect in his region with Top 10 lineman rankings nationally by 247Sports (No. 7) and Rivals (No. 9), and with a No. 12 ranking by Scout … Burrell spent his first two high school seasons at Chancellor before transferring to Hylton for the 2013 and 2014 seasons … played for coach Tony Lilly at Hylton and helped his team to 10-2 and 9-2 records in 2013 and 2014, respectively … a member of the PrepStar Top 150 Dream Team, Burrell attended The Opening in the summer of 2014 at the Nike World Headquarters … is the son of Nicky and Matt Burrell Sr. 

Joe Burrow

Joe burrow // ★★★★

  • QB
  • 6-4/200
  • THE plains, oh (athens)


Joe Burrow, a four-star prospect by ESPN, Scout, and 247, was the third player to commit to Ohio State’s 2015 class. He led Athens H.S.  to three consecutive state playoff appearances (2012-14) and to all seven of the state playoff wins in school history

Burrow's 2014 team was Division III state runner-up, and Burrow was selected as Ohio Mr. Football, first-team Associated Press All-State and the Division III co-offensive player of the year... threw for nearly 4,500 yards with 63 touchdowns and only two interceptions … threw for over 11,400 yards with 157 touchdowns in his career plus rushed for over 2,000 yards with 27 more TDs … ranked on the ESPN 300 (298) and a Top 25 quarterback by Scout (13) and Rivals (25) … named the 2013 Ohio Gatorade player of the year and AP All-State … is the son of Robin and Jimmy Burrow … father is the defensive coordinator at Ohio University … father and older brothers Jamie and Dan all played football at Nebraska and lettered. 

Nick Conner

nick conner // ★★★★

  • LB
  • 6-3/225
  • dublin, OH (scioto)


Dublin Scioto linebacker Nick Conner announced his commitment to Ohio State in the early summer of 2014 and he enrolled in classes at Ohio State in January 2015. He helped lead Scioto to the 2014 state playoffs and a regional final appearance; although missed second half of the season with a knee injury, he still was invited to the Semper Fidelis All-American game.

Conner is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals, Scout and 247Sports … rated No. 123 on the Rivals 250 and its No. 5 inside linebacker … the No. 8 inside linebacker by 247Sports … a Top 25 linebacker prospect by Scout and the No. 4 linebacker in the state of Ohio … named second-team Division II all-state by the Associated Press as a junior after recording 129 tackles with 19 TFLs … MVP of the Rivals 5-Star Challenge Camp in Baltimore in the summer of 2014 … comes from a family of Ohio State fans and from a home with an Ohio State “room” … son of Renee and Scott Conner. 

Jashon Cornell

jashon cornell // ★★★★

  • dl
  • 6-4/260
  • St. paul, mn (cretin derham hall)


Jashon Cornell, already enrolled at Ohio State for the 2015 spring semester, is from the powerful Catholic school on the west side of St. Paul that has produced outstanding athletes like Joe Mauer, Michael Floyd, Chris Weinke and Steve Walsh. Cornell committed to Ohio State on July 2, 2014.

Cornell is one of the highest rated prospects in this Ohio State class, with No. 7 strong-side defensive end ratings virtually across the board and Top 100 overall status by ESPN (No. 33), Rivals (No. 14) and 247Sports (No. 88) … a consensus four-star prospect who was regarded as the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN prior to his junior season … he twice was named a second-team Minnesota all-state pick by the Associated Press … the No. 1 defensive end in the Midwest according to Scout … the defensive line MVP of the Nike training camp in Columbus in the summer of 2014 and earned an invite to The Opening later that summer … capped career at the Under Armour All-American game … mother is Sheena Cornell.

Jamel Dean

Jamel dean // ★★★★

  • cb
  • 6-2/195
  • Cocoa, FL (cocoa)


Jamel Dean was the second member of this class to commit to Ohio State, doing so Dec. 1, 2013. Dean is already enrolled in classes at Ohio State, and he is a consensus four-star prospect who was a two-time Florida first-team Class 4A All-State pick.

