Editor in Chief Lee Schear Publisher Dan Rubin
Managing Editor Steve Helwagen Asst. Editor & Webmaster Kirk Larrabee Director of Publications Eric Frantz Assistant Editor Dave Biddle Recruiting Analyst Bill Kurelic, Mark Porter
Staff Writers Gary Housteau, Jerry Rudzinski Photography
Nick Falzerano, Brian Swartz, John Ritter, Jim Davidson, Terry Gilliam, Stephanie Porter, Gary Housteau,
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Bucknuts is an independent source of news and features relating to Ohio State University sports. Bucknuts strives to report information based on fact, but assumes no responsability for any inaccuracies that may appear within the pages. Bucknuts is not authorized, sponsored or sanctioned by any university, athletic affiliation or athletic governing body. Subscriptions are available and may be purchased online at bucknuts.com. Single copy price is $9.95 each. c Copyright 2010, Bucknuts Media Network, LLC. 100 E. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402 All rights reserved. COVER PHOTO: Scott Grau (Pryor); Nick Falzerano (Miller)
Anticipation Building For Buckeyes In 2010
elcome to the 2010 Football Preview edition of Bucknuts The Magazine and Ohio High magazine! As you probably know, we have made some major changes in our magazine publishing schedule over the last couple of years. Because of soaring printing and mailing costs, we did away with five of the six planned printed magazines and made them available for online viewing. We committed to this printed preview edition. But, as a new wrinkle, we have merged our two football annuals into this one magazine. We think this will be an attractive package as we cover all of the angles for Ohio State football in Steve Helwagen 2010 and also preview the upcoming Ohio high school football season. We look forward to your feedback as we ponder the future of our magazine division. I am personally excited about this preview magazine. I want to thank our publishing staff of Eric Frantz and Kirk Larrabee for all of the work they did to put this issue together. We have a thorough look at Ohio State football for 2010. Plus, we also go in-depth and look at both sides of the ball and the special teams units. So much of what will happen this season will depend on the play of quarterback Terrelle Pryor. We take a look at what has made him special and how he got to this point. We also have a feature on senior defensive end Cameron Heyward, who passed up a chance to follow in his dad’s footsteps as an NFL player to stick around for one more year and lead the charge toward a possible national championship. Did somebody say national championship? Yes, the Buckeyes are viewed as championship contenders this season. We share our preseason top 25 and our Big Ten picks. Plus, our staff shares their thoughts on the upcoming season. We also update our Bucknuts 50 list of Ohio’s top 2011 prospects and also look ahead at 30 to watch for 2012. Bill Kurelic shares his two cents on remaining targets for the 2011 class. And, as promised, we take an in-depth look at Ohio high school football with capsules on all of the top schools in the state’s six divisions. We are excited to put all of this in one magazine for our devoted fans. In closing, if you haven’t been to www.bucknuts.com, you have not been to the best Ohio State fan web site yet. We invite you to go to www.bucknuts.com for the latest in OSU sports coverage. Steve Helwagen Bucknuts Managing Editor
2010 Season Overview
Glendale or Bust? Buckeyes know big things expected this fall
Plethora of playmakers could push OSU’s production in 2010
Ohio’s Toughest Job
9 Photo by Nick Falzerano
Pryor back for Year 3 under center
Buckeyes look to continue suffocating ways on defensive side of the ball
Heyward returns to OSU with big plans
Teams Overview 20 Special Goals same, faces almost entirely new
22 A look at Ohio State’s complete roster
2010 Roster/TV Schedule
12 Photo by Steve Helwagen
and the complete Big Ten TV schedule
Ohio State Stats 24 2009 A glance back at last year’s numbers Picks 25 Staff Here’s what the Bucknuts staffers think
Perfection 30 Predicting Steve Helwagen takes a look at Ohio State’s 15 schedule and how it will play out Top 25 33 National The Bucknuts National Poll; Who is No. 1? Bucknuts Top 50 36 The A look at the Top 50 high school prospects in
will happen and who will do it
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Ohio and where they are headed
Together 39 Coming Ohio State’s 2011 recruiting class isn’t complete yet, but it’s taking shape
Herbstreit Interview 40 Kirk The ESPN personality and Ohio State alumnus talks to Bucknuts
30 Photo by Nick Falzerano
Glendale Or Bust? Ohio State Football 2010 Preview
Buckeyes know big things expected in 2010
oming off a win over Oregon in the Rose Bowl, it was expected that Ohio State could be considered as a national championship contender in 2010. After all, OSU coach Jim Tressel – back for his 10th year at the helm – welcomes back as many as 17 returning starters from last year’s team that went 11-2 and won the Big Ten championship. Ever since that 26-17 win over Oregon, national pundits have consistently listed Ohio State as a top-five contender for 2010. A lot of those plaudits are based on the return of junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor, considered by some as a Heisman Trophy candidate this season. High expectations are nothing new for Tressel, whose Buckeyes won the national title in 2002 and played for the crown following the 2006 and 2007 seasons. “When (players) come here, they have the expectation that, 'Hey, we want to see if we can become the best team in the country,’ ” Tressel said. “And I'm not sure if it's simply because of what happened last year or the year before or the year before. That is our general expectation. “We want to see if we can match up with the best. This will be my 10th year, and it doesn't feel any different. I've always thought that we had capable talent.”
2010 OSU Football Schedule Sept. 2 Sept. 11 Sept. 18 Sept. 25 Oct. 2 Oct. 9 Oct. 16 Oct. 23 Oct. 30 Nov. 13 Nov. 20 Nov. 27
Marshall (7:30 p.m., BTN) Miami (Fla.) (3:40 p.m., ESPN) Ohio U. (noon, BTN) Eastern Michigan at Illinois Indiana at Wisconsin (7 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2) Purdue (homecoming) (noon, TV TBA) at Minnesota (8 p.m., ABC, ESPN or ESPN2) Penn State at Iowa Michigan
It has been a strong nine-year run for the 57year-old Tressel at Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won or shared six Big Ten championships and also captured the 2002 national title – OSU’s first in 34 years – on Tressel’s watch. OSU is currently riding a six-game winning streak over rival Michigan, which is now the school’s longest win streak in that series. Plus, the Buckeyes have won five straight Big Ten titles. The only Big Ten conference title winning streak longer than that was six straight championships won by coach Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes from 1972-77. “We are excited about 2010,” the coach said. “I know our guys are excited to get going and the expectations are high, like they always are here at Ohio State. “I feel good about the veteran core of our team. With our senior class, we have 25 guys who I think are very mature. Our junior class is very talented. A lot of them have played for a long time. Where we really need to grow is on that back half of that roster. We need those younger guys to really grow. You need that depth.” In the 12 years of the Bowl Championship Series, Ohio State remains the only Big Ten school that has played for the national title with three championship game appearances. The talk that this year could become the fourth such opportunity does not faze this team. “We've been through this so many times that we
By Steve Helwagen Head coach Jim Tressel enters his 10th season leading the Buckeyes.
Photo by Terry Gilliam
know where we want to be,” said senior wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher. “There's always talk about national championships and all this. Since I've been here, every team we've had is capable of winning a national championship.” The 2010 schedule sets up well for a national title run. The Buckeyes host Miami (Fla.) Sept. 11 in their biggest nonconference game. Key Big Ten games against Penn State and Michigan will be at home. Still, the Buckeyes must get past pivotal road games at Wisconsin and Iowa. Pryor has enjoyed two fine seasons as OSU’s starting quarterback. But he knows acutely that the Buckeyes must take each game individually to have a
year from him. It’s going to be his third year. We expect some good things. We know there will be some ups and some downs. We have to make sure the downs aren’t very low and we turn the ball over. If we can do that, we’ll have a good chance.” Wide receiver DeVier Posey, Pryor’s top target, said his close friend is ready to put it all together. “He’s definitely gotten a lot better,” Posey said. “For me as a receiver, I am getting used to catching his passes right out of breaks. It’s a lot different than last year where I was coming out of breaks and not necessarily waiting on the ball. But our timing has gotten a lot better now. I think it’s us as receivers getting used to the ball being on you. “He’s gotten a lot better and you can definitely see the improvements.” * 2. How will the Buckeyes use their plethora of talented running backs? Senior Brandon Saine * Last Year: 11-2 overall; 7-1 Big Ten (first); defeated Oregon emerged last year as a runner and pass catching threat 26-17 in Rose Bowl out of the backfield. Meanwhile, junior Boom Herron remained a steady force as well as his backup. Those * Coach: Jim Tressel (10th year at OSU, 94-21; 25th year two still figure to get most of the work at tailback in overall, 229-78-2) 2010. But the Buckeyes have a handful of young stars * Starters Returning: Offense, 9; defense, 7; specialists, 1 ready to take their shot, including sophomore Jordan * All-Time Record (Years): 819-308-53 (120 years) Hall, redshirt freshman Jaamal Berry and incoming * All-Time Big Ten Record (Years): 454-165-24 (95 years) freshmen Carlos Hyde and Roderick Smith. There is still only one football, but running backs * Number of Big Ten Championships: 34, last won in 2009 coach Dick Tressel believes the push to get on the field * All-Time Bowl Record: 19-22 will make all of his tailbacks step up their game. “They have to embrace the competition,” said Tres* Number of National Championships: 7 (5 consensus titles: sel, who is in his seventh year as a full-time assistant 1942, 1954, 1957, 1968, 2002; 2 splinter titles: 1961, 1970) on his brother’s staff. “That has to be part of their personality or they wouldn’t have signed on to be a Buck* Consensus All-Americans: 78 eye. When you decide to be a Buckeye, you’re saying, * First-Team All-Big Ten Picks: 347 ‘Hey, I want to compete with the best and against the * Stadium Information: Ohio Stadium (Built: 1921; surface: best.’ I’m hoping this (competition) will answer the hopes and dreams they have. FieldTurf; capacity, 102,329; largest crowd, 105,711, vs. “The competition will push you to a higher level. I Penn State, 2008; OSU record at Ohio Stadium, 380-105-20) haven’t seen any frustration. They can all do it all. It’s a luxury to have this many guys who can play.” * 3. Who fills the third and fourth wide receiver chance at a championship this season. spots? Posey and Sanzenbacher have a death grip on the starting wide re“We just want to take it one game at a time,” Pryor said. “Anybody can get ceiver spots. But the picture gets pretty murky when looking at who may fill the knocked off. We got knocked off last year by a team that we should have beat. third and fourth receiver positions. OSU lost sophomore-to-be Duron Carter in But those things happen. They came out ready to play and they took it to us. I June when he transferred to Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College due to acathink we could come out maybe second in the country. But we need to act like demic concerns. we’re not in the rankings. We should take it that way. Next in line would be lightly used senior Taurian Washington, who did not “If we take it one game at a time and we have a love for each other, we can catch a pass last season. take care of business.” “Taurian would be our No. 3 guy right now,” said wide receivers coach DarOver the last five years, Ohio State has boasted a top-15 defense each of rell Hazell. “We’ll have to see when Duron gets back where he is. I think it is those years. Defensive end Cameron Heyward, a preseason All-American, still a wide open position, that No. 3 spot.” passed up a chance at the NFL to come back and anchor that side of the ball. Washington has been a springtime star the last few years. But he knows he He is among seven starters back on defense. must become a consistent receiving threat to help the team this fall. “We play defense at Ohio State,” said senior cornerback Chimdi Chekwa. “I just need to catch everything that comes my way when I get a chance,” “That’s what we do. When you step on the field, you know we’re going to play Washington said. “I just have to keep getting better and working hard and playgreat defense. We have to get back to the fundamentals and learning the ing fast.” plays. We want to be even more confident this year. We have to go out there Behind Washington are senior Grant Schwartz and redshirt freshmen Chris and grind it out this season.” Fields and James Jackson. OSU also welcomed in a strong incoming freshAs we count down the days to the season opener against Marshall on Sept. man class with Corey Brown, James Louis and Tyrone Williams all in the fold. 2, we will examine some of the key questions as we look toward the fall and “I think this is the best class we have had coming in since I’ve been here,” the 2010 Ohio State football season. he said. “You have a 6-7 guy with great athletic ability in Williams. He goes up and catches the ball. He has good quickness to get off the ball. He plays out* 1. How big a year will this be for Terrelle Pryor? Pryor wrapped up his side his body. He’s a pretty special guy. sophomore year with an MVP performance in the Rose Bowl. That win made “Then you have James Louis coming out of Florida. He’s explosive with a him a sparkling 19-3 as a starter for the Buckeyes. He underwent arthroscopic 38-inch vertical jump. He catches it and makes people miss. He plays special knee surgery in February, but showed no ill effects from that injury in the teams. He’s an exciting guy to watch. Then you have Corey Brown, who is just spring. an electrifying guy out of Pennsylvania. I am excited about these three guys.” This is the year Pryor and the Buckeyes have been building toward and all * 4. Will the Buckeyes fully utilize Jake Stoneburner at tight end this eyes will be on the star quarterback to see if he and they can take the next season? You have to go back to Ben Hartsock in 2002-03 to find a time when step. the tight end was an integral part of the Ohio State offense. But the Buckeyes “You have to attack every year like it is the year,” said OSU quarterbacks may have a true playmaking threat in Stoneburner, a converted wide receiver coach Nick Siciliano. “You have your level of expectations. We expect a great who could be a mismatch for opposing linebackers and safeties.
OSU Football Data
Buckeye fans, coaches and teammates are expecting big things out of junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
“He has transitioned from outside the box to inside the box,” Peterson said. “He’s improved his skills as a blocker and taking his receiver skills and implementing them in the tight end role.” Stoneburner said the evolution of the offense will help the tight ends make more of an impact. “It’s a combination of things,” he said. “The offensive line is getting better – they don’t need us as much in protection. Terrelle is improving. He’s making his reads. They have confidence in me to make catches in traffic and get the ball up the field. That should help us putthe tight end out there and catch a lot of balls. “Last year was important for me. I needed to get my feet wet and experience some big games. I was out there a lot against Michigan. This year will not be a shock when I am out there. I think Terrelle likes to throw it to me because he knows I will catch it.” * 5. Can OSU’s veteran offensive line control the line of scrimmage and create creases for Pryor to exploit? The Buckeyes will start two seniors and three juniors on the offensive line. The group is led by senior Justin Boren at left guard, senior Bryant Browning at right guard and junior Michael Brewster at center. Injuries and illness led to some inconsistency with the offensive line last year as the Buckeyes started six different combinations in 13 games. “We’ve got seven guys who have some experience, plus a couple of guys who have redshirted who could also be a factor,” said offensive coordinator/line coach Jim Bollman said. “We want to get them ready to go. If we have eight or nine guys going into the fall that we think could contribute, that would be pretty good. “It’s always a luxury when you have the same three guys back (in the middle) that played a lot of games last year. Justin missed one game (New Mexico State) and Michael and Bryant Browning were in there for every game. So, just knowledge-wise, experience, knowing each other, it’s really a luxury for us. It also helps the tackles when the guys inside of them are pretty good knowledge-wise and can help.” The tackle positions were the big question in the spring. Junior J.B. Shugarts seems solid at right tackle, though, and junior Mike Adams had the inside track at left tackle. “He’s doing good,” Bollman said of Adams. “He had a good winter and has really worked at getting strong, which will be a direct correlation for him in terms of how much he improves. You can see that it is. At least I think so, so far.” * 6. Will Cameron Heyward play like an All-American and who will help him at defensive end? Heyward passed up a chance to head on to the NFL to come back and finish his college career with the Buckeyes. He will try and build on a junior season where he led the team with 6-1/2 sacks. “He can be an outstanding player,” said OSU defensive coordinator/line coach Jim Heacock. “We've had different types of players, Will Smith, who was a great player, and some guys that could come off the edge that were great players. Cameron is a very physical player. His strength comes from dominating the man across from him and playing a physical brand of football and getting a push on the pocket. From that standpoint, he's pretty good.” OSU lost starting end Thaddeus Gibson early to the NFL. Junior Nathan Williams was the front runner to replace him with junior Solomon Thomas and redshirt freshman Melvin Fellows also in the running. “Nate Williams is another guy who's been getting a lot of reps,” Heacock said. “He's backed up Thaddeus Gibson for two years now. He didn't start, but he's gotten an awful lot of reps and made a lot of plays for us, so he's a guy who's got to step up as a starter-type guy.” OSU is also looking for sophomore John Simon to emerge and fill an opening next to senior Dexter Larimore at defensive tackle. “Simon is a guy who proved his worth last year, and played a lot of reps for us, got a lot of downs, made some big plays, made some good strides, had a good bowl game,” Heacock said. “So he's a guy we're counting on to go in there and play in the fall.” * 7. What will linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle do as encores after a big 2009 season? Homan will be back for his third season as a starter, while Rolle enjoyed a breakout year in his first season as the starter at middle linebacker. They were OSU’s top two tacklers in 2009 and could each be captain candidates this year. “I don’t know what the stats are or anything like that, but we have to expect more,” linebackers coach Luke Fickell said. “That’s kind of what we always try to do is to push them. That’s the great thing about playing here because you always have someone you can compare yourself to. The legends grow as they
get older. “Ross is a great inspiration. He’s not a big vocal guy at times. You play your role and you push him to be more of a leader. Brian is an emotional kid. He and Ross kind of play off of each other – one is a real emotional kid and one’s not. He has such a high motor.” While Homan is a quiet guy, Rolle has become a vocal leader. “Brian is an emotional kid,” Fickell said. “He and Ross kind of play off of each other – one is a real emotional kid and one’s not. He has such a high motor.”
he learned he will be full-go for the start of preseason camp. Moeller could be in the mix – along with sophomore Orhian Johnson and junior Nate Oliver – to fill either a safety spot or the nickel back spot. (Senior Jermale Hines, the nickel back much of last year, has one safety spot locked up.) “I feel really good,” Moeller said. “I feel like I am getting back to where I was physically a year ago. I am getting all of the kinks and the rustiness out. My head feels great. I can do anything now but hit. I feel good physically.” Safeties coach Paul Haynes talked about what he was looking for from that competition. “You can throw anybody out there to play the deep third (of the field), but we’re looking for somebody who can make plays,” Haynes said. “To find somebody for the Star (nickel back), you just look for a guy who was physical and a little bit more athOhio State Offense Ohio State Defense letic. Maybe he is the third or fourth safety who you DE 43 Nathan Williams (6-3, 260, Jr.) QB 2 Terrelle Pryor* (6-6, 233, Jr.) think is ready to play and you look for a spot for him.” 98 Solomon Thomas (6-5, 226, Jr.) 14 Joe Bauserman (6-1, 233, Jr.) The cornerback jobs were in fine hands with a 97 Cameron Heyward* (6-5, 288, Sr.) or 13 Kenny Guiton (6-2, 190, R-Fr.) DE pair of seniors in Chekwa and Devon Torrence. 91 Melvin Fellows (6-5, 249, R-Fr.) FB 44 Zach Boren* (6-0, 252, So.) * 10. Will Ohio State continue to have stellar DT 72 Dexter Larimore* (6-2, 310, Sr.) 49 Adam Homan (6-2, 238, So.) special teams? OSU’s special teams are generally an area of pride for the detail-oriented Tressel. But 53 Garrett Goebel (6-3, 281, So.) 37 James Georgiades (5-11, 240, So.) the Buckeyes were anything but special in the Rose DT 54 John Simon (6-2, 270, So.) TB 3 Brandon Saine* (6-1, 219, Sr.) Bowl as they surrendered several long returns to 93 Adam Bellamy (6-4, 295, R-Fr.) 1 Dan Herron (5-10, 202, Jr.) Oregon. Sophomore Ben Buchanan looks like he is ready WLB 51 Ross Homan* (6-0, 227, Sr.) 7 Jordan Hall (5-9, 195, So.) to replace Jon Thoma at punter. Buchanan, senior 11 Dorian Bell (6-1, 225, R-Fr.) TE 11 Jake Stoneburner (6-5, 245, So.) walk-on Devin Barclay and incoming freshman MLB 36 Brian Rolle* (5-11, 218, Sr.) 88 Reid Fragel (6-8, 260, So.) Drew Basil will battle at kicker. Barclay relieved in32 Storm Klein (6-2, 230, So.) WR 12 Dane Sanzenbacher* (5-11, 180, Sr.) jured starter Aaron Pettrey late last season and hit the game-winning field goal that sent OSU to the 39 Jordan Whiting (6-1, 238, R-Fr.) 80 Chris Fields (6-0, 185, R-Fr.) Rose Bowl. SLB 6 Etienne Sabino (6-3, 240, Jr.) WR 8 DeVier Posey* (6-2, 213, Jr.) The Buckeyes also want to find replacements for 42 Andrew Sweat (6-2, 238, Jr.) 5 Taurian Washington (6-1, 181, Sr.) Ray Small at punt returner and Lamaar Thomas in the kick return game. 55 Jon Newsome (6-3, 219, So.) 17 Grant Schwartz (6-0, 210, Sr.) * Bonus Question 11. Will Ohio State be a true CB 5 Chimdi Chekwa* (6-0, 190, Sr.) LT 75 Mike Adams (6-8, 300, Jr.) Big Ten or national championship contender? 18 Travis Howard (6-0, 190, So.) 55 Andrew Miller (6-6, 288, Sr.) This is the question, we know, that ultimately mat3 Corey Brown (6-0, 189, R-Fr.) LG 65 Justin Boren* (6-3, 320, Sr.) ters to you the most. Ohio State has been on quite a roll these last eight years with seven national topCB 10 Devon Torrence* (6-1, 200, Sr.) 77 Connor Smith (6-4, 313, Sr.) 10 finishes and six Big Ten titles, including the last 30 Donnie Evege (5-11, 180, Jr.) C 50 Mike Brewster* (6-5, 293, Jr.) five years. 28 Dominic Clarke (5-10, 191, R-Fr.) 74 Jack Mewhort (6-6, 288, R-Fr.) The Buckeyes have strung together five straight FS 7 Jermale Hines* (6-1, 216, Sr.) RG 70 Bryant Browning* (6-4, 313, Sr.) 10-win seasons as well as five straight BCS bowl berths. 20 Nate Oliver (6-0, 215, Jr.) 71 Corey Linsley (6-2, 298, R-Fr.) Getting back to the BCS national championship 4 C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, So.) RT 76 J.B. Shugarts* (6-7, 297, Jr.) game – set for Jan. 10, 2011, at Glendale, Ariz. – SS 19 Orhian Johnson (6-2, 203, So.) 79 Marcus Hall (6-5, 321, So.) will be the biggest goal for the Buckeyes. Anything less would probably be considered a disappoint26 Tyler Moeller (6-0, 210, Sr.) K 23 Devin Barclay* (5-10, 204, Sr.) ment. 16 Zach Domicone (6-3, 211, So.) 17 Ben Buchanan (6-0, 195, So.) “When you're in Columbus, Ohio, everybody's exP 17 Ben Buchanan (6-0, 195, So.) 24 Drew Basil (6-1, 200, Fr.) pecting you to win a championship,” Sanzenbacher 39 Derek Erwin (5-10, 203, So.) LS 96 Jake McQuaide (6-3, 234, Sr.) said. “It comes with the territory, and it's something we expect. Win or lose in the bowl game, you're alReturning starters designated with asterisk ways going to come back and hear, 'OK, this is our year.’ But we know it's just actually doing it when the season comes.” * 8. Who will fill the vacant outside linebacker spot? With Austin Spitler’s Ohio State snapped a three-bowl losing streak with its win over Oregon in graduation, the wideside linebacker spot was open. Fickell expected a compethe Rose Bowl. That win gave the Buckeyes a full off-season of good will – tition between juniors Etienne Sabino and Andrew Sweat this spring, but and sky-high expectations for 2010. Sweat missed the spring with a knee injury. “You almost feel less pressure with a (bowl) loss, because you're so pissed Sabino held that job most of the spring, but Fickell said Sweat will be a facoff during the off-season," Heyward said. "But coming off a win, it's like you tor in fall camp. can't believe the hype. Coming off a win, everybody expects so much more out “We miss him just from the standpoint of moving him around to different of us. spots,” Fickell said of Sweat. “He will definitely be in the mix (in the fall). He “And we have to live up to those expectations.” could play any of the three spots.” The fun will all begin Sept. 2, when OSU welcomes in Marshall for the sea* 9. What impact will Tyler Moeller make as he returns from his head inson opener. jury? Moeller missed the 2009 after suffering a serious head injury in an offUntil then, just keep pondering the answers to these questions. And stay tuned to Bucknuts.com for complete coverage of the summer camp scene as the-field incident just prior to the start of preseason camp. He could qualify for well as OSU’s preseason camp, which opens Aug. 6. — BN a sixth year of eligibility in 2011. He already got good news this summer when
2010 Ohio State Depth Chart
Waiting To Explode
By Steve Helwagen
2010 OSU Offensive Preview
Plethora of playmakers could help push OSU’s production in 2010
he words “Ohio State” and “offensive explosion” have largely been mutually exclusive since Jim Tressel’s arrival as the OSU head coach in 2001. Only twice in Tressel’s first nine years at the helm – and as the team’s de facto offensive coordinator – have the Buckeyes finished the season in the top half of Division I in the total offense rankings. Those two years were in 2005, when quarterback Troy Smith was coming into his own, and in 2006, when Smith’s play for the suddenly high powered Buckeyes led him all the way to the Heisman Trophy. In that 2006 season, the Buckeyes reached the high water mark – at least offensively – in the Tres-
tionally) per game. It was uneven 2009 season for the Buckeyes offensively, to say the least. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor spent the first half of his season piloting a spread offense. But after everything went haywire with five turnovers in an unthinkable 26-18 loss at Purdue, the coaching staff pared down the offense and went with the running game. The Buckeyes averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground during its 5-0 finish. The Rose Bowl proved to be a third – and very fulfilling – chapter to the story on the offense in 2009. Pryor completed 23 of 37 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 72 yards on 20 carries in locking up game MVP honors following the 26-17 win over
Block O The Ohio State offensive line should be one of the better units in recent memory. Senior Justin Boren is back for his second year as a starter, while senior Bryant Browning and junior Michael Brewster (right) are back for their third seasons as starters. Browning and Brewster have combined for 49 starts. Juniors J.B. Shugarts (started 10 of the last 11 games last year) and junior Mike Adams will round out the starting five. sel era. That season, the Buckeyes ended up eighth nationally in scoring (34.6 points per game) and 26th in total offense (384.5 yards per game). OSU ended up 12-1 that year, the lone loss coming to Florida in the national championship game. Of course, offensive production is not the only thing a team needs to compete for a national championship. The Buckeyes won one in 2002 with modest offensive production. That year, OSU was 41st nationally in scoring (29.3 ppg) and 70th in total offense (364.5 ypg). Returning to that championship game is OSU’s top goal for 2010, and it could only help to have an offense that should light up the scoreboard. The Buckeyes have nine starters returning from last year’s 11-2 season, where OSU averaged 29.0 points (49th nationally) and 369.0 yards (68th na-
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Oregon. That performance led many to assume that OSU’s 2010 offense would resemble what worked well in the Rose Bowl. In addition to doing much of the damage, Pryor succeeded in distributing the ball to tailback Brandon Saine and wideouts DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. All three of them return in 2010. “If we show progress along those lines, certainly that would be a logical way for us to head in," said OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman. "Plus, you have the weapon of him being able to run, should we choose to do those kinds of things. But for him in the realm of the passing game, that's got to be a full team deal. Our protection has got to improve. His own performance has to be more consistent. We've got to get more of those outs going to the
tight ends and the running backs. During the spring, wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell talked about how the Buckeyes want to start the 2010 season where they wrapped up 2009. “We wanted a continuation of where we finished at the bowl,” Hazell said. “We wanted to come out fast, we wanted to come out throwing it and we wanted to be accurate. That was our mind-set of where we started spring football. I think we’ve been able to do that. That’s a huge step. It’s always been, ‘OK, let’s put this in nice and slow.’ We weren’t going to take that approach. We wanted to frontload it and put it all in and see how much they could handle it.” Sanzenbacher, back for his senior season, said the change in mind-set has been evident. “I think it’s something I have definitely noticed,” Sanzenbacher said. “Even our first meeting, usually it’s baby steps in the beginning because we have some new guys coming in for the spring and we have to start from square one. I feel like we kind of installed everything and said, ‘All right, let’s get better from here.’ “Instead of going back and re-teaching everything, everybody is just expected to know where they’re supposed to be by now.” Sanzenbacher was asked if this up-tempo approach will translate to a more wide open offense in 2010. “It was nice to get that Rose Bowl win,” Sanzenbacher said. “We opened it up offensively, but I don’t know any more than you guys. We’ll see if that’s the direction we go. You all know Coach Tressel. He always stresses the run game.” Hazell said some of the new wrinkles involve using the running backs and tight ends as receiving threats. “From the outside perspective, our running backs don’t (catch a lot of passes),” Hazell said. “But now, we are detaching those guys and giving them different looks and coverages. We’re getting them to sit down in zones and run against man coverage. Those guys are starting to understand what we want them to do. “We have the ability to take guys out of the backfield and put them in the slot. And we can take tight ends and detach them from the formation and create mismatches. That’s going to help us.” Hazell said by splitting out tight ends and running backs, the offense is able to get mismatches. That would not be the case if the Buckeyes tried to run a third or fourth wide receiver onto the field for a passing down. “The problem is you get defenses that try and substitute personnel,” he said. “But if you have a guy in your base personnel who can play outside and they can’t get their nickel or dime backs in against them, that’s how you get mismatches.”
Ohio State returns nine starters from last year’s offensive unit.
Photo by Scott Grau
A lot of the progress can be attributed to Pryor’s continued development, Hazell said. “You can see how calm he is right now as opposed to where he started at last year,” he said. “He is so much more relaxed and so much more in command of the guys around him. He is making the throws now that he needs to make. “The thing I see him doing much better now than he was doing last year is he is finding his checkdown receiver. He’s standing tall in the pocket. His feet aren’t antsy. And he’s just dropping it off. His throwing motion is much more smooth. “It’s fun to watch. He’ll make a play and get excited. Then he’ll calm himself down and get the guys going. You can see that he has matured.” Even though he was pushed into the starting role four games into his freshman year in 2008, Pryor’s maturation and development has been a slow process. “We pass the ball a lot now,” he said. “It’s all as you grow. I remember back when Troy (Smith) started off and he was handing it off. But as he got older, it expanded any more. After you start getting some respect – which you have to earn –
and make great decisions, you can toss the ball up.”
Pryor Takes Leadership Role
Some are regarding Pryor, 19-3 in two seasons as the OSU starter, as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Indeed, if his run-pass style can lead Ohio State to a huge 2010 season, then Pryor could be a candidate to be in New York in December. But it is still a long way to get to that point. Tressel, in the meantime, is hoping his prized pupil just continues to develop and take coaching. “This is the second half of Terrelle’s career,” Tressel said. “We’ve talked a lot about that. In fact, going into the Rose Bowl we talked with him and said he was one day from the second half of his career. I think he took good advantage of the last day of his first half. “Terrelle trains like crazy and he loves the game. Troy (Smith) has been a great mentor to Terrelle and keeping him on page with how he is thinking. Nick Siciliano does a great job with him mechanically and Jim Bollman does a good job with design. I look for great things from Terrelle. He has a good
supporting cast. He will only be as good as the guys in front of him.” After throwing just four interceptions as a freshman in 2008, that total ballooned to 11 last year. Pryor knows ball security and avoiding costly picks will be important for him. “It’s all about decisionmaking,” Pryor said. “I think I am making a lot better decisions. The game has really slowed down. When you first get here, you wonder ‘Is this ever going to slow down for me and be easy like high school?’ But it has really slowed down for me. “As a quarterback, we’re taught by Coach Tress and we talk a lot about being a leader. I try to lead whether I am the youngest on the team or not.” Pryor will be backed up by junior Joe Bauserman, redshirt freshman Kenny Guiton and incoming freshman Taylor Graham. Guiton, in particular, was impressive in the spring.
Saine Leads Talented Tailback Group
Saine (739 yards, four touchdowns last year) returns for his senior year and figures to start at tailback. But junior Boom Herron (600 yards, seven
touchdowns) is also in the picture. They will be joined in the tailback rotation by sophomore Jordan Hall, redshirt freshman Jaamal Berry and incoming freshmen Carlos Hyde and Roderick Smith. Saine said the stockpile of tailbacks will only push him this fall. “There is a lot of competition and everybody is having fun,” Saine said. “I think it’s more than just me and Boom. We have a lot of great tailbacks in the backfield. I think that makes us a lot better. There is always one person there to back up the other one. “We just want to see the team do good. The yards and carries will come. The wins are the biggest thing. Hopefully we can be on the field at the same time a little bit more.” Herron has been a steady back the last couple of years. He said he will accept his role. “Of course you would like to get a lot of carries, but it’s also good to have a fresh guy in there,” said Herron, who has added 10 pounds of muscle since a year ago. “Brandon and I work well together splitting the carries. The coaches will get us our carries, but I think it’s a pretty good thing. “I have a lot of young guys behind me, but I have to be a leader like always.” Hall was considered a primary redshirt candidate last fall as a true freshman. But when Saine and Herron each dealt with injuries and fellow freshman Berry was also sidelined, the coaches turned to Hall to provide depth. He ended up fourth on the team with 248 yards and one touchdown on 48 carries (5.2 average). “Jordan Hall is a ball player,” said running backs coach Dick Tressel. “He’ll return the kickoff, he’ll make the block, he’ll make the quick cut and he’ll make the tough play.” Berry was a prep phenom in Florida, while Hyde and Smith – each pushing 220 pounds – bring the big back component. At fullback, OSU has sophomores Zach Boren and Adam Homan and walk-on James Georgiades. “We have those three guys – James, Adam and Zach – who all had a chance to play that position last year and they played it pretty darn well,” Dick Tressel said. “Each one of them is getting better and better. They are going to be hard to keep off the field. “We have all the pieces we need to work a twoback set-up. We’ll have our times that we work that and our times that we also work our one-back stuff.”
Posey, Sanzenbacher Back At Receiver
Posey, now a junior, enjoyed a huge breakout season in 2009 with 60 catches for 828 yards and eight touchdowns. Sanzenbacher, a senior, added 36 catches for 570 yards and six scores. “Those two are going to have great years for us,” Hazell said. “Dane has been a rock for us in the meeting room and on the field. He has been very consistent. DeVier has made a ton of plays for us. They have been teaching those young guys pretty well. We have a young group and hopefully we can continue to get better.” Posey talked about being looked at as a team leader. “It’s weird that we’re growing up,” he said. “Our priorities are different. We’re expected to be the seasoned veterans now. It’s funny how your role
changes over just a winter. It’s a good transition, though. You want to be a leader in a great program like this. “For me, individually, I want to go from being a good receiver to being a great receiver. I set the bar high. I don’t like settling for anything less than that. I want to be perfect every day with no missed assignments and no dropped balls.”
“There is a lot of competition and everybody is having fun. I think it’s more than just me and Boom. We have a lot of great tailbacks in the backfield. I think that makes us a lot better.” Senior RB Brandon Saine Posey’s average of 4.6 catches per game was the most by any OSU receiver since David Boston averaged 6.5 catches per game in 1998. That takes in a period of pretty good receivers including Michael Jenkins, Chris Gamble, Santonio Holmes, Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez, Robiskie and Hartline. “He has a lot of characteristics of a lot of guys,” Hazell said of Posey. “He has the explosiveness of a Santonio Holmes. He almost has the top-end speed of a Teddy Ginn. He’s got wiggle like Gonzo had in the slot. It’s pretty fun to watch.” Sanzenbacher carved out a niche as a possession receiver. He said he has worked hard to improve his strength. That was shown in the spring game as he had four catches for 61 yards and a touchdown. On one play, he carried defenders with him to get a first down. “For me, it’s always been the little things,” Sanzenbacher said. “I want to become more crisp with my routes and get more yards after the catch. After you watch film from last year, that was one thing I wanted to improve on. I want to get more yards after the catch instead of just going down.” Duron Carter has transferred to Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College due to academic difficulties. That paves the way for senior Taurian Washington to be the third receiver, although Washington did not catch a pass last year. Redshirt freshmen James Jackson and Chris Fields are also in the mix. Promising incoming freshmen James Louis, Corey Brown and Tyrone Williams could also add depth. Williams is an intriguing 6-7 target.
Big Plans For Tight End Stoneburner
The tight end position has been largely a glorified sixth offensive lineman at OSU over the past six seasons. But that could change in 2010 when sophomore Jake Stoneburner takes over as the starter. The 6-5, 245-pound Stoneburner could create mismatches for opposing defenses and could, ultimately, emerge as OSU’s No. 3 pass catcher behind Posey and Sanzenbacher. “He’s very strong for a receiver,” said OSU tight ends coach John Peterson. “He’s one of the most explosive guys on our team. Jake has improved
along with everyone else up front.” Some believe Stoneburner’s emergence could be the missing component that puts the OSU offense over the top in 2010. “The improvement that the offensive line has made has allowed the quarterbacks time to evolve in the passing game,” Peterson said. “That has allowed the tight ends to be involved. As long as we keep getting better up front in terms of protection and the quarterbacks are getting better as they get reps and get older and they see the big picture, you can see some more things happening with the tight ends.” Sophs Reid Fragel and Nic DiLillo will provide support at tight end.
Veteran Line Could Pay Big Dividends
The 2010 offensive line could be one of OSU’s best in recent memory. The Buckeyes figure to open the season with two seniors and three juniors in the starting lineup. Senior Justin Boren, who began his college career at rival Michigan, is back for his second year as an OSU starter at left guard. Senior Bryant Browning and junior Michael Brewster return for their third season as starters at OSU at right guard and center, respectively. “I think we're a lot more mature,” said Boren, who was an All-Big Ten pick last year. “I think guys understand what's going on a little bit more. I think we're a stronger unit both on the field and off the field. We have to keep working hard and we could be pretty good.” Browning has started all 26 games for OSU the last two years. He started 13 games at right tackle in 2008 and 13 games at right guard last year. This massive lineman is also an outstanding student. He has the versatility to possibly play any of the guard or tackle spots. He has worked hard to make himself stronger and faster and is a player with a good bit of potential. “Whenever you become a senior, everybody feels you need to step it up and be a leader,” Browning said. “The older guys have taught you what you need to do. You try to play your role the best you can. If you’re voted as a captain, you’re happy and you do the best you can. If you’re not, you still have to play your role. “It’s your last go around. You don’t want to have a bad season your senior year. You do everything you can to be a leader and teach the young players what they need to do.” Brewster could emerge as one of college football’s top centers this season. Bollman is excited about his development. “He has started 23 games with two years still to go,” Bollman said. “That will be invaluable experience to him. It’s the personal side of it now. He just needs to keep getting stronger. As he does that, it will directly relate to his success.” Junior J.B. Shugarts started 10 of the last 11 games in 2009 and is entrenched at right tackle. Junior Mike Adams started four games at left tackle at midseason last year before going down with a knee injury. He seems to be the leading candidate at left tackle, pulling ahead of senior Andy Miller and sophomore Marcus Hall in the spring. Miller and Hall join senior Connor Smith, redshirt freshmen Corey Linsley, Sam Longo and Jack Mewhort and incoming freshman Andrew Norwell in providing support. — BN
Last season Pryor led the Buckeyes to their second straight Big Ten title as a starter. He also led the team in rushing.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Tackling Ohio’s Toughest Job
By Steve Helwagen
Junior QB Pryor looks to lead Buckeyes to National Championship and another Big Ten title
hen you have an entire football crazy state of 12 million people hanging on your every move, well, that can be a lot for a 20-year-old kid to handle. But Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, ready to start his third year as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback, takes it all in stride. “Coach Tressel always tells me it’s the hardest job in Ohio,” Pryor said. “I believe it. I’ve had some pressure from the fans, but the way I look at it what’s life without pressure? If you don’t have pressure, there’s nothing to look forward to.” With Pryor leading the way, the Buckeyes are projected as a preseason topfive team and a national championship contender for 2010. A lot of those hopes and high expectations came about after the way Pryor put together an MVP performance in OSU’s Rose Bowl win over Oregon. Although Pryor was considered the nation’s top high school quarterback prospect out of Jeannette, Pa., in 2008, it has not been an easy road to the top for him. There have been some bumps along the way, including deflating home losses to Penn State in 2008 and USC in 2009 and a tough upset defeat at Purdue last year. “I’m so impatient that I want to get everything right right away,” Pryor said. “That’s not how it goes all the time.” But those are the only three losses Pryor has suffered in 22 games as OSU’s starter. The 6-6, 233-pound Pryor can rely on all of that experience as he embarks on what he hopes is a big junior year. “I think he’s a little more relaxed,” OSU coach Jim Tressel said. “He is no less passionate, but I think he is a little more relaxed about what he sees and how he goes about things. He’s never going to stop being a tremendous competitor and I don’t want him to. If he throws 1,000 balls, some of those are going to be incomplete. He needs to take those in stride. But he seems to have a little more confidence than he had a year ago at this time. “This is the second half of Terrelle’s career. We’ve talked a lot about that. In fact, going into the Rose Bowl we talked with him and said he was one day from the second half of his career. I think he took good advantage of the last day of his first half. “Terrelle trains like crazy and he loves the game. Troy (Smith) has been a great mentor to Terrelle and keeping him on page with how he is thinking. (Quarterbacks coach) Nick Siciliano does a great job with him mechanically and Jim Bollman does a good job with design. I look for great things from Terrelle. He has a good supporting cast. He will only be as good as the guys in front of him.” Being the quarterback at a place like Ohio State is a double-edged sword. If the team does not do well, fans look to the quarterback for answers. Pryor accepts that he must be accountable. But the acclaim he got after the Rose Bowl win showed him that he would rather share the spotlight with his teammates. “I’d like my teammates to get as much credit as I do,” he said. “Being a quarterback is a different job. They look at you differently. That’s something you
have to accept. I just want to be the best leader I can be. “I’ll do anything for my teammates and when things go hard I want them to look up to me and look into my eyes because I’m going to be ready to fight.” Wide receiver DeVier Posey was asked how Pryor will respond to greater expectations in his third year as a starter. “We expect that kid to do great things anyway,” he said. “We’re his teammates and we see him every day. The things he does are really great things. No one is a harder critic on himself than Terrelle. He gets made at himself when he doesn’t make great throws. He wants to be great.”
A Quick Learner
Pryor arrived amid much fanfare in the summer of 2008 after ranking as the nation’s No. 1 quarterback prospect out of Jeannette, Pa. He supplanted thensenior Todd Boeckman as OSU’s starting quarterback after a lopsided Week 3 loss at USC. He started the last nine games of the 2008 regular season at quarterback and also started the Fiesta Bowl against Texas lined up at wide receiver with Boeckman at quarterback. Pryor was 8-1 as the starting quarterback. He helped OSU win a share of the Big Ten title and was named as the conference’s freshman of the year. He also led the league in passing efficiency. For the year, he completed 60.6 percent of his passes (100 of 165) for 1,311 yards with 12 touchdowns against four interceptions. He was also second on the team in rushing with 631 yards and six touchdowns on 139 carries (4.5 average). Last year, Pryor led the Buckeyes to an 11-2 finish, giving him his second Big Ten championship as a starter at OSU. He completed 167 of 295 passes (56.6 percent) for 2,094 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Pryor also led OSU in rushing Pryor is 19-3 in with 779 yards and seven touchdowns on 22 starts. His 162 carries (4.8 average). only losses are He rebounded from a rough performance in a midseason loss to Purdue to lead OSU to USC, Penn to five wins to end the regular season. Pryor St. and Purdue reflected on the turbulent 2009 season, where he even endured a referendum on whether he should be OSU’s quarterback or, perhaps, a wide receiver. "Last year, I think the main thing was the interceptions,” Pryor said. “People wondered, 'Can he play quarterback,' and 'Is he a receiver?' Come on. We know what I can try to do for this team and I can play quarterback. We just want to be great. It has nothing to do with me. I'm just going to keep on getting better and better." The capper was an MVP performance in the Rose Bowl as the Buckeyes downed heavily favored Oregon 26-17. In that game, Pryor was 23 of 37 passing for 266 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also had 72 yards on 20 carries. He played in the game on an injured left knee. “I just thank God I got through and I could play and I could lead the guys,” Pryor said. “You have to be tough and play through anything. It was difficult, but we got through it.” Tressel added, “Any time you end the season well, I think it helps. I think he learned a lot in ’09 and in that bowl preparation. Then, he got to experience a fun moment at the bowl. “People like to use, ‘Did the switch go on?’ or ‘Did the light go on?’ I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that. But is the light getting brighter? Yeah, you can see that. Did it take an extra step of brightness through the bowl preparation and bowl performance? Yeah, but it’s got to keep getting brighter. He seems businesslike and not worried so much about highs and lows.” Following the Rose Bowl, Pryor tried to use rest and rehab to heal his left knee. But when the soreness persisted, he underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-February to correct a torn posterior cruciate ligament. He recovered in time for spring drills in April, showing few if any ill effects from the injury or the surgery. “Right now, it’s pretty good,” Pryor said. “It’s sore when I work out. But I am faster than ever. I feel good. My legs feel strong. I’m running with the team and working with the team.”
Continuing To Grow
Pryor is no longer the scrawny kid who enrolled at OSU in 2008. He has added over 15 pounds of bulk and worked tirelessly to improve any of his mechanical deficiencies.
Terrelle Pryor: Game By Game Here is a game-by-game look at how Terrelle Pryor fared in his first two seasons at Ohio State:
2008 (Freshman Year) Passing Rushing Date Opponent Score Att. Cmp. Yds. TD Int. Att. Yds. TD Aug. 30 Youngstown State W, 43-0 4 6 35 0 0 9 52 1 Sept. 6 Ohio U. W, 26-14 0 2 0 0 0 5 37 0 Sept. 13 at USC L, 35-3 7 9 52 0 0 11 40 0 Sept. 20 Troy W, 28-10 10 16 139 4 1 14 66 0 Sept. 27 Minnesota W, 34-21 8 13 70 1 0 8 97 2 Oct. 4 at Wisconsin W, 20-17 13 19 144 0 1 15 20 1 Oct. 11 Purdue W, 16-3 10 14 97 0 0 14 27 0 Oct. 18 at Michigan State W, 45-7 7 11 116 1 0 12 72 1 Oct. 25 Penn State L, 13-6 16 25 226 0 1 9 6 0 Nov. 8 at Northwestern W, 45-10 9 14 197 3 0 6 33 0 Nov. 15 at Illinois W, 30-20 6 10 49 1 0 13 110 1 Nov. 22 Michigan W, 42-7 5 13 120 2 1 8 (-7) 0 Jan. 5 vs. Texas# L, 24-21 5 13 66 0 0 15 78 0 Totals 10-3 Ov erall, 7-1 Big Ten 100 165 1,311 12 4 139 631 6 #-Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, Ariz. Note: Pryor started Games 4-12 at quarterback, posting an 8-1 record as a starter. He started the Fiesta Bowl against Texas at wide receiver, making one catch for a 5-yard touchdown.
2009 (Sophomore Year) Date Opponent Score Sept. 5 Navy W, 31-27 Sept. 12 USC L, 18-15 Sept. 19 at Toledo W, 38-0 Sept. 26 Illinois W, 30-0 Oct. 3 at Indiana W, 33-14 Oct. 10 Wisconsin W, 31-13 Oct. 17 at Purdue L, 26-18 Oct. 24 Minnesota W, 38-7 Oct. 31 New Mexico State W, 45-0 Nov. 7 at Penn State W, 24-7 Nov. 14 Iowa W, 27-24 Nov. 21 at Michigan W, 21-10 Jan. 1 vs. Oregon@ W, 26-17 Totals 11-2 Ov erall, 7-1 Big Ten @-Rose Bowl at Pasadena, Calif. Career
19-3 as a starter
Passing Att. 14 11 17 8 17 5 17 13 11 8 14 9 23 167
Cmp. 21 25 28 13 28 13 31 25 23 17 17 17 37 295
Yds. 174 177 262 82 166 87 221 239 135 125 93 67 266 2,094
TD 1 0 3 1 3 1 1 2 1 2 0 1 2 18
Rushing Int. 1 1 2 0 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 1 1 11
Att. 6 10 12 11 16 10 21 15 9 5 8 19 20 162
Yds. 30 36 110 59 63 35 34 104 83 50 29 74 72 779
TD 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 7
"I feel I have grown the most mechanically,” Pryor said. “I have tried to even up my steps with the right routes and worked on looking off the defenders and going the other way. “I've worked a lot on checkdowns, too. Coach Tressel has talked a lot about hitting the checkdowns so if a defender takes something away you can always go to the checkdown guy." With so much expected this fall, Pryor is taking the one-game-at-a-time approach. “I want to go in on that Thursday night and get ready for Marshall,” Pryor said. “I want to play them and then Miami (Fla.) is the next game. We just want to go into every game one at a time. If we do that, we can do great things. “I feel good about our rhythm and how we play together. We're just a close team. We laugh together and play around with each other and we joke around. But when it's time to go to work, we try to put on a show for Coach Tressel and have as much fun as we can and compete.” Pryor’s combination of speed and size makes him hard to corral for all opponents, whether they are gigantic defensive ends or speedy safeties. But he is
working to improve his reputation as a passer. “I want to be known as a quarterback and not as an athletic quarterback,” Pryor said. “I want to be known as a guy who could make whatever play needs to be made.” Pryor has already been pegged as the possible Heisman Trophy winner by CollegeFootballNews.com as well as by the Phil Steele College Football yearbook. “It’s great to be honored by that,” Pryor said. “But my main goal is to lead this team one game at a time. I’m not in a position to look at the Heisman or anything like that. If we take it one game at a time, everybody will get acknowledged. That has always been my goal.” Tressel, who coached Smith to that coveted award in 2006, understands how that pick could be made. “If you’re team is having great success, those kinds of things can happen,” he said. “Maybe we could have five living Heisman Trophy winners.” Tressel added, “If you win a lot of games, you have a chance because you’re at Ohio State.” — BN
By Dave Biddle
2010 OSU Defensive Preview
Buckeyes look to continue suffocating ways on defensive side of ball
t’s called setting the bar extremely high. Ohio State has become known for the tremendous defense that it puts on the field nearly every season. Some fans might take having a great defense for granted, but they don’t need to worry about the coaches or players getting complacent. In fact, many people associated with the program believe that the Buckeyes will be even better than usual on the defensive side of the ball in 2010. Ohio State returns seven starters, including three on the defensive line (DE/DT Cameron Heyward, DT Dexter Larimore, DE/DT John Simon), a pair of linebackers (WLB Ross Homan, MLB Brian Rolle) and both cornerbacks (Chimdi Chekwa, Devon Torrence). Last season, OSU ranked fifth in the nation in both total defense (262.3 yards-allowed per game) and scoring defense (12.5 points per game). It is going to be difficult to top those numbers in 2010, but the Buckeyes want to keep raising that bar. “We definitely do,” Rolle said. “This is a team built on defense, man. We have a lot of guys back and we’re going to be potent this year, believe me. It’s all about hard work and if we put in the work like I know we will, there is no limit to what this defense can do. I don’t see any weaknesses, just a lot of strengths. We just need to work hard and do our jobs and we’re going to have a great defense.” Let’s go position-by-position and break down Ohio State’s defense entering the 2010 season.
they deserve. In fact, if anything, he usually downplays things. But he’s very excited about the group he’ll be working with this year and isn’t afraid to admit it. “Yeah, we should be solid up front,” Heacock said. “We have a lot of experience back in our first group and those guys have proven they can do it.” Heyward (6-5, 288) is expected to be one of the top players in all of college football this year and perhaps a top 10 overall NFL draft pick next spring. The versatile senior will start at strong-side defensive end and will slide down to defensive tackle at times. Basically, Heyward and sophomore John Simon (6-2, 280) are interchangeable parts. Simon will be listed as a starting defensive tackle, but will move to strongside defensive end when Heyward
dominant of a player, the player he wants to be. “He can be an outstanding player. We’ve had different types of players, Will Smith – who was a great player – and some guys that could come off the edge that were great players. Cameron is a very physical player. His strength comes from dominating the man across from him and playing a physical brand of football and getting a push on the pocket. From that standpoint, he’s pretty good.” The big plug in the middle for Ohio State is fifthyear senior Dexter Larimore (6-2, 313), an oldschool, D-tackle who plays low, plays strong and usually commands double teams. Larimore had nearly half his season wiped out with a knee injury last year (did not require surgery), but was playing excellent prior to that. He is expected to go out with
On A Rolle
Line Could Be Heacock’s Best?
Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock is the longest-tenured member of OSU’s coaching staff. He arrived in 1996 as defensive line coach under John Cooper and was one of three coaches that Jim Tressel retained when he was hired in 2001 (Tim Spencer and Bill Conley were the others). Heacock has seen more than his fair share of excellent D-lines during his time in Columbus. For instance, his first season at OSU, he was given the welcoming gift of coaching Mike Vrabel, Matt Finkes and Luke Fickell on the defensive front. (Fickell is now OSU’s co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach.) Then, in 2002 under Tressel, Heacock coached the fearsome foursome of Will Smith, Darrion Scott, Tim Anderson and Kenny Peterson as the Buckeyes captured the national championship. So, when Heacock makes statements like the one you’re about to read, you take notice. “I think there is a good chance this will be the best defensive line I’ve ever coached,” Heacock said, referring to OSU’s 2010 unit. Wow, strong words indeed. And Heacock isn’t one to sugarcoat and talk up his players more than
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moves inside. In 2009, Heyward led the Buckeyes with 6.5 sacks and was second on the squad with 10 tackles-for-loss. He is big and strong enough to manhandle a lot of offensive linemen at this level, while still being quick and agile enough to play effectively coming off the edge. “You take a guy like Cameron, and you know he can play football, and you know he’s got heart, he’s tough and he’s got all those intangibles you don’t need to worry about,” Heacock said. “He can really improve on technique. He can take his game to another level, just with a lot of technique work, a lot of individual work, a lot of pass-rush techniques, a lot of run-defense techniques, just zeroing in on the little things. Any type of improvement in those little areas is going to help him become a little bit more
Senior linebackers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle (left) return after ranking No. 1 and 2, respectively, on the team in tackles last year with 108 and 95. Look for junior Etienne Sabino to step into the other starting linebacker role. Other contenders from playing time are junior Andrew Sweat, sophomore Storm Klein and redshirt freshmen Jordan Whiting and Dorian Bell.
a big year. He’s not a big NFL prospect like Heyward, but he’s a very good college player. The best pass-rusher on the team is junior defensive end Nathan Williams (6-3, 260). He finally moves into a starting role this season – replacing Thaddeus Gibson, who left school early and was a fourth-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers – after seeing a lot of action as a reserve his first two years in the program. Williams is quick and relentless off the edge and gives the Buckeyes something that no one else on their roster can: consistent pressure on the quarterback. As a sophomore in 2009, Williams had 26 tackles, 3.5 sacks and eight TFLs. He got on the field as a true freshman and, particularly after an injury to starter Lawrence Wilson, got to play quite a bit.
