Last year it was Eugene Harris. This year, DeAndre Gilmore. Could next year's stud basketball recruit that the RedHawks land be Columbus Academy's Chris Crockett? Crockett is small in stature at 5'10 and 185 pounds, but projects to be a big time player as a tailback and punt returner. Last season, Crockett amassed an incredible 33 touchdowns, while scoring 200 total points, the second best individual effort in the entire state. However, Crockett has received most of his attention because of his work on the hardwood. This past season, Crockett averaged 23.2 points, and 6.2 assists per game, including single game scoring efforts of 44, 36, 35, and 32.
The RedHawks' current lone out of state offer is to quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Just today, Gabbert received a scholarship offer from Alabama, a sign that competition will surely be fierce for the Missouri product. However, the team that lands him will have a seriously talented quarterback on their hands. Last season, Gabbert had 20 touchdowns, and racked up almost 500 yards rushing. Other offers include Clemson, Missouri, and Kansas State
Taylor Hill, a teammate of Brandon Beachum, and of several others that have been offered by the RedHawks from Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown, was a tackle and defensive end in high school, but every school recruiting him projects him as a linebacker at the next level. Numerous big name teammates and a probable position switch has not stopped big time schools from going after Hill, however. Hill has offers from Oklahoma, Indiana, and Akron, and has taken visits to Ohio State and Michigan. In his Junior campaign, Hill recorded an impressive 12 sacks, to go along with 98 tackles.
One of the great mysteries on the list of early offers for Miami is another Youngstown native, Evan Klepec. Here's what we do know: He is 6'4, 230lb defensive end prospect, with tremendous strength and an unbelievable build. What we also know is that he is a track star for Boardman High, where he features one of the best shot put throws in the state.
Dan McCarthy is the third Cardinal Mooney player to be featured, and the third that would be considered a serious reach for Miami. McCarthy was the quarterback for the undefeated Div. 4 state champs, although he is projected to come into college as an all-purpose athlete. Most schools see him as a stud safety prospect, Miami included, while others see him as a potential wide receiver. Like the rest of the Cardinal Mooney Junior class, his list of offers includes some of the nation's most storied programs: Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, and LSU.
This past year, Miami learned the importance of a strong offensive line the hard way. Enter Elliot Mealer, one of the top O-Line prospects in Ohio. Mealer is garnering strong interest from schools such as Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Boston College, although it is unclear whether he has received any offers from them. The 6'6, 260 Mealer also plays as a tight end and defensive end for Waueson High School, making him the type of athletic lineman Miami has been lacking. Mealer is also a starter for his school's basketball team.
One of the best tight ends in the country is Brandon Moore of Dayton, OH. Moore has terrific hands, catching 19 balls for 286 yards in 2006. However, what really makes him appealing is his ability to block. Moore's first offer was from Georgia, and he is thought to be leaning that way. However, he also has offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, LSU, Colorado, South Carolina, and Cincinnati, among several other name programs. Due to his great size and above average speed, there is a chance he could see time as a defensive end, or even as a decoy receiver in college, though the tight end spot is where most schools seem to think he will be the best fit.
It's rare that a kid with only a couple years of football under his belt would be given a scholarship offer, let alone be considered a reach for Miami, but that is the case for Isaiah Pead. Pead, from Eastmoore High School in Columbus, has only been playing organized football since high school, but he's already got big time schools coming after him. He is 5'10, 180, but his all state track skills make him one of, if not the best, pure athlete in the class of to be seniors in Ohio. One look at his videos and anyone will realize cuts like the ones from Pead make him dangerous no matter how long he's been playing. There is also talk that his speed, 4.4, would make him a good candidate as a cornerback in college. Pead already has a scholarship offer from Cincinnati, but is receiving quite a bit of attention from Penn State.
DeVier Posey made one of the most dramatic jumps in all of high school football last year. His sophomore year he caught all of 2 passes for La Salle in Cincinnati. Last year, however, was a whole different story as he tallied 1300+ yards, splitting time between receiver and quarterback. There is no doubt that he will be a receiver in college, but his time as quarterback makes him an attractive dual-offensive threat, much like Ryne Robinson was for the Miami. Offers include Ohio State, Oklahoma, California, Michigan State, and Cincinnati. The Bearcats are surprisingly a strong contender to attain the services of Posey because he has a brother on the UC track team.
Shawntel Rowell, the brother of Iowa's Chris Rowell, is one of the biggest recruits coming out of the Buckeye state, literally. At 6'5, 330 Rowell has spent most of his high school days holding down the offensive line for Glenville High School under coach Ted Ginn. Rowell is being recruited by the RedHawks to play the offensive line, however the BCS conference schools going after him project him on the D-Line in college. However, it is doubtful that will make an impact when it comes to his final decision. What may help a school like Miami is that many bigger schools expect him to drop some weight before they extend an official offer. Illinois is one school that has already offered, with strong interest coming from Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, and Purdue.