In-Depth: Final Ohio Rankings

Jalin Marshalll

Once again, Ohio is a hot bed of football talent. Last season, a number of players from the state made impacts as true freshmen. Are there players in this year's group who can step in and do similar things this fall? Here is a look at the candidates.

1 | Jalin Marshall | WR | Middletown
Committed to Ohio State

Allen Trieu: He's been considered Ohio's top player in this class for several years now. A dazzling playmaker since the moment he touched the ball on the varsity level, Marshall was responsible for a ton of big plays, highlight reel runs, and a lot of defenders juked into the ground throughout his time at Middletown. Slated to be a do-it-all type receiver, running back and potentially return man at Ohio State, Buckeye opponents will find out what opponents in the Dayton area have known for quite some time, that Mr. Marshall is tough to tackle.

Dave Berk: With quick feet and the ability to make people miss, Marshall is a player with all the skills needed to be a top offensive threat at the college level.  While the high school quarterback will need to adjust not having the ball in his hands on every snap, his performance in summer combines and all-star games showed he’s learning how to get separation and make the transition.

Bill Greene: Was ranked as the number-one player in Ohio after the first game of his junior season, and was never challenged for the top spot over the next two years. Since Ohio is considered to be loaded for the class of 2013, that's quite an accomplishment. After seeing Marshall every day for a week at the Under Armour Game, I see him as a potential contributor from Day-One at Ohio State. Just no way to keep him off the field.



2 | Dymonte Thomas | S | Alliance Marlington
Committed to Michigan

Bill Greene: It's so rare to see a freshman starter dominate Division-II football in Ohio, but Thomas did that from his first game and continued throughout his career. He earned his five-star rating by starring on both sides of the football, and getting better each year. I love his potential as a ball-hawking free safety, and a player who contributes from his first game as a true freshman. I see him as a Michigan captain in four years.

Allen Trieu: I think it was a Fox Sports Ohio game that I happened to get when Thomas was a junior, and he took an option pitch and exploded for a touchdown. That speed in a college ready frame really stood out. As a safety, the position he will play at Michigan, he has shown himself to be an aggressive hitter with good instincts and smarts. He has a chance to push for time early in his career there.



3 | DeVeon Smith | RB | Warren Howland
Committed to Michigan

Bill Greene: Probably the forgotten man in Ohio recruiting circles, and that's too bad because Smith is an excellent prospect. With the commitment of Derrick Green, Smith will continue to be overlooked, but don't hand Green all the carries just yet. Like Thomas, Smith has been a star his since his freshman season of high school and compares very favorably to last year's tailback trio of Brionte Dunn, Warren Ball and William Mahone.

Allen Trieu: The question on him is breakaway speed, but his combination of balance, strength and ability to break tackles makes me think he will be just fine at the college level. He runs hard, physically, and in a classic Big Ten style. Plus, he rushed for over 6,000 yards in his high school career, so the lack of elite speed didn't hurt him there. We have him ranked a little higher than most, but we were all in agreeance on this one, and Bill saw him run wild during the season and it sealed it for us that he was truly one of Ohio's best.


4 | Evan Lisle | OT | Centerville
Committed to Ohio State

Dave Berk: He has a great base, long frame, and can continue to add weight and strength. I expect him to develop fast in the strength program and be competing no later than the second year in the program. He has the ability to play tackle, but I'd project him as more of an interior player who can play on either side and be able to pull. He's a great run blocker, but needs to still work in pass pro.

Allen Trieu: We first noticed him while watching Michael Bennett. He's always been kind of long and lean, but a high effort, tough kid who moved people. He bends well and moves well in addition. At the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, I thought he had a really good week. The question on him was pass protection, and he showed he wasn't as raw there as some thought. As he continues to improve in that area and add weight, I think he will turn into a fantastic all around lineman.


5 | Cameron Burrows | CB | Trotwood-Madison
Committed to Ohio State

Bill Greene: He was a model of consistency in his career at Trotwood-Madison, and teams simply stayed away from him as a senior. Burrows sees himself as a cornerback, and not a safety as many believe he will be at Ohio State. After seeing him practice against the best of the best at Under Armour, I would not sell him short on playing on the corner. Either way, Burrows is going to make an impact in the secondary in Columbus at some point.

Allen Trieu: Cam is big, physical, and I thought, at some national events like The Opening and the Under Armour All-American Game, he rose to the occasion. Our staff has gone back and forth all year on whether he's a safety or a corner. Cam believes he's a corner and is out to prove to the world that he's a corner. That competitive attitude along with his size and athletic ability will make him as asset no matter where he plays.