He ended up with 18 tackles, two sacks and four tackles-for-loss. Williams has always been known for his knack of making plays in the backfield. As a prep senior at Washington C.H. (Ohio) Miami Trace in 2007, Williams had 132 tackles and 30 tackles-for-loss. “Nate Williams is another guy (we really need to step up),” Heacock said. “He’s backed up Thaddeus Gibson for two years now. He didn’t start, but he’s gotten an awful lot of reps and made a lot of plays for us, so he’s a guy who’s got to step up as a starter-type guy.” As for Simon, he proved right away he belonged on this level when he become one of OSU’s top backups on a loaded and veteran defensive line last year. Now as a sophomore – and a starter – Simon is expected to make a big jump. He was very impressive in the spring and is somewhat of a physical freak in terms of his strength and speed combination. He is the strongest player in the bench-press on the team (narrowly edging out Larimore and Justin Boren) and also runs a legitimate 4.7 in the 40. If Ohio State has a weakness on its defensive line, it would have to be quality depth. Junior Solomon Thomas (6-5, 226) and redshirt freshman Melvin Fellows (6-5, 250) are the expected backups at defensive end while sophomore Garrett Goebel (6-3, 281) and redshirt freshman Adam Bellamy (6-5, 280) are the expected understudies at defensive tackle. Of that group, the staff is highest on Goebel who did see some playing time last year. “The depth on the defensive line is going to be a little bit of a factor,” Heacock said. “We’ve got some guys that have played quite a bit, but depth-wise, we lost some seniors. That area is a place where we’ve got to find some guys to step up and fill in the gaps.”
Homan, Rolle Key Linebacker Group
The Buckeyes – or as fans like to call them, “The Real Linebacker U.” – return a very productive tandem of seniors with Homan and Rolle, and have plenty of talented players vying to fill the vacancy at strong-side linebacker. Homan (6-0, 227) started all 13 games in 2009 and led the Buckeyes with 108 tackles. He also tied for the team lead with five interceptions, had two sacks and five tackles-for-loss. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors and even more is expected of the Coldwater, Ohio, native in his final collegiate season and third year as a starter. “I don’t know what the stats are or anything like that, but we have to expect more,” Fickell said. “That’s kind of what we always try to do is to push them. That’s the great thing about playing here because you always have someone you can compare yourself to. The legends grow as they get older. “Ross is a great inspiration. He’s not a big vocal guy at times. You play your role and you push him to be more of a leader.” Even if Homan was more vocal, his words might get drowned-out by Rolle (5-11, 220) who loves to talk. Rolle is one of the most-charismatic players on the team, almost as much personality as he has game. “Brian is an emotional kid,” Fickell said. “He and Ross kind of play off of each other – one is a real emotional kid and one’s not. He has such a high motor.”
As a first-year starter last year, Rolle was second on the team in tackles behind Homan with 95. Likely stepping into a starting role for the first time this season is junior Etienne Sabino (6-3, 240). He took all the first-team reps at strong-side linebacker in the spring and will have the chance to lock down that job in preseason camp. Sabino came to OSU as one of the top line-
“The depth on the defensive line is going to be a little bit of a factor. We’ve got some guys that have played quite a bit, but depth-wise, we lost some seniors. That area is a place where we’ve got to find some guys to step up and fill in the gaps.” D ef. Coordinator Jim Heacock backer recruits in the nation in 2008. As a senior in 2007 at Miami (Fla.) Crop High School, Sabino had 146 tackles and 18 tackles-for-loss. As a junior, he had 131 tackles and eight sacks. Some fans have been frustrated that he hasn’t seen the field more, but linebackers usually have to wait their turn at OSU. In Sabino’s case, the physical abilities have always been there, he just needs to play more naturally. “He’s become a little bit more of a reactor,” Fickell said. “He is an intelligent guy and he really wants to have information. He’s only 19 years old. I wish he had been a redshirted guy. He’s still a young guy and is becoming more of a reactor. For a young kid, he is as mature a kid as I have been around.” Battling Sabino for a starting spot will be junior Andrew Sweat (6-2, 238) who is coming off a season-ending knee injury (torn ACL) last year. Up until that point, Sweat was the top reserve linebacker on the team. Therefore, the coaches are clearly high on him. “He will definitely be in the mix (in the fall),” Fickell said. “He could play any of the three spots.” The other top backups for the Buckeyes this season are expected to be sophomore middle linebacker Storm Klein (6-2, 230), redshirt freshman middle linebacker Jordan Whiting (6-1, 238) and redshirt freshman outside linebacker Dorian Bell (6-1, 225). Another name to keep an eye on is Tyler Moeller (6-0, 215). He has been medically cleared after missing all of last season with a severe head injury. Many have opined that Moeller will play safety – and he certainly might play some “star” (what OSU calls its nickel back) – but the staff has said in the past that Moeller is best-suited in the box. In fact, they like him most when he’s coming off the edge as a pass-rusher. It will be interesting to see where he lines up this year and how much he’s able to play. He was expected to play a big role on last year’s team before his injury. In fact, he was penciled in as a starter. So, if he can return to old form, that would be a big boost for the Buckeyes.
Moeller will technically be considered a senior this season, although he is almost-assured of getting a sixth year of eligibility for 2011.
Chekwa, Torrence Back At Corner
As mentioned earlier, the Buckeyes return both starting corners in Chekwa (6-0, 190, Sr.) and Torrence (6-1, 200, Sr.). That’s a nice luxury to have and is pretty rare at a place like OSU. It seems like there is a senior starting corner every year, or at the very least someone leaves early for the NFL. Chekwa (one interception in 2009) and Torrence (two picks last year) can certainly get better in the playmaking department, but they are solid corners who should be at their best as seniors. The big question at cornerback is who will step up and be the top backup. It will likely be sophomore Travis Howard (6-0, 190), but special teams standout Donnie Evege (5-11, 180, Jr.) is also in the mix. “That’s going to be interesting,” OSU cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson said. “Donnie is a guy that has been a pleasant surprise. He’s been around here for four years and helped us a lot on special teams last year and we’re expecting him to do the same this year and the rest of his career. But he’s now reached the stage of his career where he needs to help us at corner as well. “With Travis being out (during spring with a minor shoulder injury) that’s kind of an unknown piece as well and we’re trying to find out who is going to be the best guy for that third spot. The good news is that we’ve got a few guys battling there that we feel pretty good about. “And more good news is that we’ve got two guys that we feel pretty good about as our starters. But that third corner, we’re fortunate to have guys like Donnie and Travis that could possibly step up.” Other players that will be fighting for a spot on the two-deep include Dominic Clarke (5-10, 191, Fr.), Corey Brown (6-1, 190, Fr.), Christian Bryant (5-11, 178, Fr.), and Bradley Roby (5-11, 176, Fr.). The latter two will be true freshmen. At safety, OSU loses a pair of three-year starters in Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell. Coleman will be missed while Russell likely won’t, but safety remains a big question mark for the 2010 Buckeyes. Senior Jermale Hines (6-1, 216) played a lot the last two years and will be the starting strong safety this year. Big things are expected out of the Cleveland Glenville product. At free safety, it’s sophomore Orhian Johnson (6-2, 203) who will likely move into a starting role. He’s rangy and athletic, but needs to prove he can get the job done when the games begin. “He’s doing a good job,” OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes said in the spring. “I mean, I wouldn’t solidify him (as the starter) right now. But he’s doing a good job communicating and is doing a good job of flying around and trying to be that quarterback out there. So, so far he’s done a good job.” The top backups at safety are expected to be Nate Oliver (6-0, 215, Jr.) and C.J. Barnett (6-0, 190, So.). Battling them for spots on the two-deep will be Zach Domicone (6-3, 211, So.), Jamie Wood (6-1, 198, Fr.) and Aaron Gant (6-0, 206, Sr.). At the “star” position, Oliver and Moeller are each expected to get long looks. Oliver got most of the first-team reps in the spring, but Moeller wasn’t able to fully participate at that time. — BN
OSU returns seven starters from a unit that ranked fifth nationallly in total defense last year.
Photo by Terry Gilliam
The Road Less Traveled
Heyward stays in hopes of doing big things; DL has started more games than anyone on roster
y all rights, Cameron Heyward should be getting ready for his rookie year with a National Football League team. After all, at 6-6 and 287 pounds Heyward has a professional football body. He also has a pro pedigree as the son of the late Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. But Heyward passed up a chance to leave Ohio State a year early to stay in school, continue his education and try to lead Ohio State toward an elusive national championship. “I’m just happy I made this decision,” Heyward said. “I’ve seen all the progress we’ve made so far. The sky is the limit for this team. To be a part of it is something special. You only get one opportunity to be in college and I want to make the most of it and go out the right way.” OSU coach Jim Tressel was pleased to know he could count on Heyward to anchor the defensive line again in 2010. "Cam can be good," Tressel said. "He works so hard. Great person, excellent student. He's what a college player should be all about." Heyward has started more games (33) than any other returning member of the team. Tressel said he will look for Heyward to step up his leadership. "He's going to be a great leader for this team," Tressel said. "Obviously, we will count on him a lot on the field. He has a good knack of helping bring other people along. He's a real inclusive guy. He knows that we lost a great deal of personnel on that defensive front. "His performance will be crucial for us, but his leadership will be just as important." Heyward figures to be a prime candidate to serve as a team captain this fall. “I’m just going to praise hard work,” Heyward said. “I’m not going to shy away from (a leadership role). I am just going to try and lead my team the right way. I’m not going to do anything stupid.” Heyward has been destined for this moment, it seems, since he was a little boy. His dad was an All-American and Heisman Trophy finalist at Pittsburgh in 1988. With his rugged running style, Craig Heyward became a popular figure in the NFL. He was the first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 1988 and played there five seasons before going on to the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts. Cameron Heyward’s parents eventually divorced and Cameron lived with his mother, Charlotte Heyward-Blackwell, and stepdad, Cory Blackwell, who played for Wisconsin. Still, he maintained a relationship with his dad. "It really wasn't like father and son; it was more like he was a best friend, a big brother,” Cameron said in a 2007 interview. “We hung out a lot, played video games, went to movies." In 1998, Craig Heyward began having vision problems and a tumor pressing against his optic nerve was discovered at the base of his skull. A 12-hour operation and 40 radiation treatments seemed to have made him cancer free, but in 2005 the tumor returned. He died in May 2006, near the end of Cameron’s junior year at Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge High School. Craig was 39. Cameron Heyward pressed on and he surprised some when he signed with
Ohio State over the likes of Georgia, Florida and LSU in February 2007. Heyward broke into the starting lineup at OSU midway through his freshman season and has been there ever since. Over his career, Heyward has registered 12 sacks and 24-1/2 tackles-for-loss. He was a second-team All-Big Ten pick as a junior in 2009. He ended up sixth on the team in tackles with 46, second in tackles-for-loss with 10 and first in sacks with 6-1/2. He was huge down the stretch as the Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship and advanced to the Rose Bowl. He was a one-man wrecking crew in OSU’s pivotal win at Penn State, where he had 11 tackles, three tackles-for-loss and two sacks. He then had a fumble recovery for the first touchdown in the win at Michigan. And he capped the season with a key sack in the Rose Bowl win over Oregon. All of those big plays have helped Heyward gain some notoriety: He was named as a preseason Playboy All-American for 2010. “The way I look at it, it’s just a preseason award,” Heyward said. “I want to focus on the postseason awards. I know going into this year there will be a bullseye on my back. I just hope to live up to the hype. “I’m not really concerned about this award. Our main goals are down the road.” But Heyward is starting to reap some of the rewards from his decision to stay in school one more year and put his NFL career on hold. “Looking back at my decision, it was focused on getting my education and fulfilling my dream of winning a national championship and another Big Ten championship,” Heyward said. “I am going to preach team-first with this team. We can have all the egos in the world. But if we can’t mesh and get it done, it’s not going to matter. “The main thing for our seniors is we have Heyward is a to put the egos aside and embrace the opPlayboy portunities we’ve been given.” Heyward, who also has been named to preseason Allthe preseason Nagurski, Lombardi and Lott American for Trophy watch lists, said he and his team2010 mates know the road ahead will be anything but easy. “We were Big Ten champions once again last year, but we know every game will be tough,” Heyward said. “When you look at that schedule, everybody is coming for us. We have away games at Wisconsin and Iowa and some tough home games as well. But we look forward to it. If we have that kind of focus, we’ll be fine.” Defensive coordinator Jim Heacock has enjoyed the chance to work with Heyward the last three years and is looking forward to getting even more out of him this year. “You take a guy like Cameron, and you know he can play football, and you know he's got heart, he's tough and he's got all those intangibles you don't need to worry about,” Heacock said. “He can really improve on technique. He can take his game to another level, just with a lot of technique work, a lot of individual work, a lot of pass-rush techniques, a lot of run-defense techniques, just zeroing in on the little things. Any type of improvement in those little areas is going to help him become a little bit more dominant of a player, the player he wants to be. “He can be an outstanding player.We've had different types of players, Will Smith, who was a great player, and some guys that could come off the edge that were great players. Cameron is a very physical player. His strength comes from dominating the man across from him and playing a physical brand of football and getting a push on the pocket. From that standpoint, he's pretty good.” Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh elevated the national profile of defensive linemen last season, earning a trip to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. Could Heyward follow suit this year? "I haven't watched much of (Suh), heard great things about him," Tressel said. "I'd like to think Cam can be that national kind of guy." Heyward has lofty expectations for both himself and a defensive line that loses three starters but boasts plenty of young talent. His strength and national ability are indisputable, but he wants to improve technically this fall. He played last season at 285 pounds, down from 290, and felt better with his movement. Despite being listed at 288 pounds, he still wants to get bigger and add some muscle mass before the fall. "You always see these D-linemen, a little bit bigger than me," he said. "I want to try to fit the prototype, except be more."
By Steve Helwagen Heyward was a second-team AllBig Ten selection last year.
Photo by Terry Gilliam
Heyward said his improvement as a junior came due to intensive video study. He also focused on his role inside the defensive scheme. He also showed he is versatile enough to play on the edge or inside at defensive tackle as needed. "Inside, you have to be a little more careful of double teams," Heyward said. "On the outside, it's mostly a pass rush, just squeezing around the block." But going into the season as an All-American, Heyward knows teams will
game plan to try and neutralize him. That could help his fellow linemates – Nathan Williams, John Simon and Dexter Larimore – make more plays. "You know it's going to happen," he said. "I've just got to be ready for it. I've got to try to fight it, and other guys have got to step up as well. I'm not going to make all the plays, but I'll make as much as I can. That's going to leave a lot of 1-on-1s for (other) guys." — BN
New Faces All Over 2010 OSU Special Teams Preview
Buckeyes have to replace kicker, punter and kick returners; long snapper is back
t will be a changing of the guard for Ohio State’s specialty units in 2010. The Buckeyes went through spring drills looking for replacements for departed seniors Aaron Pettrey at kicker and Jon Thoma at punter. The key candidates appear to be senior walk-on Devin Barclay, sophomore Ben Buchanan and incoming freshman Drew Basil to handle the kicking duties with Buchanan battling walk-on Derek Ervin for the punting job. The return game was also wide open after the departure of senior Ray Small and sophomore Lamaar Thomas, who transferred to New Mexico. The competition to fill all of these jobs will continue through preseason camp and likely into the
spring as well. In the springtime special teams scrimmage, Barclay was 8 of 15 on field goals. All but one of his misses was from outside 40 yards. “I have to continue to get better,” said Barclay, a former member of the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer. “I’m continuing to work on my field goals outside 45 yards. That’s an area where I need to improve on. Inside 45, I feel pretty confident. Outside of 45, I have to continue working on my swing.” It is possible that Buchanan and Barclay could share the role a la Pettrey and Ryan Pretorius in 2008. “As long as it works for the team, that’s fine,” Barclay said. “Some people look at it like it’s my job to lose. But we have a lot of other good kickers as
Double Duty? Sophomore Ben Buchanan is a candidate to do both the kicking and punting duties for Ohio State. Buchanan has a leg capable of 50-yard plus field goals. He was 8-of-14 in the spring kick scrimmage.
Photo by Steve Helwagen
early portion of the 2010 season. We delve into those subjects and more with our position-by-position special teams overview.
Killer B’s: Barclay, Buchanan and Basil
Barclay was the toast of Columbus last November when he drilled a 39-yard field goal in overtime to defeat Iowa 27-24 and send the Buckeyes to the Rose Bowl. He was OSU’s starting kicker for the last four games of the season after Pettrey suffered a knee injury against New Mexico State. Barclay ended up 7 of 10 on field goals, but his long kick was that 39-yarder and he was 0 for 2 from 40 yards and beyond. Distance was still a question for Barclay in the
well. Drew Basil and Ben do a good job. I have to focus on polishing myself and getting ready for the fall.” Buchanan, from nearby Westerville Central, was 8 of 14 in that spring kick scrimmage. He nailed a 50-yarder that day. And it remains to be seen what role Basil may fill. Basil, an early enrolling freshman from nearby Chillicothe, was 1 of 4 in the kick scrimmage with his make from 43 yards. One of his misses was from 53. He also had a 49-yard field goal in the spring game. “It’s great to just hang out with these guys,” Basil said. “They are great role models. I have been working on kicking off the ground and working on my kickoffs, too. I felt like I did the best I could this spring.”
Buchanan’s Job As Punter?
Buchanan battled Thoma for the punting job last year, but could never unseat him. The best he got was a chance to fill in for him in the win against Toledo when Thoma was sick. That day, Buchanan averaged a robust 42.8 yards per punt on four attempts. "That was huge, being able to start a game in Cleveland Browns Stadium and having my teammates know that I can do it for a game like that," Buchanan said. "I look at the first game I play this season and it won't be the first game that I start. It will be my first start at Ohio Stadium. "But to have a good punt game that day was encouraging. It gives me a lot of confidence." Buchanan said he would not mind a chance to do double duty as the kicker and punter this year. “That’s something I’ve always done and I enjoy doing it,” he said. “The more I can be on the field, the more I think I can contribute to the team and I’m willing to do both if I’m allowed to. But if they want me to specialize in one, I’m willing to do that. It’s whatever I can do to help the team. “Last year I started (preseason) camp doing both field goals and punts. Then I moved to just punts after camp and was working with just Jon. Then when Aaron got hurt … I was injured for the New Mexico State game too, so Devin got in there – then I started kicking again. by Gary “So, I’ve been kind of goingPhoto back andHousteau forth and I’m glad to be doing both again. I look at it as a positive. They think I’m versatile and I can fill in where they need me and I’m excited about this year because I think I’m going to be able to contribute.” Buchanan handled both roles in high school and did both very well. But he admits he thought he was better as a kicker than a punter if he had to pick one. “I think coming out of high school I was more of a field goal kicker, but being here has allowed me to work on the punting,” he said. “We’re constantly being evaluated, so you have to keep that in the back of your mind. “I don’t look at it as a burden. I love to be on the field. I played quarterback and receiver in high school. To be able to kick and punt at a wonderful university like this would be a thrill. I just want to be out there doing one of them and helping us to win a national championship.”
Return Game In Flux
The Buckeyes have precious little experience back in the return game. Thomas and Small combined to handle 30 of OSU’s 38 kick returns in 2009, while Small had 33 of OSU’s 40 punt returns last year.
Junior standout DeVier Posey will see some time in the Buckeyes return game, mainly punt returns.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
In the spring, it appeared that junior DeVier Posey, senior Devon Torrence and sophomore Jordan Hall would be the key players to watch on punt returns. Torrence, Hall, senior Brandon Saine and junior Boom Herron all rotated on kick returns. “We’ve got about five guys and we’re trying to figure out who is the best guy to be back there,” said assistant coach Darrell Hazell, who helps oversee the return game. “Jordan Hall is back there and I really like him. I think he’s a guy that can get you 20. Then DeVier is a guy that can take it the distance, but he doesn’t have quite the shake that Jordan does. Then you have Dane (Sanzenbacher) who is pretty solid catching the ball. And
then you have Devon Torrence who has really done a nice job. So, it will be interesting to see who wins that job. “On kick return, you are probably looking at Boom (Herron), Brandon (Saine) and Devon. Those are probably the first three guys. And then Chris Fields would probably be in there. Chris more so than James Jackson.” In fall camp, incoming freshmen James Louis, Corey Brown and Christian Bryant could all get a look. “Those young incoming freshmen were really exciting on high school film and we want to see what they can do during camp,” Hazell said.
Long Snapper Returns
Senior Jake McQuaide returns as OSU’s long snapper and he has been solid in his first two seasons in the starting role. McQuaide was placed on scholarship in 2008 and ended up having a solid first season as a starter for the Buckeyes. And now he feels like a different man with the experience under his belt. “Hopefully this will be my third season of handling all three (long snapping duties),” McQuaide said. “I have had a lot of experience and I think that will help me have another good season this year.” — BN
2010 OSU Numerical Roster
No. 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 5 5 6 6 7 8 8 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 14 14 15 15 16 17 17 17 18 18 19 19 23 23 24 24 25 25 26 28 29 29 29 30 32 33 34 34 35 35 36 37 38 39 39 41 41 42 43 44 48 48 49 50
Name Herron, Dan Torrence, Devon Bryant, Christian Pryor, Terrelle Brown, Corey Saine, Brandon Berry, Jaamal Chekwa, Chimdi Washington, Taurian Louis, James Sabino, Etienne Hines, Jermale Gant, Aaron Posey, DeVier Brown, Corey Bell, Dorian Stoneburner, Jake Barclay, Devin Sanzenbacher, Dane Guiton, Ken Barnett, C.J. Bauserman, Joe Reed, Verlon Jackson, James Oliver, Nate Domicone, Zach Buchanan, Ben Schwartz, Grant Siems, Justin Howard, Travis Williams, T.Y. Graham, Taylor Johnson, Orhian Hagan, Chad Wood, Jamie Basil, Drew Smith, Rod Petrella, Vincent Roby, Bradley Moeller, Tyler Clarke, Dominic Hall, Jordan Maxwell, Chris Rice, Taylor Evege, Donnie Klein, Storm Durham, David Ebner, Nate Hyde, Carlos DeLande, Bo Hastings, James Rolle, Brian Georgiades, James McVey, Scott Erwin, Derek Whiting, Jordan Jackson, Tony Martin, Jermil Sweat, Andrew Williams, Nathan Boren, Zach Bain, Dan Smith, Spencer Homan, Adam Brewster, Michael
Pos. RB WR DB QB DB/WR RB RB DB WR WR LB DB S WR WR LB WR K WR QB DB QB WR WR S DB P WR QB DB WR QB DB DB DB P/K RB DB DB LB DB RB DB DB DB LB LB DB RB RB LB LB RB LB P LB LB RB LB DL RB LB FB RB OL
Ht. 5-10 6-1 5-9 6-6 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-0 6-1 5-10 6-3 6-1 6-0 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-5 5-10 5-11 6-2 6-0 6-1 6-0 5-10 6-0 6-3 6-0 6-0 6-2 6-0 6-5 6-4 6-2 6-0 6-1 6-1 6-3 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-10 5-9 6-2 5-10 5-11 6-2 6-1 6-0 6-0 5-11 5-10 5-11 5-11 6-0 5-10 6-1 5-10 5-10 6-2 6-3 6-0 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-5
Wt. 202 200 175 233 189 219 200 190 181 176 240 216 206 200 170 225 245 204 180 190 190 233 190 184 215 211 195 210 216 190 218 225 203 230 198 206 220 179 176 210 191 195 215 177 180 230 231 200 238 195 205 218 240 218 203 238 220 235 238 260 252 230 236 238 293
Cl/Elg Jr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Fr. So. Sr. Sr. Fr. So. Jr. Fr. So. Jr. So. So. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Fr. Fr. Fr. So. Fr. Sr. Fr. So. So. So. Jr. So. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. Fr. Sr. So. Fr. So. Fr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. So. Jr. Jr. So. Jr.
Hometown/High School or J.C. Warren, Ohio (Harding) Canton, Ohio (Canton South) Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Jeannette, Pa. (Jeannette) Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway) Piqua, Ohio (Piqua) Pinecrest, Fla. (Miami Palmetto) Clermont, Fla. (East Ridge) Orchard Lake, Mich. (St. Mary's) Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic) North Miami Beach, Fla. (Dr. Krop) Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Detroit, Mich. (St. Mary's) Cincinnati, Ohio (LaSalle) Upper Darby, Pa. Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway) Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman) Annapolis, Md. (McDonogh) Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic) Houston, Texas (Eisenhower) Dayton (Northmont) Strasburg, Va. (Lincoln) Columbus, Ohio (Marion-Franklin) Grand Ledge, Mich. (Grand Ledge) Cleveland, Ohio (St. Edward) Beavercreek, Ohio (Beavercreek) Westerville, Ohio (Westerville Central) Dana Point, Calif. (Dana Hills) Charlotte, N.C. (Providence ) Miami, Fla. (Dr. Krop) East Cleveland, Ohio (Shaw) Wheaton, Ill. (Wheaton North) St. Petersburg, Fla. (Boca Ciega) Canonsburg, Pa. (Canon-McMillan) Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central) Chillicothe, Ohio (Chillicothe) Fort Wayne, Ind. (Paul Harding) Blacklick, Ohio Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge) Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain) Frederick, Md. (Tuscarora) Jeannette, Pa. (Jeannette) Maineville, Ohio (Kings) Dublin, Ohio (Scioto) Huber Heights, Ohio (Wayne) Newark, Ohio (Licking Valley) Charlotte, NC (Charlotte Christian) Dublin, Ohio (Hilliard Davidson) Naples, Fla. (FUMA) (Naples) Hilliard, Ohio (Davidson) Parma Heights, Ohio (Valley Forge) Immokalee, Fla. (Immokalee) North Canton, Ohio (Hoover) Lyndhurst, Ohio (St. Ignatius) Tiro, Ohio (Buckeye Central) Louisville, Ky. (Trinity) Galloway, Ohio (Westland) Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Washington, Pa. (Trinity) Washington C.H., Ohio (Miami Trace) Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington Central) Virginia Beach, Va. (Cape Henry School) Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain) Coldwater, Ohio (Coldwater) Orlando, Fla. (Edgewater)
Big Ten Composite Schedule Note: Updated as of June 10, 2010; times and TV subject to change; all times Eastern time. * Thurs., Sept. 2 – Towson at Indiana, 7:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network); Minnesota at Middle Tennessee State, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU); Marshall at Ohio State, 7:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network). * Sat., Sept. 4 – Purdue at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC); Illinois vs. Missouri (at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis); Eastern at Iowa; Connecticut at Michigan; Western Michigan at Michigan State; Northwestern at Vanderbilt; Youngstown State at Penn State; Wisconsin at UNLV. * Sat. Sept. 11 – Michigan at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (NBC); Miami (Fla.) at Ohio State, 3:40 p.m. (ESPN); Southern Illinois at Illinois, 7:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network); Iowa State at Iowa; Florida Atlantic vs. Michigan State (at Ford Field, Detroit); South Dakota at Minnesota; Illinois State at Northwestern; Penn State at Alabama; Western Illinois at Purdue; San Jose State at Wisconsin. * Sat., Sept. 18 – Southern California at Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN); Notre Dame at Michigan State, 8 p.m. (ABC); Iowa at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN); Arizona State at Wisconsin, time TBA (ABC or ESPN2); Northern Illinois at Illinois; Indiana at Western Kentucky; Massachusetts at Michigan; Northwestern at Rice; Ohio U. at Ohio State; Kent State at Penn State; Ball State at Purdue. * Sat., Sept. 25 – Akron at Indiana, 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network); Northern Illinois at Minnesota, 8:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network); Ball State at Iowa; Bowling Green at Michigan; Northern Colorado at Michigan State; Central Michigan at Northwestern; Eastern Michigan at Ohio State; Temple at Penn State; Toledo at Purdue; Austin Peay at Wisconsin. * Sat., Oct. 2 – Northwestern at Minnesota, noon (TV TBA); Penn State at Iowa, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Ohio State at Illinois; Michigan at Indiana; Wisconsin at Michigan State. * Sat., Oct. 9 – Illinois at Penn State, noon (TV TBA); Minnesota at Wisconsin, noon (TV TBA); Purdue at Northwestern, 7:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network); Indiana at Ohio State; Michigan State at Michigan. * Sat., Oct. 16 – Illinois at Michigan State, noon (TV TBA); Minnesota at Purdue, noon (TV TBA); Iowa at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (ABC); Ohio State at Wisconsin, 7 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2);
50 51 52 53 54 55 55 56 56 57 59 60 62 65 67 68 70 71 72 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 81 83 85 85 87 88 89 91 91 92 92 93 95 96 97 98 ##
Moore, J.T. Homan, Ross Hankins, Johnathan Goebel, Garrett Simon, John Miller, Andy Newsome, Jonathan Britt, Dalton Makridis, George Malone, Chris Longo, Sam Dornbrook, Garrett Lorenz, Jon Boren, Justin Green, Cavin Blankenship, Evan Browning, Bryant Linsley, Corey Larimore, Dexter Sika, Scott Kerr, Josh Mewhort, Jack Adams, Mike Shugarts, J.B. Smith, Connor Norwell, Andrew Hall, Marcus Fields, Chris Crawford, Ricky DiLillo, Nic Cech, Joe Baldwin, Darryl Harlamert, Tony Roark, Chris Fragel, Reid Hummel, Garrett Fellows, Melvin Smith, Stewart Denlinger, Todd McCary, William Bellamy, Adam Matheney, Don McQuaide, Jake Heyward, Cameron Thomas, Solomon Griffin, Adam
DL LB DL DL DL OL DE DL LS OL OL LS DL OL DL OL OL OL DL OL OT OL OL OL OL OL OL WR WR TE WR DL WR WR TE WR DE DL DL DL DT DL LS DT DL DB
6-1 6-0 6-3 6-3 6-2 6-6 6-3 6-2 5-11 6-1 6-5 6-2 6-5 6-3 6-4 6-3 6-4 6-2 6-2 6-2 6-3 6-6 6-8 6-7 6-4 6-5 6-5 6-0 6-3 6-4 6-2 6-4 5-11 5-9 6-8 5-11 6-5 6-3 6-2 6-1 6-4 6-0 6-3 6-5 6-5 5-7
246 227 335 281 270 288 219 275 236 279 280 225 276 320 220 288 313 298 310 282 288 288 300 297 313 308 321 185 215 262 186 267 179 180 260 195 249 227 292 220 295 310 234 288 226 178
Fr. Sr. Fr. So. So. Sr. So. So. Fr. Sr. Fr. So. So. Sr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Fr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Fr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Fr. So. Fr. Sr. So. So. Fr. Fr. So. So. Sr. Fr. So. Sr. So. Fr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Fr.
Boardman, Ohio (Boardman) Coldwater, Ohio (Coldwater) Dearborn Heights, Mich. (Southeastern) Villa Park, Ill. (Montini) Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney) Washington, Pa. (Trinity) Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Bellville, Ohio (Clear Fork) Warren, Ohio (Warren G. Harding) Gahanna, Ohio (Lincoln) Spring Valley, Ohio (Bellbrook) Medina, Ohio (Medina) Dublin, Ohio (Bishop Watterson) Pickerington, Ohio (Pickerington) New Albany, Ohio (Col. Academy) Monaca, Pa. (Center Area) Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Youngstown, Ohio (Boardman) Merrillville, Ind. (Merrillville) Strongsville, Ohio (Strongsville) Strongsville, Ohio (Strongsville) Toledo, Ohio (St. John’s) Dublin, Ohio (Dublin Coffman) Klein, Texas (Klein) Cincinnati, Ohio (Colerain) Cincinnati, Ohio Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville) Painesville, Ohio (Painesville Harvey) Lewis Center, Ohio (Olentangy) Madison, Ohio (Madison) Aurora, Ohio (Aurora) Solon, Ohio (Solon) Coldwater, Ohio (Coldwater) Kettering, Ohio (Alter) Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich. (South) Shelby, Ohio (Shelby) Garfield Hts., Ohio (Garfield Heights) New Albany, Ohio (Gahanna Lincoln) Troy, Ohio (Troy) Carrollton, Texas (Creekview) Aurora, Ohio (Aurora) Lancaster, Ohio (Lancaster) Cincinnati, Ohio (Elder) Suwanee, Ga. (Peachtree Ridge) West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West) Columbus, Ohio (DeSales)
Coaching Staff – Head Coach: Jim Tressel. Assistant Coaches: Jim Bollman, offensive coordinator/offensive line; Nick Siciliano, quarterbacks; Luke Fickell, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers; Paul Haynes, safeties; Darrell Hazell, wide receivers/assistant head coach; Jim Heacock, defensive coordinator/defensive line; Taver Johnson, cornerbacks; John Peterson, recruiting coordinator/tight ends; Dick Tressel, running backs. Support Personnel – Todd Alles, director of football operations; Stan Jefferson, director of player development; Eric Lichter, director of football performance; Mark Quisenberry, video coordinator; Dr. Chris Kaeding, head team physician; Dr. Ray Pongonis, team physician; Dr. James Borchers, team physician; Doug Calland, head football trainer; Bob Sweeney, assistant football trainer; Rob Lachey, equipment manager; Lewis VanHoose, assistant equipment manager; Greg Gillum, director of player personnel; Wes Satterfield, offensive graduate assistant; Keith Uecker, offensive quality control; Anthony Jordan, defensive graduate assistant; Marcus Freeman, defensive quality control; Larry Romanoff, director of external relations; Doug Castle, Ken Conatser, Bob Mansfield, Rich Weiskircher, academics and evaluations; Doug Davis, Troy Sutton, Jeff Uhlenhake, coordinators of strength and conditioning; Joe Daniels, personnel development; Dave Adolph, Tom Dunlap, program assistant; Sean Perkins, building services coordinator; Bill Moffitt, assistant building coordinator; Tyler Drake, video director; Shelly Poe, communications and public relations; Steve Snapp, assistant athletic director for broadcasting; Jon Yeagley, information technology systems manager; Amy Burgess, supervisor of internal operations; Debbie Broeker, Shannon Smith, Nick Maddron football office associates
Arkansas State at Indiana. * Sat., Oct. 23 – Indiana at Illinois, noon (TV TBA); Michigan State at Northwestern, noon (TV TBA); Purdue at Ohio State, noon (TV TBA); Wisconsin at Iowa; Penn State at Minnesota. * Sat., Oct. 30 – Michigan at Penn State, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Ohio State at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2); Purdue at Illinois; Northwestern at Indiana; Michigan State at Iowa. * Sat., Nov. 6 – Illinois at Michigan; Iowa at Indiana; Minnesota at Michigan State; Northwestern at Penn State; Wisconsin at Purdue. * Sat., Nov. 13 – Penn State at Ohio State; Minnesota at Illinois; Indiana at Wisconsin; Iowa at Northwestern; Michigan at Purdue. * Sat., Nov. 20 – Ohio State at Iowa; Illinois vs. Northwestern (at Wrigley Field, Chicago); Penn State vs. Indiana (at FedEx Field, Landover, Md.); Wisconsin at Michigan; Purdue at Michigan State. * Sat., Nov. 27 – Indiana at Purdue; Iowa at Minnesota; Michigan at Ohio State; Michigan State at Penn State; Northwestern at Wisconsin. * Fri., Dec. 3 – Illinois at Fresno State, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN2).
Big Ten Bowl Tie-Ins * Sun., Dec. 26 – Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (at Detroit): Big Ten No. 8 vs. MAC, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN). * Tues., Dec. 28 -- Insight Bowl (at Tempe, Ariz.): Big Ten No. 4 or 5 vs. Big 12 No. 4, 10 p.m. (ESPN). * Wed., Dec. 29 -- Texas Bowl (at Houston): Big Ten No. 6 vs. Big 12, 6 p.m. (ESPN). * Fri., Jan. 1 – Dallas Football Classic (at Dallas): Big Ten No. 7 vs. Big 12, noon (ESPNU); Outback Bowl (at Tampa, Fla.): Big Ten No. 3 vs. SEC No. 3 or 4, 1 p.m. (ABC); Capital One Bowl (at Orlando, Fla.): Big Ten No. 2 vs. SEC No. 2, 1 p.m. (ESPN); Gator Bowl (at Jacksonville, Fla.): Big Ten 4 or 5 vs. SEC, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2).
BCS Games * Sat., Jan. 1 -- Rose Bowl (at Pasadena, Calif.): Big Ten No. 1 vs. Pac-10 No. 1, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN); Fiesta Bowl (at Glendale, Ariz.): Big 12 No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN). * Mon., Jan. 3 – Orange Bowl (at Miami): ACC No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large, 8 p.m. (ESPN). * Tues., Jan. 4 -- Sugar Bowl (at New Orleans): SEC No. 1 vs. BCS At-Large, 8 p.m. (ESPN). * Mon., Jan. 10 – BCS National Championship Game (at Glendale, Ariz.): BCS No. 1 vs. BCS No. 2, 8 p.m. (ESPN).
2009 Ohio State Football Statistics
2009 BIG TEN CONFERENCE STANDINGS All Conf. W L W L *Ohio State 7 1 11 2 6 2 11 2 Iowa Penn State 6 2 11 2 Northwestern 5 3 8 5 5 3 10 3 Wisconsin 4 4 6 7 Michigan State Purdue 4 4 5 7 Minnesota 3 5 6 7 2 6 3 9 Illinois Michigan 1 7 5 7 Indiana 1 7 4 8 *-Won conference title.
BIG TEN BOWL RESULTS Champs Sports Bowl –Wisconsin 20, Miami (Fla.) 14 Insight Bowl – Iowa State 14, Minnesota 13 Outback Bowl – Auburn 38, Northwestern 35 (OT) Capital One Bowl – Penn State 19, LSU 17 Rose Bowl – Ohio State 26, Oregon 17 Alamo Bowl – Texas Tech 41, Michigan State 31 Orange Bowl – Iowa 24, Georgia Tech 14
FINAL 2009 COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLLS Associated Press USA Today 1-Alabama (60) 1-Alabama (58) 2-Texas 2-Texas 3-Florida 3-Florida 4-Boise State 4-Boise State 5-Ohio State 5-Ohio State 6-TCU 6-TCU 7-Iowa 7-Iowa 8-Cincinnati 8-Penn State 9-Penn State 9-Cincinnati 10-Virginia Tech 10-Virginia Tech 11-Oregon 11-Oregon 12-BYU 12-BYU 13-Georgia Tech 13-Georgia Tech 14-Nebraska 14-Nebraska 15-Pittsburgh 15-Pittsburgh 16-Wisconsin 16-Wisconsin 17-LSU 17-LSU 18-Utah 18-Utah 19-Miami (Fla.) 19-Miami (Fla.) 20-Mississippi 20-USC 21-Texas Tech 21-Mississippi 22-USC 22-West Virginia 23-Central Michigan 23-Texas Tech 24-Clemson 24-Central Michigan 25-West Virginia 25-Oklahoma State Note: First-place votes in parentheses.
OHIO STATE 2009 GAME-BY-GAME Date Opponent (AP Rank) Score Attn. Sept. 5 (6) Navy W, 31-27 105,092 Sept. 12 (8) USC (3) L, 18-15 106,033 Sept. 19 (11) vs. Toledo@ W, 38-0 71,727 Sept. 26 (13) Illinois W, 30-0 105,219 Oct. 3 (9) at Indiana W, 33-14 51,500 Oct. 10 (9) Wisconsin W, 31-13 105,301 Oct. 17 (7) at Purdue L, 26-18 50,404 Oct. 24 (19) Minnesota W, 38-7 105,011 Oct. 31 (17) New Mexico State W, 45-0 104,719 Nov. 7 (15) at Penn State (11) W, 24-7 110,033 Nov. 14 (10) Iowa (15) W, 27-24 105,455 Nov. 21 (9) at Michigan W, 21-10 110,922 Jan. 1 (8) vs. Oregon (7)* W, 26-17 93,963 @-At Cleveland *-Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. #-OSUʼs game day AP poll ranking is in parentheses before the opponent, while the opponentʼs game day AP ranking is after its name.
2009 TEAM STATISTICS OSU First Downs 250 Rushing 142 92 Passing Penalty 16 Avg. Per Game/Rush 195.4 Avg. Per Game/Pass 173.6 4,797 Total Offense Total Plays 879 369.0 Avg. Per Game 71-561 Penalties-Yards Fumbles-Lost 18-7 Third-Down Efficiency 81/193 42 Percentage 4/9 Fourth-Down Eff. Percentage 44 30-198 Sacks-Yards 31:31 Time of Poss. Avg. Score By Qtrs Ohio State Opponents
Games 7 4 2 13
2009 INDIVIDUAL STATS
Rushing Terrelle Pryor Brandon Saine Dan Herron Jordan Hall Jermil Martin Ray Small DeVier Posey K.C. Christian Joe Bauserman Dane Sanzenbacher Joe Gantz Lamaar Thomas Bo DeLande Team Ohio State Opponents Receiving DeVier Posey Dane Sanzenbacher Brandon Saine Ray Small Jake Ballard Duron Carter Dan Herron Zach Boren Jake Stoneburner Lamaar Thomas Jordan Hall Ohio State Opponents
Att. 162 145 153 48 11 4 2 5 9 2 4 1 3 14 563 410
Punting Jon Thoma Ben Buchanan Ohio State Opponents
TD -8 8 7 6 6 -1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 44 19
Tot. 736,830 322,859 165,690 1,225,379
Net Avg. 779 4.8 739 5.1 600 3.9 248 5.2 84 7.6 40 10.0 19 9.5 14 2.8 10 1.1 8 4.0 6 1.5 6 6.0 5 1.7 (-18) (-1.3) 2,540 4.5 1,180 2.9
Rec. Yds. 60 828 36 570 17 224 15 175 14 150 13 176 11 66 4 23 2 30 1 10 1 5 174 2,257 226 2,230
Com. Att. 167 295 6 19 1 1 0 1 174-316 226-417
Scoring Aaron Pettrey DeVier Posey Dan Herron Terrelle Pryor Brandon Saine D.Sanzenbacher Devin Barclay Brian Rolle# Ray Small Jermale Hines Zach Boren Jordan Hall Cam Heyward Kurt Coleman Duron Carter Jermil Martin Ohio State* Opponents
FG Distance Aaron Pettrey Devin Barclay
1 2 3 4 OT 82 115 93 84 3 20 46 45 52 0
Attendance Home Away Neutral Total
Passing T. Pryor J. Bauserman DeVier Posey Team Ohio State Opponents
#-Rolle had a def. extra point. *-OSU scored two safeties.
Opp. 189 70 109 10 90.8 171.5 3,410 827 262.3 67-581 24-11 58/188 31 11/18 61 24-186 28:29
Pct. 56.6 31.6 100.0 0.0 55.1 54.2
EPK 30-31 -----12-12 ---------42-43 17-17
Avg. 13.8 15.8 13.2 11.7 10.7 13.5 6.0 5.8 15.0 10.0 5.0 13.0 9.9
Yds. 2,094 124 30 0 2,257 2,230
EPR ---1-1 ------------1-1 0-0
Avg. 29.0 12.5
Avg. 105,261 80,715 82,845 94,260
TD 7 4 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 8
INT 11 0 0 0 11 24
EPP ----------------0-0 1-2
Tot. 377 163
Long 43 49 53 39 39 23 12 8 7 4 4 6 4 0 53 37
TD Long 8 62 6 76 2 46 0 38 0 24 1 40 1 19 1 8 0 17 0 10 0 5 19 76 10 85
TD Rat. 18 128.9 0 86.4 1 757.6 0 0.0 19 127.9 10 95.5
FG 14-20 -----7-10 ---------21-30 10-17
Pts. 72 48 48 44 36 36 33 8 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 377 163
0-29 6-8 2-2
No. 58 4 62 84
Interceptions Kurt Coleman Ross Homan Anderson Russell Devon Torrence Jermale Hines Austin Spitler Thaddeus Gibson Lawrence Wilson Todd Denlinger Chimdi Chekwa Brian Rolle Andrew Sweat Ohio State 24 Opponents 11
Punt Returns Ray Small DeVier Posey Duron Carter Dane Sanzenbacher Ohio State Opponents
Kick Returns Lamaar Thomas Ray Small Brandon Saine Dan Herron DeVier Posey Anderson Russell Ohio State Opponents
Def. Leaders Ross Homan Brian Rolle Kurt Coleman Jermale Hines Anderson Russell Cameron Heyward Thaddeus Gibson Chimdi Chekwa Doug Worthington Austin Spitler Devon Torrence Nathan Williams Lawrence Wilson Dexter Larimore John Simon Andrew Sweat Donnie Evege Andre Amos Rob Rose Storm Klein Orhian Johnson Nate Ebner Etienne Sabino Nate Oliver Solomon Thomas Jonathan Newsome Zach Domicone C.J. Barnett
30s 1-3 5-6
40s 50+ 5-5 2-4 0-2 0-0
No. 5 5 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 337 143
Yds. 129 44 16 19 48 0 5 4 14 19 39 0 14.0 13.0
Yds. 2,200 171 2,371 3,486
No. 33 3 2 2 40 9
No. 18 12 4 2 1 1 38 67
Solo 57 37 38 28 31 21 27 26 20 14 15 15 10 6 7 9 8 8 5 7 7 5 3 4 2 2 2 2
Avg. 37.9 42.8 38.2 41.5
Yds. 273 5 24 17 319 49
Yds. 376 224 83 44 24 (-2) 849 1,422
Bk. 0 0
Avg. 8.3 1.7 12.0 8.5 8.0 5.4
Avg. 20.9 27.0 20.8 22.0 24.0 (-2.0) 22.3 21.2
Lg. Tot. 52 14-20 39 7-10
Long 55 51 55 67
Avg. 25.8 8.8 5.3 9.5 24.0 0.0 5.0 4.0 14.0 19.0 39.0 0.0 2 0
TD 0 0 0 0 0 0
TD 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
TD 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Long 45 5 20 15 45 28
Long 33 96 38 22 24 0 96 99
Ast. Tot. TFL-Yds Sk-Yds 51 108 5.0-17 2.0-13 58 95 7.0-21 -30 68 2.5-8 1.0-4 29 57 3.5-15 1.0-7 18 49 2.0-5 -25 46 10.0-53 6.5-43 18 45 13.0-38 4.0-21 17 43 --22 42 5.0-29 2.0-20 24 38 5.0-23 1.0-9 20 35 1.5-6 1.0-4 11 26 8.0-37 3.5-26 13 23 3.0-15 2.0-13 14 20 --9 16 4.0-12 1.5-4 6 15 1.0-3 -6 14 --4 12 --5 10 3.0-31 2.0-17 3 10 --3 10 --2 7 --3 6 0.5-5 0.5-5 2 6 --4 6 --3 5 --2 4 --2 4 ---
Passes Broken Up 7, Chimdi Chekwa; 5, Ross Homan; 4, Kurt Coleman; 3, Anderson Russell, Lawrence Wilson; 2, Doug Worthington, Devon Torrence, Rob Rose; 1, Brian Rolle, Jermale Hines, Thaddeus Gibson, Nathan Williams, Todd Denlinger, John Simon, Andre Amos. Fumbles Forced 3, Kurt Coleman; 2, Thaddeus Gibson, Devon Torrence; 1, Ross Homan, Anderson Russell, Nathan Williams, John Simon, Andrew Sweat. Fumbles Recovered 2, Ross Homan, Thaddeus Gibson; 1, Brian Rolle, Kurt Coleman, Anderson Russell, Cameron Heyward, Doug Worthington.
By Buknuts Staff
Predicting the Season Bucknuts Staff Predictions
The Bucknuts staff gazes into the crystal ball to answer some of the pressing questions surrounding this year’s Ohio State team
ach year, the Bucknuts staff comes together to collaborate on our roundtable preseason prediction feature. Sometimes we do well, and sometimes we wish our predictions weren’t put into print. But here we go again, going out on a limb to take a stab at what will happen this season. Read on for our guesses of what to expect from the Buckeyes in 2010.
Predict Ohio State’s final record
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: 12-1. The Buckeyes will lose once during the regular season, but in a year when no one goes undefeated, they will still find themselves playing for the national championship. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: 12-1. I’ve picked OSU to go undefeated before and it hasn’t. This time I’ll try reverse psychology. Road games at Wisconsin and Iowa seem treacherous. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: 12-1. The Buckeyes will run the table in the regular season, but I’m not sure the Buckeyes can get past whoever the SEC sends – likely Alabama – to the national title game. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: 12-0 – Regular Season * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: 12-1. The key games will be at Wisconsin and at Iowa. If they win those two I see the Bucks playing in the national championship game. I think that is exactly what happens, then the Buckeyes lose out in a close one for all the marbles. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: 12-1; the Buckeyes slip up once in the Big Ten and then go on to win a BCS game. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: 120 regular season. The Bucks will be favored in
every game. Who am I to argue with the experts? * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: 12-1. Ohio State has gone unblemished once since 1968. I have too many scars to be that optimistic. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: 12-1 with a big BCS win. The Big 10 is not as easy as some claim.
Game That Will Be Easier Than Expected
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: At Iowa. The Hawkeyes lost a lot of talent to the NFL – including nearly their entire offensive line – yet some are still mentioning them in the same breath as Wisconsin this year. Iowa will be a solid team, but like four years ago when there was a lot of hype for this matchup, OSU will roll. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Penn State. After recent classics this match-up will be one-sided this year. No more Daryll Clark. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Miami (Fla.). I think OSU comes out that day and establishes itself as a national powerhouse. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Miami – The Hurricanes will not be ready for the prime time atmosphere they will face in the Horseshoe this early in the season. * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Penn State. The Nittany Lions will be coming to Columbus and I see the Buckeyes winning going away. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: Penn State is overrated in preseason rankings and could be in for a very up-and-down season. One of their biggest down points will be in Columbus. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Miami. Even with all the hype, I don’t think this is that good of a team. * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Penn State. And by “easier than expected” I mean as of right now, Ohio State beating them will be easier than expected, since by the time the Nittany Lions show up on the schedule they will have been exposed
several times as a team in the midst of a significant rebuilding year. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: Iowa will face a coaching staff that has been there and done that.
Game that will be More Difficult Than Expected
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Marshall in the Thursday night season-opener. The Buckeyes will win, but they might be looking ahead to the big game against Miami the following week. Marshall is a solid team with a new coaching staff and the final result could be somewhat close like the Navy game last year. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Michigan. The Wolverines could be playing one last game for lame duck coach Rich Rodriguez. Remember Earle Bruce’s finale? * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Illinois. I think the Illini will be around .500 and they usually play the Buckeyes pretty tough, particularly in Champaign. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: None – other than two challenging road games at Wisconsin and Iowa, which are expected to be difficult contests, there won’t be any other real challenges, home or away, on the schedule. * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: At Illinois. I see the Fighting Illini being a bit better than last year and Champaign can be a tough place to play at times. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: Too many people are assuming the Buckeyes will roll against Miami. I think the Buckeyes will win, but the Hurricanes will give OSU all they can handle. Also watch out for Ohio the following week as a possible trap game. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Wisconsin. October 16. It’s at night. It’s in a tough stadium. And those guys are pretty good… * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Ohio University, whom I think will win the MAC running away. Plus, MAC is CAM backwards. And Drawyeh is Heyward backwards. And Bobcats is Stacbob! * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: Not that away games at Wisconsin are ever easy, but a break or two for the Badgers might put a magical Buckeye season in jeopardy.
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Terrelle Pryor on offense and Cameron Heyward on defense. (Sorry, is that fair? Oh well, get over it.) Pryor needs to have a big year for the Buckeyes to realize their goals and Heyward is one of the best defensive players in the nation. The latter will likely be a top five NFL draft pick in 2011. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Terrelle Pryor. Arguments can be made for the runner-up, but not No. 1. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Terrelle Pryor is the obvious choice here. He needs to build off that Rose Bowl MVP performance and take his game to the next level. If he can do that and play 10 games like he did that one, there will be some heavy hardware coming TP’s way. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Terrelle Pryor – We will see substantial improvement from Pryor both as a passer and runner! Hopefully
Pryor will have the kind of year that will make him a top pick in next year’s NFL draft. Ross Homan could even be a candidate from the defensive side of the ball. He will be an enormous playmaker on the defense. * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Terrelle Pryor. It is hard to go with anyone else. If the Bucks are going to make it to the national championship game, Pryor is going to have to have a big season and improve on his passing. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: Hard not to pick anyone other than Terrelle Pryor here. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: If it’s not Terrelle then forget my 12-0 prediction. * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: I’m sure everyone is going to go with Scott Sika, so I’ll buck the trend and pick Pryor. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: Terrelle Pryor runs for a bunch and throws for a bunch.
Several staffers tabbed Wisconsin as the Ohio State game this year that ‘Will be tougher than expected.” The Badgers return 18 starters.
