In evaluating the upcoming Ohio senior class, we've found one thing that fans should be happy to hear -- Ohio is looking good at the offensive line position. Duane Long has said that there could be as many as 8-10 Big Ten-caliber offensive line prospects this year. One of those line prospects is Xenia's Ben Person, who Duane currently ranks as one of the top two linemen in the state.
Ben, a Student Sports Junior All-American, should be one of the most talked-about players in the Dayton area this year. We caught up with him recently to find out more about him and where he stands recruiting-wise.
Ben on his game:
"We like to run the ball. I like to run block and stuff like that, and I like blocking from the outside. We run a play called Jet where we run to the outside and the whole line will block from left to right and end to end and stuff like that. I enjoy blocking like that, but I also enjoy down-n-dirty or man on man or cross blocks or going to get a linebacker… it doesn’t really matter. I just like to run block."
His current measurements:
"I’m about 6-3 1/2 and I weigh 288. The last 40 time I ran was at the Ohio State camp and that was a 5.4, but I’ve been running a lot and working and everything, and I feel like I’m a lot faster than I was then."
Will guard be his position in college?
"Yeah probably, I’m not very tall for a tackle. I like to play tackle, but I think I’d be better off as a guard."
On schools interested:
"Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Nebraska, Virginia, Stanford, I got some letters from Miami (FL), UC; Penn State sent me a camp brochure; I went to Notre Dame for an unofficial visit; I went to Ohio State for an unofficial visit and Pittsburgh for an unofficial visit. I went to Ohio State and Michigan State camp." (No offers yet)
"Ohio State would be #1 and Pittsburgh would be #2."
Schools that Ben would like to hear from more:
"Penn State, Louisville, Purdue, and Michigan State… I’d like to stay within four hours of home."
Summer camp schedule:
"I’m going to go to Ohio State senior camp; I’ve already sent in my brochure for that. I’d like to Penn State, Pittsburgh, I’d like to go to Illinois, but it's a contact camp... maybe a few more."
In addition to staying close to home, some important factors in choosing a college are:
"If they have a good education program. I want to be a major in education. How much the football team’s a family is important to me because our football team is like a big family. I’d like to continue with that."
On some of the best players he's faced:
"Last year I played against A.J. Hawk and Kris Mick (South Carolina). This year I played against Marcus Freeman."
Away from the field:
"I play basketball and I enjoy doing that. I like to hang out with all my friends. We get together every weekend and watch football and watch basketball, have a lot of fun, go out to see a movie or to the mall."
Xenia's outlook for this year:
"We lost a few key players, but everybody’s working hard in the weight room… we’re looking very good; our backfield’s back, we have two great quarterbacks fighting for a spot. We’ll pass the ball more than we have in the past and we’ll run the ball for about 200 yards a game, maybe more than that, probably around about 250 tops. We’ll the run the ball and pass the ball more too to keep teams honest... I think we’ll be very strong and tough to keep up with. Our schedule’s tougher too."