After watching months of camps, combines, 7on7's, workouts and practices, Tuesday's first scrimmage day in Ohio was a welcome sight.
Scout.com was at both the Lorain/Lakewood St. Edward scrimmage, as well as the Avon scrimmage at Massillon. Here is a recap of both events.
Loriain: Dave McFarland has taken over at Lorain, and they are coming off a 3-6 season, so they were at a huge talent disadvantage going against St. Edward. They did play hard and run to the football, especially senior defensive end/linebacker Rashod Berry. College coaches are aware of Berry, who holds offers from the likes of Illinois, Iowa, Syracuse, and others. He has great size and athleticism, and could add more offers throughout the year. Berry more than held his own against the talented Eagles, and should have a huge senior season.
Lakewood St. Edward: This is the last go around for a senior class that has challenged for the Division-I state championship the past two seasons. While Cincinnati Moeller is coming off consecutive state titles, St. Edward has defeated Moeller in each of the past two regular season meetings. There is so much talent on this team, and they are so well coached by Rick Finotti, that the Eagles should be the favorites in Division-I this season.
Andrew Dowell played mostly safety Tuesday after starring as a tailback last season. He has a great offer list, and all of them are as a runningback. From his safety spot, he came down in the box hard to stop the run, and also had an interception. After decommitting from Northwestern recently, Dowell could be choosing between Vanderbilt and Kentucky in the near future.
Shaun Crawford is listed as the number-three player in Ohio, and I would have no problem moving him to the top spot. The Notre Dame commit caught a long touchdown pass, and locked up every receiver in his area at cornerback.
David Dowell played wide receiver and cornerback flawlessly, and he could play either spot at the next level. His recruitment will mirror his twin brother's, and a decision could be coming soon.
First time seeing junior Cal Reynolds in action, and the defensive lineman showed himself to be a prospect of note. Alex Stump, Troy Henderson, Troy Dipre, Brett Kean and Jake Walz also looked impressive for the Eagles.
Avon: Another perennial playoff team in Division-II, and coached by one of the best kept secrets in Ohio in Mike Elder. Easy to see Massillon and Avon possibly hooking up in the playoffs this season, as both are playoff contenders. Avon battled Massillon on even terms with their respective first units, even though were missing top sophomore offensive lineman Sam Gerak and senior receiver Zack Torbert to injury. Junior quarterback Jake Sopko impressed greatly, and is going to be a prospect of note in the 2016 class. He showed Division-I ability Tuesday night, and has already heard from the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and others.
Massillon: Jason Hall sat out three lineman Tuesday, but his Tigers still battled Avon on even terms. Sophomore quarterback Danny Clark will always draw attention, from fans, the media, and opposing defenses, and he looked impressive throwing the deep ball. Aside from Reggie Rogers, Massillon has a very inexperienced receiving group, so they are going to have to run the football with J.D. Crabtree, and they had a tough go with the Avon front-seven. Rogers will be playing Division-I football somewhere next season, possibly at Cincinnati or Kentucky, and he impressed in limited action at both cornerback and wideout. Junior defensive tackle Donnie Heather was limited due to a foot injury, but he has a chance to be a Big Ten type recruit. A huge bright spot for Massillon (and Michigan fans) was the kicking of senior Andrew David, who is committed to the Wolverines. After battling leg injuries last season, David is fully healthy and absolutely crushed the football. In special team action, David routinely averaged 45-50 yards per punt with excellent hang time. He also drilled most of his field goals, with the longest being 47-yards into the wind. David's only miss came from 57-yards, and he was just wide left.