Area Of Biggest Concern
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Left tackle. Entering preseason camp, the Buckeyes still aren’t sure who their starting LT will be. Junior Mike Adams has the inside track, but he will likely share time with senior Andy Miller. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Special Teams. Everyone is new except for the long snapper. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Wide receiver. Duron Carter’s ineligibility leaves Taurian Washington as the only other veteran choice behind DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. I think tight end Jake Stoneburner will be the third receiver. And heaven help them if something happens to Posey. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Kicking game – By default! But there are certainly enough quality legs around to take care of all of those chores! * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Offensive line. Things start up front. Was what we saw from the offensive line the last few games of last season a mirage or the real thing? We will find out. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: Special teams. Devin Barclay should be ok at kicker, but we don’t seem to know what we’re going to get at punter, the return game needs a threat, and coverage teams need to improve over where they were at the end of last year. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Everyone says the left tackle but we will be good enough there no matter what. I am more worried that our cornerbacks can play man on an island AND I’m worried that our second string QB will be a problem if TP goes down… * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Punting. Hopefully they won’t have to do it much. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: Our two and three-deep at receiver are not what it could and should be for this spoiled Buckeye.
Breakout Player On Offense
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Jake Stoneburner. I hesitate to believe that OSU will actually throw to the tight end this season, but Stoneburner had a big spring and won me over. A “big year” for an OSU tight end is 30 receptions. Can Stoney get
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Sophomore fullback Zach Boren (44) was tabbed by multiple staffers as the â€œUnheralded player who will unexpectedly have a big season.â€?
Photo by Nick Falzerano
there? Stay tuned. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Mike Adams. Left tackle is so important. Adams has the ability to be a great one, this year here’s hoping he maintains focus and becomes the player he can be. Success stories are worth rooting for. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Jake Stoneburner. That was easy. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Jake Stoneburner – Call it wishful thinking or hopeful thinking but if there is ever a player that is uniquely qualified and talented enough to make the tight end a meaningful position under Jim Tressel it’s this guy! And if Stoneburner has anything close to a good year catching the ball, the offense will be unstoppable! * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Jake Stoneburner. He is the man at tight end this season and looked good in the spring game. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: I want to say Stoney but I can’t pick a tight end until I actually see some passes start to come that way, so I’ll say Mike Adams finally hits his stride at left tackle. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Let’s go against the trend of the past decade and say…Jake Stoneburner! * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Jake Stoneburner. I realize betting on an Ohio State tight end to be a “breakout player” is sort of like putting all of your chips on one number at the roulette wheel, but I’ve been known to be that daring. Plus, [STANDARD BLOVIATIONS ABOUT MISMATCHES AND FIELD-STRETCHING GOES HERE] and stuff. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: If Mike Adams remains healthy, he will be overwhelmingly bigger and more athletic than his opponents.
Breakout Player On Defense
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Nathan Williams will likely rack up the sacks in his first year as a starter. He played a lot for a backup his first two seasons and he will rarely leave the field this year. He is extremely quick off the edge and is the best pass-rusher on the team by far. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Nathan Williams. He showed signs of being a force last season. His speed and tenacity are frightening. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: I’m going to say John Simon. Everybody is raving about his work ethic. He needs to be a game changer in the middle. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Dexter Larimore – Although we’ve seen flashes of his rugged potential in the trenches, this could be the season a healthy Larimore thrives in playing alongside guys like Cameron Heyward, Johnny Simon and Nathan Williams. * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Jermale Hines. He was pretty good last year. I think he is great this season. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: I think Nathan Williams will have an All-Big Ten season. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Cam Heyward is the superstar but Andrew Sweat will impress people if he is healthy enough to play. * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: John Simon,
because HE SO STRONG LIKE ANGRY BULL and because he’ll have premium orchestra seating for the show commonly known as “Cam Heyward Hellish Disruptions Make Everyone Else on Defense Better.” * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: John Simon’s work ethic will push him to the top.
Unheralded Player Who Will Unexpectedly Have A Big Season
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Zach Boren is the best fullback that Ohio State’s had in years and he will be even more impressive than he was as a true freshman last year. Boren is a battering ram of a blocker and can also sneak out of the backfield and catch the ball well. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Is Dane Sanzenbacher unheralded? Or just underappreciated? Regardless he has a big year opposite DeVier Posey. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Nobody really talks much about J.B. Shugarts at right tackle. But by the end of last season, he was doing pretty well. I think he has potential to be a great one as he continues to grow and develop. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: I would love to see Orhian Johnson become that allaround Florida safety that can impact the game in more than one way at the safety spot. The least game-experienced player in the starting defensive backfield can make a really good secondary much better. * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Devon Torrence. It looks like he will be the guy at one cornerback spot and I think he comes up big. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: Zach Boren has shown so far that he can be more than a good blocking fullback. He could make some waves on offense this year. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Can a fullback ever be “heralded”? You gotta love Zach Boren. * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Orhian Johnson will probably get picked on a lot, and I think he’ll make the most of it. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: Andrew Sweat is grossly underrated. Once healthy….watch out.
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: With a veteran-laden team returning, not many freshmen will see a lot of playing time for the Buckeyes. However, I expect that Carlos Hyde will help out as one of the reserve tailbacks. Also, redshirt freshman Chris Fields is a player to watch at wide receiver. Speaking of the wide receiver position, look for at least one of the true freshmen (Corey Brown, James Louis, Tyrone Williams) to see a lot of PT right away. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Hope its not an impact we see much of, but I feel good going into the season knowing that there is another option at back-up quarterback than Joe Bauserman. Kenny Guiton looked good in the spring. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Johnathan Hankins. They need more depth at defensive tackle and he
should get a chance to play right away. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: I think James Louis is really the only freshman who will even have an opportunity to have any kind of a major impact if he is able to claim that third or fourth receiver spot. But I really think that David Durham could show signs of potential greatness early on. And I’m a big Scott McVey fan! * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: James Louis. Jim Tressel is high on this talented wide receiver, and depending on what happens with Duron Carter, there could be a big need for a third receiver. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: With Duron Carter gone, one of the freshmen receivers should have a chance to see early playing time, and I think James Louis is the best candidate. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: Odds on it is one of two running backs: either Carlos Hyde or Rod Smith if they can navigate through the depth chart. * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Drew Basil. He can kick, right? * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: This one is tricky, but that Rod Smith sure appears looks like a college player.
* Dave Biddle, Assistant Editor: Ohio State. No one will finish the regular season undefeated and the Buckeyes will claim the second national championship of the Jim Tressel era. I do not think their opponent will be Alabama because I think SEC teams are going to beat each other up too much this season. I anticipate someone a bit under the radar, perhaps an ACC school such as Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech. * Eric Frantz, JJHuddle.com Editor: Unlike LeBron James, I’m going to support my home state. Ohio State wins its second national championship under Tressel. It would be sweet if the Buckeyes beat an SEC team to do it, but if it’s Boise State, so be it. * Steve Helwagen, Editor: Alabama. It is hard to repeat, but I think Nick Saban’s laserlike focus will help the Crismon Tide (and possible repeat Heisman winner Mark Ingram) win it again. * Gary Housteau, Writer/Photographer: Ohio State – 13-0 - Why not? It’s time for this very highly-touted junior class to make good on all of those national championship aspirations that they came to Ohio State with! * Bill Kurelic, Recruiting: Alabama. I see the Crimson Tide winning a close championship game over the Buckeyes. * Kirk Larrabee, Bucknuts.com Webmaster: I’ll be boring and pick Alabama to win again. Like Dave, I think they’ll play someone that not many people are talking about, like Virginia Tech or maybe even Nebraska. * Mr. Bucknuts, Chief Executive Bucknut: 2010: The Year of the Buckeyes! * Ramzy Nasrallah, Columnist: Virginia Tech. They open with Boise State, and then…well, look at the schedule. They’re basically off until November, and they should be loaded regardless. * Jerry Rudzinski, Bucknuts Contributor: The Buckeyes will bring home the title! The Best Damn “Team” in the Land. — BN
Editor believes Buckeyes will run the table, play for national title
ach year, I take a stab at predicting Ohio State’s record for the upcoming football season. I have been close many times over the last 15 years, but I have gotten OSU’s final regular season record correct just once. That was way back in 1995, my first year as a full-time member of the OSU beat. Last year, I had OSU going 11-1 overall in the regular season, 7-1 in Big Ten play and heading to the Rose Bowl. I got two-thirds of that right as OSU went 10-2 overall, 7-1 in conference play and did make it to the Rose Bowl. (Check out the accompanying table for a year-by-year record of my picks.) Each year, I place the upcoming season’s games in three categories. I call them Chip Shots (should be easy wins), Tester Field Goals (going to require some effort) and Long Field Goals (might need a good gust of wind at the right time to push the ball through the uprights). In 15 years, Ohio State is 57-3 in games I have pegged as Chip Shots. The lone losses were to Illinois in 1999 and 2007 and to Purdue last year. The Buckeyes are 57-12 in Tester games (including 6-0 last year) and 30-16 in Long Field Goals (including 1-1 last year with a win at Penn State and a loss to USC).
Iowa and Wisconsin are the two teams that should challenge Ohio State for the Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes return 16 starters, while the Badgers return 18, including quarterback Scott Tolzien and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year running back John Clay.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
So, although the numbers have been anything but great, I will press on with my annual attempt to pick OSU’s regular season record. Here is how I break down the 2010 schedule coach Jim Tressel’s Buckeyes:
Chip Shots (4)
* Marshall, Sept. 2, home, 7:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network) – Ohio State moved this game from Saturday afternoon to Thursday night to gain a couple of extra days of preparation for the Sept. 11 game against Miami (Fla.). Marshall may not be a pushover, though. The schools’ only other meeting was in 2004, when the Buckeyes needed Mike Nugent’s 55-yard field goal on the final play to pull out a 24-21 win. John “Doc” Holliday, a 30-year collegiate assistant with stops at Florida, Florida State and West Virginia, takes over as the head coach. The Thundering Herd are coming off a 7-6 season capped by a win over
Ohio U. in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Senior quarterback Brian Anderson is among 17 returning starters and he will pilot Marshall’s new spread offense. * Ohio U., Sept. 18, home – The Bobcats ended the year 9-5 after the bowl loss to Marshall. Former Nebraska coach Frank Solich has done a bang-up job in five years in Athens, leading the Bobcats to a pair of MAC divisional championships. OSU owns a 6-0 edge all-time over OU. Four of those wins were between 1899-1902. In recent years, Ohio State won games over OU in 1999 (40-16) and 2008 (26-14). That 2008 win was a little too close for comfort as the Bobcats led 7-6 at halftime and 14-12 after three quarters before OSU pulled out the win late. OU loses standout quarterback Theo Scott and top rusher Chris Garrett to graduation. Solich has 15 returning starters, though, including six on offense, seven on defense and two kick specialists. * Eastern Michigan, Sept. 25, home – EMU was winless in 2009, which was Ron English’s first season as the Eagles’ head coach. Only three of the losses were by single digits, although one of them was at Northwestern (27-24). English will have 14 returning starters (five offense, eight defense, one kicker). Soph Alex Gillett and senior Kyle McMahon again figure to battle at quarterback. This will be the first-ever meeting between OSU and EMU. * Illinois, Oct. 2, home – The Buckeyes will open the Big Ten season on the road against the Fighting Illini. The Buckeyes have won in their last seven visits to Champaign, dating to a 1991 loss. That includes a 30-20 win there in 2008. Last year, the Buckeyes blanked Illinois 30-0 on a rainy day at Ohio Stadium. Coach Ron Zook is back for his sixth season with the Illini, who dropped eight of their last 10 games to finish 3-9 overall and 26 in Big Ten play. Zook has 14 returning starters (five offense, seven defense, two kickers). He has to be on the hot seat and desperately needs to get Illinois back into a bowl game this year. The Juice Williams era has come and gone at Illinois and standout wide receiver Arrelious Benn has also made an early jump to the NFL. Redshirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase could be next in line at quarterback. OSU leads the all-time series with Illinois 62-30-4, including 5-2 under Tressel.
Tester Field Goals (4)
* Indiana, Oct. 9, home – IU coach Bill Lynch will be back for his fourth year as the head coach, but he has to be on the hot seat after going 3-9 in 2008 and 4-8 in 2009. The Hoosiers opened 3-0 last year, but only won one game after that and dropped their last five games. Tight losses to Michigan (36-33) and Northwestern (29-28) denied IU a bowl bid. There is some hope that IU can push for a spot in the first division in 2010. Lynch will have 14 returning starters (eight offense, four defense, two specialists). The pitch-and-catch tandem of senior QB Ben Chappell (2,941 yards passing, 17 TDs) and junior WR Tandon Doss (77 catches, five TDs) is due back in the Pistol offense. Soph RB Darius Willis (607 yards, six TDs) also returns. Ohio State has won 15 straight games over Indiana dating to a tie in 1990 (27-27) at Bloomington. Since a 1951 loss to IU, the Buckeyes are 46-2-2 against the Hoosiers. The losses in that stretch were in 1988 and ’89. OSU leads the all-time series 66-12-5. * Purdue, Oct. 23, home, noon – This will be OSU’s Homecoming game and the Buckeyes will be looking for revenge after the way the Boilers defeated OSU 26-18 last year at West Lafayette. Danny Hope took over as the new Purdue
By Steve Helwagen coach last year and the Boilers got off to a 1-5 start. But midseason wins over Ohio State and Illinois turned things around. Only a late-season loss to Michigan State (40-37) kept Purdue, which finished 5-7 overall, from a bowl game. Hope has 12 starters returning (six offense, five defense, one kicker), but QB Joey Elliott has graduated. Miami transfer Robert Marve stepped up in the spring and figures to replace Elliott. Senior wide receiver Keith Smith returns, but junior running back Ralph Bolden could be out after suffering a torn ACL in spring drills. Senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan keys the defense. Despite last year’s loss, the Buckeyes have still won five of the last seven against Purdue. OSU has also won seven straight home games over Purdue, dating to a 1988 loss. OSU commands the all-time series 37-13-2. * Minnesota, Oct. 30, away, 8 p.m. (ABC, ESPN or ESPN2) – This night game will be OSU’s first visit to Minnesota’s on-campus TCF Bank Stadium, which opened last year. After a 1-11 first year in 2007, Tim Brewster has led the Gophers to back-to-back Insight Bowl appearances. But UM fell to Kansas two years ago and Iowa State there this past year. That wrapped up a 6-7 season for the Gophers. Brewster will have 12 starters back (nine offense, two defense, one kicker). Senior quarterback Adam Weber will be back as a fourth-year starter, while juniors Duane Bennett and DeLeon Eskridge are also due back at tailback. OSU has won seven straight over Minnesota, dating to a 2000 loss in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won in their last 11 trips to Minneapolis and also won 23 of the last 24 meetings overall in the series, dating to a 1981 loss at old Memorial Stadium. OSU rolled to a 38-7 win in Columbus last year. The Buckeyes hold a 42-7 edge in the all-time series. * Michigan, Nov. 27, home – Ohio State continued its dominance in this series with a sixth consecutive win (21-10) over Michigan last year in Ann Arbor. The question is whether OSU can continue to take advantage of UM’s struggles and make it seven in a row – particularly if a Big Ten title (or maybe something even bigger) is on the line. Rich Rodriguez’s second season at Michigan was not all that better than his first one. After a 3-9 debut season in 2008, the Wolverines missed postseason play for the second year in a row with a 5-7 finish. Michigan actually opened the year 4-0 and cracked the top 25. But the school’s only win over the last two months was against Division I-AA Delaware State. With a new athletic director coming on board, this could be a do-or-die year for the always controversial Rodriguez. Rodriguez lost standout cornerback Donovan Warren early to the NFL as well as dynamic defensive end Brandon Graham to graduation. But he will have 14 starters returning (six offense, eight defense). Denard Robinson and Tate Forcier could platoon again at quarterback in 2010. This year will mark the 107th rendition of The Game, college football’s greatest rivalry. Michigan owns the all-time edge at 57-43-6. The Buckeyes will be out for their fifth straight win over UM in Columbus. That has never happened before. Tressel has posted a remarkable 8-1 record against Michigan.
Long Field Goals (4)
* Miami (Fla.), Sept. 11, home, 3:40 p.m. (ESPN) – This is the marquee game of the nonconference schedule and will serve as the first meeting between the schools since their 2003 Fiesta Bowl match-up, where then-No. 2 Ohio State upset top-ranked and defending national champion Miami 31-24 in double overtime for the national championship. OSU leads the all-time series 2-1, with a regular season win in Columbus in 1977 (10-0) and a loss to Miami at the 1999 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, N.J. (23-12). Miami ended the season 9-4 after a Champs Sports Bowl loss to Wisconsin (20-14). Miami jumped out to a 5-1 start with wins over Florida State, Georgia Tech and Oklahoma, but the ‘Canes faltered down the stretch. Coach Randy Shannon continues his quest to put Miami back on top in the ACC and in college football. He will have 17 returning starters (seven offense, eight defense, two kickers). Junior quarterback Jacory Harris is the focal point for the Miami offense. * Wisconsin, Oct. 16, away, 7 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2) – This will mark OSU’s third consecutive night game at Wisconsin following a loss in 2003 (1710) and a win in 2008 (20-17). OSU has won four of its last five visits to Madison, dating to a tie in 1993.
The Badgers shrugged off a late-season loss at Northwestern and still finished with a 10-3 mark after their bowl win over Miami. Coach Bret Bielema will have 18 returning starters (10 offense, six defense, two kickers). That group includes Big Ten offensive player of the year junior running back John Clay, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien and junior wide receiver Nick Toon. OSU took a 31-13 win over Wisconsin this past year in Columbus. The Buckeyes are 53-17-5 all-time against Wisconsin. * Penn State, Nov. 13, home – With a bye week Nov. 6, the Buckeyes will have two weeks to prepare for this pivotal game. Joe Paterno will be back for his 45th season at the helm. You don’t hear as much talk about the 82-year-old Paterno stepping down after PSU won 11
Charting The Predictions Bucknuts editor Steve Helwagen is beginning his 16th year as a full-time beat reporter covering Ohio State football. Over the past 15 years, here is how he has fared with his preseason predictions for each regular season.
Season 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Predicted Big Ten 7-1 7-1 7-1 8-0 7-1 6-2 7-1 7-1 8-0 7-1 7-1 7-1 6-2 8-0 7-1
Overall 11-1 9-2 11-1 11-0 11-1 9-2 10-1 11-2 12-0 9-2 10-1 11-1 10-2 12-0 11-1
Bowl Rose Rose Fiesta Fiesta Orange Citrus Orange Rose Sugar Rose Orange Rose Rose BCS NC Rose
Actual Big Ten 7-1 7-1 6-2 7-1 3-5 5-3 5-3 8-0 6-2 4-4 7-1 8-0 7-1 7-1 7-1
Overall 11-1 10-1 10-2 10-1 6-6 8-3 7-4 13-0 10-2 7-4 9-2 12-0 11-1 10-2 10-2
Bowl (Result) Citrus (L) Rose (W) Sugar (L) Sugar (W) No bowl Outback (L) Outback (L) Fiesta (W) Fiesta (W) Alamo (W) Fiesta (W) BCS NC (L) BCS NC (L) Fiesta (L) Rose (W)
Summing Up: Totaling the numbers for 15 years, Helwagen has been off by 24 games off on OSU’s overall record (average of 1.6 games per year) and 19 games off in Big Ten play (1.3 games per year). He has predicted 12 Big Ten titles; OSU has delivered eight. He has predicted seven Rose Bowls; OSU has been to two (2002, 2006 and 2007 would have been Rose Bowl trips under the old bowl format). He has predicted 14 BCS-caliber bowl games; OSU has been to 10 in the last 15 years. games for the second year in a row and took a Capital One Bowl win over LSU. PSU will have 13 starters back (seven offense, five defense, one kicker). The Lions must replace quarterback Daryll Clark, but soph Kevin Newsome is waiting in the wings. Standout linebacker Navorro Bowman has left a year early for the NFL and linebacker Sean Lee has graduated. Senior running back Evan Royster is back after a second straight 1,000-yard season. The Lions will be young and they face a tough Week 2 game at defending national champion Alabama. But by the end of the year, PSU could be right in the Big Ten race. OSU leads the all-time series 13-12 and also leads the Big Ten series 11-6. The Buckeyes won 24-7 at PSU in this past year. Penn State won its last visit to OSU in 2008 (13-6), winning for the first time in eight visits to the Horseshoe since joining the conference in 1993. * Iowa, Nov. 20, away – Iowa downed ACC champion Georgia Tech 24-14 in
One Man’s Big Ten Picks Here is how Bucknuts.com managing editor Steve Helwagen handicaps the 2010 Big Ten football season, with records, projected bowl bids, postseason award winners and more notables: Standings School (Bowl) Ohio State (BCS title game) Iowa (Orange) Wisconsin (Capital One) Penn State (Outback) Michigan State (Gator) Northwestern (Insight) Illinois (Texas Bowl) Purdue (Dallas FC) Michigan Minnesota Indiana
Big Ten 8-0 7-1 6-2 6-2 4-4 4-4 3-5 3-5 2-6 1-7 0-8
Big Ten No-Plays
Overall 12-0 11-1 10-2 9-3 8-4 8-4 6-6 6-6 5-7 4-8 4-8
Award Winners * Offensive Player of the Year: Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State * Defensive Player of the Year: Adrian Clayborn, Iowa * Freshman of the Year: William Gholston, Michigan State * Coach of the Year: Jim Tressel, Ohio State Also Notable If Ohio State can negotiate wins at Wisconsin and Iowa, the Buckeyes could be well on their way to a third berth in the BCS National Championship Game in five years. Now about winning that game … Iowa has the advantage of hosting Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State. If the Hawkeyes can win those three, the sky could be the limit … Bret Bielema will continue to ride the wave (as well as running back John Clay) at Wisconsin … Penn State will take its lumps with a new quarterback playing at Alabama in Week 2. But stay tuned: The Lions and ageless coach Joe Paterno will be back in a Jan. 1 bowl at the end of the year … Michigan State continues to tread water just below the upper echelon. The Spartans could use a breakthrough win at either Iowa or Penn State … Northwestern has become a tough out. The Wildcats have the novelty of hosting Illinois at Wrigley Field this year … Illinois could negotiate a 6-6 year and a bowl bid, but will that be enough to save Ron Zook’s job … Purdue could also hover around .500 and steal a bowl bid, provided Miami transfer Robert Marve can get it done at quarterback … Michigan seems to be stuck in neutral. Rich Rodriguez probably needs eight wins to save his job and I just don’t know where those wins are coming from. The first two weeks against Connecticut and at Notre Dame could tell the tale … Minnesota went to a bowl last year for Tim Brewster, but heavy defensive losses could make for a very long year. Scheduling USC is overly ambitious, to be sure … Indiana always seems to be competitive for Bill Lynch. His Hoosiers could be 4-0 outside the conference with games against Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron and Arkansas State, but 0-8 inside the league. -- Steve Helwagen the Orange Bowl to end the year 11-2 overall and ranked seventh nationally. Coach Kirk Ferentz saw two of his top underclassmen – offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga and cornerback Amari Spievey – bolt early for the NFL. But he will still have 16 returning starters (six offense, eight defense, two kickers). Senior Ricky Stanzi is back at quarterback. Sophomore Adam Robinson and senior wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos are also back. Defensively, senior defensive end Adrian Clayborn and junior safety Tyler Sash return. The Buckeyes have won their last three games against Iowa dating to a 2004
loss at Iowa City (33-7). That is OSU’s only loss in the series since a 1991 home loss as the Buckeyes have won 11 of the last 12 against the Hawkeyes. That includes OSU’s 27-24 win in overtime in Columbus this past year to clinch the Rose Bowl bid. OSU is 45-14-3 all-time against Iowa, including 4-1 under Tressel. Because this year’s game is in November, it is precluded by Big Ten rule from being a night game. Still, you know the stakes will be high when the Buckeyes and Hawkeyes meet. * Michigan State – The Spartans reached a bowl game for the third time in as many seasons under Mark Dantonio. But a 41-31 loss to Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl left MSU at 6-7 for the year. Dantonio will have 14 returning starters (seven offense, six defense and one kicker). Junior quarterback Kirk Cousins and junior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham return on offense, while senior linebacker Greg Jones is back on defense. * Northwestern – For the second year in a row, Northwestern lost a bowl game in OT. This time, it was a tough 38-35 loss to Auburn in the Outback Bowl. That defeat left NU at 8-5 for the season. Pat Fitzgerald will be back for his fifth year as the NU coach, but he will be without departed seniors Mike Kafka at quarterback and Corey Wootton at defensive tackle. He will have 15 returning starters (eight offense, six defense, one kicker). Senior linebacker Nate Williams is the top returnee.
As you look at Ohio State and its chances for 2010, there is a lot to like. For starters, the schedule sets up well for the Buckeyes. They have three of their toughest games at home with Miami (Fla.), Penn State and Michigan visiting Ohio Stadium. Yes, the Buckeyes face tough road games at Wisconsin and Iowa, in particular. But those are schools that the Buckeyes have fared well against in recent years. The Buckeyes have 18 returning starters from last year’s team that went 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl. That group includes nine returnees on offense, led by dynamic junior quarterback Terrelle Pryor. The hope is that Pryor, who has made 22 starts already at quarterback for the Buckeyes, will take the next step and the offense can improve on last year’s average of 29 points per game. Four starters return on the offensive line, led by junior guard Justin Boren. Pryor will have any number of skill players to share the ball with, including tailbacks Brandon Saine and Boom Herron and wide receivers DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher. On the defensive side, Ohio State has been a top-15 fixture nationally for each of the last five years. Seven starters are back on defense with All-American candidate Cameron Heyward returning for his senior year at defensive end. Senior experience abounds with defensive tackle Dexter Larimore, linebackers Brian Rolle and Ross Homan, cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence and safety Jermale Hines also back in the fold. This is the kind of nucleus that most pundits believe could put Ohio State back into the national championship picture in 2010. OSU has the nation’s longest string of BCS bowl bids at five straight. The Buckeyes played for (and lost) the national title game after the 2006 and 2007 seasons. This could be the year, though, where OSU gets back to the biggest stage in the sport. Sure, the Buckeyes will need some breaks and a couple of bounces to go their way. Nobody said the games at Wisconsin and Iowa, for instance, will be easy. But if this team can improve offensively and stay the course defensively, it is capable of some big things in 2010. I am going to say Ohio State will run the table in 2010. The Buckeyes will go 12-0 overall and 8-0 in Big Ten play. That would give OSU a sixth straight conference title, tying the Big Ten record for consecutive league championships. And the Buckeyes will head back to Arizona for the sixth time in nine years for the postseason. The BCS national championship game is set for Jan. 10 at University of Phoenix Stadium. But, whatever happens, be sure to enjoy what should be one more remarkable season – the 121st, to be exact -- of Ohio State football. — BN
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Can Alabama give SEC a fifth straight national title?
he 2009 college football season was one of the most turbulent in recent memory. Some of the stories that took center stage included: * Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount punching a Boise State player after an opening night defeat. * Florida State nudging legendary coach Bobby Bowden out the door in favor of coach-in-waiting Jimbo Fisher. * The end of the controversial Charlie Weis era at Notre Dame after five rough years. (Of course, that story was followed by Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly’s active campaign for the ND job – even as his unbeaten Bearcats were still firmly in the national title hunt.) * Allegations of NCAA practice time rules violations at Michigan, which en-
Trojans In Turmoil Southern California was rocked this off-season by several punches. First head coach Pete Carroll bolted for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. Then the NCAA placed the program on two years probation and took away 30 scholarships for violations that occurred during the Reggie Bush era. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley (right) won’t be eligible to play in a bowl game until he’s a senior.
dured an unheard of second consecutive losing season under embattled coach Rich Rodriguez. * The murder of a Connecticut player (Jasper Howard) outside of a dance on the UConn campus. * A trio of coaches – South Florida’s Jim Leavitt, Kansas’ Mark Mangino and Texas Tech’s Mike Leach – were dismissed after allegations of mistreatment of players. * And the saga at USC, which saw ultra-successful coach Pete Carroll bolt for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks just months before the NCAA hit the Trojans with two years of probation in connection with the Reggie Bush affair. Lane Kif-
fin made a messy departure after one year at Tennessee to follow his mentor Carroll at USC. * On the field, Oklahoma lost the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford to an injury in an opening night loss to BYU. That defeat knocked the Sooners, a preseason top-five team, out of national title contention. * Likewise, OU’s Big 12 rival, Texas, got all the way to the national title game before star quarterback Colt McCoy was lost to an injury in the first quarter. Backup Garrett Gilbert filled in admirably, but Alabama and Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram were too much in the Tide’s 37-21 win at the Rose Bowl. As you can see, there are always a ton of compelling storylines surrounding the world of college football. The focus in 2010 so far has been on conference realignment. The Big Ten and commissioner Jim Delany threw down the gauntlet last December by saying the league was considering expansion. In June, that became a reality as Nebraska agreed to leave the Big 12. Colorado also left the Big 12 and joined Utah as new members in the Pac-10. And Boise State, which has dominated the WAC for the last several years, will take up residence in the Mountain West. All of those changes are expected to take effect in 2011, meaning those schools will be lame-duck members of their current conferences this season. And there is no telling whether there may be more upheaval any time soon. Back on the field, Alabama seems to be the clear choice to give the SEC a fifth straight national championship season. The Crimson Tide could also become the first team to repeat as a national champion since USC in 2003-04. Heisman winner Ingram returns for coach Nick Saban. Sure, there will be a number of top contenders in the mix to try and unseat Alabama. Ohio State, coming off a Rose Bowl win, would like to run the table and get back to a third national title game in five years. Iowa and Wisconsin, which each host OSU, are expected to push the Buckeyes in the Big Ten. Boise State has won two of the last four Fiesta Bowls. The next step for the Broncos would be a spot in the BCS national title game. But that would require an opening weekend win over ACC favorite Virginia Tech in a neutral site game in Landover, Md. The Tim Tebow era is over at Florida, but don’t expect coach Urban Meyer’s Gators to roll over in the SEC. The Big 12 race looks as exciting as ever with Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska all capable of winning 11 or more games this year. USC should have a decent team in Kiffin’s debut season. But the school’s postseason ban precludes a trip to the national title game or even the Rose Bowl. Likewise, Oregon lost dynamic quarterback Jeremiah Masoli when he was booted from school this spring. These developments leave the Pac-10 wide open for the taking. Cincinnati has represented the Big East in the BCS the last two years. But with Kelly heading off to South Bend, new coach Butch Jones will try and keep the Bearcats in the Big East race. Pittsburgh could become the Photo by Nick Falzerano team to beat. The BCS is beginning another four-year run that will preserve the current bowls/national championship format through the 2013 season. The major change, though, moves all of these games from a combination of Fox and ABC to ESPN. In terms of the Heisman Trophy, Ingram would love nothing better than to join Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75) as the only two-time winner in Heisman history. But a handful of other candidates – Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, Houston quarterback Case Keenum and Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett – will also toss their helmets into the race. At any rate, here is my preseason top 25, followed by my BCS projections.
The Top 25 1. Alabama (14-0 last year)
The Tide bagged their first national title since 1992 with last year’s win. Besides Ingram, senior quarterback Greg McElroy and junior wide receiver Julio Jones also return. Alabama must replace some key names on the defensive side of the ball, however. Key Games: Sept. 11, Penn State; Sept. 25, at Arkansas; Oct. 2, Florida; Nov. 6, at LSU; Nov. 26, Auburn.
2. Ohio State (11-2)
Pryor is among 17 returning starters for OSU, which won its first Rose Bowl in 13 seasons. The schedule sets up nicely for OSU with Miami (Fla.), Penn State and Michigan visiting the venerable Horseshoe. Key Games: Sept. 11, Miami (Fla.); Oct. 16, at Wisconsin; Nov. 13, Penn State; Nov. 20, at Iowa; Nov. 27, Michigan.
3. Boise State (14-0)
Moore has only suffered one loss in two seasons as Boise State’s starting quarterback. The opening game against Virginia Tech is the key. The Broncos boast 21 returning starters and should run roughshod (again) over the WAC. Key Games: Sept. 6, vs. Virginia Tech (at Landover, Md.); Sept. 25, Oregon State; Oct. 26, Louisiana Tech; Nov. 26, at Nevada.
4. Texas (13-1)
Gilbert moves into the role as UT’s new starting quarterback. The Longhorns could lean to the running game behind sophomore running back Tre’ Newton. The game at Nebraska is a rematch of last year’s all-too-tight Big 12 title game, won by Texas 13-12. Key Games: Sept. 18, at Texas Tech; Sept. 25, UCLA; Oct. 2, vs. Oklahoma (at Dallas); Oct. 16, at Nebraska; Nov. 25, Texas A&M.
5. Florida (13-1)
Some believe that Tebow’s successor, John Brantley, could be Florida’s next Heisman Trophy winner. That is high praise, indeed. The Gators could win the SEC East, but the game at Alabama looms large. Key Games: Sept. 11, South Florida; Sept. 18, at Tennessee; Oct. 2, at Alabama; Oct. 9, LSU; Oct. 30, vs. Georgia (at Jacksonville); Nov. 27, at Florida State.
6. Nebraska (10-4)
The Huskers seem to be back after a rough decade. Defensive tackle Jared Crick takes over for departed star Ndamukong Suh. Senior Zac Lee is back at quarterback. Key Games: Sept. 18, at Washington; Oct. 16, Texas; Oct. 30, Missouri; Nov. 26, Colorado.
7. Virginia Tech (10-3)
The Hokies could catapult themselves into national title contention with an opening night win over Boise State. Tech would take getting back on top in the ACC, certainly. The running back duo of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans could be the nation’s best. Key Games: Sept. 6, vs. Boise State (at Landover, Md.); Nov. 4, Georgia Tech; Nov. 13, at North Carolina; Nov. 20, at Miami (Fla.).
8. Iowa (11-2)
The Hawkeyes opened 9-0 last year before quarterback Ricky Stanzi went down with an injury and Iowa dropped games to Northwestern and Ohio State. Stanzi and throwing mate Derrell Johnson-Koulianos return as does standout defensive end Adrian Clayborn. The Hawkeyes have Ohio State coming to Iowa City and would love nothing more than to spoil a big year for the Buckeyes. Key Games: Sept. 18, at Arizona; Oct. 2, Penn State; Oct. 23, Wisconsin; Nov. 13, at Northwestern; Nov. 20, Ohio State.
9. TCU (12-1)
TCU has racked up 53 wins over the last five years and broke through with a BCS bowl bid against Boise State last year in the Fiesta. The defense should again be strong and the Horned Frogs are clearly the team to beat in the Mountain West. If Boise State stumbles, TCU could be in line for a BCS bowl bid. Key Games: Sept. 4, vs. Oregon State (at Arlington, Texas); Oct. 16, BYU; Nov. 6, at Utah.
10. Oklahoma (8-5)
Sophomore Landry Jones filled in ably for the injured Bradford. Senior DeMarco Murray returns at running back. After a tough start, OU ended the year with decisive wins over rival Oklahoma State and Stanford in the Sun Bowl. Key Games: Sept. 11, Florida State; Sept. 25, at Cincinnati (at Paul Brown Stadium); Oct. 2, vs. Texas (at Dallas); Nov. 27, at Oklahoma State.
11. Wisconsin (10-3)
The Badgers will ride 1,500-yard rusher John Clay, now a junior, as far as he can take them. Senior Scott Tolzien also returns at quarterback. Key Games: Sept. 18, Arizona State; Oct. 2, at Michigan State; Oct. 16, Ohio State; Oct. 23, at Iowa; Nov. 27, Northwestern.
12. Oregon (10-3)
This was a likely top-10 team before Masoli’s banishment. Now the Ducks – who enjoyed a huge first season for coach Chip Kelly – need Nate Costa to step up. Sophomore LaMichael James is a dynamic threat at running back. Key Games: Sept. 11, at Tennessee; Sept. 25, at Arizona State; Oct. 30, at USC; Nov. 13, at California; Dec. 4, at Oregon State.
13. Miami (Fla.) (9-4)
The ‘Canes believe their defense can match some of the ones the school had during its last glory run between 200002. Junior Jacory Harris is back at quarterback. Senior Allen Bailey keys the defense at end. The schedule, as always, is brutal. Key Games: Sept. 11, at Ohio State; Sept. 23, at Pittsburgh; Oct. 9, Florida State; Oct. 23, North Carolina; Nov. 13, at Georgia Tech; Nov. 20, Virginia Tech.
14. Pittsburgh (10-3)
Speaking of Pitt, the Panthers suffered a tough loss in the season finale to Cincinnati that denied them a Big East title and a BCS bowl bid. Running back Dion Lewis could be the next big thing and could lead the Panthers to that promised land of a BCS berth. Key Games: Sept. 2, at Utah; Sept. 23, Miami (Fla.); Oct. 9, at Notre Dame; Nov. 26, West Virginia; Dec. 4, at Cincinnati.
15. Penn State (11-2)
The Nittany Lions must reload at several key positions including quarterback, where sophomore Kevin Newsome takes over. He could make his second career start at Alabama, though. Still, 1,100-yard rusher Evan Royster figures to have another big year. Key Games: Sept. 11, at Alabama; Oct. 2, at Iowa; Oct. 30, Michigan; Nov. 13, at Ohio State; Nov. 27, Michigan State.
16. Arkansas (8-5)
The Razorbacks could boast the SEC’s best offense with coach Bobby Petrino calling the plays for Mallett. Key Games: Sept. 18, at Georgia; Sept. 25, Alabama; Oct. 16, at Auburn; Nov. 27, vs. LSU (at Little Rock, Ark.).
17. North Carolina (8-5)
Senior quarterback T.J. Yates and a tough defense gives UNC a shot at an ACC title. Key Games: Sept. 4, vs. LSU (at Atlanta); Sept. 18, Georgia Tech; Oct. 23, at Miami (Fla.); Nov. 6, at Florida State; Nov. 13, Virginia Tech.
18. USC (9-4)
The Trojans could still be a top-10 contender even if there will be no pot of gold with a bowl game at the end of this year’s rainbow. Sophomore quarterback Matt Barkley stayed put after the transition from Carroll to Kiffin. Key Games: Sept. 2, at Hawaii; Oct. 16, California; Oct. 30, Oregon; Nov. 20, at Oregon State; Nov. 27, Notre Dame; Dec. 4, at UCLA.
19. Oregon State (8-4)
The Beavers have 16 starters back from their team that was a heartbreaking 37-33 loss to rival Oregon away from going to the Rose Bowl. Sophomore Ryan Katz takes over as the starting quarterback. He’ll be distributing the ball to the Rodgers brothers: receiver James and tailback Jacquizz. Key Games: Sept. 4, vs. TCU (at Arlington, Texas); Sept. 25, at
Boise State; Nov. 20, USC; Dec. 4, Oregon.
20. Florida State (7-6)
Fisher takes over as the FSU coach and his two directives will be to put the Seminoles back on top in the ACC and end the losing streak to Florida. Senior Christian Ponder is back at quarterback. Key Games: Sept. 11, at Oklahoma; Sept. 18, BYU; Oct. 9, at Miami (Fla.); Nov. 6, North Carolina; Nov. 27, Florida.
21. LSU (9-4)
The Tigers figure to again be pretty good, although they have gone just 17-9 since winning the 2007 national title. Junior Jordan Jefferson is back at quarterback. Key Games: Sept. 4, vs. North Carolina (at Atlanta); Sept. 25, West Virginia; Oct. 9, at Florida; Oct. 23, at Auburn; Nov. 6, Alabama; Nov. 27, vs. Arkansas (at Little Rock, Ark.).
22. Georgia (8-5)
Clemson (9-5) – The Tigers have not won an ACC title since 1991. Arizona (8-5) – Junior quarterback Nick Foles is one of 10 starters back on offense. Temple (9-4) – The Owls could push toward their first MAC title this year. Washington (5-7) – Senior quarterback Jake Locker will be given every chance to lead the Huskies this year. Michigan State (6-7) – All-American candidate Greg Jones is back at linebacker. Northwestern (8-5) – Junior Dan Persa could be next in line at quarterback. Mississippi (9-4) – Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has enjoyed back-to-back nine-win seasons in Oxford. Mississippi State (5-7) – Former Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen tries to work his magic here. Texas Tech (9-4) – Tommy Tuberville was the right man to bring stability after Leach’s ouster.
The Bulldogs won four of their last five games to redeem an otherwise lost season. Redshirt freshman Aaron Murray takes over at quarterback. Key Games: Sept. 18, Arkansas; Oct. 2, at Colorado; Oct. 30, vs. Florida (at Jacksonville); Nov. 13, at Auburn; Nov. 27, Georgia Tech.
Hands On The AFCA National Championship Trophy is awarded by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to the winner of college football's BCS National Championship Game. The trophy has been awarded since 1986 and has been tied to the winner of the BCS National Championship Game since 1998.
23. Auburn (8-5)
Gene Chizik had a respectable start as the Auburn coach last year. He needs to find a new starting quarterback with JUCO transfer Cameron Newton the front runner. Key Games: Sept. 18, Clemson; Oct. 16, Arkansas; Oct. 23, LSU; Nov. 13, Georgia; Nov. 26, at Alabama.
24. Cincinnati (12-1)
Jones takes over after Brian Kelly led UC to the best twoyear period in program history. Junior Zach Collaros steps in at quarterback after he relieved the injured Tony Pike periodically last year. Isaiah Pead returns at tailback and USC transfer Vidal Hazelton steps in at receiver. Key Games: Sept. 16, at N.C. State; Sept. 25, Oklahoma (at Paul Brown Stadium); Nov. 13, at West Virginia; Nov. 27, at Connecticut; Dec. 4, Pittsburgh.
25. West Virginia (9-4)
Bill Stewart could be under the gun to produce a doubledigit win season after collecting nine victories in each of his first two years after replacing Rich Rodriguez. Dynamic senior Noel Devine is quite an offensive weapon. Key Games: Sept. 25, at LSU; Oct. 29, at Connecticut; Nov. 13, Cincinnati; Nov. 26, at Pittsburgh.
Others To Consider
Here are 20 more schools, listed in no particular order, to keep an eye on in 2010: Houston (10-4) – The prolific Keenum gives the Cougars a passing chance. Utah (10-3) – The Utes have a high profile schedule with games against Pittsburgh and at Notre Dame. They also get TCU and rival BYU at home. Connecticut (8-5) – UConn finished strong after the tragedy of Howard’s murder. The Huskies could be a serious Big Ten contender in 2010. South Carolina (7-6) – Junior Stephen Garcia, one of 15 returning starters, is back for his third year at quarterback. Notre Dame (6-6) – Brian Kelly assumes the reins and the hope is he can bring the high powered offense that excelled at Cincinnati. Junior Dayne Crist steps in at quarterback. Navy (10-4) – The Midshipmen have gone from being a novelty to a dangerous opponent. California (8-5) – Cal has been a perennial underachiever the last few years. Senior quarterback Kevin Riley returns. Stanford (8-5) – Some believe sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck is one of the nation’s best. Missouri (8-5) – The Tigers have more consecutive bowl seasons and winning years (five each) than anybody else in the Big 12 North. BYU (11-2) – Coach Bronco Mendenhall needs a quarterback to replace Max Hall. Texas A&M (6-7) – The Aggies must improve defensively after surrendering more than 33 points a game last year.
Obviously, I am looking at Alabama and Ohio State in the BCS National Championship Game. Alabama would be trying to repeat, while Ohio State would be after its first title since the 2002 season. This means that the Sugar Bowl would lose the SEC champion and the Rose Bowl would lose the Big Ten champion. In placing the automatic berths, Pac-10 champion Oregon would be in the Rose Bowl, ACC champion Virginia Tech would be in the Orange Bowl and Big 12 champion Texas would be in the Fiesta Bowl. By finishing as the No. 3 team, Boise State would be guaranteed a BCS spot. So would Big East champion Pittsburgh. The Sugar Bowl would then have the first choice to replace Alabama and would take Florida. The Gators would be back in the Sugar for the second consecutive year. As I understand the new BCS selection procedure, the first year in this cycle where the Rose Bowl loses a school to the national title game it must take a mandatory at-large team from a non-automatic qualifying conference. That would be Boise State in its lame-duck year in the WAC, so you’d have Oregon against Boise State in the Rose. The final three BCS bowl slots would be selected, in order, by the Sugar, then the Orange and finally the Fiesta. I would see the Sugar jumping to get Nebraska to face Florida. The Orange would then take Iowa to face Virginia Tech. The Fiesta would be left to take Pittsburgh to go against Texas. Of course, this scenario leaves some very deserving teams – TCU, Oklahoma and Wisconsin, in particular – on the sideline. But that’s how I see it. Whatever happens, we know this will be another great year for college football. Hopefully, unlike last year and this off-season, the big headlines will be on the field. — BN
Ohio’s best recruiting class ever? The Bucknuts 50
Updated list/analysis of Ohio’s top 2011 prospects
* 1. Braxton Miller, QB, 6-2, 190, 4.5, Huber Heights Wayne — Miller is one of the country’s premier quarterback prospects. He has been a varsity starter since his freshman year. Miller is a terrific athlete who puts great pressure on defenses with his ability to throw or run. Miller threw for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season. He also rushed for over 700 yards and 18 TD’s. Miller had approximately three dozen scholarship offers. He verbaled to Ohio State on June 3, picking the Buckeyes over Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Notre Dame. Miller has a 3.6 GPA. ScoutingOhio.com’s Mark Porter on Miller: “Braxton Miller has great arm strength and he throws on the run very well,” Porter said. “He scrambles and still looks to beat you with his arm. He uses his teammates well. He has running back abilities in a quarterback. I would say he compares to former West Virginia quarterback Pat White or even to a Michael Vick.” * 2. Michael Bennett, DL/OL, 6-3, 270, 4.8, Centerville — Bennett was a starter at guard his sophomore season and tackle on both sides of the ball his junior season. Bennett runs well for his size and is very athletic. He has the ability to be a great player on either side of the ball at the next level, but would prefer to play defensive end. Bennett had a long list of scholarship offers that includes Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, Cincinnati and West Virginia. However, in mid-April he narrowed things down to Ohio State and Northwestern and shortly thereafter he verbaled to OSU. Bennett has a 3.2 GPA. Porter on Bennett: “Bennett has a great ‘get off’ at the snap of the ball. He has exceptional explosion for a prospect of his size. He has a nasty attitude. He is a finisher and extremely aggressive. He just dominates high school competition on just about every snap of the ball.” * 3. Kenny Hayes, DE, 6-5, 240, 4.7, Toledo Whitmer — Hayes started a couple games his freshman year before becoming a full-time starter the next year. Hayes had a huge sophomore sea-
Photo by Nick Falzerano
n February, we debuted the Bucknuts 50 list of Ohio’s top prospects for the Class of 2011. These prospects have wrapped up their junior year of high school. Some of them have already made their college commitments and they are also involved in attending summer camps. Here is the updated list as of late June:
Springfield LB Trey DePriest son as he made 144 tackles including eight sacks and 12 tackles-for-loss. Hayes is a terrific athlete in a big body. He averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game in basketball his sophomore season and has run the 100 meter dash in 11.2 seconds in track. Hayes had early offers from Ohio State and Illinois before committing to the Buckeyes on Aug. 31 of 2009. Hayes has a 3.3 GPA. Porter on Hayes: “In most years, Kenny Hayes would be the No. 1 player in Ohio. He fits the prototype for an NFL defensive end or maybe even a defensive tackle depending on how he grows. His size-to-speed ratio is incredible. Hayes is a ‘track guy,’ which is something you don't usually hear when talking about the defensive line.” * 4. Doran Grant, DB, 5-11, 175, 4.4, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary — Grant is a super cover cornerback prospect who can lock down opposing receivers. Grant has tremendous speed and quickness. He plays boundry cornerback, wide receiver and returns punts and kickoffs. Grant intercepted three passes his sophomore season and a couple more his junior season. Grant’s father Ted Jones was an All-Big Ten wide receiver at Michigan State. Grant has over two dozen scholarship offers. Ohio State is No. 1 on his list followed by Michigan
State, Michigan, USC and Illinois. Grant has a 3.1 GPA. Porter on Grant: “Doran Grant made his name freshman year as a state qualifier for track and since then he has never had to look back. He has been known as a "speed guy" by most, but Grant’s skills on the field are catching up with his immense talent. Grant has the size and speed to be an elite cover corner in college football. Doran is being recruited as a speed guy and will not disappoint coaches when he gets on campus next fall.” * 5. Steve Miller, DE, 6-4, 240, 4.8, Canton McKinley — Miller made 116 tackles including six sacks and eight tackles-for-loss during his sophomore season. He had another 100 plus tackle season as a junior. Miller bench presses 300 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. He had scholarship offers from Ohio State, Florida, Michigan State, Purdue, UCLA, West Virginia, Stanford and a few others before he committed to the Buckeyes on Oct. 29, 2009. Miller has a 3.4 GPA. Porter on Miller: “Steve Miller from Canton McKinley is built to play the Leo position in the OSU defense. He will be the backside defensive end that can rush the passer or occasionally drop into coverage on zone blitzes.”’ * 6. Trey DePriest, LB, 6’1, 215, 4.5, Springfield — DePriest has been a varsity starter in football, basketball and baseball since his freshman year. He played outside linebacker that season and linebacker, running back and quarterback the past two seasons. DePriest is a big-time hitter with good range. He combines good strength with excellent speed. DePriest has dozens of scholarship offers. His list includes Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. DePriest has a 3.3 GPA. Porter on DePriest: “I have seen Trey DePriest at a combine, during a game, and on film. Never have I come away disappointed. He just looks like a middle linebacker when you see him in person. He has a very thick build with big shoulders to dish out a beating. He has great agility. He shows great burst. He has closing speed. He squares up shoulders and strikes ball carriers. He is a great blitzer off the edge and up the middle. He fights through blocks and runs through trash to get to the ball.” * 7. Aundrey Walker, OL, 6-6, 330, 5.2, Cleveland Glenville — Walker is a massive offensive lineman with tremendous potential. He played defensive tackle his sophomore season, and then moved to offensive right guard last season. Walker will play on offense in college. He is very strong, has good feet and runs well. Walker has scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, USC, Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana, West Virginia and some others. Walker says the Buckeyes and Spartans are tied at the top of his list. Walker has close to a 3.0 GPA. Porter on Walker: “He is the most massive prospect I have seen in the last four years. One college coach told me he looks like he already plays for the Cleveland Browns. Keep an eye on his weight because he weighed in at 360 pounds at the combine and San Antonio, Texas . He blows defenders off the ball and creates big time movement.” * 8. Ron Tanner, DB, 6-1, 190, 4.5, Columbus Eastmoor Academy — Tanner is a left-handed quarterback and safety for the Warriors. He threw for over 1,200 yards during his junior season, but is
By Steve Helwagen, Bill Kurelic and Mark Porter being recruited as a safety where he made close to 90 tackles and intercepted seven passes. Tanner had approximately 20 scholarship offers including Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Northwestern, Minnesota, Arizona and Stanford. He selected the Buckeyes in June. Tanner has a 3.7 GPA. Porter on Tanner: “Tanner is an elite prospect on and off the field. He is a very smart safety who can support the run and be an asset in coverage. He shows ball skills and an ability to make plays.” * 9. Cardale Jones, QB, 6-5, 215, 4.5, Cleveland Glenville — Jones has the size and athletic ability recruiters look for. He also has a good arm and is productive. Jones led Glenville to the Division I state championship game last season and a final record of 13-2. He threw for over 2,000 yards included 1,000 yards in five playoff games. Jones also had close to 500 rushing yards in 15 games. He threw for 19 scores and had nine touchdowns rushing. Jones has scholarship offers from Iowa, West Virginia, Penn State, Michigan, Illinois, Michigan State, Cincinnati and a couple MAC schools. Jones has a 3.5 GPA. Porter on Jones: “Jones played just about a perfect game as a 16-year-old in the Division I state championship game. If not for a few dropped balls near the end of the game, Glenville should have sealed their title. He has an obvious elite skill set for a quarterback when it comes to height and speed.” * 10. Nick Vannett, TE, 6-6, 230, 4.75, Westerville Central — Vannett, despite playing in a runoriented offense, caught approximately 20 passes with two touchdowns during his junior season. He is a talented athlete who also excels on the Central basketball team. He committed to Ohio State in June after collecting close to two dozen scholarship offers, including Wisconsin, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon and Pitt. Vannett has a 3.4 GPA. Porter on Vannett: “He is a huge target as a receiver and presents a coverage mismatch for college defenses. Can run well enough to get down the seam and make plays in the passing game. His size also helps him dominate in the run game. Will get stronger blocking as he adds weight over the next few years.” * 11. Eilar Hardy, DB, 6-0, 175, 4.5, Pickerington Central — Hardy has been a starter since the beginning of his sophomore season and has played both safety and cornerback. Hardy 85 tackles and intercepted three passes his first season and had 75 tackles and three more interceptions last season. He committed to Notre Dame in June after having close to two dozen scholarship offers, including Michigan State, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arizona, Colorado and Boston College. Hardy has a 3.0 GPA. * 12. Chase Farris, DE/DL, 6-6, 265, 5.0, Elyria — Farris was a starter at defensive tackle his sophomore season. He moved to defensive end and also started at offensive right tackle his junior season. Farris made close to 50 tackles including 20 for loss and 7.5 sacks last season. He had scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana, Cincinnati, Louisville and a few others before committing to the Buckeyes in March. Farris has a 3.9 GPA. * 13. Greg Brown, DB, 5-10, 185, 4.45, Fremont Ross — Brown is a two-year starter at cornerback and also started at wide receiver during his junior season. He has good coverage skills and reacts quickly once the ball is in the air. Brown
Nos. 21-50 Rank/Player
21. Brad Carrico
Dublin Coffman (Notre Dame)
22. Chris Carter Jr.
Cleveland JFK (Ohio State)
23. Devin Smith
Massillon Washington (Ohio State)
24. Tommy Brown
Akron Firestone (Ohio State)
25. Donavon Clark
26. Jesse Hayes
27. Antonio Underwood
Shaker Heights (Ohio State)
28. Steven Daniels
Cincinnati St. Xavier
29. Kevin Williams
Holland Springfield (Nebraska)
30. A.J. Jordan
31. Sean Duggan
Cincinnati St. Xavier
32. Austin Traylor
Columbus Walnut Ridge
33. Ryan Kelly
West Chester Lakota West
34. Chase Hounshell
Mentor Lake Catholic
35. Brian Mihalik
Avon Lake (Boston College)
36. Shaquil Petteway
37. Shane Wynn
38. Patrick Coyne
Hamilton Badin (Cincinnati)
39. Joel Heath
Mount Healthy (Michigan State)
40. Antonio Poole
Cincinnati Winton Woods
41. Chris Dukes
42. Deonte Gibson
Lakewood St. Edward
43. Cole Stoudt
44. Tony Davis
45. Robert Mincey
46. Jack Miller
Toledo St John’s (Michigan)
47. Antwan Gilbert
48. Connor Cook
Cuy. Falls Walsh Jesuit (Mich. St.)
