Ohio Juniors Of Interest

With the home state Buckeyes playing for all the marbles this New Years, recruiting in Ohio for our 'Team Up North' isn't going to get easier. Still, there are several intriguing Ohio prospects for Michigan fans to put in the back of their minds for next year.

Year in and year out, Ohio has at least twice the number of top high school prospects as Michigan. So the Wolverines have to recruit Ohio hard and well. U-M always has at least two assistant coaches recruiting the Buckeye State, and some years three. We will not run through the complete list of top ten or top twenty Ohio juniors, since OSU will likely land most of then as usual. However, here is a handful of Ohio juniors who may well be very interested in migrating north next year.

One other note. We are normally pretty tight-lipped about juniors until the senior class is signed-sealed-delivered. However, next year's Wolverine class looks to be huge - possibly all the way to the 25 max. Michigan has never signed a class that large in yours truly's memory (admittedly fading fast ... still ...), and it will not be easy to find that many top future Wolverines in 2003/04. So with this year's class being so small and next years looking to be so large, we are going ahead and starting to bring up some juniors a little early.

1. Linebacker Marcus Freeman (6-2, 235 lbs, 4.65 in the 40, 460 {not a typo} lb. bench press) from Huber Heights Wayne. Freeman is easily a top 10 Ohio junior. He made 160 tackles this past season. And ... he has been telling some Ohio anaylsts that his favorite school is ... Michigan. The Wolverines have a big need for linebackers -- especially if they don't land both Lamarr Woodley and/or Fred Sparkman this year to go along with Jim Presley. Let's hope Michigan can help fill their needs here this year, and then add another great one next year.

2. Defensive end Mike Massey (6-5, 235 lbs.) from Cleveland St. Ignatius. Yes, Mike is the brother of Wolverine DL Pat Massey. Mike reportedly had a great early junior season, and then was somewhat plagued by injuries for the last half. So it is safe to say that he is at least a top 20 Ohio junior prospect. We spotted Mike at the Washington game this fall, and heard he was at another game as well. However, this could be another tough three-way Massey Recruiting Battle, between the Wolverines, OSU (a third brother played there) and Notre Dame (where the boys' father played).

3. Quarterback Brian Hoyer (6-3, 200 lbs.) from Cleveland St. Ignatius. Spotted at the Washington game with teammate Massey this past fall. He threw for 1,900+ yards his junior season. He is one of three highly regarded Ohio junior quarterbacks, and is at least a top 20 Ohio junior prospect.

4. Defensive back Tedd Ginn Jr. (6-0, 175 lbs.) from Cleveland Glenville (alma mater of Pierre Woods). The son of head coach Tedd Sr., Tedd was with Donte Whitner and Dareus Hiley at the PSU game this fall. With Whitner and Hiley heading to OSU, it figures that Ginn may well follow. He is a top 10 Ohio junior prospect.

5./6. After a dearth of top Midwest running backs the past few years, the Ohio junior class has two who may be top 100 caliber. Neither has particularly been associated with Michigan, but the fact that there are two gives U-M twice the shot! The top one (and perhaps the top junior Ohio prospect overall) is Delbert Ferguson (6-3, 215 lbs.) from Youngstown Ursuline, who ran for over 1,700 yards this past season. The other: Raymond Williams (6-0, 180 lbs.) from Cleveland Benedictine, who ran for over 3,000!

7. One more, just to pretty much complete the top junior 'skill players' in Ohio: wideout Fred Rogers (6-4, 205 lbs.) from Toledo Rogers. He has also not been particularly associated with Michigan -- but all Michigan fans know that Toledo IS really part of The Wolverine State!

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