Dean is one of the top cornerback prospects in the nation with rankings of No. 32 by 247Sports and No. 37 by Rivals … rated No. 138 on the ESPN 300 and a Top 10 defensive back in the state of Florida … totaled 975 offensive yards, including 22 receptions and 15 touchdowns, in 2014 to earn All-State honors as a receiver and had 38 tackles, two pass break-ups and one interception to earn All-State accolades in 2013 … also had seven PBUs as a senior and scored nine touchdowns as a junior … the 2014 Brevard County Player of the Year and the Florida Athletic Coaches Association’s District 12 MVP … also ran track and possesses “breakaway” speed … played on back-to-back 11-2 state playoff teams for coach John Wilkinson … a Semper Fidelis All-American … he is the son of Yolanda Kimbrough and Derrick Jefferson. 

Kevin Feder

kevin feder // ★★★

  • OL
  • 6-9/305
  • ramsey, nj (don bosco prep)


Kevin Feder is from the powerful New Jersey program Don Boscoe Prep that was rated at one time in 2014 as the No. 1 team in the nation following a win over St. Thomas Aquinas. Feder has played three years for the Ironmen and coach Greg Toal and has started two years for teams that went 7-4 in 2013 and again in 2014.

Feder, a four-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports, is rated as high as the No. 16 offensive tackle prospect in the nation by Rivals and he is listed as the No. 54 tackle by 247Sports … he holds an overall player rating of No. 172 on the Rivals 250 … a PrepStar All-East honoree … also wrestled, and was a state qualifier in 2014 … attended Parsippany Hills as a freshman … is the fourth prospect from the state of New Jersey to sign a national letter of intent with Ohio State in the last three years after Eli Apple (Voorhees and Eastern H.S.), Noah Brown (Flanders and Pope John XXIII), and Darius Slade (Montclair and Montclair H.S.) … Father is Brian Feder.

Torrance Gibson

torrance gibson // ★★★★

  • qb 6-4/205
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL (American heritage)


Torrance Gibson is five-star prospect according to ESPN and the No. 16-rated senior nationally on the ESPN 300. Scout, Rivals and 247Sports all rank this dual threat quarterback as a four-star prospect. Gibson’s national rankings also include him as the No. 2 athlete by ESPN, the No. 5 quarterback by Scout and the No. 13 dual threat quarterback by Rivals.

GIbson led American Heritage to consecutive 5A state championships, just the second time a Broward County school has accomplished that feat … he was a first-team Florida All-State pick in 2014 after leading his team to a 12-3 record while throwing for 1,815 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushing for 980 yards … career numbers include over 4,000 passing yards, 44 touchdown passes, 2,275 rush yards and 28 rushing touchdowns … a finalist for the Florida Football Award after earning the Class 5A distinction … a PrepStar Dream Team member … Mother is Joanne Seymour.

Eric Glover-Williams

eric glover-williams // ★★★★

  • cb
  • 5-11/165
  • canton, oh (mckinley)


Eric Glover-Williams was the first to commit to this Class of 2015, doing so nearly two years ago in Spring 2013. Glover-Williams played numerous offensive positions, but concentrated on running back as a senior. 

Glover-Williams was named Division I Associated Press all-state as a senior after rushing for 1,149 yards and 14 touchdowns with 16 receptions … also had a punt return touchdown and a 100-yard interception return score … a consensus four-star prospect with Top 100 overall rankings on the ESPN 300 (No. 90) and by 247Sports (No. 97) … also rated as high as the No. 7 athlete (Rivals) and the No. 12 cornerback (247Sports) … the third-leading rusher in McKinley history with 3,820 yards and the No. 7 scores in Stark County history with 56 touchdowns, which ties former Buckeye Jeff Logan’s prep total and is two more than current Buckeye Bri’onte Dunn … Glover-Williams was named second-team Associated Press All-State in 2013 as McKinley went 9-2 and advanced to state playoffs … from same school to produce Mike Doss and Tyler Everett … played for both Todd Filtz and Thom McDaniels … an Under Armour All-American, is the son of Ann and Jerry Williams.

Da'Von Hamilton

da'von hamilton // ★★★

  • dt
  • 6-3/285
  • pickerington, oh (central)


One of the final commitments in this recruiting class, Davon Hamilton was a three-year starter on both sides of the ball for coach Jay Sherrett at Pickerington High School.