49. Justin Murray
50. Marquise Vann
picked off five passes last season. He had scholarship offers from Michigan, Michigan State and Central Michigan before committing to the Wolverines on Sept. 2. Brown has a 3.6 GPA.` * 14. Ray Hamilton, TE, 6-5, 225, 4.75, Strongsville — Hamilton is one of two top tight end prospects in the Buckeye State. Hamilton caught 22 passes, averaged 16.7 yards per catch and scored five times during his sophomore season. He caught another 20 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown despite playing in just six games last season due to undergoing surgery for torn meniscus in his right knee. Hamilton committed to Iowa this summer after tallying over two dozen scholarship offers including Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Cal, Stanford, and Pitt. * 15. Roger Williamson, WR, 6-2, 180, 4.5,
Dayton Dunbar — Williamson is the complete wide receiver prospect. He has pretty good size and speed, runs well and above average strength for a wide receiver. Williamson, bench presses over 225 pounds and has a 33-inch vertical jump. He has scholarship offers from Stanford, Maryland, Boston College, Syracuse, Indiana, North Carolina State and a number of MAC schools. He has a 3.4 GPA. * 16. Jarrett Grace, LB, 6-4, 235, 4.6, Cincinnati Colerain — Grace has been Colerain’s starting middle linebacker since the beginning of his sophomore season. He made close to 100 tackles each season. Grace has the size to play either middle or outside linebacker in college, or even grow into a rush defensive end type guy. Grace had over a dozen scholarship offers including Notre Dame, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Kentucky, Stanford, Colorado, Syracuse, Indiana and a few
others before he committed to the Irish at the Notre Dame spring game. Grace has a 4.0 GPA. * 17. Shaq Washington, WR, 5-9, 165, 4.47, Maple Heights — Washington is not real big, but he is very fast and talented. Washington had a great junior season playing quarterback as he led Maple Heights to the state championship game and a final record of 12-3. He passed for 2,510 yards and 28 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Washington also rushed for 1,784 yards and 21 touchdowns. However, Washington is being recruited as a wide receiver. He committed to Cincinnati in June after also weighing offers from Illinois, Boston College, Duke, Air Force, Iowa State and a host of MAC schools. Washington has a 3.8 GPA. * 18. DerJuan Gambrell, DB, 6-2, 180, 4.5, Toledo Rogers — Gambrell has a nice combination of size and speed. Because of his speed and coverage ability Gambrell was recruited as a cornerback even though he has been a starter at safety since the beginning of his sophomore season. Gambrell made over 60 tackles and inter-
Top Ohio Prospects For 2012 College recruiters are already taking note of Ohio’s top prospects for 2012. That list is led by Toledo Whitmer defensive Chris Wormley. Colleges may make written offers to these juniorsto-be in August. Here is an early top 10 list, followed by a list of 20 others to watch. Rank/Player
1. Chris Wormley
2. Greg McMullen
3. Warren Ball
4. Kaleb Ringer
5. Bam Bailey
6. Adolphus Washington
7. Brionte Dunn
8. Taylor Decker
9. Tom Strobel
10. Ryan Anderson
More Names To Watch
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Northmont LB Kaleb Ringer cepted two passes as Rogers finished with a 9-2 record last season. Gambrell’s first offer came from Ohio State. He always wanted to play for the Buckeyes so the recruiting process did not last long as Gambrell committed to OSU in mid-March. Gambrell has a 2.6 GPA. * 19. Andre Sturdivant, LB, 6-3, 225, 4.6, Cleveland Glenville — Sturdivant made 90 tackles including 11 sacks during his junior season. He played defensive end and inside linebacker, but will probably play outside linebacker in college. Sturdivant has scholarship offers from Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, Pitt, Toledo, Bowling Green, Ball State and a couple others. He says the Buckeyes have indicated they will likely make an official offer. Sturdivant has close to a 2.8 GPA. * 20. Chris Rock, DE, 6-5, 255, 4.8, Columbus DeSales — Rock has been a varsity starter since the beginning of his sophomore season. He made 64 tackles including 15 sacks that season. Rock plays defensive end for the Stallions. He could play that position or defensive tackle in college. Rock has committed to Michigan. He also had offers from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, West Virginia, Pitt, Indiana, Cincinnati, Boston College, Nebraska, Virginia and a few others. Rock has a 3.5 GPA. — BN
Jamire Westbrook RB
Kings Mills Kings
Cameron Wilson WR
Lakewood St. Edward
Lewis Center Olentangy (Ohio State)
Class Coming Together
By Bill Kurelic
Ohio State’s 2011 recruiting class looks very promising
f one were going to write a script for the Buckeyes’ class of 2011 recruiting efforts, it would be hard to write a much better story than the one unfolding. Jim Tressel is expected to sign a 2011 recruiting class of at least 22 prospects and maybe as many as 23 or 24. As we move towards the end of July, Tressel has a group of 17 commitments that is far and away the top recruiting class in the Big Ten and without question a Top 10 class nationally. Tressel is well on his way towards dominating his home turf, the state of Ohio. He has commitments from 12 Ohioans, quarterback Braxton Miller (Huber Heights Wayne), wide receiver Devin Smith (Massillon Washington), tight
top two quarterbacks. He had close to 50 scholarship offers including Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Michigan before announcing a commitment to Ohio State on June 3. Bennett is the No. 2 prospect in Ohio in the Bucknuts 50, Hayes is No. 3, and Steve Miller No. 5. Tanner and Vannett are also Top 10 in-state prospects. Farris is a Top 15 Ohioan. Gambrell is one of the top DB’s in the state and Smith one of the top wide receivers. Carter, Underwood and Brown are three of the top five offensive linemen in the Buckeye State. Tressel has not missed out on an in-state prospect he has offered to this point. However, he still has a few targets he hopes to add to the class.
Homegrown Talent OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel is well on his way towards dominating his home turf. He has commitments from 12 Ohioans. That group includes quarterback Braxton Miller (Huber Heights Wayne), wide receiver Devin Smith (Massillon Washington), tight end Nick Vannett (Westerville Central), defensive lineman Michael Bennett (Centerville, right), defensive ends Kenny Hayes (Toledo Whitmer) and Steve Miller (Canton McKinley), defensive/offensive lineman Chase Farris (Elyria), defensive backs Derjuan Gambrell (Toledo Rogers) and Ron Tanner (Columbus Eastmoor) and offensive linemen Chris Carter Jr. (Cleveland John Kennedy), Antonio Underwood (Shaker Heights) and Tommy Brown (Akron Firestone).
Photo by Nick Falzerano
end Nick Vannett (Westerville Central), defensive lineman Michael Bennett (Centerville), defensive ends Kenny Hayes (Toledo Whitmer) and Steve Miller (Canton McKinley), defensive/offensive lineman Chase Farris (Elyria), defensive backs Derjuan Gambrell (Toledo Rogers) and Ron Tanner (Columbus Eastmoor) and offensive linemen Chris Carter Jr. (Cleveland John Kennedy), Antonio Underwood (Shaker Heights) and Tommy Brown (Akron Firestone). Braxton Miller, an Under Armour All-American, is the No. 1 prospect in Ohio and one of the country’s
Defensive back Doran Grant (Akron St. VincentSt. Mary), the No. 4 overall prospect in Ohio, has over two dozen scholarship offers including Ohio State, Michigan State, USC, Michigan and Illinois. Grant seems likely to decide between the Buckeyes and Spartans (his father Ted Jones was an All-Big Ten wide receiver at Michigan State). The No. 6 prospect in Ohio, linebacker Trey DePriest (Springfield), has narrowed his long list of scholarship offers down to Ohio State, Alabama and Florida. Ultimately his decision seems likely to come down to either the Buckeyes or Crimson Tide.
Offensive lineman Aundrey Walker (Cleveland Glenville), the No. 7 prospect in the Buckeye State, has scholarship offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, USC, Michigan, Penn State, Illinois, Notre Dame and a number of others. The Buckeyes and Spartans are tied at the top of Walker’s list. The other Ohioan the Bucks have offered is wide receiver Shane Wynn (Cleveland Glenville). Wynn, who doubles as a great return man, is considering offers from Ohio State, Miami, Tennessee, USC, Nebraska, Michigan, North Carolina and some others. While they have not offered him a scholarship to this point, quarterback Cardale Jones (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville) could land one and if he does would be a strong candidate to commit to the Buckeyes. From outside the Ohio borders the Bucks have commitments from wide receiver Evan Spencer (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills), tight end Jeff Heuerman (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier), offensive lineman Brian Bobek (Palatine, Ill./Fremd), defensive lineman Joel Hale (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove) and safety Jeremy Cash (Plantation, Fla./Plantation). All are among the top prospects in their respective states. The Bucks are interested in landing one more wide receiver. Shane Wynn is their top targets. The Bucks have commitments from four offensive linemen and want to sign five. Aundrey Walker is definitely a target, but they also have offered a scholarship to Angelo Mangiro (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury. Mangiro’s decision seems likely to come down to Ohio State, Rutgers or Penn State, and he plans to announce his college choice on July 25. The Ohio State staff will consider taking one more defensive end. There are a number of candidates from out-of-state, but in the end the most likely scenario come National Signing Day has the OSU staff signing the ones that have already committed and no one else. At linebacker the Bucks’ top target is DePriest. But they also are hoping to sign either Conner Crowell (Waldorf, Md./North Point) or Ejuan Price (Pittsburgh, Pa./Woodland Hills). Crowell has Ohio State among his top five or six choices and says he will make an official visit to OSU during the football season. Price has Ohio State, Pitt and Iowa as his top choices. The Bucks are also definitely interested in signing outside linebacker/defensive end Andre Sturdivant (Cleveland, Ohio/Glenville). There are a number of out-of-state secondary prospects the Buckeyes are pursuing. But the two most likely to end up at Ohio State are Jabari Gorman (Miami, Fla./Pace) and Michael Caputo (Imperial, Pa./West Allegheny). Gorman has over two dozen offers. He says Ohio State would be in his top three and he plans to make an official visit to OSU the weekend of Sept. 11 when the Bucks play the Miami Hurricanes. Caputo visited Ohio State early in the summer and has the Buckeyes as well as Pitt, Penn State and Wisconsin as his top choices. What it all adds up to is another outstanding Ohio State recruiting class. When all is said and done on National Signing Day expect this class to be one of the best Tressel has signed since he has been at Ohio State, and a Top 10 and quite possibly Top 5 recruiting class nationally. — BN
By Dave Biddle
Photo by Gary Housteau
In May, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit joined us for a lengthy, three-part interview on our Bucknuts Front Row Radio show. The former Ohio State quarterback and captain wanted to “clear the air” to some extent when it came to his feelings about the Buckeyes, why he says some of the things he does on the air and whether the criticism from OSU fans bothers him. Here are excerpts from that interview: Herbstreit on speaking to Ohio State’s football team in April and getting emotional: “Well, (OSU head coach Jim Tressel) asked me to come in and it was great to get a chance to address the players and coaches. He just asked me to talk about some of the things I’ve seen. I’ve been covering college football on a national level for 15 years now and my message to them was pretty simple: How many teams can look around in a meeting room and realize that physically you have the ability to win a national championship? Because they do. “So, I was basically trying to paint a picture for them of how things could go and how well it could go for them if they can keep all of this in order. And all of that was fine. I got through all that. But then I said, ‘While I have you here, I’d just like to tell you guys how much this school means to me.’ And when I said that, I broke down. And I’m not ashamed of that. And when I say I broke down, I mean I just saluted them and tipped my cap and hugged Tress and left. “I’ve talked with the team in the past. But because there is this ‘Does he really like Ohio State?’ from some people, for me to stand there in front of the people that really matter and tell them how I’ve always felt – and this wasn’t some revelation, this is how I’ve always felt about Ohio State – was pretty powerful. I was happy that I did it and I look forward to watching them this year.” Herbstreit on whether the criticism from OSU fans hurts him: “Yeah, absolutely it does. The biggest difference between me and maybe some of the fans is, when I was 2 or 3 or 4 years old and I used to go to sleep dreaming about playing for Ohio State and my dad was a captain and my dad coached with Woody (Hayes) … I mean, you can’t be any more Ohio State than me. It wasn’t like I was living vicariously (through someone else), I lived it. I’d go into the locker room after Archie Griffin played and I’d put on his real helmet after the game when he had his big ‘fro. Corny Greene, I sat on Corny Greene’s lap after games. These are memories that I have. “And then to dream about one day going to Ohio State and playing for the Buckeyes and to be able to live that dream was very special. I went through a lot of red tape and it didn’t look like it was going to work out, but I ended up being a captain and a team MVP my senior year. These are things that outside of my family, I hold near and dear to my heart. Those are things that I don’t take for granted.” Herbstreit on the criticism from OSU fans that he stood idly by as the program was trashed on TV during the 2004 Alamo Bowl: “We were in San Antonio the day of the game and Mike Tirico – who I announced the game with later that night – was asked to interview Andy Geiger. As a colleague of Mike Tirico and a fan of Ohio State, I thought it went over perfectly. Andy got a chance to set the record straight. Mike would put the ball on a tee, Andy would hit a single to center. Put the ball on the tee, double to the gap. He answered it truthfully: ‘This is what we know. Troy Smith is suspended for this game and is suspended for the Miami of Ohio game to open the 2005 season and this is where we are. This is what we know and we don’t think this is going on through the program, but this is what we know and what we think happened.’ “So, when they threw it back to the studio – I remember this because I was upset about it too watching it at the hotel – when (Tirico) threw it back to Bristol, it was Trev Alberts and Mark May and they really proceeded to do a hatchet job on Geiger and Tressel. They were calling for Geiger’s head, they were calling for Tressel’s. “But I was not on the air when (they) trashed the program. The only time I would have defended Ohio State or any other school is if I was sitting on the set and those comments were made like, “Ohio State players are getting $100 handshakes’ and all these assumptions about Geiger and Tressel, then it would have been very hard for me to contain myself.” — BN
Ohio Football...Best Ever?
very high school football season in Ohio is exciting, but this upcoming fall has the potential to be among the best ever. Simply based on individual talent alone, Ohio is as deep as ever. In mid-July, the Class of 2011 (this season’s seniors) had 166 players who had earned at least one Division I Eric Frantz scholarship offer. Last year a record 171 seniors were offered. Of those Class of 2011 players, 50 have already committed. Where are they headed? Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Cincinnati, Boston College and Northwestern are just a few of the destinations. Some of those who are undecided are weighing offers from Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Oklahoma, USC and Arizona. Team-wise, this year promises to be competitive as well. Only Kettering Alter and Youngstown Ursuline, who are the two-time defending state champions in divisions IV and V, respectively, are clear-cut No. 1s entering the fall.
Eric Frantz Managing Editor
Division I Preview
Division II Preview
Division III Preview
Do two state titles in four years signal a shift of power to Central Ohio? Can Columbus produce another state champ?
Is s u e 1
Managing Editor Eric Frantz
Recruiting Editors Mark Porter, Bill Kurelic
Staff Writers Kirk Larrabee, Steve Helwagen, Dave Biddle, Fred Marion Contributors Tom Jenkins, Kurt Stubbs, Alex Sator
Photography Stephanie Porter, Gary Housteau, Nick Falzerano, Joe Maiorana, Scott Grau, Os Figuero, Ben Barnes
Printing Miami Valley Sports Magazine (MVP) miamivalleysports.com
Region 8 looks like it’s Ohio’s deepest talent-wise, but will that translate into another state title? The usual suspects are back - Mooney, Steubenville and DeSales - but is Cincinnati Wyoming the team to watch?
22 Division IV Preview
Can anyone unseat Kettering Alter? It’s doubtful, but there are several teams that are going to try.
28 Division V Preview
Youngstown Ursuline is the early favorite to win its third straight state title. Region 20 ridiculously deep again.
34 Division VI Preview
Delphos St. John’s fell five seconds short of a second straight state title last year; Are the Blue Jays the favorite this year?
Ohio High Magazine is published online nine times a year and also produces an online and hard copy issue in July (Football Preview/Year in Review). Ohio High is an independent source of news and features relating to Ohio high school sports. Ohio High strives to report information based on fact, but assumes no responsability for any inaccuracies that may appear. Ohio High is not authorized, sponsored or sanctioned by any university, athletic conference or athletic governing body. Subscriptions are available and may be purchased online at jjhuddle.com. c Copyright 2010, Ohio High Magazine and MVP Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved. COVER PHOTO: Nick Falzerano (miamivalleysports.com/MVP Magazine)
O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion I
Defending State Champion: HILLIARD DAVIDSON Runner-Up: CLEVELAND GLENVILLE
hen the dust settled at the end of the Ohio high school football season, a familiar program and coach were holding the gold trophy as the Division I state champion. Hilliard Davidson coach Brian White and his Wildcats were celebrating after his team rallied to defeat Cleveland Glenville 16-15 in a dramatic state title game. It was the second state title in four years for Whiteʼs Davidson team, which is quickly becoming one of the best public school programs in the state. Unfortunately, months later, tragedy struck the Hilliard community when Rico Butler, who had a 29-yard touchdown run in the title game, drowned while swimming in a central Ohio pond. Butler figured to be one of the key pieces in Davidsonʼs bid to repeat in 2010. In northeast Ohio, it makes sense once again to start with Glenville and Cleveland St. Ignatius. Those two figure to again be in the running in Region 1. St. Ignatius captured its record 10th state title in 2008, while Glenville just missed out on the crown last December. Likewise, Region 2ʼs finalists from last year, bitter rivals Canton McKinley and Massillon Washington, should again be in the running. Massillon is also in search of its first state playoff title. Dublin Coffman, Pickerington Central and Hilliard Davidson all seem to be contenders in Central Ohioʼs Region 3. The deepest region looks like Region 4 in Southwest Ohio. There are so many possible contenders here, including Centerville, Huber Heights Wayne, Cincinnati Moeller, Cincinnati Elder, Cincinnati Anderson, West Chester Lakota West and Cincinnati Colerain.
REGION 1 Teams To Watch
Cleveland Glenville (13-2) * Players to Watch – OL Aundrey Walker (6-6, 330, Sr.), WR/DB Shane Wynn (5-10, 175, Sr.), QB Cardale Jones (6-5, 215, Sr.), LB Andre Sturdivant (6-3, 225, Sr.). * Outlook – The Tarblooders appeared to be on their way to the first state championship for a team from the Cleveland Public Schools. But Hilliard Davidson rallied for a late touchdown and a two-point conversion to steal the win. Still, Glenville figures to be back in the mix in 2010. Jones is a standout quarterback with offers from a number of top schools. He threw for over 2,000 yards, including 1,000 in five playoff games. Jones also had close to 500 rushing yards in 15 games. He threw for 19 TDs and added nine more rushing.
Photo by Gary Housteau
Cleveland Glenville and Cleveland St. Ignatius met twice last year with the Wildcats winning in the regular season and the Tarblooders getting revenge in the playoffs.
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Cleveland St. Ignatius (11-1) * Players to Watch – RB Bobby Grebenc (5-11, 195, Sr.), OL Mason Halter (6-6, 240, Sr.), OG Michael Ramos (6-4, 289, Sr.), TE Blake Thomas (6-4, 235, Jr.), SS Mike Svetina (6-2, 210, Sr.). * Outlook – Coach Chuck Kyle is back for his 28th year with the Wildcats. After winning the state title in 2008, St. Ignatius ran the table in the regular season and was the No. 1-ranked team throughout 2009. The Wildcats had defeated Glenville 14-13 in the season opener. But the Tarblooders avenged that
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Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision I
ST ORY B Y S TE V E HE L W A G E N defeat with a 30-13 win in a regional semifinal, dashing St. Ignatius’ dream of an 11th state title. Grebenc was All-Ohio in 2009 after rushing for 1,242 yards and 18 TDs as a junior. St. Ignatius must replace Mark Myers (Pitt) at quarterback.
Solon (12-1) * Players to Watch – DB/QB Chris Humphrey (60, 180, Sr.), RB/DB Kyle Hammonds (5-9, 175, Sr.), DT/OG Nathan Hoff (6-1, 280, Jr.), OG/DT Sam Camiener (6-2, 250, Sr.). * Outlook – After missing the playoffs in 2008, Solon won its first 12 games and the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division title in 2009. But the Comets dropped a 28-27 decision to Glenville in the regional final. Coach Jim McQuaide is back for his eighth season as the Solon head coach. He welcomes back nine starters (five offense, four defense). “The most returning experience we have is at offensive line, running back and linebacker,” McQuaide said. “Some areas where we need to find experience and improvement very fast are at quarterback and on the defensive line.” Humphrey tallied 65 tackles as a junior. Hammonds was a starter at RB, rushing for 992 yards and 17 TDs. Hoff tallied 48 tackles and 14 tackles-for-loss as a sophomore.
North Royalton (9-2) * Players to Watch – RB Logan Pearce (6-0, 190, Sr.), S James Holodnak (6-1, 170, Sr.), OL Jeff Kovach (6-3, 255, Sr.), DE/OLB Azarie Battle (6-3, 215, Jr.). * Outlook – Coach Nick Ciulli is back for his sixth year as the North Royalton coach. He welcomes back seven starters (three offense, four defense). “Our JVs were 10-1 and our freshmen were 10-0,” Ciulli said. “So we’ve got some good young kids coming. We have seven guys back who were key contributors and good players. We’re younger but we are going to be bigger than we were last year.” Pearce rushed for 1,300 yards and also had three kick return TDs as a junior. Holodnak had five interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Mayfield (10-2) * Players to Watch – WR Chuck Zavarella (6-2, 180, Sr.), LT Joe Valente (5-10, 225, Sr.), NG Rob Razzante (5-10, 205, Sr.), OG Kolton Bodnovoich (60, 215, Sr.), LB-S Ray Guerrini (5-10, 170, Jr.). * Outlook – The Wildcats made the jump up from D-II to D-I last year. They earned a playoff berth and advanced to the regional semifinals before being ousted by Solon 13-10 in overtime. Coach Larry Pinto is back from his 13th year. He has six starters back (three offense, three defense). “Each year, it seems like we get depleted but then we have kids who have been in the program and they have stepped up,” Pinto said. “Our expectations are high. We want to hold ourselves to the standards we have set. We’ve won 10 games each of the last four years and made the playoffs each year.”
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Zavarella had 30 catches with five for TDs. Razzante had 58 tackles, three sacks and eight TFL. The quarterback job is open. “We’re expecting a junior, Caden Loew, to step into that job,” Pinto said. Euclid (6-5) * Players to Watch – QB/DB Chuck Bradford (60, 175, Sr.), TB Allen Crawford (5-10, 180, Sr.), OLB Jamaal Henry (5-10, 195, Sr.), MG Edwin Chandler (5-11, 205, Sr.), SS-RB Mike Wynn (5-10, 180, Sr.), K Mike Ruscin (6-0, 190, Sr.). * Outlook – Tom Gibbons is back for his third year as the Euclid coach. His team made the playoffs last year, but dropped a 10-7 decision to Solon. He has six starters back (three offense, three defense). “We feel optimistic,” Gibbons said. “We are never lacking in talent. Experience is a concern. We’ll be a young team and we may lack some big-game experience. Our JVs were 8-2.”
Youngstown Boardman (7-4) * Players to Watch – TB Nick Buonavolonta (5-9, 185, Sr.), LB/FB Carmen Taratino (5-10, 205, Sr.), HB/OLB Tyler Walls (5-9, 180, Sr.), QB/FS Trae Robinson (6-3, 180, Sr.), WR/FS Dayne Hammond (6-6, 180, Jr.), HB/CB Devin Campbell (5-11, 180, Jr.). * Outlook – Boardman got into the playoffs last year, but dropped their opener to St. Ignatius 17-0. Coach D.J. Ogilvie, back for his seventh year at Boardman, has four starters back on offense and four on defense. “We think we have a lot of depth at the skill positions,” Ogilvie said. “But we need all new linemen on both sides of the ball. The game is won in the trenches.” Buonavolonta rushed for 1,000 yards last season. Taratino had 40 tackles last year. Robinson steps into the starting quarterback role.
Keep An Eye On
* Strongsville (3-7 last year) – It was a rare down year for the Mustangs, who are a perennial playoff contender. Senior TE Ray Hamilton (6-5, 230) is the top name. He has committed to Iowa. * Mentor (6-4) – Senior RB Mike Korecz (5-11, 195) was a third-team All-Ohio pick last year. Junior DE Tom Strobel (6-6, 240) is considered one of Ohio’s best 2012 prospects. * Lakewood St. Edward (4-6) – Rick Finotti is back for his second year as the St. Ed’s head coach. DE Deonte Gibson (6-3, 225, Sr.), WR Avery Bailey (6-1, 195, Sr.), OL Geoff Mogus (6-5, 285, Sr.) and OL Kyle Kalis (6-5, 302, Jr.) are four of the top names. Mogus committed to Northwestern in July. Gibson was a third-team All-Ohio pick as a junior. * Warren Harding (6-3-1) – Two-way lineman Ian Folnar (6-5, 330, Sr.) leads the way for the Raiders. * Eastlake North (4-6) – Quarterback George Gresko (6-0, 175, Jr.) is back after a big sophomore year where he threw for 2,932 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Other Teams In Region
Parma (7-4), Willoughby South (8-2), North Olmsted (7-3), Painesville Riverside (2-8), East Cleveland
10 Players To Watch Braxton Miller, Huber Heights Wayne, Sr., QB Is one of the country’s premier QB prospects. He threw for over 1,000 yards and nine TDs as a junior and rushed for over 700 yards and 18 TDs. He verbaled to Ohio State. Michael Bennett, Centerville, Sr., DL/OL Was a starter at guard his sophomore season and tackle on both sides of the ball his junior season. Bennett had a long list of offers before verbaling to Ohio State. Kenny Hayes, Toledo Whitmer, Sr., DE Is a three-sport standout in football, basketball and track. A first-team All-Ohio pick last year, Hayes is headed to Ohio State. Steve Miller, Canton McKinley, Sr., DE Made 116 tackles his sophomore season and had another 100-plus tackle season as a junior, earning All-Ohio honors. He’s committed to Ohio State. Trey DePriest, Springfield, Sr., LB Has been a varsity starter in football, basketball and baseball since his freshman year. Has also played OLB, RB and QB. He is considering Ohio State, Alabama, Florida and others. Cardale Jones, Cleveland Glenville, Sr., QB Has the size and athletic ability recruiters look for. He led Glenville to the Division I state championship game last season, throwing for over 2,000 yards, including 1,000 yards in five playoff games. Jones also had close to 500 rushing yards in 15 games. He threw for 19 scores and had nine touchdowns rushing. Eilar Hardy, Pickerington Central, Sr., DB Has been a starter since the beginning of his sophomore season and has played both safety and cornerback. He had 85 tackles his first season and 75 more last year. He has verbaled to Notre Dame. Devin Smith, Massillon Washington, Sr., WR Had a big junior season by catching 50 plus passes for 989 yards and 15 TDs. The All-Ohio pick has verbaled to Ohio State. Brionte Dunn, Canton GlenOak, Jr., RB Enjoyed a breakout sophomore year in 2009 when he rushed for 1,300 yards and scored 12 TDs. GlenOak ended up 9-3. Jayshan Jackson, Westerville South, Sr., RB Earned first-team All-Ohio honors after rushing for 2,052 yards and 25 TDs. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry.
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion I Shaw (6-2-1), Cleveland John Adams (7-3), Austintown-Fitch (6-4), Lyndhurst Brush (5-4), Cleveland Rhodes (6-4), Cleveland John Marshall (7-3), Middleburg Heights Midpark (5-5), Cleveland Heights (4-6), Garfield Heights (4-5), Parma Heights Valley Forge (28), Cleveland Lincoln West (3-7), Brecksville-Broadview Heights (2-8), Shaker Heights (1-9), Lakewood (1-9).
REGION 2 Teams To Watch
Toledo Whitmer (9-2) * Players to Watch – DE Kenny Hayes (6-5, 240, Sr.), DE Chris Wormley (6-5, 254, Jr.), OL Chris Reaper (6-3, 230, Sr.). * Outlook – Whitmer enjoyed a 9-1 regular season before dropping a 34-13 decision to Canton McKinley in its playoff opener. Hayes, an Ohio State verbal, is considered the state’s No. 3 prospect for 2011. Wormley, already fielding offers from a number of top schools, is rated No. 1 in the state for 2012. That defensive line should be pretty effective.
Canton GlenOak (9-3) * Players to Watch – QB Alex Meredith (5-11, 170, Sr.), OLB-H Back Luke Merrill (6-3, 205, Sr.), TB Brionte Dunn (6-1, 220, Jr.), FS-WR Dashawn Hall (60, 190, Jr.). * Outlook – Scott Garcia returns for his fourth year as the coach at GlenOak, which welcomes back two starters on offense and three on defense. GlenOak advanced to the regional semifinal before losing to Federal League rival Canton McKinley 48-7. “We are basically going to start over,” Garcia said. “We lost a big senior class (35). They took the majority of the reps. But we are at the point now with a system in place and we’ve made the playoffs three years in a row. Our expectations are that we plug guys in and go from there. We graduated our whole offensive and defensive lines. That’s our biggest question.” Meredith took over at quarterback for the last four games. Dunn rushed for 1,400 yards and scored 14 touchdowns as a sophomore last year.
Canton McKinley (8-5) * Players to Watch – DE Steve Miller (6-4, 242, Sr.), QB Kyle Ohradzansky (6-1, 213, Sr.), RB Elijah Farrakhan (5-9, 192, Sr.), WR Malcolm Robinson (6-1, 180, Jr.), DT Eric Snow (6-0, 275, Sr.), DE Sevon Pittman (6-5, 235, Jr.), SS Freddie Barton (5-8, 188, Sr.). * Outlook – Coach Ron Johnson welcomes back eight offensive starters and six on defense. “We feel real good about having a lot of experience back on both sides of the ball,” Johnson said. “We have some guys who have started since they were sophomores. On defense, we have a very aggressive and physical group of guys.” Miller is considered one of Ohio’s top five prospects for 2011. Miller, a second-team All-Ohio
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pick last year, has already committed to Ohio State. Ohradzansky is in his fourth year as a starting quarterback, including the last three at McKinley. Farrakhan had 800 yards last year.
Massillon Washington (10-4) * Players to Watch – WR/CB Devin Smith (6-2, 185, Sr.), WR/OLB Justin Olack (6-2, 205, Sr.), LB/RB Aaron Roby (6-1, 215, Sr.), LB/RB Seth Naulbach (60, 215, Sr.), TB/SS Jake Reiman (6-0, 190, Sr.), SS/RB Tyler Robinson (6-0, 195, Sr.), CB/WR Tyler Miller (5-10, 170, Sr.). * Outlook – Jason Hall is back for his third season as the Massillon coach. He has six starters back on offense and five on defense from last year’s squad that won three playoff games before falling to Glenville 31-17 in a state semifinal. “That is kind of a double-edged sword,” Hall said. “We were happy to make it to the final four, but we were disappointed at the same time. It has been good motivation for us in our off-season program. The kids have really taken up the challenge and carried it over.” Smith was a first-team All-Ohio pick at receiver last year with 50 catches for 989 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has already committed to Ohio State. Olack added 49 catches and three scores. “We are fortunate to have Devin and Justin,” Hall said. “Devin is a 10.5-second 100-meter guy. He is very athletic and creates mismatches.” Reiman chipped in 527 yards rushing and six touchdowns last year. Miller had 67 tackles and six interceptions on defense last year. Massillon must find a new starting quarterback.
Twinsburg (10-2) * Players to Watch – QB Aaron Macer (6-1, 185, Sr.), OG/LB Nico Gagne-Cross (5-10, 220, Sr.), OT/DT Brett Gulosh (6-1, 255, Sr.), DB London Carter (5-9, 160, Jr.), DB/RB Michael Baker (5-11, 180, Jr.). * Outlook – Twinsburg made a jump from 3-7 in 2007 to nine wins and a berth in the regional semifinals in 2008. The Tigers won 10 games in 2009 before falling to Massillon Washington 10-7 in the regional semis. Coach Mark Solis has 11 returning starters (five offense, six defense). “We graduated a ton of kids,” Solis said. “We had 23 who graduated. But our JV and freshman teams were both undefeated. We’ll have a lot of kids who will be playing under the lights for the first time. We are excited about the chance to be pretty good.” Gagne-Cross and Gulosh each have two years of starting experience. Macer is an intriguing athlete at QB.
Wadsworth (9-2) * Players to Watch – LB Jay Crowley (6-1, 235, Sr.), TB Jack Snowball (5-11, 205, Jr.), OT/DT Nick Tavanello (5-10, 235, Jr.), C Dom Owens (5-10, 215, Sr.), LB/FB Bret Baughman (5-11, 205, Jr.), OLB Tom Iverson (6-0, 190, Sr.). * Outlook – Coach Greg Dennison is back for his 15th year at the helm. He has three starters back on both sides of the ball. Crowley is the leader on defense. Dennison is looking for Nate Heideman (6-1, 185, Sr.) to move from receiver to QB this fall.
“This will be an opportunity for a lot of kids to step up and make a name for themselves,” Dennison said. “We had a good group of seniors and a good group of juniors coming up.”
Brunswick (7-4) * Players to Watch – RB Tevin Jackson (5-10, 170, Sr.), ILB Brandon Mendrea (6-1, 215, Sr.), ILB Mike Vrsansky (5-11, 190, Sr.), DE/TE Ray J Brown (6-4, 220, Sr.). * Outlook – Luke Beal, who spent 10 years as the head coach at Fredericktown, takes over for Rich Nowak as the new coach at Brunswick. He has six returning starters (one offense, five defense). “I was able to be around the kids for most of the spring,” Beal said. “I still have to do some evaluation of some personnel, but I have a good idea of who has played. It is very exciting to head into a program with great tradition. The kids have worked hard and have a good attitude.” Brown could be a player to keep an eye on after missing time last season.
Keep An Eye On
* Sylvania Southview (7-3) – After winning the Division II state title in 2008, Southview jumped up to D-I and just missed the playoff field. Junior QB/S Allen Gant (6-1, 201) is considered one of Ohio’s top 2012 prospects. * North Canton Hoover (7-4) – Hoover presses on without two-time Ohio Mr. Football award winner RB Erick Howard. * Hudson (8-2) – Hudson tied Canton McKinley for eighth in the Region 2 standings, but painfully missed the playoff field due to a third-level points tiebreaker that favored McKinley, which won two fewer games in the regular season. * Toledo St. John’s (6-4) – St. John’s is led by senior OL Jack Miller (6-4, 270), who has committed to Michigan.
Other Teams In Region
Macedonia Nordonia (2-8), Fremont Ross (5-5), Whitehouse Anthony Wayne (7-3), Medina (4-6), Toledo Start (2-8), Perrysburg (7-3), Amherst Steele (7-3), Findlay (5-5), Elyria (4-6), Massillon Perry (4-6), Oregon Clay (4-6), Uniontown Green (3-7), Cuyahoga Falls (3-7), Toledo Bowsher (4-6), Stow-Munroe Falls (2-8), Toledo Waite (3-7), Lorain Admiral King (1-9), Massillon Jackson (0-10).
REGION 3 Teams To Watch
Dublin Coffman (12-1) * Players to Watch – QB Cole Stoudt (6-4, 205, Sr.), DL/OL Brad Carrico (6-5, 275, Sr.), DL Max Phelps (6-5, 220, Sr.), DE Aaron Rodriguez (6-2, 215, Sr.), DB Stacy Woodford (5-10, 165, Sr.). * Outlook – Coach Mark Crabtree is back for his 10th year at Coffman and 16th season as a varsity head coach. He has nine returning starters (four offense, five defense) from last year’s team that dropped a regional final to Ohio Capital Conference
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Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision I rival Hilliard Davidson 22-7. Carrico has already verbaled to Notre Dame. Stoudt is back for his third year as the starting QB, although he missed the last five games last season due to injury. “We are pretty optimistic,” said Crabtree, who shared state coach of the year honors last year. “We had a lot of uncertainties last year with 10 seniors starting for the first time. But they came through and did a good job. We are beginning to see some signs that this team will work that hard.”
Upper Arlington (5-5) * Players to Watch – RB Ryan McSheffry (5-11, 190, Jr.), RB Drew Karem (6-0, 200, Sr.), OT Alex Sherer (6-2, 283, Sr.), DB/WR Damon Rothgeb (6-0, 192, Sr.), WR/DB Frank Epitroupolis (6-2, 184, Jr.). * Outlook – Coach Mike Golden is back for his sixth year as the UA coach and 20th year as a varsity coach overall. He returns seven starters on offense and six on defense. “We had a lot of injuries last year and those were troublesome for us,” Golden said. “But it also created a scenario that is good for this year since a lot of young kids got to play. The expectations are always high at Upper Arlington.” McSheffry tallied 800 yards rushing last year, while Karem had 500 yards in just five games. Senior Jake Johns could take over at quarterback.
Hilliard Davidson (13-1) * Players to Watch – OL/DL Kyle Annis (5-10, 255, Sr.), TE/DE Keith Heitzman (6-4, 239, Sr.), TE/DE Kyle Payton (6-4, 242, Sr.), K-P J.D. Detmer (5-8, 175, Sr.), QB/WR Jimmy Curtis (5-10, 175, Sr.), OL David Montenaro (6-2, 249, Sr.), DB Cody Topp (5-11, 176, Sr.). * Outlook -- Coach Brian White returns for his 11th year at Davidson and 13th season as a varsity head coach. “This senior class needs to put the success of last year’s state championship behind them and try to leave their own legacy in the Davidson program,” White said. “Health and the development of physical and mental toughness in some key areas will be a key ingredient to the success of this year’s team.” Davidson will press on without standout RB Rico Butler, who died in a drowning incident in May.
Pickerington Central (10-2) * Players to Watch – QB Grant Hammond (6-3, 185, Sr.), DB Eilar Hardy (6-1, 190, Sr.), RB Speedy Hammond (5-7, 170, Sr.), DB/WR Tamani Carter (511, 180, Sr.), OL/DL Aric Barker (6-5, 290, Sr.), DB Mike Brown (5-11, 180, Sr.). * Outlook – Jay Sharrett has averaged just over 10 wins in his seven years in charge of the Pickerington Central program. The Tigers defeated crosstown rival Pickerington North 14-12 in a playoff opener before falling to Hilliard Davidson in a regional semifinal. Hardy has committed to Notre Dame. The schedule is tough with a road game at Plainfield, Ind., in week 1 and a game against Oscar Smith from Virginia in week 2 in the Herbstreit Varsity Series at Ohio Stadium.
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Worthington Kilbourne (5-4) * Players to Watch – OG/DT Matt Skura (6-4, 280, Sr.), MLB Nick Porter (5-11, 195, Sr.), RB Dan Eurich (5-11, 170, Sr.), FB Sheldon Tillman (5-9, 185, Sr.), DL Adam Evanoff (5-11, 190, Sr.), WR Jack Burian (6-6, 190, Sr.). * Outlook – Coach Vince Trombetti, back for his fifth season as the Wolves’ head coach, has seven starters back on offense and three returning on defense. “Last year, we only had five starters back,” Trombetti said. “Two of them moved to different positions and we went 5-4. That should have been 7-2. This year, we have twice as many kids back. We are cautiously optimistic.” Kilbourne emphasizes the option game and has Tillman (769 yards) and Eurich (233 yards) back. “Our third back, Hunter Pack, also returns,” Trombetti said. “Last year, we had zero guys back with experience in the backfield. The key for us will be to replace some of our offensive linemen.”
Lancaster (6-5) * Players to Watch – QB/DB Nolan Flowers (6-2, 200, Sr.), RB/DB Connor Smith (5-10, 185, Sr.), RB Christian Long (5-6, 160, Sr.), OG Jordan Francis (61, 260, Jr.), C Clayton Happeny (5-9, 215, Jr.), DE Garret Ranegar (6-2, 195, Sr.), TE/DE Aaron Woosley (6-4, 235, Jr.), LB Luke Roberts (6-2, 225, Jr.), WR/DB JoJo Knecht (5-11, 175, Sr.) * Outlook – The Golden Gales have won or shared five league championships since 2003. “Lancaster returns many players who saw action as underclassmen during the 2009 season on both sides of the ball,” said coach Rob Carpenter. “We must reduce penalties and play more consistently in all areas than we did in the 2009 season.” Lancaster’s first four games are difficult with a visit to Logan, home games with Lakota West and St. Ignatius and a trip to Pickerington Central.
Powell Olentangy Liberty (7-4) * Players to Watch – LB Matt Casey (6-1, 220, Sr.), LB Adamichael Gesell (6-2, 215, Sr.), DE Joe Archer (6-2, 215, Sr.), OG Mark Arcaro (6-1, 230, Sr.), FS Jimmy Chickerella (6-2, 185, Sr.), CB Tyler Specht (5-10, 165, Sr.). * Outlook – Last year, Liberty moved up to Division I from D-II and qualified for the playoffs. But the Patriots dropped their playoff opener to Westerville South. Coach Steve Hale welcomes back five starters on each side of the ball. “We usually graduate about the same number of guys every year,” Hale said. “We had a little bit smaller junior class than we’ve had last year. But we’ve had a good influx of JV players who did a good job and were real successful last year.” Casey and Gesell are defensive leaders who each eclipsed 100 tackles last year.
Keep An Eye On
* Pickerington North (7-4) – North has several key players to keep an eye on, including TE Darien
10 Games To Catch Huber Heights Wayne vs. Cincinnati Moeller Aug. 29, 2010: This will be the marquee game of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. It will be televised nationally by ESPNU with a 7 p.m. start. Canton McKinley vs. Huber Heights Wayne Sept. 5, 2010: This game is part of the Herbstreit Varsity Series at Ohio Stadium. It matches up two Ohio State verbals named Miller in McKinley’s DE Steve and Wayne’s QB Braxton. Cleveland St. Ignatius at Centerville Sept. 18, 2010: The Wildcats will venture downstate to Dayton to face one of the state’s top public school programs. W. Chester Lakota West at Cincinnati Colerain Sept. 24, 2010: These teams tied for the Greater Miami Conference title, each going 7-0 without playing each other. Cincinnati St. Xavier at Cincinnati Elder Oct. 1, 2010: These Greater Catholic League rivals split games last year with St. X winning 177 in the regular season and Elder getting revenge with a 17-14 win in the playoffs. Cincinnati Elder at Cincinnati Moeller Oct. 8: This game could again help decide the GCL. Moeller cruised to a 35-13 win last year. Centerville at Huber Heights Wayne Oct. 15, 2010: These two tied for the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division title last year. Game also pits future OSU teammates against each other with QB Braxton Miller (Wayne) and DL Michael Bennett (Centerville). Hilliard Davidson at Dublin Coffman Oct. 15, 2010: These Ohio Capital Conference rivals split games last year with Coffman winning (10-7) in the regular season and Davidson getting revenge (22-7) in the regional finals. Cleveland St. Ignatius at Cincinnati St. Xavier Oct. 23, 2010: St. Ignatius has won 10 state playoff titles, while St. X can boast two crowns in the last five years. St. Ignatius won 30-21 over St. X last year. Canton McKinley at Massillon Washington Oct. 30, 2010: These Stark County rivals split games last year with McKinley winning 35-21 in the regular season and Massillon getting revenge with a 10-7 win in the regional finals. This stands as one of the greatest high school football series in American history. Massillon leads the all-time series 64-50-5.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on I Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Cleveland St. Ignatius 2. Cleveland Glenville 3. Cincinnati St. Xavier 4. Cincinnati Moeller 5. Dublin Coffman 6. Solon 7. Cincinnati Anderson 8. Cincinnati Elder 9. Toledo Whitmer 10. Hilliard Davidson
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division I Playoffs
Hilliard Davidson 16, Cleveland Glenville 15
Hilliard Davidson 24, Cincinnati Elder 20 Cleveland Glenville 31, Massillon Wash. 17
Region 1 5 Cleveland Glenville 28, 2 Solon 27 Region 2 3 Massillon Wash. 10, 8 Canton McKinley 7 Region 3 2 Hilliard Davidson 22, 1 Dublin Coffman 7 Region 4 4 Cincinnati Elder 28, 3 Cincinnati Anderson 21
Region 1 5 Cleveland Glenville 30, 1 St. Ignatius 13 2 Solon 13, Mayfield 10, OT Region 2 8 Canton McKinley 48, 4 Canton Glenoak 7 3 Massillon Wash. 10, 2 Twinsburg 7 Region 3 1 Dublin Coffman 21, 4 Westerville South 19 2 Hilliard Davidson 17, 3 Pickerington Central 7 Region 4 3 Cincinnati Anderson 41, 7 Middletown 20 4 Cincinnati Elder 17, 1 Cincinnati St. Xavier 14
Region 1 1 St. Ignatius 17, 8 Youngstown Boardman 0 2 Solon 10, 7 Euclid 7 3 Mayfield 38, 6 Parma 7 5 Cleveland Glenville 41, 4 North Royalton 16 Region 2 8 Canton McKinley 34, 1 Toledo Whitmer 13 2 Twinsburg 21, 7 Brunswick 14 3 Massillon Wash. 17, 6 N. Canton Hoover 10 4 Canton GlenOak 40, 5 Wadsworth 21 Region 3 1 Dublin Coffman 34, 8 Springfield 12 2 Hilliard Davidson 28, 7 Lancaster 7 3 Pickerington Central 14, 6 Pickerington North 12 4 Westerville South 50, 5 Olentangy Liberty 14 Region 4 1 Cincinnati St. Xavier 37, 8 Centerville 12 7 Middletown 45, 2 Cincinnati Moeller 10 3 Cincinnati Anderson 24, 6 Lakota West 21 4 Cincinnati Elder 35, 5 H. Heights Wayne 14
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Bryant (6-4, 215), OL Alex Huettel (6-4, 282), WR Devin Lomax (6-0, 170) and DB Tony Traylor (5-10, 170). Bryant is a transfer from Reynoldsburg who has several D-I offers. Huettel has committed to Bowling Green. * Westerville South (9-3) – South advanced to the regional semifinals last year before falling to Dublin Coffman 19-17. RB Jayshan Jackson (5-7, 188) rushed for 2,052 yards last season. He was a firstteam All-Ohio pick last year. * Springfield (6-4) – Rick Robertson, a co-state coach of the year last year, is back for his third season as the coach at the consolidated Springfield High. RB/LB Trey DePriest (6-2, 215, Sr.) is considered among Ohio’s top six prospects in the 2011 class. He had 721 yards rushing on offense and over 100 tackles on defense. * Westerville Central (5-5) – John Magistro is back for his second season as the head coach at Central. Top returners include TE/DE Nick Vannett (66, 240, Sr.), RB/DB Miles Fisher (6-0, 180, Sr.) and LB Maurice McGee (5-9, 215, Sr.). Vannett has committed to Ohio State.
Other Teams In Region
Groveport-Madison (6-4), Troy (5-5), Delaware Hayes (6-4), Worthington Thomas Worthington (5-5), Columbus Northland (6-4), Gahanna Lincoln (4-6), Columbus West (6-4), Marysville (3-7), Marion Harding (4-6), Hilliard Darby (3-6), Mount Vernon (3-7), Reynoldsburg (2-8), Lima Senior (2-8), Newark (010), Westerville North (0-10). Note: Grove City, Columbus Franklin Heights, Galloway Westland and Grove City Central Crossing are all in this region as well but did not field teams in 2009.
REGION 4 Teams To Watch
Cincinnati St. Xavier (9-3) * Players to Watch – LB Steven Daniels (6-1, 240, Sr.), TB Connor Hundley (5-9, 200, Jr.), LB Sean Duggan (6-4, 215, Sr.), OL Jack Woodall (6-3, 260, Sr.). * Outlook – St. Xavier has won a pair of state titles with 15-0 seasons in the last five years. Last year, the Bombers got back into the playoffs after missing the field in 2008. St. X dropped a 17-14 decision to rival Cincinnati Elder in the regional semifinals. Coach Steve Specht, back for his seventh season at the helm, has six starters returning on each side of the ball. “I feel good about our experience up front on offense and defense,” Specht said. “Our offensive line and our running game should be good. In our defensive front, we have three down linemen and three linebackers who should be the strength of our team.” St. X will look to senior Nick Albers or junior Griffin Dolle to replace departed starter Luke Massa (Notre Dame) at quarterback. Daniels was a third-team AllOhio pick last year. Clayton Northmont (6-4) * Players to Watch – WR/OLB Josh McClain (6-2, 230, Sr.), DT Chavez Leath (6-0, 275, Sr.), QB Rob Sakosky (5-11, 175, Sr.), MLB Kaleb Ringer (6-1,
220, Jr.), DT Jeremy Campbell (6-0, 245, Jr.). * Outlook – The Thunderbolts have qualified for the playoffs in seven of the last nine seasons, but missed the field last year. Coach Lance Schneider, starting his 12th year at Northmont, has five starters back on offense and six on defense. “We have to replace three of our five offensive linemen and three of our four defensive backs,” Schneider said. “It really comes down to those two areas for us.” McClain moves from being primarily a wide receiver to a linebacker. Sakosky returns at quarterback after throwing for 951 yards and eight TDs last year. Ringer is considered one of the state’s top 10 prospects for 2012. “Kaleb already has offers from Cincinnati and Iowa,” Schneider said. “He is very physical and just mentally unbalanced enough to be a great linebacker.”
Centerville (9-3) * Players to Watch – OL/DL Michael Bennett (6-3, 275, Sr.), OL/DL Benny McGowan (6-4, 290, Jr.), DL Kyle Rose (6-4, 240, Sr.), LB Mike Replogle (6-3, 215, Sr.), DL Connor Donnini (5-11, 275, Sr.), S Jay Mastin (6-1, 200, Jr.), S Brandon Reese (5-10, 185, Sr.); RB Tristan Boykin (6-0, 190, Sr.) * Outlook – The Elks have been one of the most consistent programs in Ohio under Ron Ullery, who returns for his 12th year as the Centerville coach. Centerville dropped its playoff opener to Cincinnati St. Xavier 37-12 last year. Ullery welcomes back six starters on offense and nine on defense. “We feel really good about the team we’ve got coming back,” Ullery said. “We should be strong up front. We have some experience there and some good players there. We have good size and good speed and decent depth.” Bennett is considered one of Ohio’s top 10 prospects for 2011 and has already committed to Ohio State. McGowan and Rose join him in what could be a dynamite defensive front four. Boykin is the team’s leading returning rusher (749 yards, four TDs) and was it’s leading receiver (396 yards, two TDs). He has an offer from Buffalo.
Cincinnati Colerain (8-2) * Players to Watch – FB Trayion Durham (6-2, 245, Sr.), RB Tyler Williams (5-7, 160, Sr.), MLB Jarrett Grace (6-4, 242, Sr.), CB Chris Dukes (5-10, 180, Sr.), OLB Andrew Smith (6-2, 215, Sr.). * Outlook – Tom Bolden has posted a 29-5 record in three seasons at Colerain, but the Cardinals missed the playoffs last year. Bolden has seven starters returning on each side of the ball. “We’re happy with how we ended up last year,” Bolden said. “We played St. X and Elder the first two weeks and dropped both games and then won the next eight. We’re battle tested. We went into our lifting with a chip on our shoulder and I hope we play with one from the fact we missed the playoffs.” Colerain has two key pieces of its running game back in Durham (1,113 yards, 14 TDs last year) and Williams (893 yards, eight TDs). Grace has already committed to Notre Dame as a linebacker.
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Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision I Cincinnati Moeller (9-2) * Players to Watch – DE Jesse Hayes (6-4, 230, Sr.), LB Kendall Walker (6-0, 210, Sr.), LB Dylan Ruter (6-1, 230, Sr.), OL Sam Fraley (6-6, 295, Sr.), CB Shaquille Jenks (6-1, 180, Sr.). * Outlook – John Rodenberg has led Moeller to playoff berths in each of his first two seasons as the Crusaders coach. Rodenberg’s team could be poised to go deeper in 2010 with five starters back on offense and six returning on defense. “It was good to make the playoffs again,” Rodenberg said. “We feel like we were establishing our identity. It feels like we are getting things moving in the right direction. Our strength program is set in stone now.” Moeller must find a quarterback to replace Notre Dame signee Andrew Hendrix. Rodenberg likes what he sees on defense with the likes of Hayes (4.5 sacks last year) and Walker.
Cincinnati Elder (10-3) * Players to Watch – RB-WR Ben Coffaro (5-9, 180, Sr.), LB Jake Lindsay (6-2, 210, Sr.), DT Rakhim Johnson (6-0, 215, Jr.), LB Kevin Hyland (6-2, 205, Sr.). * Outlook – Elder won back-to-back state titles in 2002-03 and then went largely quiet until a state title game appearance in 2008. The Panthers advanced to the state semifinals last year before falling to eventual champion Hilliard Davidson 24-20. Coach Doug Ramsey, who is starting his 14th year as the Panthers head coach, has just five starters back (two offense, three defense). “We are going to be inexperienced,” Ramsey said. “We will have some jobs that need to be won. We’ll have some seniors who have not played a lot and the question is whether they can step up and win a job and be leaders.” Coffaro was a second-team All-Ohio pick as a junior. He is a dual threat player who had 684 yards and nine TDs rushing and 46 catches for 536 yards and four scores receiving.
