BuckNuts: Duane [Long - their version of Chris Pool] might give a better answer here, but from my point of view, I think it's about normal for Northwestern because they seem to be very active in Ohio every year. One thing that strikes me about Northwestern is they seem to do their homework when it comes to Ohio players.Purple Reign: Which top prospects do you think are leaning towards the Wildcats?
I think that can be shown this year by the fact that they have been among the first to extend offers to guys who will have more than their share of offers by the time the summer is over (Jeff Browning, Nii Adjei Oninku, Gerald Cadogan, Alex Barrow) as well as the fact that they have had success with players who not many schools were in on (Mark Philmore, Zach Strief). They are always active down in Ohio though, so if I had to guess, I'd say this is about normal.
BuckNuts: I can say that at least a few prospects -- RB Jimmy Calhoun, QB Kurt Shoemaker (underrated player), DB Nick Schubert come to mind -- seem to have a solid interest. It's early though.Purple Reign: Ohio seems to produce some top running backs and O-Linemen every year. Are the Wildcats in line to pick off any of the top prospects there?
I guess one more player to add to the list is Portsmouth, OH OL Gerald Cadogan. His mom sent us an e-mail today, and they recently came away very impressed after attending a mini-camp at Northwestern. She sounded very excited and said that NU would definitely get an official visit.
BuckNuts: As previously mentioned, Jimmy Calhoun is a guy who has consistently mentioned Northwestern. I think the Wildcats have a good chance there. There are others who have mentioned the Wildcats where it might be too early to tell. As for OL, this year I haven't seen too much interest. There are about seven that are towards the top -- Brandon Braxton, Ben Person, Gerald Cadogan, Branden Armstrong, Chauncey Incarnato, Chase Clowser, and Steve Rehring. Person is committed to Ohio State; Cadogan, Rehring and Clowser have the Buckeyes as their big favorites, while it is early to tell with Armstrong, Incarnato and Braxton, but I haven't heard them mention Northwestern much. But we are still doing research and trying to find out as much info as we can about these players.Purple Reign: On another Subject what did you guys think of the recent Athlon rankings?
BuckNuts: I don't mind. I'm one of those who would rather not be ranked #1 before the season, but it probably doesn't matter since the national title will have everyone gunning for the Buckeyes anyway. To my knowledge though, there are no colleges that have any sort of banner or trophy in their trophy case for being preseason #1, so it really doesn't mean anything.There you have it, a little early info from the Bucknuts on NU Recruiting in Ohio. We're still waiting to here from Duane - he's as busy as Chris this time of year, and we'll pass his info along when we hear.
I personally feel that Ohio State has the fewest holes and most depth of any team in the country, but I understand how a lot of people are looking back last year at the close games and offensive struggles and not ranking them #1. No one knows about those close games and offensive problems more than the Buckeyes though, and they have been working hard to improve, so I think they could surprise a lot of people offensively this year.
On a similar note, I think Miami has a better team coming back than Oklahoma, and by the end of the year, it wouldn't surprise me if the rest of the nation starts to wonder once again if there is anyone who can beat them. But we'll have to find out when they play the games!
Thanks to the guys in Ohio. See ya in the Shoe! and Keep those reports coming.
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