Possible Irish Ohio Targets – 2012

While the Notre Dame coaching staff was out hitting the road the past month it wasn't just for members of the Class of 2011. In fact, the Class of 2012 is fast approaching and the Irish were sure to check out many of the following targets from the Buckeye State.

While the Ohio Class of 2011 looks impressive, the 2012 class is fast making a name for itself. Loaded with talent and looking like Ohio State will be holding a smaller number of scholarships than normal, Brian Kelly and his staff will look to make some strong inroads in Ohio for the Class of 2012.

But who are the names to watch? Irish Eyes looks at several Ohio prospects fans should be getting to know.

QB: Maty Mauk – Brian Kelly and several of his staff know all about the Kenton (Ohio) gunslinger. Older brother Ben Mauk played one season for Brian Kelly at Cincinnati and the two proved to be on the same page more than any quarterback Kelly has played under him. Maty is bigger, stronger and faster than his older brother and understands the offense much like his brother. Mauk has all the things Kelly looks for and would be a player many feel could get an early Irish offer. The only question will be if Mauk is the best of the best when Kelly looks at the 2012 quarterbacks.

OLB: Josh Perry – The Olentangy product fits very well in the Irish new 3-4 defense and has all the tools the Irish will look for at the position. Great athlete with very good size and is only getting better. Perry is also strong in the class room and a player who may be looking to break from staying home for the right education.

RB: Warren Ball – If Kelly is looking for the right type of back to play in his single back offense than Ball is a name to remember. At 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Ball has great physical size and shows all the things you look for in a back (speed, vision, strength, burst). He's also shown well in the classroom with a 3.7 GPA at Columbus (Ohio) DeSales High School.

LB: Joe Bolden – The Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain linebacker played at a very high level his sophomore season and is expected to have an even bigger junior year. At 6-foot-2, 215-pounds, Bolden is tough and can go sideline-to-sideline. He's also a very intelligent on and off the field with a 3.5 GPA.

OT: Taylor Decker – At 6-foot-7, 240-pounds, Decker has the frame Kelly likes from his offensive tackles. Decker has a long and lean frame that Kelly could place in the hands of Paul Longo to make into a beast. While Decker needs to continue to build his strength, he shows good balance and the ability hold his own. Also a strong student in the classroom with a reported 3.8 GPA. Also a basketball player who is getting serious looks.

C: Brandyn Cook – While Cook doesn't have the frame many will look for (6-foot-2, 265-pounds), he's got all the tools to be a top center as he's tough and has great feet. He's also played at a very high level at Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier High School.

DB/S: George Bradley – One of Ohio's top prospect on the defensive side of the ball is Bradley. Better known as "Bam", the Trotwood (Ohio) Madison product plays fast, has great burst and is able to change direction. He's also a solid student with a reported 3.9 GPA.

OL: Kyle Kailis – At 6-foot-5, 300-pounds, Kailis is showing the early skills to be a player to watch. He still needs work in several areas but projects as an inside guy at the next level. Holds a reported 3.0 GPA at Lakewood (Ohio) St Edwards High School.

DE: LaTroy Lewis – The Akron (Ohio) Hoban product has all the skills to be a great one. At 6-foot-4, 225-pounds, Lewis is a great edge rusher who could play with his hand down on the edge or stand up in the Irish 3-4 scheme. While a solid student, Lewis may need to do some extra work in the classroom to get the Irish to really look hard at him.

DE: Adolphus Washington – The Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft product has it all. Great physical size at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds. Washington has a motor and can go sideline-to-sideline. What really makes Washington stand out is his ability to cut on a dime for a player his size. This is going to be a huge battle as Washington reports he grew up a fan of Ohio State, but his father has told Irish Eyes he wants his son to get a great education.

DL: Chris Wormley – The Toledo (Ohio) Whitmer product is an early lean to the Buckeyes. But Notre Dame will look to get its name into the hat. While Scout.com has Wormley listed as a DE, many feel his future could be with his hand down and inside. Great frame and a player who could put on another 25-30-pound without losing a lot of his physical abilities.

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