Cincinnati Anderson (12-1) * Players to Watch – LB Tony Martini (6-1, 195, Sr.), DB Thomas Krutka (6-0, 165, Sr.), DB Chris Shingleton (5-9, 150, Sr.), WR Jordan Shelton (6-2, 175, Sr.). * Outlook – Over the last three years, Anderson has posted a 37-6 mark with a Division II state title in 2007 and a runner-up finish in 2008. Anderson moved up to D-I last year and showed it belonged with the only perfect regular season in Region 4. The run came to an end, though, with a regional final loss to Elder (28-21). Coach Jeff Giesting returns for his fourth season at the helm and has six returning starters (two offense, four defense). “We’re young,” Giesting said. “We have some good guys who have worked hard. We may only have 17 seniors. When we won the state, we only had 15. I’m not saying this team will do that, but it does help to have 25 seniors. It’s a good time to be a freshman or sophomore at Anderson.” Shelton had 20 catches last year. Senior Ryan Os-
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senbeck and junior Nick Mason will battle for the quarterback job.
West Chester Lakota West (9-2) * Players to Watch – OL Ryan Kelly (6-5, 285, Sr.), OL Phillip Brinkman (6-3, 270, Sr.), DE Matt Fox (6-4, 230, Sr.), NG Blake Bell (6-0, 240, Jr.), LB Dylan Romero (6-1, 195, Sr.), QB Ben Gooch (6-0, 175, Sr.). * Outlook – Lakota West coach Larry Cox is back for his 14th year with the Firebirds. He welcomes back five starters on offense and four on defense. “We graduated 33 seniors, so it’s a situation where you go and scratch your head a little bit,” Cox said. “We do return a lot of guys up front and that helps. Our biggest inexperience will be in the skill positions. We have to replace our entire secondary and our entire offensive backfield.” Gooch is the leading candidate to take over at quarterback. Kelly has offers from a number of top schools, including Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Michigan. Middletown (10-2) * Players to Watch – LB Kyle Schwarber (6-2, 225, Sr.), WR Zach Edwards (6-0, 180, Jr.), S Alec Fultz (511, 185, Sr.), OL Kevin Henderson (6-2, 245, Jr.), QB Giovonie McKnight (6-3, 185, Jr.). * Outlook – It was a breakthrough season in 2009 for Middletown. The Middies qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 19 years and defeated host Moeller in their opening game (45-10) before falling to Anderson in the regional semis (41-20). Still, coach Jason Krause, who earned a share of the state coach of the year award, likes what he sees with his program. “I think last year showed the kids in our program that the things we are doing work,” said Krause, who is back for his third year at the helm. “We had a nice run and won 10 games. I think the kids believe in the things we are asking them to do.” Krause welcomes back 12 starters (six offense, six defense). “It will be a junior-dominated team,” he said. “We played a lot of sophomores last year. We’ll have a few seniors who will also have to step up.” McKnight figures to step in at quarterback. Cincinnati LaSalle (5-5) * Players to Watch – QB Drew Kummer (6-3, 206, Sr.), WR/FL Matt Woeste (6-0, 180, Sr.), RG Jessie Back (6-4, 280, Sr.), S Ben Ingle (6-1, 205, Sr.), SE/WR Rod Coleman (6-3, 180, Sr.). * Outlook – LaSalle coach Tom Grippa has nine returning starters (six offense, three defense). Some believe LaSalle could be the team to beat in the always tough GCL South this year. “Our younger guys have been very successful,” Grippa said. “The juniors we have were 9-1 as freshmen and 10-0 on the JV. Four of them played varsity for us last year. This could be LaSalle’s year. We only have one league championship and that was a co-championship in 1995 when I was at Elder.” Woeste had 35 catches and Coleman had 30 last year. Kummer is one of the top returning quarterbacks in Region 4. He threw for 1,863 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.
Huber Heights Wayne (8-3) * Players to Watch – QB Braxton Miller (6-3, 202, Sr.), DB Tre Moore (5-11, 192, Sr.), DB Tre Thomas (60, 200, Sr.), CB Mike Bonner (5-11, 175, Sr.), RB Anthony Taylor (5-11, 205, Sr.). * Outlook – Wayne reached the playoffs last year but dropped its opener to Cincinnati Elder 35-14 at The Pit. Coach Jay Minton returns for his 12th year at Wayne and 20th season as a varsity head coach. He finds 15 returning starters (nine offense, six defense). “It is a good nucleus,” Minton said. “I hate that word potential because potential gets you beat every time. We have a high expectation, but every year we do. Our kids are working. We’re the strongest we have ever been here in the weight room.” Of course, much of the focus here is on Miller, who was rated by one service as the nation’s top quarterback prospect. In three years as a starter, he has posted a 20-4 record, thrown for 2,628 yards and 23 TDs and rushed for 1,004 yards and 29 scores.
Division I Predictions
Region 1 Glenville over St. Ignatius Region 2 Canton McKinley over Massillon Region 3 Dublin Coffman over Pickerington Central Region 4 St. Xavier over Wayne Championship Game Glenville over St. Xavier
Keep An Eye On
* Springboro (8-2) – Ryan Wilhite is back for his fifth year at Springboro. Some of his top returnees include OL Jake Rigg (6-3, 250, Sr.), LB Kyle King (5-11, 200, Sr.), WR Jeron King (5-10, 175, Sr.), DL Ryan Jackson (5-10, 215, Sr.) and DL Chris Waldroff (6-3, 245, Jr.). Jackson and King were first team GWOC selections. * Xenia (2-8) – Longtime coach Bob DeLong returns for his third year at Xenia. The Buccaneers will look for improvement behind several key players, including LB/FB Terrence Moore (6-0, 215, Sr.), OL Nathan Nicol (6-6, 310, Sr.) and DB/RB Robert Harden (5-10, 185).
Other Teams In Region
Lebanon (8-2), Cincinnati Withrow (8-2), Loveland (5-5), Fairfield (6-4), Fairborn (6-4), Milford (5-5), Cincinnati Princeton (5-5), Cincinnati Oak Hills (3-7), Kettering Fairmont (4-6), Cincinnati Glen Este (4-6), Beavercreek (4-6), Mason (3-7), Liberty Twp. Lakota East (3-7), Hamilton (2-8), Cincinnati Western Hills (37), Cincinnati Sycamore (2-8), Miamisburg (1-9), Cincinnati Woodward (2-8). — OH
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion Ii
Defending State Champion: WINTON WOODS Runner-Up: MAPLE HEIGHTS
incinnati Winton Woods stormed through the playoffs last year en route to the Division II state championship. The Warriors won their five postseason games by an average margin of 34 points (an average score of 47.6-13.6) cumulating in their 42-12 triumph over Maple Heights in the title game. Winton Woodsʼ closest game in the playoffs was 28-7 against Trotwood-Madison in the regional final. This year, the Warriors must replace several talented starters from the team that won it all in dominating fashion, but they return with plenty of talent and are one of the favorites again. Senior LB Antonio Poole is one of the stateʼs top prospects. However, speaking of prospects, Trotwood might be the most-talented team in the state and the Rams are certainly a team that could go all the way. Trotwood returns an offensive backfield of QB Marcus Graham, RB Antwan Gilbert, FB Nicholas Grigsby and WR A.J. Jordan. All four have at least one Division I offer. Among the other top contenders for state supremacy are the likes of Cincinnati Turpin, Columbus Brookhaven, Maple Heights, Mentor Lake Catholic, Toledo Central Catholic and Toledo St. Francis. Maple Heights returns possibly Division IIʼs best athlete in QB Shaq Washington. A Cincinnati recruit, Washington passed for over 2,500 yards and ran for another 1,700 last year. There is no question itʼs shaping up to be another interesting year in the D-II ranks.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Teams To Watch
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TrotwoodMadison returns an offensive quartet of QB Marcus Graham (left), RB Antwan Gilbert, FB Nicholas Grigsby and WR A.J. Jordan who all have D-I offers.
Ashland (11-2) * Players To Watch – QB Marcus Fuller (6-0, 205, Sr.), RB/WR Chris Thomas (6-1, 185, Sr.), OLB/DE AJ Peters (6-2, 215, Sr.), FS Jacob Dixon (5-11, 170, Sr.), CB Michael Bixler (59, 150, Sr.), C Cody Hickey (6-2, 250, Sr.) * Outlook – Ashland entered the 2009 playoffs as the No. 3 seed in Region 5. The Arrows won a pair of postseason games (28-7 over Chesterland West Geauga and 19-14 over secondseeded Warren Howland) before bowing out in the regional finals in a barnburner against Mentor Lake Catholic (45-42). The Arrows did graduate a talented senior class, but they do have eight starters returning and should make another run for the playoffs. “Every year our goals are to win our conference championship, make the playoffs and then win the state championship,” Ashland head coach Scott Valentine said. It all starts with Fuller who is ranked as the No. 10 senior quarterback prospect in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. As a junior, Fuller threw for 3,122 yards, 30 TDs and eight interceptions. He also ran for nine TDs . “A lot of MAC schools had him in camp and they are all taking a close look at him,” Valentine said. “And in addition to being a great football player, he’s a 4.0 student who got a 30 on his ACT.” Another player that Valentine is excited about is Thomas who will have the ball in his hands a lot this season. As a junior, Thomas racked up 836 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, and
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Oh io H igh F oo tball Prev iew: Division I I
ST ORY B Y D A VE B I D D L E added 365 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. Leading the defensive charge will be Peters who was named second-team all-district last year when he had 89 tackles. “We are really going to rely on AJ due to our lack of experience on defense,” Valentine said. The Arrows also have a pair of very good defensive backs in Dixon and Bixler. Dixon is the leading returning tackler on the team (113 stops last year) and also had two interceptions. “He is the quarterback of our defense and goes a good job of getting us in our defense,” Valentine said. As for Bixler, he had 81 tackles and three interceptions a year ago. “He is a lockdown corner,” Valentine said. “He’s small, but we’re going to put him on the other team’s best receiver every game.” Leading the offensive line will be Hickey who Valentine describes as “a very strong kid who controls the inside for us.” Canfield (10-2) * Players To Watch – QB/SS Jordan Italiano (5-10, 190, Jr.), TB/ILB Blake Jackson (5-11, 190, Sr.), FB/ILB Jon Rogers (6-1, 215, Sr.), FB/OLB Dante DeLorenzo (6-0, 195, Sr.), TE/DL Jim Rousher (6-2, 240, Jr.) * Outlook – The Cardinals were the No. 4 seed in the Region 5 playoffs last year. They knocked off Aurora 31-14 in the first round and then fell to top-seeded Mentor Lake Catholic 31-24 in the regional semifinals. “Our expectations are that we’re going to come out and compete hard and improve every day,” head coach Mike Pavlansky said. “We want to win our league championship and make the playoffs.” Italiano led the team in tackles last year despite missing a game and then playing through a broken wrist. He will definitely start at safety again and might also be the team’s starting quarterback (although that decision won’t be made until preseason camp). “We have Jordan and two other kids battling for that QB job,” Pavlansky said. The other returning starters include Jackson, Rogers, DeLorenzo and Rousher.
Mentor Lake Catholic (12-2) * Players To Watch – OL/DL Chase Hounshell (6-5, 250, Sr.), OL Zach Ewais (6-4, 280, Sr.), ATH Richard Sanders (5-8, 180, Sr.), S Marty Gibbons (5-10, 175, Sr.) * Outlook – The Cougars were just 4-6 in 2008, but rebounded with a huge season in ’09 and were crowned regional champions. They entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed in Region 5 and proceeded to beat Ravenna (34-16), Canfield (3124) and Ashland (45-42) before bowing out in the state semifinals against Maple Heights, 21-17. Hounshell is ranked as the No. 34 prospect in the state by Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts.com. He started at offensive tackle as a sophomore, then took on an iron man role last season and didn’t leave the field as he played on both sides of the ball. As a defensive
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tackle, he had 65 tackles, six sacks and 18 TFL. As of press time, he had scholarship offers from the likes of Central Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Vanderbilt and several MAC programs. Mark Porter of Scouting Ohio ranks Hounshell as the No. 8 senior offensive line prospect in the state. Other top players for Lake Catholic include Ewais (ranked as one of the top 60 offensive linemen in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio), Sanders (ranked as the state’s 15th-best “athlete;” has 4.56 speed in the 40) and Gibbons (ranked as one of the state’s top 50 safeties).
Warren Howland (10-2) * Players To Watch – DT Cody Reesman (6-2, 270, Sr.), WR/DB Andy Davis (5-11, 180, Sr.), WR/DB Kenny Pozica (5-11, 170, Jr.), DT Mike Bullers (6-2, 240, Sr.), OLB Tony Osborne (5-9, 175, Jr.), C Chuck Sayer (5-11, 230, Sr.), RT Anthony Stanko (6-5, 285, Jr.), TE Dan Moody (6-2, 230, Jr.), OL Don DeArment (6-0, 245), FB/OLB Brandon Neilan (5-11, 230, Sr.), RB Devion Smith (5-11, 205, So.) * Outlook – The Tigers were the No. 2 seed in the Region 5 playoffs last year. They beat Medina Highland 28-21 in the first round and were edged 19-14 in the regional semifinals by Ashland. This season, head coach Dick Angle welcomes back several starters and Howland should be especially tough on its offensive line. “Yeah, we feel good about the team we have this year,” Angle said. “We expect to win every year and this is no different. Guys are all about the team and they play with passion.” Reesman is ranked as the No. 12 senior DT in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio and is a tough matchup for any offensive lineman that lines up across from him. “He’s the best defensive lineman I’ve coached,” Angle said. “He’s strong and plays with reckless abandon. He’s already been offered scholarships by a bunch of MAC schools.” As for the aforementioned offensive line, Angle is very pleased about the situation. “We have a good, solid offensive front,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have such a good line back.” However, Angle is still not sure who will be lining up behind them at quarterback. “No, we have three kids battling,” he said. They include: Tim Parana (5-11, 170, Sr.), Zach Wilson (5-9, 170, Jr.) and Brendan Cape (6-2, 175, So.). Wilson will be a starting safety no matter what and Angle calls Cape “a real good athlete.” Neilan rushed for 560 yards with 14 touchdowns last year. Smith leads the sophomore class and Angle calls him “the real deal.”
K eep A n Ey e On
* Aurora (8-3) – The Greenmen were the 2008 Division III state champions and made the playoffs last year in their first season of D-II. They finished with the No. 5 seed in this region and lost to Canfield 31-14 in the first round of the postseason. * Chesterland West Geauga (9-2) – The Wolverines might have an odd nickname for a team from Ohio, but they did make the playoffs
10 Players To Watch Antonio Poole, Winton Woods, Sr., LB No. 4 ranked LB in the state regardless of division, he is “the most high-profile defensive kid we’ve had in a while” according to head coach Troy Everhart. Austin Traylor, Walnut Ridge, Sr., TE/DE Top prospect owns 21 offers including Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Arizona, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and Colorado. He had 80 tackles and 14 sacks last season. Offensively he scored seven TDs. Marcus Fuller, Ashland, Sr. QB Three-year starter has thrown for 4,031 yards and 37 TDs the last two years. He’s also rushed for 13 TDs over that span. He also ranks No. 1 in his class academically. Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison, Sr. RB The state’s No. 1 ranked RB prospect by Ohio High rushed for 2,300 yards and 30 TDs last season. He has offers from Cincinnati, Indiana, Louisville, North Carolina, Pitt and WVU. A.J. Jordan, Trotwood-Madison, Sr. WR Ranked the No. 4 WR prospect in the state by Ohio High. Has 20 offers including Michigan, Northwestern, Mississippi and Arkansas. Shaq Washington, Maple Heights, Sr. QB Cincinnati recruit is projected as a WR in college, but he excels under center. Last year he threw for 2,510 yards and ran for another 1,784. He accounted for 49 TDs. Evan Shimensky, Kent Roosevelt, Sr. QB Kent State recruit has thrown for 2,863 yards, 38 TDs and nine interceptions the last two years. He’s also rushed for 774 yards and 13 TDs over that span. Chase Hounshell, Mentor Lake Cath., Sr. OL/DL A prospect on both sides of the ball in college, two-way standout starred last year by registering 65 tackles, six sacks and 18 TFL. Holds 23 offers including Iowa, Wisconsin and WVU. Connor Cook, Walsh Jesuit, Sr., QB Michigan State recruit threw for 14 TDs last season. That may not sound like much, but the big QB often attempted less than 10 passes a game in Walsh’ run-oriented attack. Derjuan Gambrell, Toledo Rogers, Sr. DB Ohio State recruit is considered the No. 18 overall prospect in Ohio by Ohio High. He had 60 tackles and two interceptions last season.
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion II last year as the No. 6 seed in this region (lost to Ashland 28-7). * Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (5-4) – Walsh missed out on the playoffs last year (No. 11 in this region) but nearly everyone expects the Warriors to return to the postseason in 2010. They are led by Connor Cook (6-5, 200, Sr.) who has verbally committed to Michigan State and is ranked as the No. 5 QB in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. Protecting him will be the state’s 10th-best senior OL, Adam Redmond (6-6, 225), and one of the state’s top 75 senior OL in Tim Shovlin (6-2, 230). DE Reed Remington (6-4, 230, Sr.) is ranked the No. 18 senior DE in the state, while K/P Drew Kaser (64, 195, Sr.) is one of Ohio’s top kicking prospects.
Other Teams In Region
Akron East (2-8), Akron Ellet (5-5), Akron Firestone (4-6), Akron Garfield (6-4), Akron Kenmore (0-10), Akron North (3-7), Ashtabula Lakeside (55), Barberton (3-7), Chardon (2-8), Copley (6-4), Geneva (8-2), Kenston (6-4), Kent Roosevelt (8-2), Lodi Cloverleaf (6-4), Madison (4-6), Medina Highland (6-4), Painesville Harvey (3-7), Ravenna (8-2), Richfield Revere (7-3), Tallmadge (2-8), Wooster (5-5), Youngstown Chaney (1-9), Youngstown East (3-7).
REGION 6 Teams To Watch
Avon (6-4) * Players To Watch – RB/LB Patrick Furmas (510, 190, Sr.), WR/CB Kevin Krakora (5-8, 150, Sr.), OL/DT Alex Issac (6-0, 250, Sr.), WR/DB Connor Friss (5-9, 155, Sr.), OLB Robert Umek (5-11, 180, Sr.), DE Bryan Cox Jr. (6-2, 225, Jr.), TE/DE Greg Harrison (6-1, 220, Jr.) * Outlook – The Eagles barely missed the playoffs last season (a year after going 12-1) but with a whopping 17 starters returning this season, chances are good they will find themselves in the postseason this time around. “I think we’ll be much better,” head coach Mike Elder said. “Last year was somewhat disappointing, but we played a lot of young kids. Clearly, bringing all those kids back, we feel we have a chance to win our conference and get in the playoffs. It won’t be easy, but we think we’ll be in the hunt.” Leading the way this season will be Furmas who will get some carries offensively, but will see most of his action on defense. One of the team captains will be Krakora who Elder describes as “really fast and quick.” Anchoring the offensive line will be Isaac who started every game last year. “Alex is freakishly strong – he’s as strong as an ox,” Elder said. “He can bench almost 400 pounds and he’s our best offensive lineman. He’ll play some nose guard for us as well.” Another captain this season will be Friss who Elder calls a “quick, fierce competitor.” Cox is the son of former NFL linebacker and current Cleveland Browns defensive line coach Bryan Cox. The younger Cox already has a scholarship offer from a
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major college football program: North Carolina. The Eagles are not sure who their starting quarterback will be yet.
Avon Lake (8-4) * Players To Watch – TE/DE Brian Mihalik (6-6, 240, Sr.), QB Trent Toy (6-3, 208, Sr.), OT/DT Andrew Bohan (6-4, 270, Sr.), WR/DB Ron Willoughby (6-5, 187, Sr.), OG Micah Charlton (6-3, 260, Sr.) * Outlook – The Shoremen were the No. 5 seed in the Region 6 playoffs last year. They defeated Maumee 56-35 in the first round and were then edged by top-seeded Toledo DeSales, 13-10. This year’s team is led by Mihalik who is ranked as the No. 35 overall senior prospect in the state by Kurelic. Porter ranks the Boston College commitment as the No. 15 senior defensive end recruit in the state. Toy returns to lead the offense from his quarterback position. As a first-year starter as a junior last year, he threw for over 1,600 yards with 12 TDs. He was able to overcome a rough start to the year and really blossomed midseason. “We almost pulled him after the third game,” Dlugosz said. “But he settled in and proved he’s going to be a good QB for us.” Willoughby will be Toy’s top target and Dlugosz says “Ron creates mismatches with his size – he’s a very good receiver.” But it’s not just skilled-position players that the coach is excited about. He’s also thrilled to have Bohan and Charlton back in the fold. Avon Lake opens up a new stadium this season and although they only have a total of five starters back from last year’s squad, optimism is always in the air for this program. Maple Heights (12-3) * Players To Watch – QB Shaq Washington (59, 165, Sr.), RB/WR Andre Stubbs (5-7, 150, Sr.), RB/WR Dana Day (5-9, 160, Sr.), WR/LB Claybourne Miller (6-4, 212, Sr.), OL Donavon Garner (6-3, 275, Sr.), ATH Dontell Kennedy (5-10, 195, Sr.). * Outlook – The Mustangs entered the 2009 playoffs with the No. 6 seed in Region 6 and then proceeded to take off faster than a souped-up Ford Mustang. They went on the road to defeat Toledo Rogers in the first round (36-26), then knocked off No. 2 seed Toledo Central Catholic (27-13) and then dropped No. 1 seed Toledo DeSales for the regional title (34-21). But they weren’t done. They beat Mentor Lake Catholic 21-17 in the state semifinals before finally bowing out to the juggernaut known as Winton Woods in the championship game. Washington is one of the top quarterbacks in the state, but will likely play wide receiver in college. Bill Kurelic of Bucknuts.com ranks Washington as the No. 18 overall senior prospect in the state and as the No. 2 WR behind only Roger Williamson from Dayton Dunbar. Mark Porter of Scouting Ohio ranks Washington third behind Devin Smith from Massillon Washington and AJ Jordan from Trotwood-Madison (Porter lists Williamson as a safety.) Washington is extremely electric and has
4.47 speed. “Shaq Washington’s highlight film is unbelievable – he’s a freak show,” Avon head coach Mike Elder said. “They have to be the favorites in our region.” As a junior in 2009, Washington passed for 2,510 yards with 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also racked up 1,784 rushing yards and 21 TDs on the ground. On July 7, the highly-recruited prospect chose to play his college football at Cincinnati. He chose the Bearcats over offers from Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan State and others. But it’s not just the “Shaq show” for Maple Heights. Stubbs is ranked as the No. 8 WR prospect in the state by Scouting Ohio. Meanwhile, Day is ranked as the No. 19 WR prospect and Miller is ranked as the No. 30 WR. Also, Garner is ranked as the No. 26 offensive lineman in the state and Kennedy is ranked as the No. 50 “athlete” prospect in the state.
Toledo Central Catholic (9-3) * Players To Watch – OL Chris Boles (6-4, 315, Sr.), OL Kyle Cameron (6-3, 285, Sr.), OL Jason Lee (6-3, 260, Sr.), RB Calebb Goings (5-11, 190, Sr.), RB Joey Schneider (6-2, 190, Sr.), DT Delroy Chance (6-1, 270, Sr.) * Outlook – The Irish entered the 2009 playoffs with the No. 2 seed in this region and had no trouble at home with Rocky River in the first round (35-7). However, they were upset in the regional semifinals by Maple Heights (27-13) and will be looking to make a deeper run in the postseason this time around. As usual, plenty of talent is on Central Catholic’s roster and they will have one of the best offensive lines in the state. Boles is ranked as the No. 6 senior OL in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. Also, Cameron is ranked 11th and Lee is ranked 68th. Talk about being solid up front. And that’s good news for the two-headed monster that will be carrying the ball in Goings (No. 31 senior running back in the state) and Schneider (ranked right behind him at No. 32). The defense will be led by Chance who is ranked as one of the top 35 DTs in Ohio. Toledo St. Francis (11-2) * Players To Watch – OL/DL Cam Stanley (6-5, 270, Jr.), OL/DL Hunter Stanley (6-5, 270, Jr.), OL Andrew Villolovos (6-4, 300, Jr.), QB/FS Danny Yodzis (6-3, 195, Sr.), QB/OLB Justin Chandler (6-1, 200, Sr.). * Outlook – The Knights were the No. 1 seed in Region 6 when the 2009 playoffs began. They beat North Ridgeville (35-7) and Avon Lake (13-10) before losing to Maple Heights (34-21) in what turned out to be long-time head coach Dick Cromwell’s final game. Replacing the retired Cromwell is Mike Blochowski who served as an assistant in the program for the last 17 years. “It’s a dream job,” Blochowski said. “I’ve waited a long time and I stayed with the hopes that one day I’d be able to replace Coach Cromwell. I’m thrilled to be a part of this tradition. I’m only the sixth head football coach
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Oh io H igh F oo tball Prev iew: Division I I in school history and it’s quite an honor.” The strength of the team will be on the offensive line where four starters return. The Stanley brothers (they are twins) and Villolovos are ranked among the top 50 juniors in the state regardless of position. Yodzis will likely be the starting quarterback, but Chandler is also in the mix. Both players also are keys to DeSales’ defense. Yodzis had seven interceptions and 95 tackles last year and will be one of the team captains this season. Chandler returns as a starter at outside linebacker. “We should be very strong up front offensively, but my main concern is some of the youth we have defensively,” Blochowski said.
Toledo Rogers (9-2) * Players To Watch – DB Derjuan Gambrell (62, 185, Sr.), WR Damond Powell (6-0, 165, Sr.), OL Felix Fowler (6-7, 315, Sr.) * Outlook – The Rams entered the 2009 playoffs with the No. 3 seed which meant they earned a home game. However, they received a tough draw and ended up losing to eventual state runner-up Maple Heights, 36-26. This year, head coach Ric Rios welcomes back a talented crew led by Gambrell who has committed to Ohio State. He could perhaps be a cornerback in college, however, he has started at safety since the beginning of his sophomore year and last season made 60 tackles and had two interceptions. Powell is ranked as the No. 12 WR in the state by Scouting Ohio, while Fowler is ranked as one of the state’s top 50 OL.
Ke e p A n E y e O n
* Maumee (9-2) – The Panthers were the No. 4 seed in the Region 6 playoffs last year, but lost a home game to Avon Lake in the first round. * North Ridgeville (8-3) – The Rangers made the playoffs last year as the No. 8 seed in this region and lost in the first round to Toledo DeSales. * Rocky River (7-4) – The Pirates qualified for the playoffs with the No. 7 seed in this region last year and lost in the first round against Toledo Central Catholic. The team will be led once again by Robbie Plagens (6-2, 183, Sr.) who is ranked as the No. 22 QB in the state by Ohio High.
Other Teams In Region
Bedford (2-8), Berea (1-9), Bowling Green (3-7), Cleveland Collinwood (0-9), Cleveland JFK (6-4), Cleveland South (2-8), Grafton Midview (5-5), Holland Springfield (3-7), Lexington (6-4), Lorain Southview (3-7), Mansfield (4-6), Mansfield Madison (1-9), Norwalk (1-9), Olmsted Falls (6-4), Parma Normandy (5-5), Sandusky (5-5), Sylvania Northview (3-7), Toledo Scott (2-8), Toledo Woodward (0-9), Westlake (3-7).
REGION 7 Teams To Watch
Columbus Brookhaven (10-3) * Players To Watch – QB Tajuan Green (6-0,
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175, Jr.), RB Donivan Lipsey (5-9, 175, Sr.), OLB Frank Marsh (6-1, 215, Sr.), OL/DL Corey Marshall (6-0, 220, Sr.), OL/DL Antonio Johnson (6-0, 220, Sr.). * Outlook – The Bearcats moved down from Division I last year and qualified for the playoffs with the No. 3 seed in this region. They defeated Columbus Walnut Ridge (27-20) and Logan (2110) before falling to Columbus Marion-Franklin in the regional finals (31-24). This season, head coach Anthony Thornton welcomes back a talented group that should be in the hunt for a deep postseason run. “Our goals always stay the same,” Thornton said. “We want to get to the playoffs with a state title on our minds. We have to start off in the right direction though. We have to win our home games and win our league to give ourselves a chance at the big dance. “I feel good about the guys we have coming back. We did have a couple kids come up academically ineligible which I’m still upset about, but that’s how it goes. We will be pretty skilled this year. Our quarterback, running back and offensive line should be the strength of the team. Our D-line should be pretty good too. “We have good athleticism all around our offensive line. We’ve been missing that athleticism up front the last two years even though we made it to the playoffs. This year, we have big kids that can move and run and they are smart football players. We have a lot of high-football-IQ players on this team.” Columbus Marion-Franklin (11-3) * Players To Watch – RB Paul Harris (6-0, 185, Sr.), WR/CB Jeremy McCoy (6-2, 195, Sr.), WR Nate Spears (6-5, 200, Sr.), TE/OLB Devante Strickland (6-2, 220, Sr.), RB/CB Chad Jones (5-7, 155, Sr.), RB Amir Robinson (5-10, 190, Sr.), ILB Julian Blakey (5-10, 220, Sr.), DE Rashawn Thorpe (6-1, 215, Sr.), DE Devante Taylor (6-3, 200, Sr.) * Outlook – The Red Devils snuck into the playoffs last year with the No. 8 seed in this region, and then caught fire and marched their way to a regional title. They beat top-seeded Louisville on the road (14-7), then took down fourth-seeded Olentangy Orange (36-25) and then defeated Columbus Brookhaven (31-24). No, they didn’t exactly give eventual state champ Cincinnati Winton Woods a good game in the state semifinals (losing 69-35) but it was still a special season. This year, Marion-Franklin must do without its star player from last year – QB/S Verlon Reed who now plays for Ohio State. However, there is still an abundance of talent for head coach Brian Haffele. Harris is ranked as the No. 9 RB in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio and has blazing speed (4.35 in the 40). McCoy is ranked as the No. 17 WR in the state. Spears is ranked as the No. 22 WR in the state. Strickland – who had 4.58 speed – is ranked as one of the top 20 tight ends in the state and as one of the top 20 outside linebackers. The Red Devils are still not sure who their starting quarterback will be.
10 Games To Catch Louisville at Walsh Jesuit Aug. 27, 2010: These two didn’t meet last year, but this is a bout a lot of people want to see. Both have playoff aspirations and are in different regions. This could be Round 1. Marion-Franklin at Brookhaven Aug. 27, 2010: This has become the Columbus City League’s top game. Brookhaven beat M-F in the season opener last year, only to have the Red Devils return the favor in the playoffs. Winton Woods at Cincinnati Elder Aug 27, 2010: The defending D-II state champs always open with a GCL South school. This year the rotation calls for that opponent to be Elder. Mentor Lake Catholic at Youngstown Ursuline Sept. 10, 2010: One would think MLC is the favorite when facing a D-V school, but Ursuline isn’t your ordinary small school. The Irish are two-time defending state champions, although they did lose 35-21 to the Cougars last year. Warren Harding at Warren Howland Sept. 10, 2010: It’s not often Howland gets to test itself against the neighboring big school goliath. The two haven’t met since 1998 and signed a two-year contract in December. Marion-Franklin at Ashland Sept. 10, 2010: These two teams made the regional finals last year and M-F advanced to the state semis. This early season game will gauge which club could repeat their run this season. Trotwood-Madison at Huber Heights Wayne Sept. 17, 2010: For fans of offense, this game will pit two of the state’s best. Wayne has OSU recruit Braxton Miller, while the Rams have a backfield that all has D-I offers. Last year the Warriors won 21-19. Tol. St. Francis at Hilliard Davidson Sept. 10, 2010: D-II St. Francis starts its season with four games against D-I opponents. In Week 3 it gets the defending state champions. Tol. Central Catholic at Tol. St. Francis Oct. 8, 2010: These parochial powers will meet for the 52nd time with the winner getting bragging rights and the Irish Knight Trophy. TCC currently has possession of both. Maple Heights at Canfield Oct. 15, 2010: Maple Heights has a lot of winnable games on its schedule. This is one in question.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on II Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Logan 2. Louisville 3. Cincinnati Turpin 4. Mentor Lake Catholic 5. Toledo Central Catholic 6. Toledo St. Francis 7. Winton Woods 8. Ashland 9. Toledo Rogers 10. Warren Howland
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division II Playoffs
Winton Woods 42, Maple Heights 12
Winton Woods 69, Marion-Franklin 35 Maple Heights 21, Mentor Lake Catholic 17
Region 5 1 Mentor Lake Catholic 45, 3 Ashland 42 Region 6 6 Maple Heights 34, 1 Tol. St. Francis 21 Region 7 8 Cols. Marion-Franklin 31, 3 Cols. Brookhaven 24 Region 8 2 Winton Woods 28, 4 Trotwood-Madison 7
Region 5 1 Mentor Lake Catholic 31, 4 Canfield 24 3 Ashland 19, 2 Warren Howland 14 Region 6 1 Toledo St. Francis 13, 5 Avon Lake 10 6 Maple Heights 27, 2 Toledo Central Catholic 13 Region 7 3 Brookhaven 21, 2 Logan 10 8 Marion-Franklin 36, 4 Olentangy Orange 25 Region 8 2 Winton Woods 40, 3 New Carlisle Tecumseh 7 4 Trotwood-Madison 43, 1 Cincinnati Turpin 7
Region 5 1 Mentor Lake Catholic 34, 8 Ravenna 16 2 Warren Howland 28, 7 Medina Highland 21 3 Ashland 28, 6 Chesterland West Geauga 7 4 Canfield 31, 5 Aurora 14 Region 6 1 Toledo St. Francis 35, 8 North Ridgeville 7 2 Toledo Central Catholic 35, 7 Rocky River 7 6 Maple Heights 36, 3 Toledo Rogers 26 5 Avon Lake 42, 4 Maumee 28 Region 7 8 Columbus Marion-Franklin 14, 1 Louisville 7 2 Logan 30, 7 Canal Winchester 7 3 Brookhaven 27, 6 Cols. Walnut Ridge 20 (OT) 4 Olentangy Orange 28, 5 Dresden Tri-Valley 21 Region 8 1 Cincinnati Turpin 44, 8 Wilmington 21 2 Winton Woods 59, 7 Hamilton Ross 7 3 New Carlisle Tecumseh 55, 6 West Carrollton 23 4 Trotwood-Madison 41, 5 Mount Healthy 6
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“That is what summer camp is about,” he said. “It’s probably between two kids: Cameron Harris (6-1, 175, Sr.) who played wide receiver for us last year, and Corey Benson (5-10, 190, So.) who was our JV quarterback last year.” As for the strength of the team this year, Haffele says: “We use a three-running back system and we feel good about all those guys. Also, the core of our defense is back. We have eight starters back on that side of the ball.” Yes, 2009 will not be soon forgotten, but the Red Devils would like to go even further this year. “Last season was thrilling,” Haffele said. “Everyone was disappointed how we performed in week 14 – we kind of ran into a buzz-saw in Winton Woods. It was a really good ride and the kids really bought in and gelled together and played well. “Now that our kids have tasted winning in the playoffs, they want to go all the way to week 15.”
Logan (11-1) * Players To Watch – OT/DT Tim King (6-1, 240, Sr.), NG Nathan Chandler (6-2, 225, Sr.), QB/DB Jordan Jurgensmier (6-1, 170, Sr.), RB/LB Dylan Cavinee (5-11, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – The Chieftains were the No. 2 seed in the Region 7 playoffs last year. They won their first-round game at home (30-7 over Canal Winchester) but bowed out in the following round against Columbus Brookhaven (21-10) which turned out to be long-time head coach Dale Amyx’s final game. He retired after the season and has been replaced by Kelly Wolfe. King is ranked as the No. 41 DT in the state by Scouting Ohio and will be entering his third season in the starting lineup. Chandler is the only other returning starter on the team. “This will probably be a rebuilding season for us,” Wolfe said. “We lost 10 starters on offense and nine on defense. However, everyone is excited about a great bunch of seniors. All the players are working hard. Expectations are high and we should have lots of enthusiasm come the start of the season.” Jurgensmier takes over for the graduated Pat Angle at quarterback and he saw some duty as a backup last year (11-for-20, 189 yards, one touchdown through the air; 20 carries, 103 yards and two scores on the ground). Cavinee will be the bell-cow running back this season and he was solid as a reserve last year when he had 19 carries for 191 yards and a TD. Louisville (10-1) * Players To Watch – WR/LB Michael Schooley (6-1, 190, Sr.), RB/DB Mitch Sluss (6-0, 180, Sr.), K/P Jaron Lohmeyer (5-8, 170, Sr.), QB Chad Neff (6-2, 190, Jr.), QB Toby Minster (6-3, 185, Sr.), RB/DB Lucas Poyser (5-8, 165, Jr.), WR/DB Jeremy White (6-1, 170, Jr.) * Outlook – The Leopards are usually one of the premier teams in the state, but this could be a bit of a rebuilding year. Former head coach Paul Farrah – who amassed a 94-26 record in 10 seasons – resigned in April. He was replaced by John DeMarco who was Louisville’s offensive coordinator the past decade. “I’m very thankful to Coach Farrah for bringing me to Louisville,” DeMarco told the Canton Repos-
itory. “I would like to sustain what we’ve done, and build on what we’ve accomplished the last 10 years. I’m proud of our record and proud of what we’ve put on the field.” Last year, the Leopards entered the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in Region 7, but were upset in the first round at home by eventual regional champion Columbus Marion-Franklin (14-7). Louisville will open a new stadium this season with a capacity of 5,875 and a playing surface of FieldTurf. However, they must replace several key players lost to graduation, including quarterback Bob Swigert (Boston College) and all five offensive linemen. But the cupboard is far from bare. Schooley is ranked as the No. 47 OLB in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio, Sluss is ranked as one of the top 60 “athletes” in the state and Lohmeyer is ranked as the No. 6 kicker in the state. At quarterback, Neff and Minster got playing time last year when Swigert was injured.
K eep A n Ey e On
* Columbus Walnut Ridge (8-3) – The Scots continue to get better each season and last year they made the playoffs with the No. 6 seed in this region (and gave Brookhaven a good 27-20 game in the first round). Senior TE/DE Austin Traylor (64, 211) is one of the state’s top recruits. He has 21 offers including Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan state, Arizona, Colorado and West Virginia. * Dresden Tri-Valley (9-2) – The Scotties were the No. 5 seed in this region last year, but bowed out in the first round of the playoffs against Olentangy Orange in a close game (28-21). Two years ago, Tri-Valley narrowly missed out on the playoffs with a 7-3 record. * Dublin Scioto (5-5) – The Irish have underachieved the past two seasons when they didn’t make the playoffs, but they always have talent. This year’s team is led by Drew Weissling (6-5, 195, Sr.) who is ranked as one of the state’s top 40 QB prospects by Scouting Ohio. Scioto also has a talented player in Tervon Moore (6-0, 160, Sr.) who is ranked as the No. 13 CB in the state. * Olentangy Orange (9-3) – In just their second-season of existence, the Pioneers made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Region 7. They defeated Dresden Tri-Valley 28-21 in the first round and then lost 36-25 to Columbus Marion-Franklin. Orange is led by QB Jared Leet (6-3, 180, Sr.) – who is ranked as one of the state’s top 40 seniors at his position – as well as RB Blake Joe (5-10, 175, Sr.) who is ranked as one of the top 40 players at his position in the state.
Other Teams In Region
Canal Winchester (8-2), Canton Timken (1-9), Columbus Beechcroft (7-3), Columbus Briggs (37), Columbus Centennial (0-9), Columbus Hamilton Township (0-10), Columbus Independence (4-6), Columbus St. Charles (5-5), Columbus Mifflin (2-8), Columbus Whetstone (6-4), Dublin Jerome (5-5), Hilliard Bradley (2-8), Lewis Center Olentangy (3-7), New Albany (7-3), New Philadelphia (9-1), Pataskala Watkins Memorial (2-8), Sunbury Big Walnut (6-4), The Plains Athens (9-1), Uniontown Lake (5-5), Vincent Warren (7-3), Zanesville (9-1).
JJ Hu ddl e’ s Oh io High
Oh io H igh F oo tball Prev iew: Division I I
REGION 8 Teams To Watch
Cincinnati Turpin (11-1) * Players To Watch – QB Eric Martin (6-2 -1/2, 208, Sr.) RB Will Stocker (5-6, 175, Sr.), WR Shade Whitfield (6-1, 178, Sr.), WR Mike Milliken (6-0, 182, Sr.), FB Chris Kanoza (5-11, 235, Sr.), OG John Adkerson (6-1, 220, Sr.), DL Andrew Flohr (63, 235, Sr.) * Outlook – The Spartans are a perennial power in Region 8 and nothing is expected to change this year. Last season, they entered the playoffs with the No. 1 seed in this region. They beat Wilmington 44-21 in the first round, but were then knocked out by Trotwood-Madison 43-7. Martin is ranked as the No. 11 quarterback in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio and he will lead the way again this season for Turpin. As a junior in 2009, he threw for 1,667 yards (59.1 completion percentage), 17 TDs and four interceptions. He also had 492 rushing yards (7 yards per carry) and eight scores on the ground. Martin will be entering his third season as a starter (1,305 passing yards, 11 TDs, 4 INTs as a sophomore) and even bigger things are expected this time around. Stocker is a talented running back who amassed 1,002 rushing yards (7.5 ypc) and 10 touchdowns last year. He also had 13 receptions for 299 yards (23.0) and two additional TDs. Whitfield will be Martin’s main target and last year the big-play threat had 13 receptions for 474 yards (36.5 ypc) and five touchdowns. As a sophomore, he had 12 catches for 322 yards (26.8) and five TDs. All in all, the head coach Rob Stoll likes the veteran make-up of his team. “I’ve got six guys returning that will all be threeyear starters,” Stoll said. “Four of them are skilled offensive players and we’re going to kind of build our team around them. Our defense is going to be young and fast and we’re going to build around Flohr who is one of those three-year starters. Our offense will be our strength and hopefully we’ll be good enough on that side of the ball to allow our defense a chance to grow up.”
Cincinnati Winton Woods (13-2) * Players To Watch – QB Thomas Owens (5-10, 205, Sr.), MLB Antonio Poole (6-1, 207, Sr.), CB Corey Webber (6-2, 182, Sr.), DB Zach Bomar (6-0, 170, Sr.), DB Chuck Wynn (5-11, 195, Sr.), RB Aaron Kemper (5-8, 186, Jr.), DE Walter Richardson (6-2, 198, Sr.). * Outlook – Winton Woods stormed its way to the 2009 Division II state championship and the only thing that would feel better to the Warriors would be a repeat. However, they must replace several talented starters – such as QB Dominique Brown and RB Jeremiah Goins – but they return with plenty of weapons in their arsenal. Owens is ranked as one of the state’s top 25 senior wide receiver prospects by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. He played running back the last couple years, but will move to quarterback this season.
JJ Hu d d l e ’ s Oh i o H i g h
“Yeah, we think Thomas will end up being our quarterback,” former Winton Woods head coach Troy Everhart said. “We had a really good one the last three years, but Thomas filled in for us some and did a good job. He’s extremely explosive and the consensus on the staff is that we need to get the ball in his hands a lot and the best way to do that is to play him at QB.” Owens is getting some looks from MAC schools, but by far the most highly-recruited player on the team is Poole. He already has over 20 scholarship offers and is ranked as the No. 2 senior middle linebacker in the state by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. Only Trey DePriest of Springfield (who is one of the top recruits in the nation and will likely pick between Alabama and Ohio State) is ranked higher. “Antonio is the most high-profile defensive kid we’ve had in a while,” Everhart said. Other players to keep a close eye on include Webber (ranked the No. 12 CB prospect in the state), Bomar (ranked as the No. 15 S prospect in the state) and Kemper (first-year starter – he will replace Goins in the backfield). Everhart himself will be missing from the sidelines this fall as well. He resigned in mid-July. Citing "highly placed sources in the Unviersity of Cincinnati football program," the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Everhart will join the Bearcats staff as an assistant coach. “Troy has communicated to us that he would pursue an outside opportunity,” Winton Woods athletic director Dwight Campbell told the paper. “He didn’t specify what that would be. It’s something that came as a surprise to us, but we understand his position and his aspirations. We’re happy for him but not pleased with the timing.” Andre Parker, Winton Woods' defensive coordinator, will become interim head coach.
Trotwood-Madison (9-4) * Players To Watch – RB Antwan Gilbert (5-10, 174, Sr.), SS Bam Bradley (6-1, 185, Jr.), QB Marcus Graham (6-2, 190, Sr.), WR AJ Jordan (6-2, 180, Sr.), MLB Nicholas Grigsby (6-0, 195, Sr.), Stacy Wheat (6-0, 185, Sr.), CB Julius Ruby (5-10, 145, Sr.), CB Maurice Blacknail (5-11, 165, Sr.), WR Auston Smith (5-11, 165, Sr.), WR Renon Lorenzo (5-9, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – After a disappointing 4-6 season in 2008 when they didn’t make the playoffs, the Rams rebounded to not only qualify for the postseason last year, but advance all the way to the regional finals. They crushed both Cincinnati Mount Healthy (41-6) and Cincinnati Turpin (43-7) before falling to eventual state champion Cincinnati Winton Woods, 28-7. This year, Trotwood returns absolutely loaded with talent, led by Gilbert who racked up 2,300 rushing yards and 30 touchdowns last year and is ranked as the state’s best senior running back by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio. The top junior on the team is Bradley who is ranked as the eighth-best junior in the state regardless of position. Graham returns at QB and he threw for 1,600 yards and 18 touchdowns last year. He is ranked as the No. 7 player at his position in the state. Jordan is ranked as the No. 2 WR in Ohio
and has 4.4 speed. As a junior in 2009, he had 30 receptions and six touchdowns. Rounding out the top college prospects from Trotwood, Grigsby is ranked as the No. 4 MLB in the state and has 4.50 speed, Wheat is one of the top 30 OLBs in the state and has 4.5 speed, Ruby is ranked as the No. 10 corner in the state and has blazing 4.35 speed, Blacknail (4.6 speed) is ranked as the 11th-best corner in the state, while Smith (4.6 speed) and Lorenzo (4.4 speed) are ranked among the top 70 WRs in the state.
Ke e p A n E y e O n
* Cincinnati Mount Healthy (7-4) – The Fighting Owls had an impressive season one year after a 46 campaign. They made the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in this region, but were defeated by TrotwoodMadison 41-6 in the first round. * Kings Mills Kings (3-7) – The Knights missed the playoffs last year, which is a rarity for them, but they were young and have several key players back. The group is led by QB Jonny Brewster (6-3,
Division II Predictions
Region 5 Ashland over Mentor Lake Catholic Region 6 Maple Heights over Avon Region 7 Brookhaven over Louisville Region 8 Winton Woods over Trotwood-Madison Championship Game Winton Woods over Maple Heights
185, Sr.) and RB Jamire Westbrook (5-8, 174, Jr.). Brewster is ranked as one of the state’s top 25 senior quarterbacks by Ohio High/Scouting Ohio, and Westbrook is ranked as one of the top 50 juniors in the state regardless of position. * New Carlisle Tecumseh (10-2) – The Arrows have been a playoff mainstay the last few years and this season is expected to be no different. Last year, they qualified for the postseason with the No. 3 seed in this region. They hammered West Carrollton 55-23 in the first round before bowing out against Winton Woods the following week.
Other Teams In Region
Ashville Teays Valley (3-7), Batavia Amelia (1-9), Cincinnati Aiken (0-10), Cincinnati Hughes Center (3-7), Cincinnati Northwest (4-6), Cincinnati Walnut Hills (5-5), Dayton Belmont (3-7), Dayton Carroll (64), Dayton Meadowdale (2-7), Dayton Stebbins (010), Greenville (3-7), Harrison (5-5), Hamilton Ross (6-5), Morrow Little Miami (5-5), Mount Orab Western Brown (4-6), Oxford Talawanda (2-8), Piqua (37), Sidney (5-5), Trenton Edgewood (4-6), Vandalia Butler (2-8), Wapakoneta (1-9), West Carrollton (83), Wilmington (7-4). — OH
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion II I
Defending State Champion: YOUNGSTOWN MOONEY Runner-Up: COLUMBUS DESALES
aving lost just four games in the past four seasons, Youngstown Cardinal Mooney sliced its way through the playoffs last year. In those five games alone, the Cardinals outscored their opponents 201-35 on the way to clinching the state championship. The wins were decisive (if not brutal). Still, those games were played by a roster boasting 24 seniors. “To sit here and compare the teams, itʼs absolutely impossible,” Mooney head coach P.J. Fecko said. “When you think about the team last year, youʼre thinking about a team thatʼs at Week 15. Itʼs a long journey but I know that our young people that are with us now are preparing themselves for that opening week.” Mooney is going to have to work hard to fill holes. Thatʼll leave some competitors eyeing for another match-up against the Cardinals, including other Region 9 powerhouses like Poland Seminary and Hubbard. All eyes are on Columbus Watterson and Columbus De Sales in Region 10. De Sales beat Watterson twice last year en route to the state final. Much like Mooney, DeSales lost a lot of seniors – 25 to be exact. In Region 11, Steubenville will look to march back to the state semifinals. Standing in Big Redʼs way will be – among other teams – Dover. Cincinnati Wyoming will be tough to stop in Region 12. The Cowboys won the regional title last year and return monster quarterback Kyle Seyfried as well as a standout defensive line. Said Wyoming head coach Bernie Barre: “If we can stay healthy, we should be pretty good.” Agreed.
Photo by Os Figuero
Teams To Watch
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Youngstown Mooney captured its seventh state title and moved to 7-3 in championship games all-time by beating Columbus DeSales 35-7. The teams had also met in Week 2.
Youngstown Cardinal Mooney (15-0) * Players to watch – QB/DB Kevin McGuire (6-0, 185, Sr.), Kicker/Punter A.J. Fox (5-9, 200, Sr.), TE/LB Nick Gemma (6-0, 195, Sr.), DL/OL Michael Rossi (6-3, 265, Sr.), TE/LB Nick Hargate (5-11, 190, Sr.) * Outlook – A perennial powerhouse, Mooney remains the team to beat. Last year’s senior-laden lineup now features some fresh faces, and that’s one concern for head coach P.J. Fecko. McGuire is the forerunner to replace Alex Zordich at QB. Zordich rushed and passed for more than 1,000 yards last season. Braylon Heard, though, was the engine of last year’s team tallying nearly 1,800 yards with 22 touchdowns. Mooney will have to tap a corps of running backs as a replacement. Rather than pointing out individual players, Fecko stresses the overall chemistry between the team. He believes that helped them win the state championship last year, and it’s something the younger players are going to have to recreate to if they want another successful season. “They’ve prepared themselves to step into those spots,” Fecko said. Akron Hoban (8-4) * Players to watch – QB Danny Hinton (6-2, 175, Sr.), C Allen Hopson III (5-10, 235, Sr.), S/WR Nate Greczanik (6-2, 190, Sr.), DB/WR Evan Luse (6-0, 170, Sr.), OL Fred McClain (511, 265, Sr.), DB Ian Santoferraro (5-9, 155, Sr.), DE/TE LaTroy
JJ Hu ddl e’s Ohi o High
Ohi o H igh Fo otball Pre v ie w : Division III
ST ORY B Y F RE D M A R I O N Lewis (6-4, 230, Jr.), DE/TE Greg McMullen (6-4 220, Jr.) * Outlook – Everything appears to hinge on Hoban’s offensive line. The team will expect a lot out of Hinton. The dual-threat QB started seeing game time late in the year rushing for 59 yards and throwing for 83 in their regional semifinal playoff loss to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. McMullen is one of the state’s top juniors. “We think we’re going to have one of the strongest defenses we’ve ever had here,” head coach Ralph Orsini said. “We return eight defensive players from last year’s group. … Potentially, we could be a very good offensive team.” Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (6-5) * Players to watch – DB Doran Grant (5-11, 175, Sr.), RB/SS Mark Murphy (6-2, 195, Sr.), QB Oliver Hildebrandt (6-5, 220, Sr.), QB Kevin Besser (6-3, 190, Jr.), T/DT Nick Codrea (6-3, 270, Sr.), OL Carlos Lugo (6-2, 285, Sr.), OL Mitch Wassam (6-1, 275, Sr.), OL Mike Greissing (5-11, 210, Sr.), DL D.J. Williams (6-4, 270, Sr.), DL Freeland Oliverio (6-0, 240, Sr.) * Outlook – One could argue that SVSM has the toughest schedule in the state. Contests against Mooney, Watterson and Hoban leave little room for error. And that’s why it’s been impressive that head coach Dan Boarman has taken the Fighting Irish to the playoffs two out of the three seasons he’s been at the helm. With a good mix of returning linemen on both sides of the ball, the team’s fate could rest on how the players come together as a team – particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Some healthy competition at the quarterback spot between Hildebrandt and Besser will likely drive both players to improve. Another enormous asset comes in the form of Grant. A workhorse, Grant plays cornerback and wide receiver and returns punts and kickoffs. He also has scholarship offers from more than two dozen schools. He’ll cause headaches for opposing teams. Hubbard (10-2) * Players to watch – DT/FB Blake Novotny (63, 210, Sr.), WR/DB Danny Duvall (6-0, 188, Sr.), QB/S Mike Lopuchvsky (6-1, 180, Sr.) * Outlook – After a run into the regional semifinals last fall, Hubbard’s got to rebuild a talented offense. Gone is QB Andre Givens, four offensive linemen and two receivers (Tommy Jackson and Kurtis Drummond). Still, head coach Brian Hoffman remains “cautiously optimistic.” In fact, the team’s offensive line could be even bigger than it was last year.
Poland Seminary (10-3) * Players to watch – WR/DB Darius Patton (510, 170, Sr.), QB Colin Reardon (6-0, 180, Jr.), OT/DT George Dibo (5-11, 242, Jr.), TE/DE Jordan Voitus (6-3, 205, Jr.), DB/WR Anthony Machi (5-10, 160, Sr.), OL Nick Sebastian (6-0, 260, Sr.), DE Noah Hochendoner (6-2, 185, Sr.), P Chris Walla (5-10, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – Looking to get into the playoffs for the fourth straight year, Poland has fast runners at
JJ Hu d d l e ’ s Oh i o H i g h
the skill positions and a tough offense that will spread the ball around. Poland won two playoff games last year before falling 24-7 to Mooney. Expect them to be in the running again with leaders like Patton who has scholarship offers from 9 of the 11 teams in the Big Ten.