6 | Gareon Conley | CB | Massillon Washington
Committed to Ohio State

Bill Greene: Raised his game tremendously as a senior, and earned his ranking by starring at both cornerback and wide receiver. Massillon rode Conley's back to a deep playoff run, after missing the playoffs the year before. He wants to start out at wide receiver at Ohio State and he proved this year he can play the position, but a switch to cornerback at some point would not surprise anyone. Just a long, speedy, impressive athlete.



7 | Jake Butt | TE | Pickerington North
Committed to Michigan

Allen Trieu: Butt first burst onto the scene as more of a defensive end prospect, but began to garner high major interest as a tight end after schools saw what he could do there. He's tall, athletic enough to be a standout basketball player and has proven that he can be a matchup problem as a receiving tight end. He's also a tough kid, who, as he gets stronger, should develop well as a blocker. Should make an impact at Michigan.



8 | Shelton Gibson | WR | Cleveland Heights
Committed to West Virginia

Bill Greene : The electric playmaker was as exciting an athlete to watch as anyone in Ohio. His burst off the line and raw speed make him a desirable commodity at the next level. When you factor in the West Virginia passing game under Dana Holgerson, it's clear to see Gibson starring in that offense and probably soon.



9 | Ben Gedeon | OLB | Hudson
Committed to Michigan

Allen Trieu: Gedeon has played tailback, tight end, and linebacker, the position he will play in college. He's a good athlete, as evidenced by the success he had as a ball carrier on offense. He's also a tough, throwback type of kid. There's always been a question about the competition he plays against. He'll have a chance to prove those doubts wrong in college.



10 | Malik Zaire | QB | Kettering Alter
Committed to Notre Dame

Allen Trieu: The Notre Dame commit grew from a running quarterback to a more polished dual-threat over the past two years.  A shoulder injury in his final high school game didn’t allow for a strong showing at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, however, the success and growth in arm strength and ability to read a defense makes Zaire a quarterback capable of competing for playing time in Brian Kelly’s offense in the near future.




11 | Taco Charlton | DE | Pickerington Central
Committed to Michigan

Dave Berk : Raw physical ability makes Charlton a player Michigan fans should be excited to watch develop.  His physical size makes his a player capable of being disruptive once he places all his time and energy into football.  During his senior season we saw a player develop into one that can make a difference.  The only thing that will stop Charlton going forward is Charlton.


12 | Billy Price | DT | Youngstown Fitch
Committed to Ohio State

Allen Trieu: Price is a throwback. He's a tough, rugged kid who plays hard and with a mean streak. There is some thought that he may be looked at as an offensive lineman. He was outstanding as a defensive lineman through his career though. He may not have super measureables, but he has a lot of intangibles.


13 | Mitch Trubisky | QB | Mentor
Committed to North Carolina

Allen Trieu: What a senior year he had. He lead his team deep into the playoffs and put on several outstanding performances. He is a great athlete who can really run it and uses his legs to set up the pass too. There were questions about his decision making as a junior, I thought he answered those as a senior. I'd be very surprised if he didn't end up as a starter at some point at UNC.


14 | Shane Jones | OLB | Cincinnati Moeller
Committed to Michigan State

Dave Berk: Jones took his game up another notch as Moeller made their run to a state championship this fall.  Capable of playing any linebacker position, Jones showed the athletic ability to go sideline-to-sideline and toughness to battle through one of the toughest high school schedules seen out of prospect in Ohio.  If he stays healthy, Jones could push for early playing time at Michigan State with his versatility.  


15 | Donovan Munger | DT | Shaker Heights
Committed to Ohio State

Bill Greene : Has the quickness and power to be a dominating defensive lineman at the next level. Munger has not been pushed on a daily basis in practice, nor has he dedicated himself in the weight room totally, so there is plenty of upside to this future Buckeye. Could also play offensive line if needed, but he will start out on defense at Ohio State.



16 | Rob Wheelwright | WR | Walnut Ridge
Committed to Wisconsin

Allen Trieu: The term deceptive speed gets overused at times, but I think it actually applies to Wheelwright. He's smooth, and doesn't always appear like he's blazing out there, but he doesn't get caught much. He's dangerous after the catch and as a return man. He's long, athletic, and I believe he has a good shot for early playing time in Madison.


17 | Marcus McWilson | S | Youngstown Cardinal Mooney
Committed to Kentucky

Bill Greene : McWilson should be a player that contributes early at Kentucky. This was a great year for the safety position in Ohio, and McWilson is right there with all the good ones. He has speed and size, but the best part of his game was his ability to make big plays in the biggest games. Had a great playoff run as a junior in leading Cardinal Mooney to a state title.