Hamilton was named first-team Associated Press all-state in 2014 after a 67-tackle, 23-tackle-for-loss season while helping Pickerington to an 11-1 record and into the second round of the state playoffs … also named the Ohio Capital Conference’s Ohio Division Player of the Year and the Division I Central District Player of the Year … the No. 54 defensive tackle nationally according to Scout, which also listed him as the No. 10 tackle in the region and No. 6 in the state of Ohio … named All-Metro by the Columbus Dispatch … is from the same high school that produced tougher-than-nails Ohio State starting center Jacoby Boren … is the son of Sabrina and Damian Hamilton.

KJ Hill

KJ HILL // ★★★★

  • wr
  • 6-0/188
  • north little rock, ar (north little rock)


Another signing day “reveal,” K.J. Hill is a consensus four-star receiver who was named a U.S. Army All-American after an outstanding senior season for coach Brad Bolding.

Hill helped the Charging Wildcats to an 11-2 season and to the second round of the Arkansas state 7A playoffs, catching 58 passes for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns plus rushing for 386 yards and seven more scores … he had 63 catches for 1,143 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior as North Little Rock advanced to the state playoffs … the No. 1 player in the state, Hill is also considered a Top 20 receiver with a No. 16 rating by ESPN and 247Sports and a No. 18 rating by Rivals … is rated among the Top 150 players in the nation by all the rating services, including No. 153 on the ESPN 300 … advanced to the 7-on-7 finals at The Opening this summer … a highly regarded basketball player as well.

Justin Hilliard

justin hilliard // ★★★★★

  • lb
  • 6-0/225
  • cincinnati, oh (st. xavier)


Justin Hilliard is a five-star recruit by both 247Sports and ESPN and one of the top linebacker prospects in this recruiting class. He is rated as the No. 1 outside linebacker by ESPN, the No. 2 OLB by 247Sports, and the No. 1 inside linebacker by Rivals. He also holds lofty overall rankings of No. 17 on the ESPN 300, No. 30 by 247Sports, and No. 45 on the Rivals 250.

PrepSports ranks him No. 32 nationally and a member of its 150 Dream Team … a finalist as a senior for the Dick Butkus Award and he was an Associated Press All-State selection and its Division I defensive player of the year … helped lead coach Steve Specht’s St. Xavier team to a 10-3 record in 2014 and a state semifinals appearance after recording 71 tackles and five quarterback sacks … had 76 tackles, four sacks and seven passes defensed in 2013 … committed to Ohio State on July 3, minutes before Jashon Cornell committed to be a Buckeye some 800 miles away in Minnesota … named a U.S. Army All-American but did not play as he was recovering from a knee injury … is the son of Diane and Carl Hilliard … older brother, C.J., will be a third-year sophomore running back for Iowa in the fall. 

Dre'Mont Jones

dre'mont jones // ★★★★

  • DE
  • 6-3/266
  • cleveland, oh (st. ignatius)


Dre’Mont Jones has just two seasons of high school football behind him but he certainly learned the game quickly: he was named first-team Division I Associated Press all-state as a senior for coach Chuck Kyle’s 6-4 team that advanced to the Ohio state playoffs. Jones also picked up all-Northeast Lakes District honors as a senior after recording 47 tackles, 21 tackles-for-losses and four sacks with four forced fumbles.

Jones, who also plays basketball at St. Ignatius, is considered a four-star prospect by ESPN, Scout and 247Sports, and he has overall rankings of No. 161 on the ESPN 300 and No. 169 by 247Sports … considered the No. 1 defensive line prospect in Ohio by Scout ... also has high positional rankings of No. 11 at strong side defensive end by 247Sports and Top 25 end status by both Scout and Rivals ... a U.S. Army All-American … All-Midwest by PrepStar … from same school as current Buckeye Kyle Berger … parents are Schontina Jones and Sanderline Williams.  