K eep A n Ey e On
* Parma Padua Franciscan (7-4) – Felled in round one of the playoffs last season, Franciscan returns a number of star players who are already getting scholarship offers including WR Nico Sidari (6-2, 190, Sr.), DT Collin Perchinske (6-5, 245, Sr.) and CB Kyle Tomko (6-0, 175, Sr.). * Akron Buchtel (7-3) – Buchtel’s gaining momentum after a tough year in 2007 when the program went 2-8. The next year the Giffins were 5-5, and last fall went 7-3. A handful of exciting offensive players are moving through the program including WR Corey Smith (6-0, 170, Jr.) and RB Chevon Meadows (5-10, 170, Sr.). * Medina Buckeye (8-3) – After starting last season 0-2, Buckeye won the rest of its games and finished 8-2 – good enough for its first playoff berth since 2005. The Bucks lost in Round 1 to Hubbard, but it’s an encouraging sign. Buckeye lost nearly a third of its team to graduation, so it’ll need to rely on new faces to fill important roles. * Mogadore Field (8-3) – Boasting one of the top defensive ends in the state, Jim Cercek (6-3, 235, Sr.), Field got a tough draw in last year’s state tournament when it faced Mooney in Round 1. The team lost just two games during the regular season last year; a three-point loss against East Palestine and a 39-0 shellacking by D-II Ravenna. Cerek was All-Ohio last year. * Akron Springfield (6-4) – A team on the cusp of breaking out, all of Springfield’s losses (excluding a 47-0 drubbing by D-II Ravenna) were within seven points. With the loss of All-Ohio special mention OL Chris Evans, the team will look to new faces for leadership including junior RB Dillon Matthews (165, 5-6) who earned All-Ohio honors last year. * Ashtabula Edgewood (7-3) – After putting together a 7-3 record last season, Edgewood will have to work hard to replace the 20-plus seniors it lost to graduation. Still, the program’s turnaround was nothing short of miraculous after going 0-10 in 2008. * Bay Village (7-3) – Another Cinderella story, the Rockets went 2-8 in 2008. Last year, they put together an impressive four-game turnaround. The team was led by a tough defense and the dedicated play of quarterback Ryan Hoke (6-2, 185, Sr.). Hoke spent part of last year with a cast on his left arm but didn’t let that take him out of the lineup. He’ll be expected to take more snaps this year. * Hunting Valley University School (6-4) – After losing three of its first four, University School played nearly flawless for the rest of the season – winning all of its games except one (a close loss to Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary). The team will look for leadership from a new QB after Dan Frate’s graduation. Frate is now at Harvard. * Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral (5-5) – With
10 Players To Watch Kyle Seyfried, Cincinnati Wyoming, Sr., QB All-Ohioan and D-III Offensive Player of the Year threw for 3,452 yards, 40 TDs and only eight interceptions last year. Doran Grant, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Sr., CB All-Ohioan is probably the best cornerback in Ohio. He has scholarship offers from over 20 schools including Ohio State, USC and LSU. Chris Rock, Columbus DeSales, Sr., DL All-Ohioan has 31 sacks the last two years. Michigan recruit chose Wolverines over Notre Dame, Oregon, Nebraska and others. Ron Tanner, Columbus Eastmoor, Sr., DB Made 81 tackles and seven interceptions last year, which is one reason he has scholarship offers from more than 20 schools, including Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State. Roger Williamson, Dayton Dunbar, Sr., WR Two-way standout intercepted seven passes last year and returned two for TDs. He also caught 20 passes, had six TD receptions and scored once on a kickoff return. Shaq Petteway, Steubenville, Sr., LB All-Ohioan had 116 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and two forced fumbles last fall. West Virginia and Michigan State are two of his suitors. Greg McMullen, Akron Hoban, Jr. DE Named to ESPN RISE All-Sophomore Defensive Team after making 58 tackles and 11.5 sacks last year with a cast on his broken wrist. Will be one of state’s most sought after 2012 recruits. Warren Ball, Columbus DeSales, Jr., RB One of the top running backs in his class, Ball claims a 4.5 40-yard dash. As a sophomore, he rushed for more than 700 yards and eight TDs despite missing four games. Don’t be surprised to see him headed to Ohio State. Matt Redfield, Columbus Watterson, Sr., LB/RB Beast of a linebacker can bench 345 and squat 515. He used that strength for some great stats last fall: 170 tackles, 25 tackles for a loss, five sacks and two interceptions. The All-Ohioan had 163 tackles and 22 TFL as a sophomore. Mark Murphy, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Sr., SS All-Ohioan rushed for 887 yards and nine TDs on 147 attempts last fall. He also registered 74 tackles and three interceptions. Headed to Indiana after choosing the Hoosiers over Arizona, Air Force, Kent State and Akron.
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion II I a team composed mostly of underclassmen, head coach Byron Morgan says they’re facing the toughest schedule in the school’s history with five opponents who made last season’s playoffs. It helps that Notre Dame returns two of the best linemen in its region in Johnnie Lemons (6-0, 315, Sr.) and Andrew Evans (5-11, 235, Sr.).
Other Teams In Region
Akron Coventry (0-10), Beloit West Branch (3-7), Cleveland Benedictine (3-7), Cleveland East (1-9), Cleveland East Technical (2-8), Conneaut (1-9), Jefferson Area (3-7), Mantua Crestwood (2-8), Niles McKinley (4-6), Norton (4-6), Oberlin Firelands (2-8), Parma Heights Holy Name (1-9), Pepper Pike Orange (3-7), Ravenna Southeast (1-9), Streetsboro (5-5), Struthers (2-8), Warrensville Heights (5-5).
REGION 10 Teams To Watch
Columbus DeSales (11-4) * Players to watch – QB Nick Gentile (6-1, 200, Sr.), RB Warren Ball (6-1, 185, Jr.), OL Santino Cua (5-11, 205, Sr.), TE/WR Sam Borghese (6-3, 175, Sr.), OL/DL Tony Moore (5-9, 200, Sr.), DE Chris Rock (6-5, 245, Sr.), Corner Evan Kendrick (5-11, 185). * Outlook – Despite losing 25 seniors, DeSales will be the team to beat in Region 10. On the offensive side of the ball, the Stallions return their starting quarterback (Gentile) and they’ve got a powerful DI-prospect in Ball. On defense, DeSales is packing the rough-and-tumble wrester/DL Moore and DE Chris Rock, one of the most heavily recruited players in the state. On top of that, the Stallions have five extra games under their belt after last year’s run to the state championships. The championship game against Mooney wasn’t a shining example of the team’s best play, though. “When you look at that game, we would have had to have (played) a very good game (to win),” Wiggins said. “We had six turnovers. You can’t do that against a team of that caliber.” DeSales is looking for its 17th playoff appearance in a row.
Bellefontaine (8-3) * Players to watch – QB Garrett Pickering (5-11, 175, Sr.), FB Preston Artis (6'2, 225, Sr.), OL Seth Mitchell (6'3, 310, Sr.), OL Paul Shough (6'2, 260, Sr.) * Outlook – Bellefontaine is under new leadership after the departure of head coach Jason Brown. Chris Schmidt, a Bellefontaine grad and assistant coach for the past five years, will take the reins where he’ll have command of a young team that lost a lot of seniors. “If we can have some young guys step up, we feel like we can make another run at the playoffs,” Schmidt said. The Chiefs have been to the playoffs two out of the past three seasons, so they’ll be eager to prove
18 JJ H U DD L E . CO M
that they can do it again.
Bryan (8-3) * Players to watch – OT Alex Hey (6-8, 275, Sr.), RB/LB Jake Phillips (6-2, 215, Sr.), Guard/DE Miguel Rodriguez (6-1, 215, Sr.), QB/S Cody Robinson (6-0, 175, Sr.), RB/LB Jeremiah Dietrich (6-0, 220, Sr.), WR/CB Collin Bacon (6-1, 180, Soph.) * Outlook – A lot hinges on new faces at Bryan, where the Bears are lookng to build off the first playoff appearance in history. The team’s size should be formidable with returners like Hey. “The NWOAL is going to be very balanced and competitive,” head coach Travis Cooper said. “The challenge for our team will be to stay hungry and not be satisfied with last year’s success.”
Columbus Watterson (9-4) * Players to watch – LB/RB Matt Redfield (6-0, 220, Sr.), NG Hunter Maynard (6-1, 285, Sr.), WR Connor Geraghty (6-2, 172, Sr.), OL/RB Michael Szaraz (5-10, 175, Sr.), LB Ray Cook (6-1, 188, Sr.), OT T.J. Gilles (6-3, 269, Sr.), DE Justin McCarthy (6-1, 211, Sr.), CB/WR Brad McCurdy (5-11, 162, Sr.), QB Pat Rhomberg (6-1, 190, Sr.), OL/HB Dan Gelpi (6-0, 186, Sr.) * Outlook – Watterson lost a lot of leadership with last year’s outgoing class, but expectations never lessen for the Eagles. “Depth up front is a concern,” head coach Dan Bjelac said. “Where we have more players coming back is probably in skill areas.” At least two players on the team have D-I scholarship offers (Redfield and Maynard). They’ll be looked to for leadership along with Rhomberg. “Our No. 1 goal is to win our league, get to the playoffs, and go from there,” Bjelac said. “It’s always an expectation for us to get to the playoffs.” Columbus Eastmoor Academy (8-3) * Players to watch – FS Ron Tanner (6-1, 190, Sr.), LB Shawn Jackson (5-11, 190, Sr.), DB/WR Kevin Tucker (5-9, 155, Sr.), OL/DL Jabari Howard (6-1, 280, Jr.), OL/LB Bryan Booker (6-1, 220, Jr.) * Outlook – Head coach Jim Miranda reached his 100th career win late last season, and he’s got a crop of outstanding players to try to add some more “X”s to the win column. The team’s led by Tanner, one of the state’s most versatile players. “I think he’s got up to 22 offers,” said Miranda, who is trying to lead the Warriors to the playoffs for the third year in a row. The season opener against rival Columbus Northland will set the tone.
Napoleon (9-3) * Players to watch – C/DL Ben Flogaus (5-8, 189, Sr.), LT Arthur Warren (6-3, 197, Sr.), FB/LB Devon Sonnenberg (5-9, 171, Sr.), K/WR/LB Tyler Miller (5-10, 160, Jr.), RB Skyler Anderson (5-7, 161, Jr.) * Outlook – “I’m very optimistic that we can surprise some people to be quite honest with you,”
Napoleon head coach Tory Strock said. The Wildcats will lack some experience after graduating 15 seniors, but they return some heavy-hitting contributors. After beating Eastmoor 28-14 in Round 1 of the playoffs, Napoleon fell to Watterson. “Division III was just brutal last year,” Strock said. “Columbus Watterson, they beat us 63, man for man. They just had studs all over the place. We fought and clawed and scraped. We feel like we’re battle tested.” Sandusky Perkins (9-2) * Players to watch – RB/LB Richard Hohler (58, 190, Sr.), QB/S Evan Laser (5-11, 180, Sr.), RB/S Xavier Turner (6-1, 195, Jr.), TE/DE Michael Ebert (6-6, 220, Jr.), DL/OL Jemar Walk (6-3, 255, Sr.), LB/FB Tyson Moore (5-8, 190, Sr.) * Outlook – Perkins lost nine all-league players including the Conference Player of the Year to graduation, so the team will rely on new faces – including a new coach. After Gary Quisno stepped down, Jason Ziegler was tapped to take over. A handful of seniors will be looked to for leadership, including Moore (93 tackles) and Hohler (814 yards rushing on 142 attempts).
Tipp City Tippecanoe (9-3) * Players to watch – QB/DB Jake Watkins (510, 168, Sr.), RB/LB Jake Polanski (5-10, 176, Sr.), OL/DL Austin Hunter (5-9, 239, Sr.), TE/DL Alex Baker (5-11, 185, Jr.), RB/DB Dylan Bourelle (5-9, 150, Sr.), DE/K Kyle Pignatiello (5-9, 185, Sr.) * Outlook – The 2010 season at Tippecanoe marks the 90th consecutive year the school will field a football team, and the Red Devils are looking to return to the playoffs after a run to the regional semifinals last fall. One area where Tipp is most solid is the kicking game. Head coach Charlie Burgbacher believes Pignatiello could kick at the D-I level in college.
K eep A n E ye On
* Delaware Buckeye Valley (7-3) – Still vying for their first playoff appearance, the Barons have been churning out winning seasons. One small spark could push them past them the 7-3 mark where they’d have a shot at the playoffs. * St. Paris Graham Local (8-2) – Just five onehundredths of a point away from clinching a playoff spot last year, Graham stumbled against two of the stronger teams on its schedule: Versailles (6-4) and Tecumseh (9-1). The Falcons lost to Versailles 2128 in a battle that likely knocked them out of the playoffs. Senior DB Nick VanHoose (6-1, 185) has committed to Indiana. * Tiffin Columbian (7-3) – Three losses early in the season extinguished Columbian’s chances for a playoff run. The team played brilliantly in the final five games of the season outscoring their opponents 181-33. Can they continue that momentum? * Lima Shawnee (7-3) – Much like Columbian, Shawnee got off to a rocky start. The Braves dropped their first three games before meshing into a formidable team. In five of their last seven games they shut out their opponents entirely, and they did
JJ Hu ddl e’s Ohi o High
Ohi o H igh Fo otball Pre v ie w : Division III it while scoring an average of 40 points. If they can keep that level of play up, the Braves will definitely clinch a playoff spot in the fall. The team returns standout DB Jamiil Williams (5-10, 166, Sr.). * Columbus Bexley (3-7) – The Lions had a tough year last fall. This year, experience should help. The team returns seven starters on offense, nine on defense, its kicker and its punter. “That should put us in a position to compete for a league title and the playoffs,” head coach John Smith said. “There needs to be a drastic improvement on the offensive side of the ball though in all aspects: running, catching, throwing, blocking.”
Other Teams In Region
Bellefontaine Benjamin Logan (2-8), Bellevue (5-5), Celina (1-9), Clyde (6-4), Columbus East (46), Columbus Linden McKinley (3-7), Columbus South (2-8), Defiance (5-5), Elida (5-5), Oak Harbor (4-6), Shelby (5-5), St. Mary's Memorial (5-5), Toledo Libbey (1-8), Urbana (5-5), Vermilion (1-9), Whitehall-Yearling (2-8), Willard (3-7).
REGION 11 Teams To Watch
Dover (11-2) * Players to watch – OL/LB Chance Shalosky (6-2, 200, Sr.), WR/DB Colton Zahner (6-2, 190, Sr.), OL/DL Dylan Knight (6-5, 275, Sr.), QB/S Derek Swinderman (6-4, 180, Jr.), K Zach Rafter (5-11, 165, Sr.), OLB/QB Christian Ifft (6-1, 180, Sr.) * Outlook – No story about Region 11 and Dover Football would be complete without talking about Danny Jeandervin. The football captain, 3year starter and legitimate D-I college prospect, was severely injured in a sledding accident on Jan. 14, 2010. After two surgeries and four months in hospitals and rehab centers, he returned home in May. His accident left him a paraplegic. “Danny's attitude and strength have been a source of encouragement for all our kids,” says head coach Dan Ifft. “This is an incredible young man. … He was destined to be First Team All-Ohio and a scholarship kid. The accident took all this away but it did not take away his spirit. I am amazed at how he has handled this tragedy.” Expect the team to play harder this year in Danny’s honor. “Three of the last four years we have worked our way into the Regional Championship game in Region 11,” Ifft said. “It is a huge task but one that serves to motivate our kids and coaches. It drives our off-season program.”
Steubenville (12-2) * Players to watch – OLB Jesse Birden (6-0, 200, Sr.), FB/OLD Shaquille Petteway (6-1, 200, Sr.) * Outlook – Clearly the team to beat in Region 11, Steubenville marched to the state semifinals last year where they lost to eventual state champion Mooney. The Big Red had the second-highest Harbin ranking in the division (behind only Mooney), and they dropped just one game all sea-
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son to Michigan’s Inkster High School. This fall, they’ll start their season against Inkster – the only team that has beaten the Big Red during the regular season in the past seven years. The Big Red lost their starting quarterback to graduation, so it’ll be interesting to see who steps up to take his spot. Petteway, who had 116 tackles including 18.5 for loss last year, has offers from Michigan State, West Virginia and Toledo.
Alliance Marlington (8-3) * Players to watch – RB Alden Hill (6-1, 200, Jr.), OT Zack Higgens (6-5, 285, Jr.), RB/OL Dymonte Thomas (6-0, 170, So.), RB Alden Hill (6-1, 200, Jr.), OG Nate Manos (6-4, 270, Sr.), LB Clayton Staib (5-9, 170, Jr.) * Outlook – It’s Ed Miley’s fourth year at the helm of the Dukes, and he’s on the cusp of becoming the winningest coach in the program’s history. He currently stands at 19 wins and the school record is 23. “It’s been a gradual process,” Miley says. “Our seniors have 19 varsity wins. In middle school, they only had one win. Our kids have just rolled up their sleeves, and … said ‘enough’s enough.’” It helps that Marlington has two great running backs in Hill and Thomas. Hill rushed for 1,196 yards last season. If he rushes for 1,244 this season, he’ll be the school’s all-time leading rusher. Thomas is younger, but just as good. In fact, his coach says he’s “probably one of the best running backs in the country.” Thomas averaged 8.6 yards per carry for 800 yards on the season.
Cadiz Harrison Central (8-3) * Players to watch – FS/QB Kyle Blanchard (64, 190, Sr.), C/WR Alex Brooks (5-8, Sr.) * Outlook – In Harrison Central’s short history, last year was the first time the Huskies made it to the playoffs. They did it on the strength of senior leadership and the play of Blanchard and Brooks. Blanchard’s already getting looks from Ball State and a lot of MAC schools. Returning just three starters on offense and four on defense, the team’s fate appears to hinge on underclassmen. Canal Fulton Northwest (8-4) * Players to watch – TE Gavin Hutchison (6-2, 230, Sr.), OL Jim Galley (5-10, 250, Sr.), OL Andy Gromofsky (5-9, 220, Sr.), WR Cory Hoffman (5-8, 150, Sr.), SS Jacob Staubs (5-11, 160, Sr.), DE Gavin Hutchison (6-2, 230, Sr.), C Nate Harper (59, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – In possession of the longest playoff streak in Stark County, the Indians have made it to the postseason nine times in a row. Last year, they made it to the regional semifinals before falling in a close game with Dover. The team returns five starters on offense and five starters on defense. Said head coach Vic Whiting: “We will be a surprising team in 2010.”
10 Games To Catch Steubenville vs. Inkster (Mich.) August 26, 2010: Big Red hasn’t lost an opener since 1989. They open this season, though, against the only team to beat them in the regular season in the last seven years. Hubbard vs. Poland Seminary August 26, 2010: Poland was the only team that knocked off Hubbard during the regular season last fall. Poland won 24-13. Napoleon vs. Defiance August 27, 2010: A rivalry that’s gone on for years, Napoleon head coach Tory Strock calls the matchup “one of the great rivalries in the state of Ohio.” Said Strock: “It’s an Ohio StateMichigan type rivalry. We’ve got that circled on our calendar.” Sandusky Perkins vs. Sandusky September 3, 2010: The “Hometown Showdown” pits two local schools against each other: D-II Sandusky and D-III Perkins. Perkins won last year 28-0. Youngstown Mooney vs. Columbus DeSales September 17, 2010: A state championship rematch. Enough said. St. Vincent-St. Mary vs. Hoban September 25, 2010: SVSM has won the last three matchups between these local parochial powerhouses. Expect more than 10,000 fans to watch this one. Columbus DeSales vs. Columbus Watterson October 15, 2010: This Central Ohio rivalry game is about as intense as it gets. Both are former state champions looking to add another. Cincinnati Wyoming vs. Indian Hill October 29, 2010: Last year’s matchup was a battle of wills. Final score: Wyoming 50, Indian Hill 49. The Cincinnati Hills League title and playoff berths will be on the line - as usual. Poland Seminary vs. Canfield October 29, 2010: Canfield beat Poland 16-0 last year, and although both teams went on to the playoffs, this game’s more important than that. Poland and Canfield are just seven miles apart, so you’ve got two towns that turn out and tune up - for the annual clash. Chaminade Julienne at Alter October 29, 2010: The Knights have owned this Miami Valley parochial rivalry recently. The Eagles though counter this season with arguably their best team in years.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on II I Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Youngstown Mooney 2. Steubenville 3. Cincinnati Wyoming 4. Columbus DeSales 5. Hubbard 6. Dover 7. Granville 8. Columbus Watterson 9. Poland 10. Salem
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division III Playoffs
Youngstown Mooney 35, Columbus DeSales 17
Columbus DeSales 24, Cincinnati Wyoming 7 Youngstown Mooney 45, Steubenville 7
Region 9 1 Youngs. Mooney 24, 2 Poland Seminary 7 Region 10 1 Cols. DeSales 24, 2 Cols. Watterson 10 Region 11 1 Steubenville 28, 2 Dover 14 Region 12 2 Cin. Wyoming 14, 8 Springfield Shawnee 7
Region 9 1 Youngstown Cardinal Mooney 55, 4 Hubbard 0 2 Poland Seminary 10, 3 Akron Abp. Hoban 7 Region 10 1 Cols. DeSales 54, 5 Tipp City Tippecanoe 14 2 Columbus Bishop Watterson 6, 3 Napoleon 3 Region 11 2 Dover 28, 6 Canal Fulton Northwest 21, OT 1 Steubenville 34, 5 Salem 10 Region 12 2 Cincinnati Wyoming 14, 6 Monroe 7 8 Springfield Shawnee 21, 4 Logan Elm 14
Region 9 1 Y’town Mooney 42, 8 Mogadore Field 14 2 Poland 38, 7 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 14 3 Akron Hoban 14, 6 Parma Padua Franciscan 11 4 Hubbard 30, 5 Medina Buckeye 14 Region 10 1 Columbus DeSales 45, 8 Bryan 21 2 Columbus Watterson 26, 7 Bellefontaine 0 3 Napoleon 28, 6 Columbus Eastmoor 14 5 Tipp City Tippecanoe 34, 4 Sandusky Perkins 6 Region 11 1 Steubenville 34, 8 Alliance Marlington 26 2 Dover 42, 7 Cadiz Harrison Central 0 6 Canal Fulton Northwest 28, 3 Buckeye Local 20 5 Salem 38, 4 Granville 31 (OT) Region 12 8 Springfield Shawnee 28, 1 Goshen 7 2 Cincinnati Wyoming 34, 7 Eaton 32 6 Monroe 12, 3 Dayton Chaminade-Julienne 7 4 Circleville Logan Elm 28, 5 New Richmond 12
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Granville (9-2) * Players to watch – OL/DL Kirk Willis (6-3, 210, Sr.), Punter/DB Jamie Datz (6-2, 175, Sr.), WR/DB Josh McKenzie (5-10, 165, Sr.), OL/DL Cole Gordon (5-10, 220, Sr.), LB/OL Chris Lanham (6-2, 200, Sr.), K Ryan Green (6-2, 175, Sr.), DB/WR Tyler Compton (5-11, 160, Sr.), DB/RB Brandon Wilson (5-11, 185, Sr.) * Outlook – Granville will be fighting for its fourth straight playoff berth, and it helps that the Blue Aces will be returning a lot of depth, experience and talent on the offensive and defensive lines. All told, the defense returns seven starters, and the offensive line returns three. McKenzie, who had 41 catches for 897 yards last season, is an electric player. The team’s biggest concern is a lack of experience at some of the skill positions.
Salem (9-3) * Players to watch – QB/OLB Trent Toothman (6-1, 215, Sr.), OL/DL Mike King (6-3, 280, Sr.), WR/S Zach Penick (6-1, 175, Jr.), RB/OLB Eric Bailey (5-10, 175, Sr.), RB/CB Austin Noel (5-10, 165, Jr.), OL Steve Manypenny (6-2, 220, Jr.), OL Steve Navarra (6-1, 265, Sr.) * Outlook – Toothman should make Salem an exciting team to watch this fall. The Ball State recruit passed for 2,000 yards and rushed for another 1,000 last year. According to head coach Mike Kopachy: “He could shatter every career Salem passing record this season.”
Ke e p A n E y e O n
* Rayland Buckeye Local (8-3) – After putting together back-to-back playoff appearances, Panthers head coach Ron Pobolish stepped down this year. His successor and former assistant Anthony Barsch will try to keep the streak alive. Keep an eye on junior RB Josten Dear (5-11, 190). Dear rushed for 800-plus yards as a sophomore. * Minerva (7-3) – Fighting to become a force in the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, the Lions have steadily improved since a 2-8 finish in 2007. This year they’re stacked. Keep an eye on seniors WR/DB Jeremy Fick (6-0, 175), QB/DB D.J. Marrah (5-11, 180), WR/DB Drew Prendergast (5-8, 165) and OL/DL C.J. Soehnlen (5-11, 200). * Pataskala Licking Heights (8-2) – The Hornets put together a great record with just two losses to Baltimore Liberty Union and West Jefferson. Keep an eye on WR/DB Jordan Bodell (5-8, 160, Sr.) and kicker Kevin Carr (5-9, 170, Sr.), both of whom were named All-District last year. * Thornville Sheridan (8-2) – Having made the playoffs six times since 2001, the Generals put together another outstanding season last year despite losing a large crop of seniors. All eight of the Generals wins were by large margins. If they stay consistent this fall, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Keep an eye on C.J. Myers (5-10, 165, Sr.) and OL/DL Josh Busby (6-5, 240, Sr.). * Carrollton (6-4) – The Warriors started the season off strong winning six games in a row. Then, they couldn’t pull themselves back together after a demoralizing 52-0 loss to Louisville. The Warriors will try to turn that around this year after losing just six seniors. They’ll be helped along by QB/LB Johnny Lowdermilk (6-2, 190, Sr.) who’s
one of the top players in the state. He has offers from Miami (Ohio), Toledo and Youngstown State. * Wintersville Indian Creek (6-4) – Narrowly missing a playoff berth, Indian Creek was one of the few schools to defeat playoff team Buckeye Local. If they can find consistency, the Redskins might just make it this fall. Look for leadership from seniors FB/ILB Niko Otto (6-2, 210) and QB Adam Young (6-2, 180). * Zanesville Maysville (6-4) – It’s hard to believe that Maysville went 0-10 two years ago. The team bootstrapped its way to a winning record last year – their first in a brand new turf stadium – and it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.
Ot her Te am s In Region
Alliance (1-9), Cambridge (5-5), Canton South (3-7), Duncan Falls Philo (3-7), East Liverpool (46), Hebron Lakewood (0-10), Lisbon Beaver (1-9), McConnelsville Morgan (0-10), Millersburg West Holmes (2-8), Navarre Fairless (1-9), New Concord John Glenn (2-8), New Lexington (4-6), Newark Licking Valley (5-5), Richmond Edison (37), Uhrichsville Claymont (2-8), Warsaw River View (1-9).
REGION 12 Teams To Watch
Cincinnati Wyoming (13-1) * Players to watch – QB Kyle Seyfried (6-1, 200, Sr.), DE Tony Davis (6- 4, 260, Sr.), LB/DE Eric Price (6-6, 225, Sr.), DL Tommy Campbell (62, 240, Jr.), LB Michael Travers (6-2, 200, Sr.), OL Matt McCoy (6-4, 250, Sr.) * Outlook – Hands down, the Cowboys will be the team to beat in Region 12. They weren’t No. 1 in computer points last year but the team was 10-0 during the regular season and battled its way through three tough playoff games for a chance to play in the state semifinals. All told, Wyoming returns seven starters on offense and six starters on defense. “We lost our running back from last year and do not have a lot of depth at that position,” head coach Bernie Barre said. “Defensively, we should be very good up front, but lack depth in the linebacking corps and secondary.” One area Barre’s not worried about is QB. Seyfried is easily one of the top 10 QBs in the state. Last season, he threw for 3,452 yards, 40 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions. The DL won’t be bad either with Davis and Price, who have several MAC offers between them, manning two spots. Circleville Logan Elm (9-3) * Players to watch – OL, LB Luke Thompson (6-0, 212, Jr.), QB/DB Anthony Vagnier (6-1, 160, Jr.), WR/DB Nate Hulse (5-11, 157, Sr.), WR/DB Blake Riffle (6-3, 155, Jr.) * Outlook – After a 10-0 season in 2008, the Braves had high hopes last fall. They put together an 8-2 run and then marched to the second round of the playoffs where they fell to a tough Springfield
JJ Hu ddl e’ s Oh io High
Ohi o H igh Fo otball Pre v ie w : Division III Shawnee squad. They’ll have to look to new faces to replace a strong offensive duo in quarterback Johnnie Brown and wide receiver Adam Blake, as well as offensive and defensive lineman Logan Hauserman. Expect Thompson, Vagnier, Hulse and Riffle to get lots of time on the grass as LE looks to duplicate its recent success.
Dayton Chaminade-Julienne (8-3) * Players to watch – RB Aaron Stokes (5-8, 170, Sr.), QB Michael Simpson (6-1, 180, Jr.), DB Donovan Layne (5-11, 198, Sr.), TE/LB Darrien Howard (6-2, 235, So.), DB Marco Gresham (5-9, 160, Jr.) * Outlook – The Eagles are gunning for their first Greater Catholic League title since 2000. It'll be tough after losing N.C. State signee OT/DE Andy Jomantas, three out of their top four wide receivers and six starters on defense, but head coach Andy Helms is confident they'll make another strong run. Defensive standouts Layne, Howard and Gresham return to lead a defense that only allowed 9.1 points a game last year. CJ also returns Simpson who threw for 1,588 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore. Look for some big contributions from Stokes, too. The RB had 901 yards and eight TDs last season. Eaton (8-3) * Players to watch – DL Ben Duffie (6-0, 295, Sr.), LB Kyle Yoder (6-1, 185, Sr.), C/DL Cody Shafer (6-0, 265, Sr.), WR/LB TJ Woods (6-1, 170, Sr.), WR/DB Zac Wilson (5-9, 165, Sr.), OL Dustin Underwood (6-2, 265, Sr.) * Outlook – After finishing first in the Southwestern Buckeye League Southwestern Division, Eaton will have to replace some key players including RB Dalton Caudill who rushed for 2,105 yards and QB/DB Austin Fudge. They’ve also got to replace OL Clint Shepherd, a three-year starter who’s now on scholarship at the University of Cincinnati.
Goshen (8-3) * Players to watch – DT Tyler Settles (6-1, 266, Sr.), RB Travis Hines (5-8, 150, Sr.), ILB Taylor Rahm (6-1, 205, Sr.) * Outlook – Perched atop the computer rankings at the end of the season last year, Goshen ultimately fell to No. 8 seed Springfield Shawnee in the first round of the playoffs. Still, the Warriors put together a great season after losing their first two games. Goshen employs a run-heavy offense that served them well after putting together a 4-6 record in 2008. Expect to see more of the same and a better showing in the playoffs if the team can carry their momentum forward.
Monroe (9-3) * Players to watch – QB/DB David Routson (510, 170, Sr.), WR Travis Hacker (6-2, 180, Sr.) * Outlook – After putting together a great season last fall, head coach Ken Meibers left for Norwood. That opened up a spot for former defensive coordinator Brett Stubbs to take over. Under new leadership, it’s tough to predict where the Hornets will be
JJ Hu d d l e ’ s Oh i o H i g h
in the fall – particularly since this will be the team’s first season after moving up to the Southwestern Division of the Southwestern Buckeye League after a stay in the smaller Buckeye Division. The team will have difficulty replacing running back Devin King, too. He broke the school’s singleseason rushing record (a record that had stood for 23 years) with 1,690 yards last season.
New Richmond (9-2) * Players to watch – QB/S Garrett Myers (5-9, 166, Sr.), OLB Austin Warden (6-1, 186, Sr.), FS/QB Mike Skaggs (5-11, 165, Sr.) * Outlook – Coming off their first playoff berth since 2001, the Lions have improved their record steadily since 2005 and the team’s defense was stellar last year. No team scored more than 21 points against New Richmond during the regular season. All told, the Lions outscored their opponents 379-109 before the playoffs.
Springfield Shawnee (9-4) * Players to watch – QB, DB Steven Sarven (63, 170, Sr.), WR/DB Xavier Jordan (5-10, 160, Sr.), OL/DL Nick Storts (5-10, 220, Sr.), RB/DE Eric Dewitt (6-2, 200, Sr.), TE/DE Brad MacLeod (6-2, 200, Sr.), RB/DB Nick Hines (5-7, 150, Jr.) * Outlook – The Braves managed to put together another stellar season last year by recording their first winning-season since 2005 and making the regional final for the second time in five years. Now they’re hoping to replace some of the team’s leadership that came in the form of RB Kris Hanaway and QB Evan Storts. Cincinnati Indian Hill (6-4) * Players to watch – Sam Voss (5-11, 185, Sr.), Reid Lockwood, (5-9, 165, Sr.), Jake Thomas (510, 190, Sr.), Rob Becker (6-4, 245, Jr.) * Outlook – A young team at critical positions, the Braves’ speed will likely be their biggest asset. Indian Hill’s speed last year allowed them to run all over opposing teams and post big numbers including a 62-0 win over Cincinnati Finneytown. Indian Hill’s last game of the season though was a heartbreaker against Wyoming that the Braves dropped 50-49. Indian Hill proved to be the only team to give the Cowboys a real run for their money during the regular season. Look for the rematch on Oct. 29. Said head coach Mike Theisen: “It is critical that we get off to a quick and successful start which will instill confidence in our young players.”
Keep An Eye On
* Franklin (7-3) – Every year since 2007, the Wildcats have increased their win total. Expectations were high last fall after a playoff berth the year before and although their record improved (from 6-4 in 2008), their computer points weren’t good enough to qualify for postseason play. Still, the team could be even better this year after doing some rebuilding. Watch for a number of key names including RB/LB Cody Priest (6-1, 205, Jr.), OL Michael Stachler (6-0, 215, Sr.), OL D.J. Brewer (5-
8, 198, Jr.), K Jordan Pruitt (Sr.), DL Christian Brislen (6-5, 285, Sr.), DB Matt Adkins (6-0, 160, Jr.) and DB Oscar Romero (5-9, 149, Jr.). * Dayton Dunbar (5-5) – This might be Dunbar’s year. The team brings a whole lot of talent to the field. The Wolverines have huge lines on both sides of the ball, and – arguably – the No. 1 WR in the state in senior Roger Williamson (6-2, 187). * Hillsboro (8-2) – Hillsboro wasn’t projected to do much last fall after going 2-8 in 2008. The INdians surprised everyone instead, making them contenders for a playoff bid. They probably would have made it if they could have stopped Washington Courthouse in a 28-27 Week 5 loss. It’ll be interesting to see if they can continue the momentum. * Jackson (7-3) – A solid program, Jackson has a knack for producing winning seasons. The Ironmen lost 12 seniors on their 39-man roster to graduation, so they’ll rely on some new leadership from players like RB/LB Klay Arthur (6-0, 195, Sr.), QB/RB/OLB Eric Landrum (5-10, 185, Sr.) and WR/DB Derrick Meredith (5-10, 155, Sr.). * Circleville (3-7) – After a tough season last
Division III Predictions
Region 9 Mooney over Poland Seminary Region 10 Columbus DeSales over Watterson Region 11 Steubenville over Dover Region 12 Wyoming over Chaminade Julienne Championship Game Wyoming over Mooney
year, Circleville has some key players returning including senior quarterback Casey Hawkins who threw for more than 1,600 yards. Other key returners include WR/DB Reily Kiser (6-0, 160, Sr.), OL Dylan Ford (6-3, 260, Sr.). “We feel like we can compete in our league,” head coach Keith Downing said. “Hopefully we can get started on the right foot.” * Bellbrook (2-8) – The Eagles will look to rally from a disappointing season in which six of eight losses were by seven points or less. The defense will be led by ends Bryan Baird (6-4, 220, Sr.) and Matt Longo (6-4, 220, Sr.). Baird is committed to Ball State, while Longo has an offer from Air Force.
O t h e r T e a m s I n R e g i on
Washington Courthouse Washington (6-4), Bethel-Tate (4-5), Chillicothe (1-9), Cincinnati Archbishop McNicholas (5-5), Springfield Kenton Ridge (4-6), Dayton Oakwood (1-9), Gallipolis Gallia Academy (2-8), Greenfield McClain (4-6), McArthur Vinton County (1-9), North Bend Taylor (3-7), Norwood (3-7), Springfield Greenon (2-8), St. Bernard Roger Bacon (2-8), Washington Courthouse Miami Trace (5-5), Waverly (4-6). — OH
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion IV
Defending State Champion: KETTERING ALTER Runner-Up: CHAGRIN FALLS
he burning question in Division IV for 2010 is who can beat Kettering Alter? For the past two years, no one has. And it could be awhile before someone does. No team since 2006 has dominated its opposition like the Knights. Alter has won back-to-back D-IV state titles and was onepoint shy of winning the 2006 D-III state championship (lost 3433 to Steubenville) as well. Overall – on the field – Alter has put together four straight 10-0 regular seasons and is 55-2 since Week 1 of the 2006 season. The Knights did have to forfeit two wins in the 2008 regular season (although they won those games – over Bellbrook and Kettering Fairmont – a combined 46-6). So who can challenge Alter? Several teams in their own region – Region 16 – look to have solid shots. Kenton, a two-time state champion and three-time finalist, will have one of the most explosive offenses in Ohio. Junior quarterback Maty Mauk already ranks 11th in Ohio history for career passing yards (over 7,800) and has two of his three favorite targets back. Clinton-Massie, which the Knights beat 32-7 in last yearʼs regional final, return basically everyone from that team and are a year older and stronger. The Falcons also have three of the programʼs best players ever in LB Gunner Calhoun, RB Jordie Scanlon and OL Michael Stenger. Germantown Valley View and Plain City Jonathan Alder will also have a say in who escapes Region 16. As for who statewide can challenge Alter, Coshocton, Wooster Triway and Columbus Hartley would like shots – and might get one in the state semifinals or finals.
R EG I O N 1 3
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Teams To Wat ch
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Kettering Alter has won back-to-back D-IV state titles and has played in three finals in four years. The Knights are 55-2 on the field since the start of the 2006 season.
Chagrin Falls (14-1) * Players To Watch – OL Alex Forbes (6-2, 245, Sr.); OL Austin Garofolo (6-1, 230, Sr.); OL/DL Dan Driscoll (6-1, 230, Sr.); TE/LB Alex Garnaut (6-1, 230, Sr.); WR/DB Marc Geraci (5-9, 180, Sr.); WR/DB Spencer Diedricj (5-11, 170, Sr.); DB Nate Lelonis (6-0, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – After dropping down to D-IV last season, the Tigers made an immediate impact by making the state final and recording the program’s best season ever. This year there will be plenty of new faces. Although 38 letterwinners and nine combined starters return, Chagrin Falls must replace an All-Ohio backfield (QB and RB), four defensive lineman and three linebackers. Positives for the Tigers are the return of three starting OL (plus the TE) and a receiving corps that can challenge for the best in the Chagrin Valley Conference. Geraci, Garofolo and Forbes were all All-CVC performers last year and will anchor the offense. Defensively Geraci registered 53 tackles last year, while Garnaut had 49. Lelonis had five interceptions. Special teams are another area of concern for the Tigers who have to replace the kicker, punter, long snapper and holder. Head coach Mark Iammarino is 106-57 entering his 16th season at Chagrin Falls.
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Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division IV
ST ORY B Y E RI C F R A N T Z Belmont Union Local (6-4) * Players To Watch – OLB Tyler Grant (6-1, 210, Sr.); QB Kyle Copeland (6-1, 215, Sr.); Bernie Thompson (5-6, 140, Sr.) * Outlook – A year after not knowing if his team would match the 386 pass attempts it tallied in 2008 with Jordan Barbina under center, head coach Mark Cisar (entering fifth year) now has to ponder if the Jets will beat the 389 Copeland posted last year. There’s no question Union Local is going to throw the ball. And there’s no question Copeland is a good QB. He threw for 2,878 yards and 21 TDs and ran for 16 more scores last season. Thompson ranked among the state’s Top 10 receivers last year with 63 catches for 623 yards. Grant is a three-year starter and solid defender.
Campbell Memorial (7-4) * Players To Watch – QB/DB Lester Hughes (6-1, 180, Sr.); OL/LB John Sikora (5-10, 210, Sr.); WR/DB Richard Bledsoe (6-1, 175, Sr.); WR Skevo Zembellis (5-8, 165, Sr.); OL/DL David Guidos (5-11, 255, Sr.); DE/TE Dennis Williams (6-1, 190, Sr.) * Outlook – Mickey Sikora is no stranger to the Memorial football program, but this is his first season as head coach. The Red Devils are coming off their first playoff appearance since 1999 and they have enough talent to make it back. Hughes is a three-year starter at QB and was the team’s MVP last season. John Sikora, the coach’s son, is a three-year starter at LB and has had over 100 tackles each of the past two years. Bledsoe, Zembellis, Guidos and Williams are also three-year starters and were All-All American Conference performers last year.
Cortland Lakeview (8-4) * Players To Watch – OL Shane O'Connor (n/a, Sr.); OL Justin Misterka (n/a, Sr.); LB/WR Michael Prindle (n/a, Sr.); LB/RB/K Clint Hess (n/a, Sr.); LB/RB David Soles (n/a, Sr.); DB/WR Toma Leveto (n/a, Sr.); QB/DB Anthony Franco (n/a, Jr.); WR/DB Louie Novakovich (n/a, Jr.); DB/RB Desmond Vaughn (n/a, Sr.) * Outlook – The Bulldogs have made the playoffs two of the last three years and if they do it again they can thank some young lines. Lakeview lost six starters across its offensive and defensive fronts. Also replacing Te Elias and his 1,700plus yards and 28 TDs is key. Head coach Tom Pavlansky (68-48 at Lakeview) and his program will face four D-II and III playoff teams in 2010: Howland, Hubbard, Poland and Salem. Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (7-4) * Players To Watch – LB/RB Alex Utley (5-9, 185, Sr.); LB/OL Matt Meadows (5-9, 185, Jr.); LB/RB Nathan Rosenberer (5-8, 180, Jr.) * Outlook – The Royals have been to the playoffs five straight years and six of the last seven. All those trips have come under head
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coach Ray Carroscia (82-52 in 14 years). CVCA returns one of its best players ever in Utley who has put together backto-back 1,000 yard seasons. He also set a school record for tackles (138) last year. The Royals also return all-district performers and their second and third leading tacklers, respectively, in Rosenberer and Meadows.
Perry (6-4) * Players To Watch – QB/FS Mitch Hovakar (6-2, 185, Sr.); TE/OLB Anthony Kukawa (6-4, 210, Sr.); DE Chad West (6-6, 240, Sr.). * Outlook – The Pirates had a string of three straight playoff berths snapped last year, but they could start a new streak shortly. Kukawa (offers from Iowa State, Toledo and Ball State) and West (Toledo, Ball State, Ohio and Western Michigan) are legit NCAA D-I recruits, while Hovaker, who is back for his second season under center and third in the defensive backfield, is as well. Head coach Matt Rosati enters his fourth season at Perry with a 26-8 record at the school. He’s 95-54 overall in 14 years. St. Clairsville (6-4) * Players To Watch – RB Tavin Stevenson (510, 180, Sr.); DL Zak Stiles (6-0, 210, Sr.); QB Zach Kinnick (6-0, 170, Sr.); WR Dan Monteroso (6-0, 150, So.) * Outlook – The Red Devils had a school record string of three straight playoff berths snapped last year but should challenge for another postseason berth. Offensively, St. Clairsville shouldn’t have a problem putting points on the board with the return of Stevenson, Kinnick and Monteroso. All three earned AllEastern District honors last year.
K eep A n Ey e On
* Girard (11-1) – A year after being left out of the playoffs despite a 9-1 record, the Indians made the regional semifinals. Senior WR Landon Smith (6-1, 185) has several D-I offers (including Indiana and Syracuse). He had 44 catches for 1,102 yards and 17 TDs last season. * Peninsula Woodridge (10-3) – The Bulldogs made the playoffs for the first time ever last year and advanced all the way to the regional final before falling to Chagrin Falls. Replacing last season’s potent offensive backfield is key. * Akron Manchester (9-2) – The Panthers snapped a three-year absence from the postseason by earning the program’s 17th playoff berth last year. * Massillon Tuslaw (5-5) – The Mustangs have a penchant for making the playoffs in even years (2008, 2006, 2004 and 2000) so expect them to make the postseason this season. Head coach Nate Held, entering his fifth year, is 31-12. * Martins Ferry (7-3) – Head coach Dave Bruney enters his 32nd season at Martins Ferry with the program looking for its 10th postseason
10 Players To Watch Jason Hoar, Utica, Sr., QB/DB Two-time All-Ohioan has been a starter since Day 1 as a freshman. Last year he threw for 1,878 yards and 16 TDs and ran for 1,206 yards and 18 TDs. He also had over 100 tackles on defense and three interceptions. Zach Shaw, Coshocton, Sr., LB Indiana recruit registered a staggering 228 tackles last year and had six interceptions. He also had offers from West Virginia, Ball State, Akron, Toledo and Kent State. Maty Mauk, Kenton, Jr., QB Enters his junior year 11th on the state’s career passing yardage list (7,849 yards) and eighth in career passing TDs (82). Last year he threw for 4,540 yards and 46 TDs. He’s also rushed for 947 yards and 19 TDs in two years. Danny Reaser, Elyria Catholic, QB, Sr. Two-time All-Ohioan has over 3,500 yards passing the last two seasons. Has a chance to become the program’s all-time leading passer. Kyle Copeland, Union Local, QB, Sr. Last season Mauk was the only Ohio QB (regardless of division) who threw for more yards than Copeland in the regular season (2,878). He tossed 21 TDs and ran for another 16. Alex Utley, CVCA, Sr., RB/LB Set school record for tackles in a season last year with 138. Has also put together back-toback 1,000 yard rushing seasons and has 41 career TDs. Is also a three-time state placer and two-time state runner-up in wrestling. Gunner Calhoun, Clinton-Massie, Sr., LB Four-year starter and two-time All-Ohioan has been first team all-league and made over 100 tackles in each of his first three seasons. He had 118 stops last year. Jordan Scanlon, Clinton-Massie, Sr., RB With over 4,000 career yards, he should become school’s all-time leading rusher. Last year he ran for 2,020 yards and 30 TDs. Landon Smith, Girard, Sr., WR First team All-Ohio receiver has offers from Syracuse, Indiana, Akron, Toledo, Kent State, Ball State and Ohio. Caught 44 passes for 1,102 yards and 17 TDs last year. Trevon Pendleton, Portsmouth West, Sr., RB/LB Two-time All-Ohioan has an offer from Ball State. He rushed for 1,471 yards and 20 TDs last year and had 96 tackles (including 25 TFL).
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion IV berth in 13 years. Key contributors will be seniors Jack Beavers (6-1, 230, DE) and Casey Bain (511, 165, DB) and junior Tyrell Simmons (6-4, 195, DB). * Youngstown Liberty (4-6) – A year after making the playoffs, the Leopards slipped to below .500 last year. All six of Liberty’s losses came to playoff teams. * Bellaire (1-9) – The Big Reds were state semifinalists in 2006, but since then have gone 525, including 0-10 in 2007. * Leavittsburg LaBrae (4-6) – After making the school’s first playoff appearance ever in 2008, the Vikings fell to below .500. * Garrettsville Garfield (7-3) – Since making the playoffs in 2004 and 2005, the G-Man have finished 7-3 three of the last four years. Garfield has seven straight winning seasons. Senior LB Brent Marshall (6-0, 231) returns. * Newton Falls (7-3) – Tigers had four-game improvement last year after finishing 3-7 in 2008. Senior DB Mitch Czerniak (6-1, 180) and junior Cody Dillon (6-3, 220) will be factors in a playoff run. * Zoarville Tuscarawas Valley (4-6) – The Trojans, just 7-13 the last two years after making the playoffs in 2007, will rally behind senior RB Tyler Robinson (6-1, 200) and junior WR Tyler Dozier (5-9, 145). * Magnolia Sandy Valley (5-5) – The Cardinals improved from 3-7 in 2008 to .500 last year. Senior DB Zack Monte (5-10, 170) is one to watch.
Other Teams In Region
Andover Pymatuning Valley (2-8), Atwater Waterloo (1-9), Beachwood (6-4), Brooklyn (5-5), Byesville Meadowbrook (2-8), Canton Central Catholic (2-8), Cleveland Central Catholic (6-4), Fairview Park Fairview (5-5), Gnadenhutten Indian Valley (3-7), Warren Champion (1-9), Wickliffe (1-9), Cleveland John Hay (4-6)
RE G I O N 1 4 Teams To Watch
Elyria Catholic (7-3) * Players To Watch –LB Buddy Davila (5-10, 170, Sr.); LB/RB Corey Campbell (5-9, 170, Sr.); QB Danny Reaser (6-1, 185, Sr.); DB/WR Zach Rogers (6-2, 190, Sr.); WR Conor Voreis (6-3, 190, Sr.); LB/RB Joe Dempsey (6-0, 185, Jr.); OL/DL Alex Nielsen (6-4, 250, Jr.); OL/DL Luke Williams (6-1, 240, Jr.) * Outlook – Head coach Ben Malbasa enters his fourth season at EC with a team capable of adding to the school’s lengthy tradition (three state titles, but none since 1984). The Panthers return plenty of speed and a seasoned QB in Reaser (who has a chance to become the program’s all-time leading passer). Defensively the Panthers are stacked with Rogers (nine INTs last two years), Davila (35 TFL last two years), Campbell (20 TFL last two years) and Dempsey (99 tackles last season). A beefed up schedule, including first-time meetings with Elyria and Columbus Hartley, awaits.
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Milan Edison (8-3) * Players To Watch – RB/LB Kyle Matula (n/a, Sr.); QB/DB Brandon Tomson (n/a, Sr.); DT Adam Osterling (n/a, Sr.) * Outlook – The Chargers must replace 19 starters from last year’s playoff team. That’s the bad news. The good news is 17 seniors are back to fill the voids. Matula is a solid block to build around after earning AllOhio honors last year at LB. Tomson, a standout on defense, will assume the QB duties. Senior kicker Jon Suhanic also returns. Orrville (7-3) * Players To Watch – RB Tre Simpson (6-1, 187, Sr.); TE/LB Max Pirman (6-5, 218, Sr.); OL/DL Sam Reusser (6-0, 255, Sr.); WR/DB Cody Rice (5-10, 175, Sr.); OL/DL Dan Groves (6-1, 215, Sr.) * Outlook – The Red Riders made a run to the regional final last year before bowing out with a one-point loss to Ottawa-Glandorf. Another extended postseason jaunt could be in the cards. Simpson returns after rushing for over 1,000 yards and 21 TDs last year. Pirman is headed to Indiana after also weighing offers from Nebraska, Kansas and plethora of MAC schools.
Wooster Triway (8-3) * Players To Watch – TB/WR/S Sawyer Polen (5-11, 180, Sr.); OT/DE Eric Myers (6-3, 230, Jr.); QB Derek Carmichael (5-10, 170, Sr.); SE/LB Kyle Maxwell (6-1, 175, Sr.); OL/DL Cody Gessel (6-1, 185, Sr.); OL/LB Zach Zody (5-9, 185, Jr.); WR/DB Marcus Bertsch (5-9, 165, Jr.); WR Kyle Kearney (6-4, 175, So.) * Outlook – The Titans have put together backto-back 8-3 seasons and playoff berths. Getting to the postseason again – and advancing deep – is a realistic goal for the program and second-year head coach Tony Lee. Carmichael accounted for 37 total TDs last year and threw for over 2,700 yards. Versatile defines Polen who had over 1,000 total yards last year, including 444 rushing and 505 receiving. Defensively, Maxwell, Myers, Gessel, Zody, Bertsch and Polen are seasoned. Genoa Area (11-1) * Players To Watch – OL Luke Sutter (6-4, 240, Sr.); RB/LB Seth Dufendock (6-1, 190, Sr.); SE Derek Allgier (5-10, 170, Sr.); DB Brandon Roberts (5-7, 140, Sr.); LB/RB Tyler Pickard (n/a, Sr.); OL Brad Szypka (6-3, 230, Sr.); DL Justin Upham (5-9, 160, Sr.); DL Casey Wojciechowski (5-9, 180, Sr.); OL/DL Andrew Hayes (6-0, 240, Sr.); RB/LB Chris Cuevas (5-10, 210, Sr.) * Outlook – Fourth-year head coach Mike Vicars has led the Comets to a 33-4 record and 29game regular season win streak the last three years. Now one question the coach has is will Genoa “stay hungry?” Although youth will be a theme on this year’s team, Genoa
should continue to be competitive. The Comets will also look to win the Suburban Lakes League for the fourth straight time in the SLL’s final season.
Ottawa-Glandorf (11-3) * Players To Watch – QB/DB Nathan Kahle (n/a, Sr.); LB Jeff Siefker (n/a, Sr.); CB Grant Recker (n/a, Sr.); TB Brandon Kuhlman (n/a, Jr.); FB Craig Rieman (n/a, Jr.); TE Matt Peck (n/a, Sr.) * Outlook – The Titans senior class enters this season looking to cap an incredible run. Since 2007, O-G has gone 28-11 with three playoff appearances, inducing trips to the regional final (2008) and state semis (2009). Head coach Ken Schriner, 99-58 in 14 years at O-G, said the team is “cautiously optimistic” this season. Siefker was first team All-Ohio last season.
