The season opener in Ohio will feature several top recruits, including Buchtel senior wide receiver Elijah Bell, who holds BCS offers. Massillon will lean on senior quarterback Kyle Kempt (Cincinnati commit) and Michigan commit Gareon Conley (pictured) to provide excitement in the passing game. Junior two-way lineman Nathaniel Devers holds one offer and is on the radar of many top BCS programs. Junior offensive tackle Chase Lash also figures to be a Division-I recruit. Junior safety Marcus Whitfield is a relative unknown in recruiting circles, but that should be changing shortly.
Friday: Anderson vs. Sycamore 6:00 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
The Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown matchup is a good one. Anderson senior offensive tackle Andrew Paulik holds four MAC offers, while running mate senior guard Joe Turner is a good one. Sycamore features junior linebacker Tinashe Bere (pictured), one of the top 2014 prospects in Ohio. Senior tight end Mason Morgan holds two MAC offers.
Friday: Middletown vs. St. Xavier 8:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
Possibly the top early season matchup in Ohio, as two of the state's powers collide. Middletown is led by Ohio State commit Jalin Marshall (pictured), who has put up amazing numbers from his quarterback spot the past two seasons. Junior tight end Chance Sorrell is one to watch for the class of 2014. Senior athlete William Peters has serious speed. St. Xavier will be led offensively by senior wide receiver Trey Kilgore (Michigan State commit) and junior tailback C.J. Hilliard, who holds two offers. The defense is keyed by senior linebacker Mark Jacobs.
Saturday: Hamilton vs. Springfield 12 p.m. at Dayton's Welcome Stadium.
Hamilton senior offensive lineman Ben Flick holds two offers, while senior linebacker Marcus Oliver holds one. Junior lineman Gavin Peacock passes the eye test. Springfield is loaded in the junior class, with both wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (pictured) and Davonte James holding BCS offers. Both players will be listed among the top in-state prospects for the class of 2014.
Saturday: Oak Hills vs. Walnut Hills 3:00 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
Senior defensive end Kevin DeWalt leads the Walnut Hills defense, while junior athlete Nilijah Ballew shines on both sides of the football. Oak Hills will be led by junior tailback Demarco Ruffin, who rushed for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season.
Saturday: Colerain vs. Pickerington Central 5:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
Colerain will be bolstered by the return of senior tailback Chris Davis, who missed most of his junior season with a knee injury. When healthy, he is a top prospect. Senior offensive lineman Dylan Wiesman (Cincinnati commit) will pave the way for Davis. Junior receiver Travon Hudson is an imposing target. Sophomore tight end George Brown is a 2015 prospect of note. Pickerington Central lost a lot of last season's state runnerup team, but does return senior defensive end Taco Charlton (pictured), a Michigan commit. Offensive lineman Nick Walter is committed to Miami of Ohio. Junior wide receiver Andrew Meyer is one to watch.
Saturday: La Salle vs. Lakota West 8:30 p.m. at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
La Salle features top junior wide receiver Derek Kief, an impressive 2014 prospect. Izaiah Fuller lines up opposite Kief, and is also a top receiving prospect. Senior cornerback Jaleel Hytchye holds several offers. Lakota West is led by multiple offer offensive tackle Kyle Meadows (pictured), a three-star prospect. Junior quarterback Tyler Jones is an extremely exciting athlete, and a game-changer with the football in his hands. Junior tailback Mikel Horton is a load to bring down, and possibly the top 2014 runningback in-state.
Sunday: Fort Lauderdale University School vs. Trotwood-Madison 3:00 p.m. at Kings High School.
Both teams feature several BCS prospects, and the ESPN televised game should be a great matchup. University School senior wide receiver Jordan Cunningham has offers from everyone, and junior safety Quincy Wilson (pictured) is building the same type of list. Wilson was offered by Ohio State after an impressive summer camp showing. Sophomore tailback Jordan Scarlett is one of the top 2015 prospects in the nation, with offers from Alabama, LSU, Miami of Florida, and others. The Trotwood-Madison defense will have their hands full, but talents like seniors Cameron Burrows (Ohio State commit), Michael McCray (Michigan commit), Jarrod Clements (Illinois commit) and Reon Dawson (Illinois commit) will meet the challenge.
Sunday: Moeller vs. Baltimore Gilman 7:00 p.m. at Kings High School.
The second game of the ESPN doubleheader should also be outstanding. Gilman is led defensively by Michigan commit Henry Poggi (pictured), a defensive tackle. Senior quarterback Shane Cockerille is committed to Maryland. Linebacker Micah Kiser (Virginia commit) also stars on defense, along with safety Wyatt Dickerson. Junior linebacker Melvin Keihn holds several BCS offers. Moeller runs the football behind Miami of Florida commit Alex Gall, while junior tight end Devin Pike is a 2014 prospect of note. Tailback Keith Watkins has committed to Northwestern. The Moeller defense is led by Michigan State commit Shane Jones, a hard-hitting senior.