Mirko Jurkovic, Jr.

mirko jurkovic, jr. // ★★★

  • OL
  • 6-5/275
  • south bend, in (img academy)


Mirko Jurkovic spent his senior season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., after prepping for three years at St. Joseph’s High School in his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Jurkovic helped lead IMG to a 10-1 record in 2014, playing along a line that featured four prospects who are all expected to sign NLIs with Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

Jurkovic was coached by former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke at IMG … in 2013 Jurkovic helped lead St. Joseph’s to an 8-4 record and a spot in the Indiana state playoffs … considered a Top 50 offensive guard prospect by both Scout and 247Sports … rated as the No. 2 guard in Florida by Scout and No. 11 in the South region … is the son of Angie and the late Mirko Jurkovic … his father, who passed away in 2013 after battling cancer, was a two-year starter, a team captain and an All-American guard at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz … an uncle, John Jurkovic, played at Eastern Illinois and then nine years in the NFL … has two sisters: Claire and Samantha … lived next door to Ohio State strength coach Mickey Marotti for a time while Marotti was in charge of the Irish strength and conditioning between 1998-2005.

Robert Landers

robert landers // ★★★

  • DT
  • 6-2/295
  • dayton, OH (wayne)


Robert Landers was called a “disruptive force” throughout his senior season at Huber Heights and especially during his team’s run to the Division I state championship game. Landers totaled 153 tackles during his career for coach Jay Minton, including 16.5 tackles-for-loss.

Landers was a second-team Associated Press All-State selection as a senior and an All-Southwest Ohio Team 25 honoree after helping Huber Heights to a 13-2 record … also named all-Southwest District and he was chosen as the all-area defensive player of the year … earned a four-star rating from Scout and listed by that organization as the No. 4 defensive lineman in Ohio and the No. 6 lineman in the Midwest … had a high national ranking of No. 29 at defensive tackle … 247Sports listed him as a Top 50 defensive tackle … Landers is the state’s 2014 track and field shot put champion, winning the title with a throw of just over 61 feet … Mother is Tracy Matthews.

Liam McCullough

liam mccullough // ★★

  • ls
  • 6-2/213
  • worthington, OH (kilbourne)


Liam McCullough is believed to be only the second long snapper in Ohio State annals to earn a scholarship offer as a high school senior; the first being current Buckeye Bryce Haynes, who will be a senior in 2015. McCullough had scholarship offers from two other Big Ten schools and one in the SEC. He is rated as the No. 1 long snapper in the country by 247Sports and No. 2 by the Rubio long snapping service.

McCullough is called “dominant” on the Rubio long snapping website and “snaps with great power and accuracy” … has been Kilbourne’s long snapper since his freshman season, and he has been a long snapper since the fifth grade … helped coach Vince Trombetti’s Wolves to an 8-4 record in 2014 and to the second round of the Ohio state playoffs … was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-America game … talents also include teaching himself how to play the piano and trombone. … parents are Michelle and Mike McCullough.

Josh Norwood

joshua norwood // ★★★

  • CB
  • 5-10/175
  • valdosta, ga (valdosta)


Joshua Norwood was a three-year starter at Valdosta High School, one of the top programs in America in terms of wins and all-time championships. Norwood helped Valdosta, coached by Rance Gillespie, into the 2014 Georgia state playoffs for a sixth consecutive year in 2014 with a 9-2 record.

Norwood was named first-team Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State as a senior after recording 44 tackles, 11 tackles-for-loss, 10 pass-break-ups, six interceptions and forcing five fumbles for a defense that shut out four opponents and surrendered just 13.6 points per game … also named 1-6A All-Region and its Co-Defensive Player of the Year … earned Top 50 cornerback rankings nationally by Rivals (No. 44) with a No. 71 rating by 247Sports … also played basketball and ran track, and is the school record-holder in the 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles … he is the grandson of Geneva and Willie B. Knight.

Isaiah Prince

isaiah prince // ★★★★

  • ol
  • 6-6/272
  • greenbelt, md (eleanor roosevelt)


Another pleasant surprise – at least publicly – on signing day is consensus four-star offensive lineman Isaiah Prince, who made his commitment to Ohio State public when he signed his National Letter of Intent on Feb. 4. Prince is a Top 10 offensive tackle prospect by Rivals (No. 4), Scout (No. 6) and 247Sports (No. 7) while ESPN rated him No. 22.

Prince's overall rankings include a No. 67 ranking by Rivals, No. 74 by Scout and No. 105 by 247Sports, and he is also listed on the ESPN 300 … was considered the No. 1 player in the state of Maryland as a senior and he was a consensus All-State pick in 2014 in addition to earning Washington Post All-Metro honors for three years … helped his team to an 11-1 record in 2014, including advancing to a state 4A regional final … a U.S. Army All-American.