18 | TraVon Chapman | QB | Kent Roosevelt
Committed to Pittsburgh

Bill Greene: Had an impressive two-year run at quarterback for Kent Roosevelt, leading his team to playoff wins in each year. Has only played the position for two years, so his best football is ahead of him and he has plenty of upside. Chapman is a true dual-threat, and right now his running would be ahead of his throwing but not by much. For someone so new to the position, Chapman does not turn the football over, and his touchdown-to-interception ratio was outstanding.



19 | Jayme Thompson | S | Toledo Central Catholic HS
Committed to Ohio State

Allen Trieu: Thompson first impressed us with his ability to play corner and cover man to man in camp settings. He's likely going to play safety at Ohio State, but those cover skills will be an asset. Then we saw him in person during the season and saw a kid that, despite not being overwhelmingly big, was willing to stick his nose in the action and make tackles. Very solid all around prospect.


20 | Godwin Igwebuike | S | Pickerington North
Committed to Northwestern

Dave Berk: Talk with any coach that played against Igwebuike and they’ll praise his overall ability and toughness.  Capable of playing on either side of the ball, Igwebuike projects into a hard hitting safety with his combination of speed and power.  This is a major recruiting steal for Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald.


21 | Darrien Howard | MLB | Chaminade Julienne
Committed to West Virginia

Allen Trieu: Howard has been a standout for a couple years now. He's been considered a BCS level kid during that time, but there were questions about if he was outgrowing linebacker and maybe becoming a defensive lineman. Well, he got in better shape, dominated the Columbus NIKE Camp, and moved into 4-star range. He's still big, and may yet be a defensive lineman, but some of the comparions to big middle linebackers of the past like Levon Kirkland and Jeremiah Trotter have validity.


22 | Jacob Matuska | DE | Columbus Bishop Hartley
Committed to Notre Dame

Dave Berk : The Notre Dame pledge is a safe bet as he can play tight end or his projected position of defensive end.  Tough player who can anchor the edge against big offensive tackles while being athletic enough to release and play in space.  Would not be surprised to see him add more weight and grow into a defensive tackle or even a nose tackle for the Irish.


23 | Darron Lee | S | New Albany
Committed to Ohio State

Dave Berk : We’ve not seen the complete package Lee has to offer as he was used more as a high school quarterback than his projected position of safety.  However, when we did see him lineup as a defender Lee showed great burst and the willingness to play the run and be extremely physical.  Also could grow into an outside linebacker as he continues to fill out his frame.

Allen Trieu: Really might be the most underappreciated guy in the state in this class. Very athletic, has good ball skills and leadership qualities as well.


24 | Michael McCray | OLB | Trotwood-Madison
Committed to Michigan

Allen Trieu: Like his teammate Burrows, Michael McCray's strength is his consistency and his ability to deliver in the biggest games. Will probably play in the middle for Michigan, and he could probably benefit from a redshirt year to get stronger and learn the system. McCray is a very smart player, and a quiet leader that has the work ethic to be an excellent get for Michigan.



25 | Brogan Roback | QB | Toledo St. Johns Jesuit
Committed to Eastern Michigan

Allen Trieu: A four-star quarterback going to Eastern Michigan? We do think some teams missed the boat here. Roback is an accurate passer with a flair for the big play. He's also mobile, important in the system the Eagles run. He should have a chance to compete early. The MAC always seems to put out great players at the position, and he has a chance to be the next one people look at and ask how the big boys missed out.


26 | Tracy Sprinkle | DE | Elyria
Committed to Ohio State

Allen Trieu: Sprinkle had a fantastic senior season where he really raised his game and took it to the next level. He played mostly on the end in high school, but has the frame to add weight and move inside. He's a high motor guy who plays with intensity. May need a year or two to adjust to another position if he does indeed end up at tackle, but he's a safe bet as a future contributor.


27 | Alex Gall | OG | Cincinnati Moeller
Committed to Miami (Fl)

Dave Berk : Gall is a great pickup for Miami as he had the best senior year of any offensive lineman in Ohio this past season helping Moeller High School to a state championship.  Capable of playing all five offensive line positions, Gall projects at the college level as an inside player and will enter college polished and capable of playing early in his career as he brings strength, great feet and technique out of high school.


28 | Jalyn Powell | S | Warren (Ohio) Warren G. Harding HS
Committed to Michigan State

Bill Greene : In any other year, Powell would be the number-one safety prospect in Ohio and receive a lot more hype. As it it, he is one of the hardest hitting defensive backs in the state, and a player that plays the game with passion and enthusiasm. Powell has the frame to fill out and add more muscle, which will serve him well in the Big Ten. He has a chance to be a star at the next level, and there is nothing not to like about Jalyn Powell. Michigan State getting a good one.


