The Ohio State coaching staff has long put an emphasis on recruiting the state of Florida. But this season, as the Buckeyes target a number of prospects across the Sunshine State, they are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle twice at Plantation High School.
OSU has offered Vlad Emilien and Brandon McGee, two coveted prospects who suit up on the same prep team. While the two might not be a package deal, there is a pretty good chance some school will wind up with Emilien and McGee for its class of 2009.
“That’s a possibility,” Plantation head coach Alphonso Davis told BuckeyeSports.com. “They’ve got a lot of good schools tugging at both of them though. That could make it tough.”
While the Buckeyes have offered both players, they are not the only program spending time on both of them. Tennessee, Minnesota, Auburn have done so, and Davis said the USC Trojans have been recruiting both.
However, out of the schools recruiting both players, the Buckeyes appear to be in the best position to land Emilien and McGee as of right now.
“Oh yeah, with both of those kids I figure they’re in the top five,” Davis said.
By landing the two, a team would grab two players destined to play in the defensive backfield at the next level. McGee makes his trade as a quarterback right now but is slotted to play cornerback in college, the position where he is ranked the No. 6 prospect in the country. Further back from the line of scrimmage roams Emilien, a three-star safety prospect who is known as “The Hitman” for his ability to lay the wood on opposing ballcarriers.
With both of them patrolling the secondary during their senior seasons – McGee figures to play some corner this year – Davis said he is expecting big things back deep.
“I’m expecting a lot of big things out of those guys this year,” he said. “We want both of those guys to be leaders on our team because they’ve been here for four years and on varsity for three. It’s time for those guys to be vocal leaders and try to get us to go as far as we can in the playoffs.
“The state of Florida is obviously tough because you’ve got teams that come out of Miami. This year I think we’ve got the kind of talent to compete with those guys.”
Before the playoffs roll around, Davis is planning to sit down with both players and map out lists of schools to visit. While there will certainly be some overlap, the two are not going to schedule the same visits all of the time.
Playing together will be a factor, but it will apparently not be the only factor in deciding where both players will go.
“Being that I would possibly be able to play with one of my teammates and people from my hometown, that would be great,” McGee said. “That’s probably something that will play a factor as well.”
But as Davis well knows, trying to predict the future for a pair of highly touted seniors-to-be is an inexact science, to be sure.
“USC was here (Tuesday) morning and they were playing up Los Angeles and all the movie stars,” he said. “But you’re talking about 18-year-old kids; they change like the wind.”