Grant Schmidt

grant schmidt // ★★★

  • OL
  • 6-6/275
  • sioux falls, sd  (roosevelt-03)


Media guide rosters at Ohio State were checked for each year back to 1950 and Grant Schmidt certainly appears to be the first from the state of South Dakota to play football at Ohio State. Schmidt, an early enrollee in classes at Ohio State and a four-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports, is rated as the No. 1 offensive lineman in his state and the No. 9 tackle in the Midwest.

Rivals rated him the No. 26 tackle nationally while Scout had Schmidt as a Top 50 prospect … a four-year starter who helped coach Kim Nelson’s Roosevelt teams to back-to-back state championship games (2013 and 2014) in Class 11AAA and to 9-2 records … named a South Dakota Coaches Association First Team All-State pick and was a Semper Fi All-American … is the son of Sharon and Jay Schmidt.

Alex Stump

alex stump // ★★★★

  • wr
  • 6-4/195
  • lakewood, oh (st. edward)


Alex Stump has size, speed and talent on top of a strong academics skillset that earned him scholarship offers from Harvard and Yale in addition to a host of other offers. Despite injuring a foot in the fourth game of the 2014 season, Stump earned four-star rankings from both Rivals and 247Sports as a senior.

Stump was considered the No. 1 receiver in Ohio as well as the No. 3 receiver in the Midwest region while also earning national receiving rankings of No. 23 by Scout, No. 36 by 247Sports and No. 42 by Rivals … PrepStar named him All-Midwest Region … had 11 receptions for 109 yards vs. Cincinnati Elder in his final game as a prepster … team lost that game and also its next before winning 10 consecutive games to win the Ohio Division I state championship … Stump had 57 catches as a junior, for 987 yards and 14 touchdowns to earn honorable mention All-State honors by the Associated Press and All-District accolades … is the son of Laura and Mike Stump.

Denzel Ward

denzel ward // ★★★★

  • cb
  • 5-11/165
  • macedonia, oh (nordonia)


Denzel Ward helped lead Nordonia to a 14-1 record and the Division II state championship game in 2014 with nine interceptions and 18 pass break-ups and and more than 1,300 total offensive yards and 20 touchdowns.

Ward was named the Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year and a First Team Associated Press All-State selection for coach Jeff Fox … also named’s Defensive Player of the Year … totaled 14 interceptions in 2013 and 2014 combined plus had 93 receptions and 31 receiving touchdowns … is rated a four-star prospect by Scout and 247Sports and is ranked respectively by those organizations as the the No. 22 and No. 26 cornerback prospect… is rated No. 171 among all players by Scout … a PrepStar All-Midwest Region …caught 37 passes for 658 yards and nine touchdowns for 8-3 team as a junior … possesses tremendous speed – including published reports of a hand-timed 4.31 40 – and is a multiple state qualifier in track and field as part of Nordonia’s 4x400-meter relay and as a long jumper … is the son of Nicole and Paul Ward.

Michael Weber

michael weber // ★★★★

  • rb
  • 5-10/220
  • detroit, MI (cass tech)


Consensus four-star prospect Mike Weber rushed for 2,268 yards and 29 touchdowns as a senior in 2014 despite missing three games for coach Thomas Wilcher’s state semifinalist squad. Weber was so good this year – he averaged 10.13 yards per carry – that Wilcher called him the best back in the Detroit Public School League in the last 30 years.

Weber is considered a Top 100 player nationally, with high overall rankings of No. 69 by Scout, No. 71 by Rivals, No. 80 by 247Sports and with a 140 rank on the ESPN 300 … considered the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan (Scout) and considered a Top 10 running back nationally by Rivals (No. 8), Scout (No. 9) and 247Sports (No. 9) … a First Team Associated Press All-State honoree as a senior and was twice named the Proud Strong Learner of the Week in the DPSL … rushed for a state record 404 yards and five touchdowns in a regional championship win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley … rushed for 890 yards and 13 touchdowns in Cass Tech’s four-game run through the state playoffs in 2014 … a finalist for the Michigan state player of the year award and a co-recipient of the Detroit Player of the Year award … a U.S. Army All-American … parents are Toni and Mike Weber Sr.

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