29 | Solomon Warfield | S | Lakewood St. Edward
Committed to Iowa

Bill Greene : Started the year slowly because of a shoulder injury, but by season's end he was playing on a level equal to the other top safety prospects in-state. Warfield improved his coverage skills tremendously in the past year, and he has always been able to deliver the big hit. Played in one of the top programs in Ohio, and learned the game from a great coaching staff. Should be able to contribute early at Iowa, and would make a great special teams player right off the bat.


30 | Keith Watkins | RB | Cincinnati Moeller
Committed to Northwestern

Dave Berk : Another steal for Northwestern out of Ohio as Watkins was the top offensive player in Southwest Ohio this past season with 2,645 total yards of offense and 28 touchdowns in helping Moeller to a state championship against one of the toughest schedules in the country.  Considering he was never 100% healthy, Watkins was recruited by the Wildcats as a defensive back.  However, after his offensive showing it could be hard for Pat Fitzgerald to follow through with a move away from the offensive side of the ball.


31 | Greg Hart | TE | Kettering Alter
Committed to Nebraska

Dave Berk : A knee injury his junior year may have kept Hart from getting the attention he deserved as a prospect.  Has a great frame to add more weight and strength and a quick burst that will allow Nebraska to play Hart on either side of the ball.  If he can stay healthy his best football is ahead of him.


32 | Jarrod Clements | DT | Trotwood-Madison
Committed to Illinois

Dave Berk: Major knee surgery in the summer kept the Illinois pledge off the field for the majority of the season.  However, instead of taking the year off Clements fought back late in the season and was a major reason Trotwood-Madison made their third consecutive trip to a state championship game.  Great first step with power allows Clements to take on double teams or beat a gap and make a play behind the line of scrimmage.


33 | Lovell Peterson | C | Huber Heights Wayne
Committed to GVSU (track)

Allen Trieu: Certainly a strange twist as he went from committed to an SEC school for football to committed to a Division II school for track. That said, it would not be surprising to see him take football back up at some point, and if he does, it almost goes without saying that Grand Valley would be getting a major steal.

Dave Berk:
Concerns about qualifying along with the flirtation of giving up football for track slowed Peterson’s recruitment.  Has the ability to play on either side of the ball as a top level center or defensive tackle.  Great leverage player who can get low pad level and make plays behind the line of scrimmage on defense.  Peterson also has great technique as a center and skilled in pass-pro having started all five offensive line positions during his four years as a starter in high school.


34 | Kyle Kempt | QB | Massillon Washington
Committed to Oregon State

Allen Trieu: Bounced back from an average junior season and really impressed as a senior for Massillon, leading them on a nice playoff run. Kempt has the arm strength, accuracy and intelligence to be a success at Oregon State, and is the prototypical Pro-Style passer. His height (6-foot-5) enables him to see the field, and Kempt will hang in there and deliver the ball knowing he's going to get hit. Not the greatest athlete, but can move around well enough in the pocket to evade the pass rush.


35 | Christopher Worley | OLB | Cleveland Glenville
Committed to Ohio State

Bill Greene : A big, long, fast athlete that could play linebacker or safety at Ohio State. It's not too hard to envision Worley starting out on special teams as a true freshman and getting on the field right away. His future position depends on how big he gets, and there is room to add weight. I can see him playing outside linebacker and weighing 225-pounds after a few years in the weight program at Ohio State.


36 | Kyle Meadows | OT | Lakota West
Committed to Kentucky

Dave Berk : Meadows best football is ahead of him as he’s got a great frame and feet to work with.  Former basketball player who will get bigger and stronger once he’s in a weight program fulltime.  Concerns about qualifying and an injury that saw Meadows miss major time during his junior year slowed his recruitment but shows potential to become an all-conference performer.


37 | Reon Dawson | CB | Trotwood-Madison
Committed to Michigan

Dave Berk : Could Dawson be the steal out of Ohio for the 2013 recruiting class?  Many think so as he shows natural instincts for a player with limited time on the field.  What sets Dawson apart is his ability to flip his hips, turn and run with a receiver out of his back pedal.  Has the ability to cover a receiver by himself, but must get physically stronger to help better support the run.


38 | Ross Douglas | CB | Avon
Committed to Michigan

Bill Greene: Just a quality young man from a great family, and one heck of an athlete. Douglas played both sides of the football for Avon, but he could really flourish at Michigan when he will be a full-time cornerback. Would like to see him redshirt the first year if possible, and learn the nuances of the cornerback position. Douglas has leadership qualities, and when combined with his speed and hip turn, he has a chance to be quite a find for the Wolverines.