K eep A n E ye On
* Fostoria (3-7) – After earning the region’s No. 1 seed in 2008, the Redman stumbled last year. Fostoria hopes to do better in head coach Beau Carmon’s second season and will rely heavily on the running of senior Trevon Tucker (5-9, 175). Tucker had 700 yards and 10 TDs last year. Senior OLB Isaac Tyson (6-1, 210) is also back. * Lorain Clearview (8-2) – The Clippers just missed out on the program’s 15th postseason berth last year when they tied for the eighth playoff spot but lost the tiebreak due to second level scoring. Replacing All-Ohio RB/LB Anthony Hitchens (Iowa) is a concern and must. * Pemberville Eastwood (9-3) – The Eagles have made three straight playoff appearances and beat No. 1 seed Galion on the road to open last year’s postseason. Senior DB Pernell Connor (5-10, 215) returns. * Bucyrus (8-2) – The Redman have gone 24-6 the last three years, including 9-1 in 2007, but are still searching for the program’s second playoff berth and first since 1991. * Galion (10-1) – After snapping a 44-game Northern Ohio League losing streak in 2008, Galion recorded just the fifth undefeated season in the 114-year history of its program last season en route to the playoffs and its first NOL title since 1997. Matching that run is unlikely, but head coach Chris Hawkins has turned things around. * Bellville Clear Fork (7-4) – Longtime Urbana head coach Dave Carroll took the Colts to the playoffs in his first season at Clear Fork last year. If they make it back senior RB Jordan McCune will have a huge say. McCune has back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons and was an All-Ohioan last year. * Huron (6-4) – The Tigers will be looking to make the playoffs for the eighth time in the last 11 years. * Millbury Lake (7-3) – The Flyers made a four-game improvement in 2009 as they rebounded from a 3-7 finish in 2008. * Paulding (3-7) – The Panthers had a threegame slide last year after finishing 6-4 in 2008. Improved offense is a must. Paulding was shut out three times last year and scored over 12 points just three times.
JJ Hu ddl e’s Ohi o High
Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division IV Other Teams In Region
Doylestown Chippewa (2-8), Mansfield Ontario (4-6), Metamora Evergreen (4-6), Port Clinton (46), Rossford (0-10), Sheffield Brookside (2-8), Sullivan Black River (5-5), Swanton (2-8), Tontogany Ostego (0-10), Upper Sandusky (2-8), Van Wert (5-5), Wauseon (5-5), Wellington (5-5), LaGrange Keystone (5-5)
R EG I O N 1 5 Teams To Watch
Coshocton (11-3) * Players To Watch – LB Zack Shaw (6-3, 215, Sr.); K Brody Philabaum (6-1, 175, Jr.); DL J.J. Tarman (6-1, 225, Sr.); LB Jacob Bresciani (6-0, 185, Jr.); DB J.J. McKay (5-9, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – The Redskins have won a combined 27 games the last three years and have made the playoffs each time. After losing in backto-back postseasons to Youngstown Mooney and Steubenville, the Redskins fell to Kettering Alter in last year’s state semifinals. Defensively, Coshocton will have one of the best units in the state. Shaw is a Big Ten recruit (headed to Indiana) and arguably D-IV’s best defender. He’ll receive ample support from Tarman, Bresciani and McKay, who were all All-Eastern District last season. Longtime assistant and Coshocton alum, Jim Woodrum takes over head coaching duties for Marty Arganbright who compiled a record of 6834 and six playoff appearances in nine years. Johnstown-Monroe (5-5) * Players To Watch –PK Patrick Benton (5-11, 170, Sr.); OL/DL Ben Schmidt (6-0, 245, Sr.); TE/LB Taylor Atwood (6-4, 220, Sr.); OL Brandon Hollis (6-4, 235, Jr.) * Outlook – The Johnnies lost their grasp on the Mid-Buckeye Conference title last season. After a 2-5 start, Johnstown did finish with a three-game win streak. Atwood caught 19 passes for 231 yards and a TD last year. Benton is a solid threat with his leg.
Utica (7-3) * Players To Watch – QB/S Jason Hoar (5-9, 160, Jr.); WR/S Scott Cline (6-0, 165, Jr.). * Outlook – The Redskins have had back-toback 7-3 seasons and have been close but haven’t reached the playoffs. Hoar and Cline would like to take the next step in their final seasons. Both are returning AllOhioans. Hoar has started every game since Day 1 his freshman year on both sides of the ball. Last year he threw for 1,878 yards and 16 TDs and rushed for 1,206 yards and 18 TDs. On defense he registered over 100 tackles and had three interceptions. Cline is Hoar’s favorite target. Head coach Randy Felumlee enters his 22nd season at Utica with high hopes and arguably the program’s best pass and catch tandem ever.
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Marion Pleasant (6-4) * Players To Watch – OT/DT Tony Good (511, 255, Sr.); RB Brandon Slade (5-11, 200, Jr.); OL Brad Whiting (6-2, 285, Jr.); OL/DL Eli Bibler (5-11, 180, Sr.) * Outlook – The Spartans had strings of 17 straight Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference titles and nine playoff berths snapped last season. This year if they start new streaks it’ll be under new management. Former assistant Aaron Cook takes over for former head coach Chris Kubbs who led Pleasant to two state titles (and three finals) and was 206-40 in 21 years.
Williamsport Westfall (7-3) * Players To Watch – QB Trent Williamson (511, 180, So.); TE Alek Stonerock (6-5, 210, So.) * Outlook – Despite the winning record, the Mustangs had their record 29-game Scioto Valley Conference win streak snapped last year and saw a stretch of six straight playoff berths come to an end. All that thanks to three losses by seven points or less. The good news is Westfall will be contenders again this year for both the SVC and playoffs. The Stangs will also be young. Head coach Scott Keller (28-7 in three years) has never had a QB that didn’t earn first team All-Ohio honors during his tenure (eight total years in the program, five as OC). Williamson is the next in line, taking over for his brother Vinnie. He could become the best of them all.
Columbus Bishop Hartley (7-3) * Players To Watch – OL Joey Moore (5-10, 240, Sr.); RB Noah Key (5-10, 180, Sr.); DL Evan Jackson (6-0, 200, Sr.); K Brent Wahle (5-7, 150, Jr.); QB Austin Underwood (6-0, 180, Sr.); LB/RB JaWaun Woodley (5-10, 225, So.); LB/RB Jarrod Zang (5-10, 180, * Outlook – After going 6-3 and making the playoffs in 2008, the Hawks were left out of Week 11 last year. They should return this fall. Moore, Key and Jackson are all returning All-Ohioans. Key, who has an offer from Illinois State, rushed for 1,241 yards and 20 TDs last year. Underwood is a three-year starter at QB. Woodley was the team’s leading tackler as a freshman. In all 14 starters return, including the entire offensive backfield, four of five OL and the entire DL. The Hawks are five wins away from reaching 300 as a program and will earn it this year against a stout schedule that includes AmandaClearcreek, Ironton, Elyria Catholic and of course, Ready. Albany Alexander (8-3) * Players To Watch – RB Cody Lawson (5-10, 175, Sr.); QB Mike Chapman (6-1, 185, Sr.); K/P Josiah Yazdani (5-10, 180, Sr.); LB Sean Worley (6-0, 220, Sr.); LB Derek Cravens (5-11, 190, Sr.); OT/DT Mike Douglas (6-2, 290, Jr.); OT/DT Tyler Davis (6-4, 275, Jr.)
10 Games To Catch Amanda-Clearcreek at Bishop Hartley Aug. 27, 2010: Aces and Hawks begin new non-league series that will go a long way in deciding Region 15 playoff seedings. Coldwater at Kenton Aug. 27, 2010: Traditional opener between two powers will have a new feel as Chip Otten takes over head coaching duties at Coldwater. Since beating the Cavs 49-38 in the 2001 state semifinals, the Wildcats have dropped eight straight in this series. Coshocton at Akron Manchester Sept. 3, 2010: Solid early season non-conference game between state playoff contenders. Could be first of two meetings this year. Redskins won last season 21-13. Elyria Catholic at Elyria Sept. 9, 2010: This first-ever meeting between the small parochial school in town and the big D-I public school should generate, shall we say…some passion? Alter at Centerville Sept. 10, 2010: These neighborhood rivals play in other sports but have only met in football four times – the last of which was in 1967. Clinton-Massie at Jonathan Alder Sept. 10, 2010: Power football at its finest. C-M has won three straight in this series, but hasn’t scored more than 15 points in any of those wins, which have all been by a TD or less. CVCA at Wooster Triway Sept. 24, 2010: Since this series started in 2005, CVCA has dominated its Principals Athletic Conference foe 4-1. Triway’s only win though came last year, 27-6. Zane Trace at Williamsport Westfall Oct. 8, 2010: Last year ZT snapped Westfall’s 29-game Scioto Valley Conference win streak and three-year stranglehold on the SVC title. Bellville Clearfork at Orrville Oct. 22, 2010: This will be third meeting between these two Ohio Cardinal Conference foes in the last 12 months. Orrville won both the regular season and first round playoff games last year. Ironton at Portsmouth Oct. 29, 2010: Since an 8-0 Ironton win in 2004, these traditional rivals have routed each other with an average margin of victory of 24 points. Ironton is 4-1 in those games.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on IV Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Kettering Alter 2. Chagrin Falls 3. Genoa Area 4. Amanda-Clearcreek 5. Clinton-Massie 6. Kenton 7. Girard 8. Galion 9. North College Hill 10. Ironton
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division IV Playoffs
Alter 37, Chagrin Falls 7
Alter 31, Coshocton 6 Chagrin Falls 20, Ottawa-Glandorf 14
Region 13 1 Chagrin Falls 58, 2 Peninsula Woodridge 28 Region 14 5 Ottawa-Glandorf 21, 3 Orrville 20 Region 15 5 Coshocton 20, 2 Ironton 14, OT Region 16 2 Kettering Alter 32, 1 Clinton-Massie 7
Region 13 1 Chagrin Falls 41, 5 Cortland Lakeview 14 2 Peninsula Woodridge 34, 6 Girard 20 Region 14 3 Orrville 36, 2 Genoa Area 35 5 Ottawa-Glandorf 48, 8 Pemberville Eastwood 3 Region 15 5 Coshocton 15, 1 Amanda-Clearcreek 12 2 Ironton 20, 3 Heath 14, OT Region 16 1 Clarksville Clinton-Massie 30, 4 Kenton 22 2 Kettering Archbishop Alter 41, 6 Carlisle 0
Region 13 1 Chagrin Falls 41, 8 Campbell Memorial 13 2 Girard 42, 7 Cuy. Valley Christian Acad. 7 6 Peninsula Woodridge 49, 3 Martins Ferry 28 5 Cortland Lakeview 24, 4 Akron Manchester 13 Region 14 8 Pemberville Eastwood 35, 1 Galion 6 2 Genoa Area 62, 7 Milan Edison 7 3 Orrville 28, 6 Bellville Clear Fork 7 5 Ottawa-Glandorf 28, 4 Wooster Triway 14 Region 15 1 Amanda-Clearcreek 42, 8 Albany Alexander 7 2 Ironton 36, 7 Sparta Highland 0 3 Heath 48, 6 Chillicothe Zane Trace 9 5 Coshocton 55, 4 Zanesville West Muskingum 35 Region 16 1 Clarksville Clinton-Massie 43, 8 Waynesville 0 2 Kettering Alter 42, 7 Plain City Jonathan Alder 0 6 Carlisle 21, 3 Cincinnati North College Hill 13 4 Kenton 46, 5 Germantown Valley View 21
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* Outlook – The Spartans followed up a 4-6 season in 2008 by earning the school’s first ever playoff berth last year. Lawson is a machine, just ask Nelsonville-York whom he torched for three TDs last year in the Spartans first ever win over the Buckeyes. The two-time All-Ohioan enters this season with over 2,500 career rushing yards.
West Portsmouth Portsmouth West (6-4) * Players to Watch – LB/RB Trevon Pendleton (6-1, 225, Sr.) * Outlook – The Senators were 5-1 before losing three of their last four. Finishing the season stronger is key. Pendleton is a two-time AllOhioan who has an offer from Ball State. He rushed for 1,471 yards and 20 TDs last year in addition to making 96 tackles, including 25 for loss. Portsmouth (7-3) * Players To Watch – QB Josh Myers (6-0, 180, Sr.); DL/OL Casey Sanders (6-5, 260, Sr.) * Outlook – After a dismal 1-9 season in 2008, the Trojans showed major improvement last year and nearly made the playoffs (finished ninth in the region). Myers is a three-year starter at QB, while Sanders is a beast on both sides of the ball. Both were All-Ohio last year. Head coach Curt Clifford is 128-92 in 21 years at the school. Amanda Clearcreek (11-1) * Players To Watch – DL Jordan Doone (6-2, 210, Sr.); DB Max Corcoran (6-1, 150, Sr.) * Outlook – The Aces’ sideline is going to look a lot different this year with longtime head coach Ron Hinton now at Chillicothe. Hinton, who spent 29 years at A-C, led the Aces to five state finals and two state titles in D-V (1999 and 2000). Assistant Dale Olney takes over the head coaching duties after spending 12 years on staff and last year as the defensive coordinator. Doone and Corcoran were All-Ohio last year. Ironton (10-3) * Players To Watch – OL Robbie Webb (6-4, 260, Sr.); RB Tres Wilkes (5-7, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – The Fighting Tigers have been to the postseason 27 times and should make it 28 this season. Longtime head coach Bob Lutz became the state’s alltime winningest coach in Week 9 last year and carries a 364-85-4 tally into his 38th year at Ironton.
Zane Trace (8-3) * Players To Watch – FB/LB Chris Finley (5-9, 215, Sr.); SS/WR/K Nick Ganus (6-1, 170, Sr.); OL/DL Trey Moats (6-2, 285, Sr.); DL Jerrod Collins (6-4, 235, Jr.) * Outlook – After falling to 1-2 with losses to Amanda-Clearcreek and Logan Elm, the Pioneers ripped off seven straight wins and won the Scioto Valley Conference, ending Westfall’s 29-
game SVC win streak in the process. ZT again opens with a gauntlet of Ironton Rock Hill, A-C and Logan Elm before opening SVC play against Adena and Piketon. Survival is key throughout the first five games.
K eep A n Ey e On
* Heath (9-3) – The Bulldogs had a solid run last year advancing to the regional semifinals. They’ll have to find a replacement for graduated RB Charles Gresham, but sophomore Donyelle Simpson (5-10, 165) might be the answer. Simpson ran for 326 yards and five TDs as a freshman. * Sparta Highland (8-3) – The Scots have been to the playoffs four straight seasons. Senior OL Ethan Zuber (6-5, 222) was All-Ohio last year. * Ironton Rock Hill (3-7) – The Redmen won three of their last four games and hope the momentum carries over. Junior QB Will McCollister (6-4, 215) turned heads at the Ohio State Advanced Camp in June. * Zanesville West Muskingum (9-2) – The Tornados made a five-game improvement last year after a 4-6 finish in 2008 and made the playoffs. Senior DL Dom Click (6-4, 225) is a force. *Wellston (3-7) – The Rockets lost four games by eight points or less last year and should be better in close games this season. Junior LB Jaylen Prater (6-2, 218) has an offer from Toledo.
Ot her Te am s In Region
Piketon (5-5), Pomeroy Meigs (5-5), Caledonia River Valley (1-9), Bloom-Carroll (2-8), Cheshire River Valley (1-9), Chillicothe Unioto (3-7), Howard East Knox (2-8), Lancaster Fairfield Union (6-4), Marion Elgin (3-7), McDermott Northwest (2-8), Proctorville Fairland (6-4), South Point (1-9)
R EG I O N 1 6 Teams To Wat ch
Kettering Alter (15-0) * Players To Watch – QB Zane Pitzer (5-11, 180, Sr.); LB Teddy Link (6-1, 205, Sr.); RB/LB Justin Winters (6-1, 216, Sr.); OL Joe Thuney (65, 235, Sr.); DB T.J. Dorrow (5-11, 194, Sr.) * Outlook – The Knights have won back-toback D-IV state titles and were a D-III state finalist in 2006. Their only losses on the field the last four years are a 34-33 setback to Steubenville in the ’06 D-III state final and a 59-52 three-OT loss to Coldwater in the ’07 D-IV regional semifinals. Alter has been to the postseason nine straight times and barring an unbelievable breakdown will make it 10. Offensively the Knights rushing attack, which averaged over 300 yards a game last year, will be potent again with the return of Pitzer and Winters. Pitzer rushed for 934 yards and 21 TDs last year, while Winters accounted for 862 yards and 11 TDs. Thuney has an offer from Youngstown State. Defensively the Knights have some holes to fill from last year’s team that allowed just 6.7 points
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Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division IV per game, but don’t expect there to be much drop off. Link made 61 stops and had two interceptions last year, while Dorrow added 41 tackles and two interceptions.
Clarksville Clinton-Massie (12-1) * Players To Watch – RT Mike Stenger (6-3, 305, Sr.); RB/LB Jordie Scanlon (5-10, 205, Sr.); RB/LB Gunner Calhoun (6-2, 220, Sr.); QB Jake Richardson (5-8, 170, Sr.); DE Charles Harpen (64, 235, Sr.): DE/OL Justin Straight (6-4, 230, Sr.); LB/TE Logan Evans (6-0, 215, Sr.); FB Scott Wilkie (5-10, 210, Sr.); OL/DL Jimmy Singleton (6-3, 280, Jr.); OL/DL Jared Salisbury (6-5, 325, Jr.) * Outlook – After a strange offseason in which longtime coach Dan McSurley was non-renewed due to a paperwork fiasco and then hired back in late-June, the Falcons can finally focus on football. And that’s good, because this team has a chance to be the school’s best ever. Calhoun is a dominating force on defense and Scanlon could go over 6,000 career rushing yards this season. Size is not an issue for C-M which will average 275 along the offensive front. Stenger is a special player. The Facons are looking for their ninth straight playoff berth and a lengthy postseason run. Kenton (10-2) * Players To Watch – QB Maty Mauk (6-1, 185, Jr.); WR Max Morrison (6-0, 170, Sr.); WR Dustin Howell (6-0, 180, Sr.); WR Andrew Tillman (5-10, 160, Sr.); WR Bobby Handell (6-1, 225, Sr.); OL Matthew McKinley (6-4, 215, Sr.); OL Garrett Miller (6-1, 240, Sr.); OL Gabe King (6-1, 190, Jr.); DL Charlie Hinkle (6-2, 250, Sr.); DL Isaac Jeffers (64, 210, Jr.); DB Brice Fackler (6-3, 195, Jr.); LB Scot Gammon (5-10, 175, Sr.) * Outlook – Coach Mike Mauk enters his 29th season at Kenton with another solid team ready to defend its Western Buckeye League title and return to the playoffs. His son, QB Maty Mauk will also continue to terrorize opposing defenses in the Wildcats pass-happy attack. Mauk enters his junior campaign with 7,849 career passing yards (ranks 11th all-time in Ohio…already). He’s also thrown for 82 TDs in just two years. Morrison led the state in receptions (98), yards (1,538) and TDs (20) last season, while Howell’s production the last two years is 116 catches, 1,700 yards and 17 TDs. In all, eight starters return on offense. Defensively the Wildcats return just four starters. Cincinnati North College Hill (10-1) * Players To Watch – QB Dakota Dartis (6-2, 195, Sr.); DL Mac Acus (n/a, Sr.); WR/DE Vincent Edwards (n/a, Sr.) * Outlook – The Trojans have been to the playoffs three of the last four years and have a great shot at making it four out of five. Dartis, an AllOhioan who threw for 1,788 yards and 21 TDs and ran for 692 yards and five more scores last year, is back to lead an offense that averaged 35.8 points per game. Also back are all five OL starters. Head coach Bruce Baarendse in back for
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his 28th season at NCH where he’s posted a 134110 record. Edwards and Acus combined for 32 tackles-for-loss last season.
Plain City Jonathan Alder (7-4) * Players To Watch – DL Brandon Purdum (6-4, 240, Sr.); QB Graham Johnston (6-0, 175, Sr.) * Outlook – For the third straight time, the Pioneers made the postseason and lost in the first round. To be fair, two of the losses have come against the eventual state champion (Coldwater in 2007 and Alter in 2009). Purdum is a returning All-Ohioan. Johnston threw for 939 yards and six TDs last year and ran for 726 yards and 11 TDs. Germantown Valley View (7-4) * Players To Watch – QB Kyle Pohl (6-3, 205, Sr.); WR/SS Brandon Fox (5-11, 190, Sr.); OL Ben Copher (6-6, 328, Sr.); DB Chris Lykins (6-1, 170, Jr.) * Outlook – Head coach Jay Niswonger (23566-1 at Valley View) and the Spartans already own a lengthy resume that includes three state titles (1994, 1996-97), seven regional championships and 16 playoff appearances since 1992. They could add to at least one of those tallies this fall. Pohl is back after throwing for 1,749 yards and 18 TDs in nine games last season. Offensively the Spartans return nine starters. They bring back five on defense.
Waynesville (8-3) * Players to Watch – DL/OL Isaac Hammonds (6-0, 255, Jr.); K Caleb Keeton (5-10, 165, Jr.); OL/LB Josh Powell (5-11, 220, Sr.); WR/DB Chase Gianattasio (6-1, 170, Sr.); TE/DE Ryan Potter (64, 195, Sr.) * Outlook – The Spartans have made three straight postseason appearances and hope to make it four in head coach Brandon Philpot’s debut season. Philpot, a Waynesville grad, takes over after spending 12 years as an assistant. The Spartans have to replace 80-percent of their offense, which graduated with standouts Seth Millar (school’s all-time leading rusher), Corey Young (three-year starter at QB) and Devon Burton. The OL and DL will be strengths. Keeton was All-Ohio last year.
Brookville (5-5) * Players To Watch – LB/OL Austin Alber (6-3, 220, Sr.); DL/OL Cameron Dunn (6-2, 200, Sr.); QB Jake Harrison (n/a, Sr.); RB/LB Chad Webster (5-8, 140, Sr.); OL Eric Wolfe (6-2, 230, Sr.); OL/DL Connor Domsitz (6-3, 215, Jr.); DL Logan Shell (63, 235, Jr.) * Outlook – After an undefeated regular season in 2008, the Blue Devils finished .500 last year. Some inexperience at RB and WR is a concern, but the return of several OL starters is good news. So too is the return of the heart of the DL (Domsitz, Shell and Dunn). Alber is a solid LB (70 tackles).
Keep An Eye On
* Carlisle (9-3) – The Indians made the playoffs
last year and should challenge for the postseason again. Seniors Jordan Jacobs (WR/DB, 5-8, 150), Seth Everhart (DL, 6-5, 290) and Nick McGill (RB, 5-10, 205) return after earning all-district honors last year. * Finneytown (1-9) – The Wildcats beat North Bend Taylor in Week 10 last year to snap a 12game losing skid. Senior DL/OL Donavon Clark (6-5, 300) is one of the state’s most sought after linemen with offers from USC, Tennessee, West Virginia, Minnesota, Michigan State and others. * Cincinnati Taft (6-4) – The Senators responded to a disappointing 0-4 start last year by winning the last six games. Junior DE Adolphus Washington (6-5, 245) is already a popular prospect and will be among state’s top recruits next year. He has offers from Illinois, Colorado, Kentucky and Cincinnati after making 101 tackles (and 14 sacks) as a sophomore. * West Milton Milton-Union (6-4) – The Bulldogs rebounded from a 3-7 record in 2008 to come
Division IV Predictions
Region 13 Campbell Memorial over Chagrin Falls Region 14 Wooster Triway over Elyria Catholic Region 15 Coshocton over Columbus Hartley Region 16 Alter over Clinton-Massie Championship Game Alter over Wooster Triway
within a tough 17-14 Week 10 loss to Bellbrook of making the playoffs. M-U finished ninth in the region in computer points. Senior RB Adam Martin (6-0, 210) returns after rushing for over 900 yards last year. Speed at the skill positions on offense and eight starters returning on defense are strengths. * Dayton Thurgood Marshall (7-3) – The Cougars went from 2-8 in 2008 to 10-0 in 2009. Clerical errors, though, forced Thurgood Marshall to forfeit its first three wins and the Cougars finished 10th in computer points. Thurgood Marshall – running a variation of the double-wing – averaged 553 yards a game on the ground last year.
Other Teams In Region
Batavia (3-7), Clermont Northeastern (2-8), Blanchester (2-8), Preble Shawnee (3-7), Cincinnati Madeira (6-4), Cincinnati Purcell Marian (1-9), Cincinnati Schroeder (5-5), Dayton Northridge (19), Franklin Bishop Fenwick (5-5), Lewistown Indian Lake (4-6), Lima Bath (2-8), London (5-5), London Madison Plains (2-7), Middletown Madison Senior (3-7), Reading (5-5), Springfield Northeastern (4-6), Springfield Northwestern (2-8) — OH
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion V
Defending State Champion: YOUNGSTOWN URSULINE Runner-Up: COLDWATER
n 2007, Youngstown Ursuline made the drop from Division IV to Division V. Since then, the Fighting Irish have flexed their muscle, making three straight Division V state title games and bringing home the past two state championships, the most recent being last seasonʼs 55-25 win over Coldwater. Can the Irish make it three straight titles? Ursuline will at least still be the favorite in Region 17 and may be considered the team to beat overall until someone knocks them off. In similar fashion, Hamler Patrick Henry will have a target on its back after winning the Region 18 title for the fourth time in sixth years. But keep an eye on Lima Central Catholic, which brings back an experienced team after a playoff run last season. The T-Birds are also coming off a state basketball championship. In Region 19, a handful of very experienced teams return. Oak Hill brings back five All-Ohio players and expects to challenge for the regional title. The Oaks will be pushed hard by Wheelersburg, Minford, Fredericktown, and defending regional champion West Lafayette Ridgewood. Region 20 is home to some of the most storied programs in Ohio high school football and will once again be a battle this year. Last yearʼs regional champion Coldwater will be looking to continue its success under a new head coach (Chip Otten) who takes over for the departed and legendary John Reed (who succumbed to cancer in the offseason). Familiar faces Anna, St. Henry, Columbus Ready and West Jefferson will again be back in the thick of things as well. And donʼt forget North Union. The Wildcats could be sleepers.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Teams To Watch
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Youngstown Ursuline and Coldwater teamed up last year to set 15 state finals records - including combined yards (982), points (80) and TDs (12) in the Irish’s 55-25 win.
Creston Norwayne (5-5) * Players To Watch: QB/DB Adam Wallace (6-3, 185, jr.), RB/DB Tyler Zimmerly (5-9, 190, jr.), WR/DB Zac Vance (5-10, 165, sr.), LB/FB Taylor Kassa (5-10, 215, sr.), K/P Cody Hartong (5-10, 160, sr.), OL/DL Ryan Wiles (6-3, 265, sr.) * Outlook: After reaching the postseason in 2008, Norwayne fell to 5-5 last year as the team dealt with youth as well as having to learn a new system. “Last year was a season of learning, youth, firsts, and growth,” second year head coach Joe Harbour said. Expectations are higher this year as 15 starters return (eight on defense, seven on offense) with a year under their belt in Harbour’s system. “If we can build a solid line, mature, and utilize the experience a lot of our returners got last year as young players, we could be poised for a very successful season,” Harbour said. Cuyahoga Heights (12-1) * Players To Watch: ILB/FB Alec Torgerson (5-8, 180, sr.), OL/DL Anthony Eder (5-9, 185, sr.), SS/WR Jordan D’Orazio (59, 165, sr.), OL/DL Austin Lane (6-4, 225, jr.), WR/S Logan Matt (6-2, 175, jr.), ILB/RB Troy Janashak (5-9, 165, jr.) * Outlook: Cuyahoga Heights made a strong run in 2009, jumping out to a 12-0 start and putting state champion Youngstown Ursuline in a 28-14 hole in the regional finals before
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Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision V
ST ORY B Y K IR K L AR R A BE E falling apart in the second half. The Redskins now face life without star QB and threeyear starter Zach D’Orazio (signed with Akron), but 11 starters return including three starters on the offensive line and standout FB Torgerson. “I think we’ll be able to move the ball on the ground,” head coach Al Martin said. “The question is we graduated a three-year starter at quarterback and how we come around (at that position) will make a big impact on how much success we have.”
Garfield Heights Trinity (7-4) * Players To Watch: RB/OLB Jarrod Gehring (5-8, 178, sr.), WR/QB/SS Kyle Companey (5-8, 150, sr.), OT/DE Jesse Shafts (6-1, 220, sr.), FB/MLB Matt Rauschenbach (6-0, 190, sr.), QB/FS Ryan McSweeney (6-2, 180, jr.), WR/RB/DB Tom Pieronek (5-8, 165, jr.) * Outlook: The Trojans had a memorable season in 2009, becoming just the third team in school history to win the conference and make the playoffs. Trinity returns seven starters (four on offense, three on defense) as well as some experience at the skill positions. Shafts was All-Ohio last year. “It will be a very big challenge for us to repeat, but I will say that our skill kids are pretty good and our speed isn’t bad,” head coach Ed Schaefer said. “The problem will be up front where we lost the most (nine starters).” Trinity faces a rugged schedule, but the team could be up for the challenge. Said Schaefer: “The one thing I’ve learned at Trinity is that our players work very hard and take a lot of pride in playing here.” Independence (9-2) * Players To Watch: RB Joe Mancino (5-9, 170, sr.), QB/DB Sam Stretar (5-11, 175, sr.), C Sean Moore (5-10, 190, sr.), FB/DE Nick Kraus (61, 215, sr.), ILB/FB Cole Nelson (5-10, 190, jr.), OL/DL Jacob Solomon (5-11, 200, jr.) * Outlook: Defensive coordinator James Jackson takes over as head coach this season as the Blue Devils look to make another run to the playoffs. The team loses 15 starters from last year’s squad but will have a good core, led by All-Ohio RB Mancino (1,440 yards, 22 TDs). “A solid ‘blue collar’ offseason has proven that this team is hungry,” Jackson said. “The return of the entire backfield including Mancino will be an asset. The defense will be young but will maintain its aggressive style of play.” Youngstown Ursuline (11-3) * Players To Watch: RB Akise Teague (5-9, 178, sr.), RB/OLB Jeff Podolsky (5-9, 160, sr.), DT/OL Zach Conlan (6-1, 290, sr.), QB Paul Kempe (6-1, 180, sr.), T/DT Troy Vasquez-Atkins (6-2, 311, jr.), DT Ty Vasquez-Atkins (6-5, 304, jr.) * Outlook: The Irish have established themselves as the current powerhouse program in Division V after winning two straight state titles. Can they make it a trifecta this year? Don’t bet against it. Ursuline will once again be
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tough for opponents to handle, featuring two firstteam All-Ohioans in Teague and Conlan. Teague has offers from Ohio, Bowling Green and Youngstown State. Conlan is the first junior in program history to earn the team’s top lineman award (Mike Miklos Award). As always, a rugged schedule awaits led by fellow powerhouses Youngstown Mooney, Steubenville and Mentor Lake Catholic.
Also Keep An Eye On
* Apple Creek Waynedale (7-4): The Golden Bears made their third straight playoff appearance in 2009. Senior DB Kyle Phillips was second team All-Ohio last year. * Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph (5-5): VASJ fought through a rugged schedule to become a playoff contender. * Columbiana Crestview (10-2): The beat goes on for this rock solid program, making another playoff appearance and winning their first round game over East Palestine. * East Palestine (7-4): The Bulldogs showed well in 2009, making a playoff appearance and falling just short to conference rival Crestview. * Gates Mills Hawken (9-3): The Hawks had a strong season in 2009, advancing to the postseason and winning their first-round game against Independence. * Kirtland (7-3): After a super showing in 2008, the Hornets fell short of the postseason in 2009. Senior QB Pat Guhde was second-team All-Ohio last season. Junior RB Christian Huber (first team all-district) is a perfect compliment. * Mineral Ridge (6-4): The Rams narrowly missed the playoffs in 2009. * North Lima South Range (2-8): Perennial powerhouse South Range had an uncharacteristic season in 2009 but was competitive against some of their tougher opponents. * West Salem Northwestern (5-5): The Huskies had a young team last year and fought through inconsistency but finished the season strong with wins over two playoff teams. This year’s team faces a tough schedule but is more experienced, returning seven starters on each side of the ball. Senior K Kurt Schaefer was second team All-Ohio.
Other Teams In Region
New Middletown Springfield (5-5), Hanoverton United (5-5), East Canton (5-5), Rootstown (5-5), Smithville (4-6), Orwell (6-4), Newcomerstown (55), Middlefield Cardinal (4-6), Sugarcreek Garaway (4-6), Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (2-8), Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas (3-7), Burton Berkshire (4-6), Brookfield (1-9), Lisbon David Anderson (0-10), Rocky River Lutheran West (0-10), Richmond Heights (0-9)
REGION 18 Teams To Watch
Defiance Tinora (11-2) * Players To Watch: P/K Alex Moser (6-1, 175, sr.), QB Landon Drewes (6-0, 175, sr.), LB/OL
10 Players To Watch Logan Awiller, Fredericktown, Sr., OL/DL Awiller was one of several Freddies to receive postseason honors but the only one to reach the All-Ohio first team. Zach Conlan, Youngstown Ursuline, Sr., OL/DL Conlan won first team All-Ohio honors and will be a centerpiece of Ursuline’s line this season. Patrick Coyne, Hamilton Badin, Sr., QB Possibly the top college prospect in Division V, the University of Cincinnati-bound Coyne is rated as the No. 14 quarterback prospect in America by ESPNU. Coyne threw for 1,642 yards and 9 touchdowns last season. He rushed for 11 TDs. Xavier Dye, Hamler Patrick Henry, Sr., NG/OL The All-Ohioan had 87 tackles and 12 TFL in 2009. A three-time state tournament qualifier in wrestling, Dye finished fourth at 171pounds last season. Tyler Gaines, Minford, Jr., LB Gaines found a spot on the All-Ohio first team despite being just a sophomore. He was also named the Southeast District Defensive Player of the Year after making 95 stops. Evan Jones, W. Lafayette Ridgewood, Jr., TE/DE Ridgewood head coach John Slusser reports that Jones is already receiving interest from programs such as Nebraska and Indiana. He’s also an All-Ohio basketball player. Joe Mancino, Independence, Sr., RB Mancino rushed for 1,440 yards and 22 touchdowns on 203 carries during his junior All-Ohio campaign. Warren Shields, Richwood North Union, Sr., LB Posted 115 tackles as a junior en route to earing first team All-Ohio honors and the Division V defensive player of the year award. He also tallied 682 rushing yards and 8 TDs. Shields was All-Ohio as a sophomore as well. Jesse Slone, Oak Hill, Sr., QB Slone won first-team All-Ohio honors and was named the Southeast District Offensive Player of the Year last season after throwing for 2,432 yards, 30 TDs and just one interception. Akise Teague, Youngstown Ursuline, Sr., RB The speedy first-team All-Ohio running back is receiving attention from Division I college programs. He has offers from Ohio, Bowling Green and Youngstown State.
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion V Alex Batt (6-3, 225, sr.), DL Marcus Moser (6-0, 235, sr.) * Outlook: The Rams were expecting big things in 2008 as a large group of starters returned from a playoff team, but the team fell short of expectations and missed the postseason. In 2009, things were different as that same core of players delivered a run to the regional finals. “We were very pleased,” head coach Kenny Krouse said. “We returned a veteran football team where we probably didn’t play up to our expectations the year before. “I thought those kids came in into camp with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder to get back there where we had been in previous years and also to make a little bit of a deeper run.” This year’s team returns six starters but features a strong group of underclassmen. Early on, the team will be leaning on the experience of Drewes. “A lot’s going to fall on (Drewes’) shoulders just because our backfield other than him will be new and be youthful,” Krouse said. Hamler Patrick Henry (13-1) * Players To Watch: OL/NG Xavier Dye (5-10, 180, sr.), TE/DE Jacob Carrizales (6-2, 205, soph.), OG/DT Josh Almanza (5-11, 210, sr.), SS Lucas Rosebrook (5-9, 175, jr.) * Outlook: Patrick Henry produced yet another strong season in 2009, making its fourth trip to the regional finals in six seasons. Head coach Bill Inselmann called the season one of the most rewarding he’s had at Patrick Henry. “We had a unique mixture of some very talented, experienced players, and then a host of new players,” Inselmann said. “It just seemed as the season went on that we jelled real good.” The Patriots were hit hard by graduation and return just seven total starters, but they will have a good group in the trenches to fall back on, led by All-Ohioan Dye. “The nice thing is we do have some good experience on both offensive and defensive lines coming back, and that is going to have to be our strength,” Inselmann said. “We think we have some decent kids skill-wise, talent-wise that can fit in, but it’s going to be I think how they accept each other and how they mesh.”
* Hicksville (9-2) * Players To Watch: TB/DB John Michael (6-2, 165, sr.), OL/DL Joe Contreas (5-9, 180, jr.), RB/DB Charlie Emenhiser (6-2, 190, jr.), RB/LB Seth Klepper (6-0, 200, jr.), QB/DB Justin Miller (6-0, 190, jr.), OL/DL Tyler Laney (6-0, 200, jr.), WR/DB Logan Husted (5-9, 150, jr.). * Outlook: The Aces posted their second straight winning season in 2009, making a playoff appearance after falling short in 2008 despite having an eight-win season. This year’s team brings back five starters on each side of the ball, although the team will lack a large senior class. “We only have three seniors,” head coach Lucas Smith said. “The underclassmen will have to
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step it up if we want to be successful.” The Aces still have a good amount of experience though as some of the juniors are three-year starters while other underclassmen saw plenty of playing time last season. “The outlook is very promising,” Smith said. “If we can play as one team and stay healthy, we should compete for the (conference) title.”
Jeromesville Hillsdale (9-3) * Players To Watch: WR Ryan Moore (6-4, 190, sr.), RB Zach Fulk (5-11, 175, sr.), OL Jared Whitcomb (6-4, 280, sr.), OL Seth Ebert (6-0, 240, sr.), LB Trevor Badertscher (5-9, 190, soph.) * Outlook: The Falcons had a historic season as they not only made their playoff debut but won a postseason game in the process. “We had a great group of seniors that showed a lot of leadership,” head coach Tom Williams said. “For us to make the playoffs for the first time in school history and also get our first playoff win was pretty awesome.” This year’s team returns nine overall starters but will be breaking in a new quarterback and faces heavy losses on both lines. “We have some good young players coming, but some of them don’t have a whole lot of varsity experience,” Williams said. “So until they get out there and see the speed change from JV to varsity, it’ll be a learning process early on.”
Lima Central Catholic (9-3) * Players To Watch: QB Ty O’Connor (6-2 ½, 202, jr.), RB Taylor Royster (5-11, 230, sr.), FS Bubba Krieg (5-10, 160, sr.), WR/DB Rufus Johnson (5-10, 165, sr.), C Max Brodbeck (6-2, 240, sr.), OG Jeremy Tidd (6-0, 220, sr.), OT Anthony Kimbrough (6-2, 245, sr.), DL Sean Griesdorn (6-4, 250, jr.) * Outlook: The Thunderbirds had a disappointing season in 2008, posting a 5-5 record. But the 2009 squad bounced back to make the playoffs and reach the second round. “We were pretty pleased with the progress we made last football season, especially with as many young kids as we played,” head coach Jerry Cooper said. This year’s team returns seven starters on offense and six on defense, and the expectations are high again. O’Conner was second team All-Ohio last year, while Royster (25 varsity starts) has an offer from Air Force. “We feel like there’s a good nucleus to build around,” Cooper said. “Our kids’ confidence level is up and positive. We obviously play a good schedule, but I think the components are all in place for us to have a real nice football season again.” Northwood (7-4) * Players To Watch: SS/RB Jake Pressley (6-2, 195, sr.), LB/RB Mike Prothero (5-10, 180, sr.), HB/LB Zack Bermejo (5-9, 177, sr.), DE/FB Corey Jones (6-1, 247, sr.), QB Erik Russell (5-10, 160, sr.), CB/SE John Romstadt (5-8, 145, sr.), MLB Nick Whitmore (6-0, 205, soph.), OL Matt Miller (59, 245, sr.), OL Tyler Johnson (5-10, 233, sr.), FS Ricky Hartley (6-0, 182, jr.) * Outlook: Northwood head coach Ken James
knew coming into last season that his team might be in for some growing pains due to a small senior class, but things came together for a winning season. “We were a little erratic week to week,” James said. “We got better as the year went on, but we were really young… We were typical of a young team where we were maybe a little erratic, but the other thing where were a little atypical I think is that we competed really hard. Even if things weren’t going well, we kept our heads about us and played hard.” With nine starters back on offense and eight on defense, this year’s team will be expected to take things to the next level. “The expectations will be high, but that’s pretty normal for us,” James said. “We’ve got starters back at 17 of 22 spots and everybody that touched the ball is back, so in that regard, we should have high expectations this year.” Sherwood Fairview (7-4) * Players To Watch: QB Brock Mosier (5-11, 200, sr.), QB Luke Kuhn (6-2, 215, sr.), QB Brandon Mosier (5-10, 175, soph.), WR/KR/PR Willie Flannery (5-9, 170, sr.), C/MLB Kyle Trent (5-9, 180, sr.), WR/LB Jeffrey Timbrook (6-1, 190, soph.) * Outlook: After overcoming some issues with inexperience, the Apaches made their fourth consecutive playoff appearance in 2009. “I think (the inexperience) really showed early in the season, but I thought my kids matured and played real well down the stretch,” head coach Dave Robinson said. This year’s team will bring back eight starters as well as several others that saw playing time. But in order to keep their playoff streak alive, the Apaches will have to fight through some major challenges, including showdowns with Anna and Defiance Tinora in the first half of the season. “We’re going to have a very tough first five weeks,” Robinson said. “Not that the rest of our schedule is easy, but that’s really going to tell the tale of our season.”
Also Keep An Eye On
* Ashland Crestview (9-2): The Cougars are coming off a playoff appearance but will be breaking in a new head coach in Chad Coffman. Coffman coached at Caldwell from 2005-07 and led the Redskins to back-to-back playoff berths. He spent last season at South Columbus (N.C.) HS. Junior RB Mason Minnich was all-district last season. * Findlay Liberty-Benton (6-4): After reaching the state finals in 2008, Liberty-Benton lost star quarterback Aaron Craft to basketball as well as a talented group of seniors and went through a transition year as a result. This year’s team will look to start a new run of success. * Liberty Center (7-3): Rex Lingruen’s Tigers are always a team to watch out for. * Castalia Margaretta (2-8): Senior DB Devin Jones is back after being named All-Ohio.
Other Teams In Region
North Robinson Colonel Crawford (6-4), Loudonville (6-4), Delphos Jefferson (6-4), Arch-
JJ Hu ddl e’s Ohi o High
Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision V bold (6-4), Oberlin (6-4), Columbia Station Columbia (5-5), Collins Western Reserve (6-4), Mount Blanchard Riverdale (5-5), Elmore Woodmore (46), Haviland Wayne Trace (6-4), Kansas Lakota (4-6), Bluffton (4-6), Lafayette Allen East (3-7), Gibsonburg (3-7), Delta (3-7), Bloomdale Elmwood (3-7), New London (2-8), Montpelier (0-10), Plymouth (0-10), Spencerville (0-10).
REGION 19 Teams To Watch
Baltimore Liberty Union (8-2) * Players To Watch: TB/SS Cam Love (5-8, 150, sr.), DT/OT Andrew Pepin (6-3, 225, sr.), OG/DE Shane Snyder (5-10, 200, sr.), WB/LB Seth Womax (6-0, 165, sr.), OT Marcus Keeran (63, 265, jr.) * Outlook: Liberty Union will be looking to make a return to the playoffs after falling just short in 2009. The Lions advanced to the state semifinals in 2008. Keeran could have potential as a Division I college prospect. Fredericktown (12-1) * Players To Watch: MLB/FB Austin Hoeflich (6-1, 190, sr.), WR/DB Tony Lybarger (5-10, 175, sr.), FS/WR Tyler Hathaway (5-9, 165, sr.), OL/DL Logan Awiller (6-1, 240, sr.), OL/DL Nick Stacey (6-2, 260, sr.) * Outlook: The Freddies could once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2010. 14 starters return, including three players that received first or second-team All-Ohio honors in Awiller, Hoeflich and Stacey. “I’m excited about the skill positions and line,” first year head coach Brian Baum said. “Both are experienced. The only place where I have inexperience is the quarterback spot and the tailback spot, and when the tailback filled in last year for an injured running back, he had some nice games.”
Minford (8-3) * Players To Watch: Mark Slone (5-10, 200, sr.), Ethan Butcher (6-0 185, sr.), Brett Taylor (6-0, 186, sr.), Seth Lloyd (5-10, 160, sr.), Justin Miller (5-9, 225, sr.), Logan Conkey (6-2, 210, sr.), J.P Piguet (5-10, 208, sr.), LB Tyler Gaines (5-8, 200, jr.) * Outlook: Minford has been on a roll lately, making three straight playoff appearances. The Falcons bring back 15 starters (seven offense, eight defense) and appear set to continue their playoff streak, although a tougher schedule stands in the way, including back-to-back games against Oak Hill and Wheelersburg. “This will be one of our fastest teams that we’ve had,” head coach Brent Daniels said. “Our backfield and defense should be our major team strengths this year. Depth will be an issue in a couple positions with some underclassmen looking to compete for these
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positions.” Gaines was first team All-Ohio.
Oak Hill (11-1) * Players To Watch: QB Jesse Slone (6-4, 195), TB Westen Hale (6-1, 205), WR Joey Maynard (6-1, 185), TE/ILB Daniel Woods (6-0, 215), OT/DT Drew Cannon (6-3, 255), OT/DT Chris Fairchild (6-3, 275) * Outlook: With 17 starters and five All-Ohioans returning from a playoff team, hopes are high for Oak Hill. Slone (2,432 yards, 30 TD, 1 INT) was a first team all-state QB, while Maynard earned third team honors at WR. Hale, Cannon and Fairchild were special mention. “We must not let the success from 2009 take away from our work ethic for 2010,” head coach Greg Phillips said. “Our opponents don't care anything about last year. They just have more incentive to beat us this year.”
West Lafayette Ridgewood (13-1) * Players To Watch: OLB/RB Nick Bellick (5-9, 160, sr.), DE/TE Evan Jones (6-6, 225, jr.), RB/LB Richard Hawthorne (6-2, 175, sr.), RB Jake Ziegler (5-10, 180, sr.), OT Donald Mullet (6-2, 240, sr.) * Outlook: The Generals put in their seventh straight playoff appearance last year, and they turned it into something special with a run to the state semifinals. “We had a really nice group of kids that bought into the program and worked really hard, and it paid off,” head coach John Slusser said. With 11 starters back, seven of those on defense, enough returns for Ridgewood to be a contender in Region 19 once again. “We lost a lot of good people, but we feel like we’ve got a lot of good ones coming back,” Slusser said. “We really like the defensive side of the ball… Offensively, we feel like we’ve got a lot of talent back, but they’re going to be new ones.” Wheelersburg (9-3) * Players To Watch: RB/DB Brandon Schankweiler (5-11, 180, sr.), WR Andy Stegman (6-5, 200, sr.), OL Joey Reinhardt (6-3, 290, sr.), OT/DL Dan Hudgel (6-1, 250, sr.), OL/DL Jeb Conkey (5-11, 225, sr.), DL Chris Prater (6-2, 235, sr.) * Outlook: The Pirates had another quality season in 2009, but the memories of one-point losses to Minford in the regular season and Fredericktown in the playoffs still linger for this team. “We had a great performance but just weren’t able to overcome some of those challenges we were faced with,” head coach Rob Woodward said. “We have 19 seniors returning, and they all remember those ball games last year and want to make sure that they work hard and avenge some of those losses.” Three starters on defense and seven on offense return for the Pirates. Woodward expects the team’s strength to be up front. “We’re going to have a good offensive line, and I think that’s going to be the backbone of our offense,” Woodward said.
10 Games To Catch St. Henry at Marion Pleasant August 28, 2010: This growing out-of-conference rivalry between traditional powerhouses has become a huge game every year for St. Henry’s playoff chances. Hamler Patrick Henry at St. Charles (Michigan) August 28, 2010: The Patriots decided to fill a Week 1 opening with a big challenge, traveling north to take on St. Charles High School at Eastern Michigan University. Lima Central Catholic at Delphos St. John’s August 28, 2010: Two D-V playoff teams will get a crack at Division VI runner-up Delphos St. John’s in Week 1 and 2 out-of-conference action. Lima Central Catholic will be the first, with Jeromesville Hillsdale the following week. Wheelersburg at Oak Hill September 3, 2010: Three teams with high hopes in Region 19 – Minford, Oak Hill, and Wheelersburg – will all be facing off during the regular season. The first of those showdowns comes in Week 2. Sherwood Fairview at Anna September 3, 2010: An intriguing non-conference matchup between two Division V teams used to making appearances in the postseason. Coldwater at Anna September 10, 2010: MAC play kicks off with a crucial game. These two teams met twice last season, with Coldwater winning both. St. Henry at Coldwater September 17, 2010: The latest version of this heated rivalry should have some extra emotion after Coldwater knocked off St. Henry in four overtimes in last season’s Region 20 finals. Kirtland at Cuyahoga Heights September 24, 2010: This rivalry has taken off in recent years as each program has fielded powerful teams. This year’s matchup figures to have playoff implications again. Lima Central Catholic at Columbus Ready October 8, 2010: Two of Division V’s top programs in recent years renew a growing nonconference rivalry. Youngstown Mooney at Youngstown Ursuline October 22, 2010: Two of Ohio’s top programs square off as defending Division V champion Ursuline takes on defending Division III champion Mooney.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on V Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Patrick Henry 2. Cuyahoga Heights 3. Coldwater 4. Fredericktown 5. Defiance Tinora 6. West Liberty-Salem 7. Youngstown Ursuline 8. West Jefferson 9. Anna 10. St. Henry
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division V Playoffs
Youngstown Ursuline 55, Coldwater 25
Codlwater 35, Patrick Henry 24 Youngs. Ursuline 48, West Laf. Ridgewood 6
Region 17 3 Youngstown Ursuline 47, 1 Cuyahoga Hts. 28 Region 18 1 Hamler Patrick Henry 28, 2 Defiance Tinora 21 Region 19 6 West Laf. Ridgewood 21, 1 Fredericktown 14 Region 20 2 Coldwater 47, 8 St. Henry 41, 4OT
Region 17 1 Cuyahoga Heights 35, 5 Gates Mills Hawken 20 3 Youngs. Ursuline 48, 2 Columbiana Crestview 14 Region 18 1 Patrick Henry 42, 5 Jeromesville Hillsdale 19 2 Defiance Tinora 24, 3 Lima Central Catholic 14 Region 19 1 Fredericktown 15, 5 Wheelersburg 14 6 West Lafayette Ridgewood 20, 2 Oak Hill 12 Region 20 8 St. Henry 42, 4 West Liberty-Salem 14 2 Coldwater 28, 6 Anna 21, OT
Region 17 1 Cuyahoga Heights 28, 8 Waynedale 7 2 Columbiana Crestview 20, 7 East Palestine 14 3 Youngs. Ursuline 28, 6 Garfield Heights Trinity 0 5 Gates Mills Hawken 14, 4 Independence 7 Region 18 1 Hamler Patrick Henry 41, 8 Northwood 14 2 Defiance Tinora 45, 7 Sherwood Fairview 6 3 Lima Central Catholic 49, 6 Hicksville 0 5 Jeromesville Hillsdale 33, 4 Ash. Crestview 23 Region 19 1 Fredericktown 47, 8 Caldwell 7 2 Oak Hill 42, 7 Coal Grove Dawson-Bryant 14 6 West Lafayette Ridgewood 36, 3 Minford 10 5 Wheelersburg 52, 4 Monroe Central 42 Region 20 8 St. Henry 28, 1 Richwood North Union 3 2 Coldwater 41, 7 Hamilton Badin 0 6 Anna 20, 3 Columbus Bishop Hartley 17 4 West Liberty-Salem 3, 5 West Jefferson 0
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“We’ve got a lot of spots to fill there, but we’ve got a lot of guys that have worked really hard, a lot of guys that could have contributed last year but they had other individuals in front of them.” Woodsfield Monroe Central (9-2) * Players To Watch: TE Todd Dimmerling (6-1, 200, sr.), DL/OL Alex Haney (5-10, 225, sr.), DL/OL Marcus Schumacher (6-0, 190, sr.), OL/DL Tyler Stephens (5-11, 215, sr.), OL/DL Brock Jones (5-9, 185, sr.), RB/QB Tyler Kinchen (6-0, 210, jr.), RB Cole Hoag (5-9, 200, jr.), WR Tyrone Kinchen (6-0, 200, jr.), RB Korey Hill (5-9, 180, sr.) * Outlook: The Seminoles put together a ninewin regular season before falling in the playoffs to Wheelersburg in a 52-42 barnburner. Head coach Jay Circosta feels the postseason experience the team had will carry over into this year. This year’s team brings back a good group of players, including six starters on offense and eight on defense. The team should be strong at running back (Kinchen was first team alldistrict) and receiver but quarterback is a concern. “There’s still a lot of holes to fill, especially at quarterback,” Circosta said. “That’ll be a major concern, plugging somebody in there.”
Also Keep An Eye On
* Caldwell (8-3): The Redskins made their second straight postseason appearance in 2009. Second-team All-Ohio DL Cody Morris is among the returning players for this year’s team. Other key seniors are OL Michael Smith and QB Dylan Sayre. * Coal Grove Dawson Bryant (9-2): After five straight winning seasons with no postseason berth, the Hornets broke through with a nine-win season and a playoff appearance last year. * Nelsonville-York (8-2): The Buckeyes are used to making the playoffs but fell just short last year. Senior LBs Justin Cunningham and Isaiah Andrews return after earning all-district honors. * Lucasville Valley (7-3): The Indians had playoff aspirations after n 8-1 start but dropped backto-back games to Wheelersburg and Minford to end the season. Junior OL Blake Yates and senior LB Brice Crabtree are returning all-district selections.
Other Teams In Region
Frankfort Adena (6-4), Barnesville (5-5), Sarahsville Shenandoah (6-4), Beverly Fort Frye (6-4), Chesapeake (4-6), Cardington CardingtonLincoln (6-4), Stewart Federal Hocking (3-7), Crooksville (4-6), Galion Northmor (4-6), Bainbridge Paint Valley (4-6), Sugar Grove Berne Union (3-7), Mount Gilead (2-8), Centerburg (2-8), Old Washington Buckeye Trail (1-9), Johnstown Northridge (1-9), Chillicothe Southeastern (2-8), Belpre (0-10), Chillicothe Huntington (0-10).
REGION 20 Teams To Watch
Anna (9-3) * Players To Watch: TE/LB Alex Fogt (6-2, 235,
sr.), FB/DE Cody Bensman (6-0, 220, sr.), S/RB Dexter Bensman (5-9, 160, sr.), RB Cole Furgason (5-11, 185, jr.), DL/OL Maverick Long (6-1, 220, jr.), RB/CB Danny Stewart (6-1, 185, sr.) * Outlook: The Rockets ended their season with a playoff loss to conference foe Coldwater that resulted in some disappointment, but head coach Bryan Rioch was pleased with the overall campaign. “I was real happy with our effort all year long,” Rioch said. “The kids played hard. We played about as well as we could play towards the end of the year.” The Rockets return six starters on offense and five on defense and should be a formidable squad once again in 2010. “I think our depth is going to be good,” Rioch said. “We’re looking at probably 30 kids that potentially could have varsity playing time. We feel like this is arguably one of our faster and stronger teams, and from an on-the-field perspective we think offensively up front we’re going to be good.” Coldwater (13-2) * Players To Watch: WR Reese Klenke (6-4, 185, sr.), WR/DB Kurt Schoenherr (5-11, 165, sr.), LB/RB Aaron Rammel (6-0, 190, sr.), RB/DB Ross Wermert (5-11, 170, sr.), QB Ethan Bettinger (511, 175, sr.), OL/DL Kyle Post (6-1, 220, sr.) * Outlook: It was another fantastic season for Coldwater, which made a splash in its return to Division V with a run to the state finals. The team wasn’t expected to have such a strong performance, but they wound up surprising their naysayers. “I think the expectations from lots of people were that we would take a downfall, but we had a group of seniors that really stepped up,” said first-year head coach Chip Otten. This year’s team returns three starters on each side of the ball and will have to go through a transition period as legendary head coach John Reed succumbed to cancer in May. “All the (other) coaches are coming back… so hopefully that transition will be pretty smooth,” Otten said. “There’s obviously going to be challenges in there because they’re used to John and now I guess I’m a very different personality than John. So hopefully we can continue the same basic philosophical things with maybe different personalities doing that.”
Columbus Bishop Ready (8-2) * Players To Watch: CB/RB Demetrius Clark (5-11, 182, sr.), CB Christian Knapper (5-10, 175, sr.), WR Nick Frye (5-10, 150, sr.) * Outlook: The Knights advanced to the playoffs for the third straight season and the fourth time in five years. “I think it was a surprisingly good year, not because I thought our talent was bad but because our competition level was probably about as tough as we’ve had,” head coach Larry Wolf said. This year’s team could once again be a factor in the postseason, but finding a quarterback is a big key.
JJ Hu ddl e’ s Oh io High
Ohi o H igh Fo otball Prev iew : Di vision V “If we can find a quarterback, I think we’ll have the chance to be very good again,” Wolf said. “But if we don’t, all hands on deck here because it could get real ugly.” Clark, who had 1,138 yards and 23 TDs last season en route to All-Ohio honors, will help carry the load. Knapper is a threat on offense, defense and special teams.
Richwood North Union (10-1) * Players To Watch: LB/RB Warren Shields (63, 210, sr.), RB/S Travis Laird (5-11, 170, sr.), RB/S Clay Hastings (5-10, 170, sr.), QB Evan Jamison (6-6, 215, sr.), K Blake Taylor (5-4, 145, sr.) * Outlook: The Wildcats put forth a strong showing in 2009, entering the postseason unbeaten before falling to a tough St. Henry team in the opening round. Eleven starters return, including Shields, the reigning Division V defensive player of the year. Jamison is an immense talent as well. The ingredients are there for another solid run. “We have extremely high expectations for the 2010 football season,” head coach Jesse Miller said. “We return great experience and athleticism. We are focused on returning to the playoffs and competing for a state championship.”
St. Henry (9-4) * Players To Watch: QB Kyle Stahl (6-5, 215, soph.), WR Tyler Bruns (6-3, 185, sr.), FS Dylan Schwieterman (5-11, 185, sr.), C Trent Link (6-3, 205, sr.), G Derek Puthoff (6-3, 245, sr.), LB Jason Hess (5-10, 175, sr.), WR/LB Alex Post (6-0, 185, soph.), RB Steven Luttmer (5-10, 180, jr.), WR/OLB Cory Siefring (6-4, 210, sr.), RB Zach Gottes (5-9, 190, sr.) * Outlook: St. Henry overcame some regular season obstacles to put together a memorable postseason run, advancing to the regional finals before falling to rival Coldwater in overtime. “I was really proud of our team’s effort, primarily because we had battled through so many injuries throughout the course of the year,” head coach Jeff Starkey said. “We were playing with different quarterbacks and different receivers and really never had our lineup intact the whole year.” The Redskins bring back only five starters but return a core that will make them tough to deal with again, including Stahl, a talented sophomore QB. “I think we’re going to have another group of good skill players, primarily led by our quarterback,” Starkey said. “Defensively, I think we really have to find out about where our team is and where we’re going to be up front.” West Jefferson (9-2) * Players To Watch: LB/OL Brian Garen (5-10, 200, sr.), FB/LB T.J. Langermeier (5-10, 185, sr.), WR/CB/DB DJ Gray (6-0, 165, sr.), RB/DB Charlie Ramey (5-10, 175, sr.), OL/DE Jared Wheeler (6-3, 225, sr.) * Outlook: West Jefferson continued its winning ways in 2009, despite some lowered expectations from outside the program. “Going into the year, I think a lot of people in the area thought we’d go through a little bit of a rebuilding process,” head coach Shawn Buescher said. “We had a lot of first-year players, and we knew we
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were going to be inexperienced. I felt the kids did a great job of buying into our system and continuing to focus and work hard, and we were able to come out and have a very productive year.” This year’s team returns seven starters on each side of the ball, and now it will be time for the players who were inexperienced the year before to take the lead. “We need those kids to come to the forefront, to be able to do their job and have a productive season, and some of our role players from last year are going to have to make sure they can step forward and become leaders,” Buescher said.
West Liberty-Salem (11-1) * Players To Watch: RB/DB Jeff Dill (sr.), QB/DB Levi Reed (sr.), OL/LB Brad Lianez (sr.), OL/DL Brock Bahan (sr.), OL/DL Jerell Allen (sr.), WR/DB Tyler Cordell (sr.), RB/DB Cade Hunt (sr.) * Outlook: The Tigers reached the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season in 2009, knocking off West Jefferson before falling to St. Henry in round two. “Last year’s team performed at a very high level,” head coach Toby Smith said. “That group of seniors participated in the playoffs all four years of their careers and that is a great accomplishment.” This year’s team will have a hard act to follow but the cupboard is far from bare as six starters return on offense and seven on defense. “We are going to be inexperienced at some positions this season,” Smith said. “Our success will depend on how quickly the younger guys adapt to Friday night as opposed to Saturday morning football.”
Hamilton Badin (7-4) * Players To Watch: QB Patrick Coyne (6-1, 205, Sr.); LB Nick Seither (6-2, 225, Sr.); DB Jeff Smith (6-1, 185, Sr.); WR Tyler Sanders (6-3, 190, Sr.); DL Nate Evers (5-10, 265); WR David Korb (63, 175, Sr.); LB Andrew Kugler (5-10, 200, Sr.); WR Alex Rieman (5-7, 170, Sr.); DL Lawrence Saey (511, 260, Sr.); RB Nate Snellgrove (6-0, 190, Sr.); DB Luke Wurzelbacher (6-4, 200, Jr.) * Outlook: The Rams are seasoned – two straight playoff berths – and hungry to make another postseason appearance riding the strong arm of Coyne, a Cincinnati recruit. Coyne threw for 1,642 yards and nine TDs last year. He also rushed for 537 yards and 11 TDs. Seither, who had six sacks and four fumble recoveries, was second team All-Ohio, while Smith (four interceptions) was all-district. Sanders, the team’s leading receiver (461 yards, four TDs) was first team GCL Central. Others earning all-GCL honors were Sanders, Evers, Korb, Kugler, Rieman, Saey, Snellgrove and Wurzelbacher. The Rams, who have been in three finals and won a state title in 1990, appear loaded and ready for another lengthy run.
Also Keep An Eye On
* Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (7-3): CHCA’s three losses came against opponents with
a combined regular season record of 29-1. All-district junior K Joe Reifenberg is a difference maker. * Gahanna Columbus Academy (8-2): The Vikings narrowly missed getting back to the playoffs, finishing No. 9 in the computer rankings. Alldistrict performers and seniors Preston Pearson and Austin Peterman return at RB. * Mechanicsburg (6-4): The Indians fell back to the pack a bit with a four-loss season after an unbeaten regular season in 2008. Senior RB/DB Mason Poland is an all-district performer. * Versailles (6-4): It’s hard to call Versailles a surprise team, but word out of MAC country is that this storied program is starting to find its mojo again. Junior WR Mitchell Campbell earned AllOhio honors last year, while senior WR Jordan Monnin was all-district. This is Year 3 under head coach Bob Olwin and his pass-happy offense. The system produced an All-Ohio QB last year. * Lees Creek East Clinton (6-4): Junior DB Will Henderson was third team All-Ohio last year. Senior Matt Morrow, an all-district all-purpose player, is a threat from everywhere.
Division V Predictions
Region 17 Youngstown Ursuline over Cuyahoga Heights Region 18 Lima Central Catholic over Patrick Henry Region 19 Oak Hill over Fredericktown Region 20 Hamilton Badin over Anna Championship Game Ursuline over Badin * Casstown Miami East (8-2): A tough Week 10 loss to unbeaten Ansonia kept Miami East from making a third straight postseason appearance. Senior OL Scott Wimmer was all-district last year and doubles as a defensive force (66 tackles). Senior LB Reed Pyles is the team’s top returning tackler (98 stops, four fumble recoveries). Junior DB Josh Snyder had 50 stops and three INTs. * Columbus Africentric (2-8): The Nubians started out 2-1 before losing seven straight. They should fair better this season with the return of seniors and all-district players DL Juwaune Thompson, DL Zach Wheat and LB Isa Tate.
Other Teams In Region
Jamestown Greenview (2-8), Milford Center Fairbanks (7-3), Tipp City Bethel (6-4), New Lebanon Dixie (5-5), Cincinnati Mariemont (4-6), Cincinnati Summit Country Day (5-5), Columbus Grandview Heights (4-6), Lewisburg Tri-County North (4-6), Williamsburg (3-6), North Lewisburg Triad (3-7), West Alexandria Twin Valley South (4-6), Miamisburg Dayton Christian (3-6), Cincinnati Clark Montessori (3-6), Cincinnati Deer Park (1-9), Rockford Parkway (1-9). — OH
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion VI
Defending State Champion: NORWALK ST. PAUL Runner-Up: DELPHOS ST. JOHN’S
rom 1997-1999, Delphos St. Johnʼs captured three straight Division VI state titles. The only thing that may stop the Blue Jays from doing the same is five seconds. Last year Norwalk St. Paul scored on the final snap to beat DSJ 24-21 in the state final. The Blue Jays were the 2008 state champion and enter this year as one of the favorites again. The return of four potential Division I recruits – linebacker Chris Pohlman, running back Jordan Leininger, offensive lineman Austin Vogt and defensive back Tyler Bergfield – makes DSJ a serious threat. So too does its inclusion in the Midwest Athletic Conference. After winning seven state titles in four years, the MAC was denied a state title for the first time since 2002 last season despite having two teams in finals (Coldwater in D-V). History dictates the MACʼs drought will be short. But that doesnʼt mean DSJ has to be the team to end it. Fellow MAC member Maria Stein Marion Local comes equipped with its own mystique and sturdy roster. The Flyers entered the playoffs just 5-5 last year but won a regional title before falling to DSJ in the state semifinals. Those two could meet again in the Final Four. Overall, DSJ and Marion Local have won eight of the last 13 DVI state titles. The MAC has won 10 of the last 16 (St. Henry won two). Last year, though, the MAC didnʼt win. Looking for this yearʼs St. Paul? How about Mogadore. The Wildcats own three state titles and this could be the year they get another. Other challengers include Ada, St. Paul and Bucyrus Wynford.
Photo by Nick Falzerano
Teams To Watch
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Norwalk St. Paul’s Eric Schweiterman scored on this 1-yard plunge with five seconds left in last year’s D-VI final to propel the Flyers past Delphos St. John’s 24-21.
Norwalk St. Paul (15-0) * Players to Watch – RB/OLB Eric Bradt (5-9, 165, Sr.), TE Alex Foster (6-3, 205, Sr.), TE/LB Mitchell Gross (6-2, 205, Sr.), G/DT Brandon Kraft (6-0, 215, Sr.), T/DT Derek Kraft (6-0, 225, Sr.), G/DE Joe Schafer (5-10, 195, Sr.), LB Adam Smith (5-11, 175, Sr.), FB/DT Isaac Livengood (5-8, 215, Jr.), DT Hayden Service (Jr.) * Outlook – Norwalk St. Paul has reached at least the regional final each of the last six years and this past season claimed the program’s first state championship. Unlike last year when the Flyers returned a ton of experience at the skill positions on each side of the ball, this season the depth is all up front (Foster, Gross, B. Kraft, D. Kraft and Schafer are all returning starters). Bradt is the Flyers leading returning rusher after collecting 266 yards and three TDs on 46 carries. Additional touches will go to Smith and Livengood who had 194 yards (and four TDs on 36 carries) and 143 yards (and five TDs on 16 carries), respectively. “We need to focus on getting better every day,” head coach John Livengood said. “Many of our upcoming seniors have been waiting in the wings for their chance to be starters and we believe they are ready for the challenge to step up this season.” The challenge as always will be to score on St. Paul. The Flyers allowed 99 total first downs and 106 total points (7.1 per game) last year.
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Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division V I
ST ORY B Y E RI C F R A N T Z Gross is the top returning tackler after having 140 tackles and 11 sacks in 2009. Smith (99 tackles, 10 sacks), Livengood (42 tackles, seven sacks) and Bradt (34 tackles) are also seasoned. St. Paul owns 13 playoff appearances – all under Livengood (181-49 career record in 19 years) - including seven straight. Said Livengood: “Our approach in the off-season and this coming season is that we start with a clean slate each season. Our past success is simply in the past and we need to look forward.” Bucyrus Wynford (12-1) * Players to Watch – QB/LB Zach Chatlin (6-1, 185, Jr.); RB/DB Caleb Miller (5-9, 165, Sr.); RB/LB Seth Rall (6-2, 180, Jr.); WR/DB Nate Glowaski (6-2, 190, Sr.); RB/LB Luke Miller (5-9, 180, Jr.) * Outlook – Wynford’s currently riding the longest regular season win streak in the state (38 games). The Royals have put together four undefeated regular seasons in the last five years and are also riding a 40-game North Central Conference win streak. Don’t expect the trends to end this season. Wynford must replace standout QB Tyler Brause and OL Teven Eatmon, who are both at Kentucky. But head coach Travis Moyer (95-26 in 11 years) knows how to win. Chatlin had over 100 tackles last season, while Rall and Miller, Jr. each had over 80.
Bascom Hopewell-Loudon (9-3) * Players to Watch – n/a * Outlook – The Chieftains are under new management this year with former head coach Brian Colatruglio having moved on to Tiffin Columbian. New head coach Jeremy Nutter (formerly of Van Buren) inherits a program that’s gone 72-9 the last six years with three regional titles and two state finals (runner-up both times). H-L has been to the playoffs eight straight years.
Monroeville (7-3) * Players to Watch – T/T Ryan Dragon (6-3, 260, Sr.); G/DE Carl Black (N/A, Sr.); RB/DB Cory Long (5-9, 150, Jr.); RB/DE Sam Schwab (5-10, 185, Sr.); TE/DT Jeremy Krill (6-1, 210, Sr.); RB/DB/P Justin Jones (5-9, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – Things are going to look a lot different at Monroeville this year with coaching legend Steve Ringholz hanging it up after 32 seasons. Ringholz, who ranks among the state’s Top 20 alltime in wins, wraps his career with a 238-104-1 record. Under his lead, Monroeville made 12 playoff appearances and won nine Firelands Conference titles. The Eagles new head coach is Dan Periat, 33, who spent the last five seasons as an assistant under Ringholz. Krill and Jones earned second team All-Ohio honors last year on defense. Schwab was Honorable Mention. Mogadore (10-2) * Players to Watch – – FB/LB Jake McAvinew (5-9, 185, Jr.); TB/LB Kodey Chance (5-11, 175, Jr.); WR/DB Kyle Cramer (5-6, 145, Sr.); OL/DL
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Charles Rader (5-9, 200, Sr.); FB/LB Joe Scolaro (5-8, 185, Sr.); OL/DL Dylan Natko (6-3, 195, Sr.) * Outlook – The Wildcats – one of the state’s top programs regardless of division – are looking for their 12th straight trip to the playoffs and 24th overall. Can they do it? Yes. And they can do a lot more. Mogadore has three state titles. This year it should challenge for No. 4. Perhaps only the PohlmanLeininger pairing at Delphos St. John’s rivals the talent produced by Chance and McAvinew. McAvinew has been All-Ohio on both sides of the ball (defense as a sophomore and offense as a junior), while Chance was All-Ohio on defense last year. The duo also spearheads the Wildcats ground game. Combined over the last two years, the tandem has churned out 3,651 yards and 46 TDs. Each owns a 1,000-yard season. Head coach Matt Adorni is 55-18 in seven years. Thompson Ledgemont (6-4) * Players to Watch – RB Danny LaRosa (5-10, 180, Jr.); QB Shane Ritts (6-1, 180, Sr.) * Outlook ¬– After going 3-7 in 2008, the Redskins rebounded to win five of their first six games last year and finished with a winning record for the first time since 2006 when the program earned its third playoff berth. Postseason talks have stirred up again thanks in part to the return of LaRosa. LaRosa earned first team AllOhio honors last year after rushing for 1,469 yards on just 162 carries (9.1 yard average). Ritts was first team all-district.
McDonald (10-1) * Players to Watch – RB/LB Zach Tura (5-10, 170, Sr.); LB Chris Humphreys (6-2, 185, Sr.); DB Justin Rota (6-0, 170, Sr.); DB Nick Rota (6-1, 175, Sr.) * Outlook – The Blue Devils have been to four straight postseasons but last year, despite being the No. 1 seed were bounced in the first round. Defense will be a strength for McDonald with the return of Tura (23 tackles), Humphreys (81 tackles), Justin Rota (57 tackles) and Nick Rota (four INTs).
Keep An Eye On
* Berlin Center Western Reserve (9-2) – As a program Western Reserve has been on the rise. The Devils have 32 wins and three playoff appearances in the last four years. Is this the season they make it past the second round of the playoffs? They’ve lost in the first round each of the last two years. * Dalton (9-2) – After going 6-4 in 2008 and missing the playoffs by one spot (finished ninth in computer points), the Bulldogs regrouped to make the postseason last year. It also turned out to be memorable for another reason as well – it was longtime coach Bob Ramsey’s last. In 29 years at the school, Ramsey went 200103-1 and led the Bulldogs to nine playoff appear-
10 Players To Watch Jordan Leininger, Delphos St. John’s, Sr., RB Followed 1,222 rushing yard and 15 TD performance as a sophomore with 1,596 yards ad 31 TDs last year. Potential D-I recruit projected as a linebacker in college. Versatile? He ran, caught and threw TDs last year. Chris Pohlman, Delphos St. John’s, Sr., LB Reigning D-VI state defensive player of the year has 299 tackles the last two seasons. Also a potential D-I recruit. Tyler Dyla, Glouster Trimble, Sr., RB Needs 256 yards to become the Wildcats alltime leading rusher. A two-time first team AllOhioan and Southeast District player of the year, he’s rushed for 3,003 yards and 33 TDs the last two years. Aaron Weyer, Ada, Sr. LB First team All-Ohioan is a one-man wrecking ball. He had 128 tackles last year, including 11 sacks and 11 TFL. Cody Latimer, Dayton Jefferson, Sr., WR/LB Standout two-way player scored 16 TDs three different ways last year (rushing, receiving, returning) and had 94 tackles. Has offers from Indiana, Ball State, Bowling Green, Akron and Buffalo. Kaleb Goins, Lehman Catholic, Sr., RB The two-time All-Ohioan has rushed for over 3,500 career yards, including 2,784 the last two years. He also has 48 career TDs and over 300 tackles, including a team-high 78 last season. Jake McAvinew, Mogadore, Sr., RB/LB The two-time All-Ohioan (once each on offense and defense) has rushed for 1,723 yards and 22 TDs the last two years. He also has 35 career sacks. Kodey Chance, Mogadore, Sr., RB/LB After rushing for over 1,200 yards as a sophomore, he was named All-Ohio as a linebacker last season. Has scored 24 TDs the last two years. A four-year starter at LB, he led the team in tackles last season. Graham Miller, Toledo Christian, Sr., RB Three-year starter is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Danny LaRosa, Ledgemont, Jr., RB Averaged nearly 10 yards a carry (9.1) en route to first team All-Ohio honors and 1,469 yards rushing last season.
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O hio H i g h F o o t b a ll P r e v i e w : D i vis ion VI ances and seven Wayne County Athletic League titles. Former North Canton Hoover assistant Shawn Billker takes over. Senior All-District QB Gavin Hackett returns as does defensive stalwart Travis Lint. * Rittman (1-9) – The Indians have gone 1-19 the last two years but hopes are high with the return of All-Ohio RB Brandon Bauman. * Southington Chalker (5-4) – The Wildcats wrapped last season by winning five of their last six games. That momentum – plus the return of AllOhio RB Jimmy Rasey (1,664 yards and 17 TDs) – has Chalker fans excited. * Fairport Harding (2-8) – The Skippers have gone 4-16 the last two years but could be primed for a break-out season. Harding returns five first team all-district players in seniors JC Griffin (RB), Zak Hites (DL), Nate Blair (DL), Michael Hogya (LB) and Cory Whitt (LB). * Youngstown Christian (7-3) – The Eagles have gone 19-10 the last three years but are still looking for the program’s first playoff berth. * Warren JFK (7-4) – The Eagles have been to the playoffs six times in the last seven years. Watch out for the RB duo of senior Nate Marisco (459 yards, six TDs) and junior Jimmy Coates (562 yards).
Other Teams In Region
Crestline (2-8), New Washington Buckeye Central (4-6), Bedford St. Peter Chanel (4-6), Cleveland Heights Lutheran East (2-8), Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic (1-9), Newbury (1-8), Greenwich South Central (3-7), Lowellville (5-5), Sebring McKinley (1-9), Windham (0-10), Lucas (3-7), Attica Seneca East (5-5), Vienna Mathews (0-10), Jackson-Milton (3-7), Ashland Mapleton (1-9), Tiffin Calvert (5-5), Ashtabula St. John & Paul (-)
REGION 22 Teams To Watch
Delphos St. John’s (14-1) * Players to Watch – LB Chris Pohlman (6-2, 240, Sr.); RB Jordan Leininger (6-2, 215, Sr.); C Alex Recker (6-2, 240, Sr.); OT Austin Vogt (6-4, 270, Sr.); FS/WR Tyler Bergfield (6-3, 195, Sr.); SS AJ Klausing (5-10, 170, Sr.); OG Joey Grubenhoff (6-1,225, Sr.); DL Cody Brinkman (5-10, 183, Sr.); DE Derek Klaus (6-1, 198, Sr.); DB Evan Burgei (60, 175, Sr.);OLB Dylan Dancer (6-0, 190, Sr.) * Outlook – After finishing 2-8 in 2007, the Blue Jays are 27-3 the last two years with two appearances in the D-VI state final. After winning the championship in 2008, DSJ fell in the final seconds of last year’s title game. Don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays make it three straight trips to Stark County. DSJ returns plenty of talent (including multiple players with NCAA D-I potential) to make a run at State Title No. 6. Pohlman, one of those D-I prospects, was the DVI Ohio defensive player of the year last season after tallying 141 tackles. Brinkman and Bergfield (first team All-Ohio) were first team All-MAC and Klaus (second team All-Ohio) and Klausing were second team. Three first team All-MAC selections – Recker
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(first team All-Ohio), Grubenhoff and Vogt - lead a big, talented and experienced offensive front. Vogt has a scholarship offer from Buffalo. That trio will open holes for another possible D-I recruit in Leininger. A three-year starter, Leininger was first team All-Ohio last year after rushing for 1,593 yards and 31 TDs. As a sophomore he had 1,222 yards and 15 TDs. He’s projected as a linebacker in college. Head coach Todd Schulte (112-32 in 12 years) doesn’t have many holes or concerns, but one glaring issue is who replaces standout QB and MAC Offensive MVP Wes Ulm? Ada (12-1) * Players to Watch – WR/DB Alex Weber (6-1, 190, Sr.); OT Aaron Jenkins (6-3, 255, Sr.); LB Aaron Weyer (6-1, 205, Sr.); DT Tanner Craig (6-1, 200, Sr.); DT Robert Guyton (6-3, 255, Sr.); QB/WR/DB Konnor Baker (6-3, 190, Jr.); WR/DB Ty Joliff (6-0, 175, Sr.); K Austin Everhart (5-10, 165, Sr.) * Outlook – The Bulldogs have quickly become one of D-VI’s top programs. Ada has been to the playoffs four years in a row and has state semifinal (2007) and regional final (last two years) appearances to its credit. Expect another solid run this season. Baker was a second team All-Ohio WR last year but looks to switch to QB in the Bulldogs high-powered offense. Weyer (first team AllOhio) is a tackling machine.
Carey (10-2) * Players to Watch –OG/LB Jordan Stock (511, 190, Sr.); FB/LB Brandon Orians (5-10, Sr.); OT Trent Blair (6-0, 210, Sr.); SS Steven Vaughn (6-1, 165, Sr.); FS Dustin Massie (6-1, 160, Sr.); DT Zach Goble (5-10, 230, Sr.); LB Bryce Orians (6-0, 150, Jr.) * Outlook – The Blue Devils senior class is 28-7 the last three years with three playoff berths and two regional semifinal appearances. How do they close out their careers? That’s the question. “The last couple of years have been good to the Carey faithful, so the expectations will still be high,” head coach Todd Worst (33-12 in four years) said. Blair, Stock and Brandon Orians were second team Midland Athletic League last season.
Fremont St. Joseph Central Catholic (9-2) * Players to Watch – LB Isaac Bowling (6-1, 210, Sr.), RB Zak Bowman (5-10, 175, Sr.); OL Jeremy Durbin (6-2, 235, Sr.); DL Michael Bosetti (510, 185, Sr.); DL Gabe Arreola (5-8, 195, Sr.) * Outlook – The Crimson Streaks recorded their first winning season of the 21st century last year (and first since 1998) when they advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1997. They also won a share of their first Midland Athletic League title since 1996. Big things are expected this season as well. Seventeen seniors return from last year’s playoff team, including Bowman, the MAL Offensive Player of the Year, and Bowling, first team All-Ohio and the Midland
Athletic League Defensive Player of the Year. SJCC alumnus Scott Knisely takes over head coaching duties for another former alum Todd Drusback who was the Northwest District and MAL Coach of the Year last year but left for Rossford. Knisely was an assistant under Drusback.
Edgerton (7-3) * Players to Watch – WR/OLB Jimmy Radabaugh (6-0, 175, Jr.); QB/DB Brody Flegal (6-4, 175, Jr.); OL/DL Wyatt Herman (6-1, 210, Sr.); WR/DB Nathan Stark (5-10, 165, Jr.); LB/OL Jimmy Newman (5-10, 170, Sr.); RB/LB Will Reynolds (58, 160, Sr.) * Outlook – The Bulldogs continued their climb under head coach Keith Kline last year. Edgerton went from 2-8 in 2007, to 5-5 in 2008 and then 7-3. The question is can it continue to improve in Year 4 under Kline. Defensively, the Bulldogs will rely heavily on Herman (39 tackles, nine TFL), Newman (43 tackles) and Reynolds (49 tackles). On offense Flegal, a two-year starter at receiver, will make the move to quarterback and direct the spread offense. Edgerton hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2003 but that’s the goal. Leipsic (9-2) * Players to Watch – DL Tre Lopez (6-1, 190, Sr.); RB Derek Mangas (5-9, 165, Sr.) Outlook – After finishing 2-8 in 2007 and 6-4 in 2008, the Vikings made the postseason for the first time since 1994 and only the second time ever last season. They also logged a playoff win with a victory over Fremont St. Joe’s in the first round. Lopez and Mangas were All-Ohio last year.
Toledo Christian (6-4) * Players to Watch –RB/DB Graham Miller (511, 195, Sr.); QB Nick Rightnowar (6-0, 165, Sr.); WR/LB David Westmeyer (6-1, 180, Sr.); WR/DB Zach Brumbaugh (6-0, 165, Sr.); WR/DB Sam Ivan (5-9, 155, Sr.) * Outlook – Entering head coach John Miller’s fifth year, the Eagles are 2714 over the last four seasons and earned the school’s lone playoff berth in 2007. Another postseason appearance could be in the cards. Rightnowar, the reigning Toledo Area Athletic Conference Offensive POY, has thrown for over 4,000 career yards and 48 TDs, while Miller is coming off back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons. Westmeyer (over 1,000 career receiving yards) is a legit threat in the passing game.
Keep An Eye On
* Arlington (7-4) – Head coach Dick Leonard begins his 28th year at Arlington and third as head coach. The Red Devils have been to three straight postseasons but the last two have drawn Delphos St. John’s in the first round. Ouch. Senior RB and all-district pick Cam Brown (5-11, 195) is back. * Dola Hardin Northern (3-7) – Pete Brunow (221-70) enters his 27th year at Hardin Northern on the heels of the only two losing seasons he’s had at the school. After 66 regular season wins in seven seasons, the Polar Bears are just 5-15 the last two
JJ Hu ddl e’s Ohi o High
Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division V I years. Hardin Northern, which has been to the playoffs 12 times (all since 1994), was the D-VI state champion in 2004. The Polar Bears have been absent from the playoffs for three years. * West Unity Hilltop (7-3) – The Cadets had a string of two straight postseason berths stopped last season. Head coach Mike Bumb (71-41 in 11 years) enters his 12th season at Hilltop. * Columbus Grove (7-4) – The Bulldogs rebounded from a 10-10 record in 2007-08 to earn the school’s 11th playoff bid and first since 2006. Junior Jordan Travis is back for his third year under center. * Pandora-Gilboa (6-4) – A year after a 10-2 run, the Rockets slipped to 6-4. Keep an eye on senior OL Tejay Boes (6-4, 270). * McComb (7-3) – The Panthers have been to the playoffs eight times in the last 11 years and just missed out again last year by finishing ninth in the region. * Cory-Rawson (7-4) – After going 3-7 in 2008, the Hornets went 7-3 last year and earned the school’s first playoff berth since 2003, which was also the program’s last winning season. * Arcadia (2-8) – After recording the program’s first winning season in 14 years (6-4 in 2008), the Redskins have gone 3-17 since.
Other Teams In Region
Antwerp (4-6), Ridgeway Ridgemont (2-8), Defiance Ayersville (1-9), Convoy Crestview (3-7), Edon (2-8), Fostoria St. Wendelin (0-10), Holgate (1-9), Danbury Lakeside (1-9), Lima Perry (4-6), McGuffey Upper Scioto Valley (6-4), North Baltimore (2-8), Oregon Cardinal Stritch (1-9), Sycamore Mohawk (4-6), Toledo Ottawa Hills (55), Van Buren (2-8), Vanlue (1-9)
REGION 23 Teams To Watch
Grove City Christian (12-2) * Players to Watch – TE/DE Dylan Blythe (6-6, 240, Sr.); OL/DL Zach Casparro (6-5, 235, Jr.); LB/C Kevin Williams (6-0, 215, Sr.); DB/QB Ben Whitaker (6-3, 185, Jr.) * Outlook – The Eagles broke through for their first playoff berth, playoff win and regional title last year en route to the state semifinals. A fifth year program, GCC must replace 17 seniors but the cupboard isn’t bare. Blythe is a legit D-I prospect on both sides of the ball. Last year he had had 50 tackles (two sacks). Heading into the season the Eagles roster numbers just around 20 so depth is an issue. The Eagles will also have a new head coach this year as previous defensive coordinator Kerry Owens, who has been with the program since inception, takes over. Columbiana (8-3) * Players to Watch – QB Austin Barbato (6-0, 160, Jr.); OL/DL Matt Douglass (6-3, 255, Sr.); OL Tyler Boykin (6-1, 250, Sr.); DL Jake Yoder (6-5, 240, Sr.); RB/LB Nick Roncone (Sr.); LB Jeff Davidson (Sr.)
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* Outlook – Columbiana’s first season in Region 23 was good and bad. The Clippers – who were previously in Region 21 – made the playoffs for the fifth straight year but exited in the first round with a home loss to Shadyside. Head coach Bob Spaite (117-56 in 16 years at Columbiana) has seven starters back on offense and six on defense. Offensively, the OL is a strength as is depth at running back and the return of Barbato at quarterback. Glouster Trimble (6-4) * Players to Watch – RB Tyler Dyla (5-9, 175, Sr.); LB Johnny Stobart (5-11, 205, Sr.) * Outlook – When Dyla graduates from Trimble High School, he’ll go down as the program’s best player ever. A two-time All-Ohioan, Southeast District Offensive POY and Tri-Valley Conference POY, Dyla needs just 256 yards to become the program’s all-time career rushing leader. He may get that in Week 1. The last two years, Dyla has rushed for 3,003 yards and 33 TDs. Head coach Phil Faires enters his 16th season at the school as the program’s alltime leader in wins (111-55). Under Faires’ guidance, the Tomcats have won nine of their 15 league titles. Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans (8-3) * Players to Watch – DB Austin Craig (6-1, 170, Jr.); WR Zack Hill (6-4, 225, Jr.); DL Aaron Perry (6-6, 250, Jr.) * Outlook – The Bishops have been to two straight postseasons but have been bounced in the first round both times. This season could be different. Rosecrans has a ton of talent back, including Craig, who earned All-Ohio honors.
Bridgeport (10-2) * Players to Watch – RB Chris Smelley (6-1, 225, Sr.); LB Curt Smelley (6-1, 225, Sr.); QB Cole Smelley (6-0, 185, Jr.) Outlook – The Bulldogs followed up a 6-5 season in 2008 with another playoff run and postseason win (over Tuscarawas Central Catholic). This year Bridgeport could go even deeper into November. The Bulldogs will be led by the Smelley brothers who accounted for seven TDs in the postseason win over TCC. Chris and Curt Smelley are four-year starters, while Cole is back for his third year under center. Leetonia (5-5) * Players to Watch –FB/LB Devan Miller (6-1, 210, Sr.); RB/SS Seth McNally (5-9, 185, Sr.); QB Lance Tullis (6-0, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – After two straight playoff berths, the Bears dropped their last four games last year to finish .500. If Leetonia can stay healthy it will be back in the playoffs. Tullis became the first Leetonia QB since 1998 to throw for over 1,000 yards. McNally (101 tackles) and Miller (92 tackles) are defensive standouts.
10 Games To Catch Marin Local vs Springfield Catholic Central Sept. 3, 2010: These two have met twice in the last decade with ML winning in the 2006 and 2003 Region 24 semifinals. This could be a warm-up to another postseason meeting. Leetonia vs Columbiana Sept. 3, 2010: Both Columbiana County schools claim this non-league clash as the biggest rivalry game on their schedule. Columbiana has won four of the last five. Newark Catholic vs Lancaster Fisher Catholic Sept. 11, 2010: This parochial clash carries over in towns where the public schools are also rivals. Last year’s 61-0 drubbing by NC still stings FC. Of course in 2007, NC won the state title – but not it’s game against the Irish. Ada vs Toledo Christian Sept. 17, 2010: Ada is a postseason success story, having played in two straight regional finals. TC would like to make a name for itself in the playoffs. This test is stern. Hopewell-Loudon vs Fremont St. Joseph Oct. 1, 2010: St. Joe’s surprised the Chieftains in OT last year, ending H-L’s 24-game regular season win streak. Ansonia vs Mississinawa Valley Oct. 1, 2010: These Darke County schools are separated by seven miles, but one has dominated play. Ansonia has never lost to the Blackhawks. The Tigers are 34-0 in the series. Grove City Christian vs Zanesville Rosecrans Oct. 15, 2010: These two teams suddenly have a budding rivalry. This will be their third meeting in 12 months. Rosecrans beat GCC 10-7 in Week 8 last year, while the Eagles returned the favor (28-0) in the playoffs. Marion Local vs Delphos St. John’s Oct. 22, 2010: This could be the third of four meetings between the two in 24 months. They met twice last year (regular season and state semifinal) and could again. Bridgeport vs Shadyside Oct. 22, 2010: Bridgeport’s 26-0 win over the Tigers last year was its first in the series since 1998. Both teams were regional semifinalists last year and have high hopes again. Fort Loramie vs Lehman Catholic Oct. 29, 2010: This new rivalry between Shelby County schools was born five years ago when the Redskins started varsity football.
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Oh io Hi g h F o o t ba l l P r e v i e w : D i v i s i on VI Final 2009 JJHuddle.com & Ohio High Power Poll 1. Delphos St. John’s 2. Bucyrus Wynford 3. Norwalk St. Paul 4. Ada 5. McDonald 6. Mogadore 7. Malvern 8. Dalton 9. Ansonia 10. Lockland
* Poll is completed following Week 10 of regular season
2009 Division VI Playoffs
Norwalk St. Paul 24, Delphos St. John’s 21
Delphos St. John’s 13, Maria Stein Marion Local 7 Norwalk St. Paul 52, Grove City Christian 7
Region 21 Final 2 Norwalk St. Paul 28, 4 Bucyrus Wynford 21 Region 22 Final 1 Delphos St. John’s 34, 2 Ada 31 Region 23 Final 6 Grove City Christian 20, 1 Malvern 8 Region 24 Final 5 Maria Stein Marion Local 27, 7 Fort Loramie 0
Region 21 2 Norwalk St. Paul 48, 3 Mogadore 7 4 Bucyrus Wynford 39, 8 Hopewell-Loudon 30 Region 22 1 Delphos St. John’s 34, 4 Leipsic 7 2 Ada 14, 3 Carey 7 Region 23 1 Malvern 31, 4 Bridgeport 9 6 Grove City Christian 27, 7 Shadyside 14 Region 24 7 Fort Loramie 63, 6 S. Char. Southeastern 21 5 Maria Stein Marion Local 21, 8 Covington 17
Region 21 8 Bascom Hopewell-Loudon 28, 1 McDonald 24 2 Norwalk St. Paul 45, 7 Berlin Ctr Western Reserve 0 3 Mogadore 28, 6 Warren John F. Kennedy 7 4 Bucyrus Wynford 41, 5 Dalton 21 Region 22 1 Delphos St. John’s 56, 8 Arlington 0 2 Ada 51, 7 Rawson Cory-Rawson 14 3 Carey 34, 6 Columbus Grove 0 4 Leipsic 34, 5 Fremont St. Joseph Cent. Cath. 16 Region 23 1 Malvern 43, 8 Willow Wood Symmes Valley 0 7 Shadyside 19, 2 Columbiana 14 6 Grove City Christ. 28, 3 Zanesville Rosecrans 0 4 Bridgeport 54, 5 New Phil. Tusc. Cent. Cath. 28 Region 24 8 Covington 28, 1 Ansonia 7 7 Fort Loramie 14, 2 Lockland 0 6 S. Cha. Southeastern 34, 3 Way.-Goshen 16 5 Maria Stein Marion Local 24, 4 Lehman Cath. 3
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Newark Catholic (6-4) * Players to Watch – RB/LB Britt Wilder (5-11, 180, Sr.); TE/LB Michael Lewis (6-4, 195, Sr.); OG/DE Ted Oyler (6-2, 200, Sr.); DL Zach Shane (6-3, 220, Sr.); OL Aaron Price (6-4, 230, Sr.) * Outlook – After winning its eighth state title in 2007, the Green Wave has missed the postseason with back-to-back 6-4 seasons. As always, though, NC has to be considered a contender in the region. Shane was All-Ohio, while Wilder rushed for 517 yards and 10 TDs last year.
Keep An Eye On
* Malvern (11-2) – The Hornets have made the last two regional finals but getting back to a third will be hard. Head coach Dave Tucci (79-41 record at Malvern, 109-61 overall) enters his 11th season at Malvern, having led the Hornets to five of their six playoff appearances, including three straight. * Danville (2-8) – The Blue Devils, who own 11 playoff appearances in history, had an uncharacteristic season last year. Junior RB Heath Buckingham (6-1, 185) returns to try to right the ship. * Lancaster Fisher Catholic (4-6) – After five straight playoff appearances, the Irish have gone 11-19 since 2007. ILB Joe McGee (6-2, 200, Sr.) and QB Devin Messerly (6-1, 185, Sr.) return. * Hannibal River (2-8) – The Pilots took a step backward last year after a stellar run from 20072008 that produced 22 wins and two playoff trips, including the regional finals in ’08. Unlike years past where defense was the team’s strength, the Pilots went from allowing just eight points a game in 2008 to 32.7 per game last year. The schedule makers didn’t help out the Pilots either as eight of their opponents finished with winning records. * Reedsville Eastern (6-4) – Looking for a sleeper? Here they are. The Eagles are looking for their third playoff appearance overall and first since 2001 and they have the talent to get there. Eastern returns a talented backfield in QB Brayden Pratt (5-11, 180, Sr.) and RB Klint Connery (58, 160, Sr.). Both were first team all-district. * Willow Wood Symmes Valley (8-3) – The Vikings reached the postseason for the first time since 2005 last year but were bounced in the first round. Senior QB Evan Herrell (5-11, 170) returns as does senior LB Hunter Boggs (6-4, 210). Both were first team all-district. * New Matamoras Frontier (7-3) – The Cougars made a five game improvement from 2008 (when they were 2-8), but it wasn’t enough to get them in the postseason (finished ninth in computer points). Frontier has another solid shot at making the playoffs this year with the return of QB Corey Fickiesen (6-3, 175, Sr.) and RB Reid Tilton (5-10, 194, Sr.). * New Philadelphia Tuscarawas Central Catholic (5-5) – The Saints made their first trip to the postseason last year. Senior OL Nick Natloi (60, 215) returns. * Strasburg-Franklin (0-10) – After an 0-10 season in 2007, the Tigers improved to 2-8. Look for further improvement this year with the return of RB Hunter Schneiter (5-11, 170, Jr.) and DB Austin Hostetler (6-2, 165, Sr.). * Beallsville (5-5) – Blue Devils are 40-10 in the regular season the last five years, but just 1-4 in the playoffs over that span. Head coach Dave
Caldwell enters his 28th season with 184 wins. Senior RB Logan Groves (5-11, 170) returns. * Shadyside (6-6) – The Tigers have been to the playoffs nine times in the last 10 years and were state runner-up in 2006. Head coach Mark Holenka returns for his second season as head coach after nine as the defensive coordinator.
Other Teams In Region
Bowerston Conotton Valley (0-10), Steubenville Catholic Central (2-8), Toronto (2-8), Bellaire St. John Central (2-8), Corning Miller (2-8), Crown City South Gallia (3-7), Millersport (2-8), Racine Southern (5-5), Waterford (3-7), Canal Winchester Harvest Prep (2-8), Wellsville (7-3), Salineville Southern (7-3), Fairfield Christian Academy (0-8)
REGION 24 Teams To Watch
Maria Stein Marion Local (8-6) * Players to Watch – OL/DE Josh Berning (6-3, 200, Sr.), RB Niles Keller (6-0, 180, Sr.), QB Ryan Mescher (6-1, 200, Sr.); LB Greg Schwieterman (6-0, 170, Sr.); C Jason Reichert (6-2, 220, Sr.); LB Logan Albers (6-1, 180, Jr.); LB Brandon Arling (5-10, 185, Sr.); OL Craig Grieshop (6-0, 220, Sr.) * Outlook – After a two-year run in D-V (which produced a state title and Final Four appearance), the Flyers made it to the state semifinals last year despite a five-game losing streak during the regular season. A key 28-21 win over Anna in Week 10 propelled Marion Local, 5-5 at the time, into the playoffs where it won three straight before losing to fellow MAC team Delphos St. John’s in the state semis. During its previous run in Region 24, ML won three D-VI state titles and made four state finals from 2000-2006. Head coach Tim Goodwin (119-33 in 11 years) returns plenty of talent in Keller (1,500 yards rushing), Berning (76 tackles), Schwieterman (66 tackles), Albers (65 tackles) and Arling (63 tackles). Portsmouth Notre Dame (4-6) * Players to Watch – QB Brock Hannah (5-11, 175, Sr.); WR Tyler Noel (6-4, 200. Jr.); LB Drew Weems (5-11, 185, Sr.); DB Dion Cunningham (511, Sr.); NG Jack Welsh (5-9, 170, Sr.) * Outlook – The Titans have a new coach this year, although the face is familiar. Bob Ashley returns to Notre Dame where he led the program to a 20-31 record and a playoff berth from 19972001. Ashley replaces Kyle McKnight who went 20-19 in four years. Ashley is familiar with the Southern Ohio Conference, having spent all 10 years of his head coaching stint in the league (including a 19-29 stay at Minford where he led the Eagles to the playoffs in 2003). Hannah returns for his third season under center. Covington (8-4) * Players to Watch – QB/DB Jake Bitner (5-11, 175, Sr.); OL/DL Josh Boehringer (6-2, 205, Sr.); LB/FB Cory Ely (5-10, 175, Sr.); HB/DB Tyler Noffsinger (5-9, 150, Sr.); DL/OL Darren Clark (6-0, 210, Jr.); OL/DL Sam Christian (6-0, 250, Jr.);
JJ Hu ddl e’ s Oh io High
Oh io Hi gh Fo o tball Prev iew : Division V I DB/WR Sam Earick (5-9, 150, Jr.); OL/DL Brandon Powell (5-11, 250, Jr.) * Outlook – With 11 playoff trips in the last 15 years, including five straight, the Buccs have advanced to the second round of the postseason for three years straight. This year they’d like to make a push for the regional final and beyond. Covington returns a ton of talent from last year’s team that fell 21-17 to Marion Local in the regional semifinals. Bitner returns for his third-season as the starting quarterback after missing weeks 4-10 last season with an injury. Noffsinger is Covington’s leading returning rusher (1,363 yards and 11 TDs). Defensively, Boehringer is a beast. He had 62.5 tackles last year and six sacks, but his most impressive stat was the 10 fumbles he forced. Covington is looking for its 11th Cross County Conference title in 16 years. The future is bright as well. Adding an influx of talent and depth to this year’s roster is a freshman class that has yet to lose a football game at any grade level.
Lehman Catholic (7-4) * Players to Watch – RB Kaleb Goins (5-10, 205, Sr.); OL/DL Rodney Huston (6-3, 255, Sr.); QB/DB Jonathan Slagle (6-3, 185, Sr.); DE Drew Schmitz (6-0, 185, Sr.); OL Matt Pulfer (6-2, 210, Sr.) * Outlook – The Cavaliers have made the playoffs four straight years and should make it five. Goins is one of D-VI’s top running backs with back-toback seasons of over 1,300 yards and 20 TDs. He also led the team with 78 tackles last season. Huston logged 62 tackles a year ago, while Schmitz had a team-high 11 sacks. Pulfer is a four-year starter on the OL. Head coach Richard Roll is 33-15 in five years at Lehman and 118-141 overall. Ansonia (10-1) * Players to Watch – QB/RB Derek Bubeck (511, Sr.); RB/LB/K Brandon Liette (6-1, 190, Sr.); LB Aaron Sanders (5-10, 170, Sr.); LB Dusty Holcomb (6-3, 230, Jr.) * Outlook – The Tigers have put together backto-back playoff appearances and are 17-5 the last two years, including last year’s undefeated regular season run to the Cross County Conference title. A similar script could be authored this year. A standout senior class returns for one last hurrah. Liette and Sanders were first team all-district. Bubek and Sanders were second team. Longtime head coach Eugene Hoening is 179-116-1 in 29 years at Ansonia and has led the program to all four of its playoff appearances.
South Charleston Southeastern (9-3) * Players to Watch – RB/DB Tyler Cooper (6-0, 160, Sr.); OL Tom Brown (6-3, 255, Jr.); DB Preston Snodgrass (6-2, 170, Jr.) * Outlook – The Trojans flipped the script, going from 3-7 in 2008 to 9-3 and the D-VI playoffs last season. There will be some rebuild-
JJ Hu d d l e ’ s Oh i o H i g h
ing after a solid senior class – led by All-Ohio quarterback Reed Florence – graduated, but talent remains. Springfield Catholic Central (6-4) * Players to Watch – WR Jake Aldridge (6-3, 195, Jr.); DL Sebastian Monnin (6-2, 200, Sr.); QB Brian Kelly (6-2, 175, Jr.) * Outlook - Head coach Steve DeWitt starts his 33rd season at SCC where the Irish had a string of six straight playoff appearances snapped last year. Expect them to start a new streak this year.
Fort Loramie (10-3) * Players to Watch – DL Joe Poeppelman (6-3, 200) * Outlook – The Redskins took a gigantic step forward last year – their fourth as a varsity program – by making the regional final (lost to Marion Local). Second-year head coach Matt Burgbacher, the son of longtime – and highly successful – Tippecanoe head coach Charlie Burgbacher, will be expecting another successful season although there are some holes to fill.
Keep An Eye On
* Sciotoville Community School (5-5) – After going 19-1 in the regular season in 2007 and 2008, the Tartans slipped a little last year. Question is how do they respond? Junior DL Nathan Bradford (5-7, 155) is back after a standout sophomore campaign. * Fort Recovery (3-7) – Head coach Brent Niekamp enters his sixth season with the difficult task of finding a replacement for four-year starting QB Greg Kahlig who owns every passing record in Indians history. Fort Recovery, which started football in 1992, has had one winning season in its existence (6-4 in 1994) and has only finished with a non-losing record once since then (5-5 in 2007). In Niekamp’s first two years the team went 2-18. The last three years the Indians are 11-19. Juniors Aaron Vagedes (6-1, 165, WR/DB), Derek Gaerke (6-2, 175, WR/DB), Kenny Wenning (5-9, 175, RB/LB) and Jacob Whitacre (5-8, 235, OL/DL) will have to make a difference, as will senior Brian Keller (5-9, 185, LB/RB). * Cincinnati Country Day (7-3) – For the second straight the year the Indians missed out on a playoff berth by stumbling to the finish line. In 2008, CCD started out 5-1 before losing four straight. Last year the Indians went 5-0 before finishing 2-3 and ninth in computer points. Senior DB Wyatt Tiffany (6-0, 190) returns. * Lockland (9-2) – The Panthers have put together three straight playoff trips but have lost in the first round each time (2007 lost to Lehman Catholic, 2008 lost to Covington, 2009 lost to Fort Loramie). Making the postseason again – and winning a playoff game – are two obvious goals. Big OL James Tripp (6-3, 240, Sr.) is back to help block for standout senior RB Devontay Scott (5-11, 195). * Minster (1-9) – First year head coach and 29year old Nate Moore survived 49 applicants and inherits a former state championship program that’s gone 6-24 the last three years. Moore was an assistant under state champion coach Jim Place at
Hamilton last year. * Waynesfield-Goshen (11-1) – The Tigers have been to the postseason four times in history and three times in the last five years. Winning at that level is the program’s next step. * Bradford (1-9) – The Railroaders haven’t had a winning season since going 6-4 in 1997 and their best record before that was 5-5 in 1993. There’s nowhere to go but up, and that’s the direction firstyear head coach Curtis Enis wants to take the program. Enis is a former Mr. Football who played at Penn State and then in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. Bradford has played a lot of underclassmen the last few years and will continue that trend with a solid sophomore class that went undefeated en route to winning the Cross County Conference junior high championship. Two sophomores who will see substantial action are QB/DB James Canan (60, 155) and RB/LB Luke Hafer (5-10, 160). Junior RB/DB Johnathan Barbee (5-9, 165) is a speedster. Seniors Rodney Abney (WR/DB, 6-3, 160), Ryan Dunlevy (OL/DL, 6-0, 175) and Juan Miranda
Division VI Predictions
Region 21 St. Paul over Bucyrus Wynford Region 22 Delphos St. John’s over Ada Region 23 Newark Catholic over Bridgeport Region 24 Marion Local over Covington Championship Game Delphos St. John’s over Newark Catholic
(OL/DL, 6-3, 240) lend skill and experience *DeGraff Riverside (6-4) – The Pirates rebounded from a 4-6 season in 2008 and a 1-4 start last season to win their last five games and finish 64. Over that final stretch, Riverside outscored its opponents 210-41. Can it keep the momentum going? * Dayton Jefferson (3-6) – With back-to-back 36 seasons, the Broncos would like .500 or better. Senior WR/DB Cody Latimer (6-3, 205) will have to be special. And he is. Latimer has offers on the table from several MAC schools. As a junior he caught 45 passes for 911 yards and eight TDs. He also carried the ball 24 times for 260 yards and six TDs. Defensively Latimer registered 94 tackles and an interception.
Other Teams In Region
New Bremen (5-5), Arcanum (3-7), Dayton Ponitz (1-9), Cedarville (2-8), Fairfield Cincinnati Christian (3-6), Franklin Furnace Green (2-7), Morral Ridgedale (1-9), New Paris National Trail (1-9), Troy Christian (4-6), Union City Mississinawa Valley (5-5), Yellow Springs (1-7), Manchester (0-7), New Miami (1-9) — OH
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