39 | Matt Miller | OG | Toledo St. Johns Jesuit
Committed to Wisconsin

Allen Trieu: Miller has been a two-way player for St. Johns for the last couple of years. He's a tough kid who plays very hard, he's also smart and hard working, all the qualities that past successful offensive linemen in Wisconsin have had. He's due to move inside, potentially to center or guard, and I think that's a great fit for him.


40 | Marcus Ball | S | Westerville-South HS
Uncommitted

Allen Trieu: Big, athletic kid who has played all over the field from quarterback to wide receiver and safety. Could be a big rover or strong safety and could definitely grow into a full fledged linebacker too. He shows good smarts on the field and a nose for the ball as well as ball skills in coverage.


41 | Donovan Wilson | RB | Dublin Jerome
Committed to Georgia Tech

Allen Trieu: He went through his career without a ton of big press clippings, but I think he may be one of the sleepers in this class. He has good speed, patience and vision. He can also catch the ball out of the backfield. You know the Yellow Jackets will run the ball and this kid should be a big part of that.


42 | Darian Hicks | CB | Solon (Ohio) Solon HS
Committed to Michigan State

Bill Greene : Another underrated player in Ohio for 2013, and Michigan State may have landed a beauty in Hicks. The first thing you notice is the speed, and this kid can fly. Has the hip recovery needed to play cornerback at the next level. Comes from a great program in Solon, and has consistently played against the top competition in Northern Ohio throughout his career.


43 | Aregeros Turner | CB | Copley (Ohio) Copley HS
Uncommitted

Allen Trieu: Good sized kid who may have gotten lost in the shuffle a little bit in regards to the recruiting process, as he didn't receive some of the press clippings other guys did, but his frame and athleticism are ideal for the corner position and someone should get a steal here.


44 | Jaleel Hytchye | CB | Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle HS
Committed to Kentucky

Allen Trieu: Fast, athletic corner who plays bigger than his listed size. Has good anticipation and a knack for the big play. Will have to get a little bigger and stronger, but he has the speed and quickness to play in the SEC.


45 | Sean Welsh | OG | Springboro
Committed to Iowa

Allen Trieu: Had a great run of campus before his junior year, where he really established himself as a legitimate BCS prospect. Technically sound, good feet and strength. He's not the tallest or the fastest out there, but put someone in front of him and Welsh will make sure that guy gets blocked. Could be a center or guard in college.


46 | A.J. Branisel | TE | Notre Dame Cathedral Latin School
Committed to Tennessee

Allen Trieu: Underappreciated kid with a nice frame and good receiving skills. Doesn't have elite speed, but runs good routes, has excellent ball skills and can make things happen after the catch. He can split out or play on the line, and shows good ability as a blocker. Could definitely be an early contributor for the Volunteers.


47 | Jaron Dukes | WR | Columbus Marion-Franklin
Committed to Michigan

Allen Trieu: Watched Dukes in action during his junior and senior years and found a player with great physical size and above average hands.  Biggest question to be answered is speed but has the skill set to be a high level receiver as he gets more polished as a route runner and physically stronger.


48 | Keith Towbridge | TE | Toledo Central Catholic
Committed to Louisville

Allen Trieu: At the NIKE Camp. Towbridge stepped over, played offensive line and won all of his 1-1 reps against defensive ends. At that point, we thought maybe that would be his future. During the season, he proved to us that he was more athletic than given credit for and may indeed be a tight end. The kicker? He also excelled on the defensive line, further muddying where he may project in college. Regardless, Louisville is getting a 6'5, 270-lb kid who presents a lot of options.


49 | LeShun Daniels | RB | Warren G. Harding HS
Committed to Iowa

Bill Greene : Right behind DeVeon Smith as the top power back in Ohio for 2013, and a player who gives maximum effort on every play. Daniels is the type of runner that gets stronger as the games goes on, and he has the frame to play in the 225-pound range, and is very similar to Leveon Bell at the same stage of his career. Although Daniels is a power runner, his speed is deceiving and he broke several long runs this season. Fits in well with what Iowa wants to do offensively, and could be in line for early playing time.


50 | Mike Tyler | DE | Brecksville-Broadview Hts.
Committed to Stanford

Dave Berk : Tyler is a player still developing physically but has made great strides over the past year having added another 10-pound of muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame.  Fits mold of a hybrid linebacker/defensive end with a great burst off the edge or the ability to drop back into coverage.   Best football is still ahead of him as he continues to develop his technique as well as add strength in a college strength and conditioning program.



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