Weekend Scouting: Buckeye Targets

FoxSportsNext was out on the road weekend, seeing several top players from the state of Ohio, including may Ohio State targets. Who stood out from the rest?

FoxSportsNext took in several of the top games across the state of Ohio on The Opening week of football in the state. Several Ohio State targets were in action.

Jalin Marshall: Much of his amazing game against St. Xavier was covered extensively on Scout.com, and all that needs to be said at this point is that Marshall definitely enhanced his ranking. He is clearly the top prospect in-state, and he solidified his five-star status. The front-runner for the Mr. Football award in Ohio.

Cameron Burrows: Another player that lived up to expectations over the weekend, and Burrows gave a solid performance. This is a solid four-star prospect, and a player who will challenge for Top-100 status nationally. After being 100% convinced all summer that Burrows would move to safety, after seeing him yesterday, I'm not so sure about that. He was good in coverage, going up against wide receivers with BCS offers. Was he beaten on a few plays? Yes, even though it's hard for fans to understand that happened to Deon Sanders as well. A lock-down corner does not succeed 100% of the time, just like Justin Verlander does not strike out every hitter. Burrows was better in coverage than he was last year, and better than he was in the summer camps. That's all you can ask of a player. Did he fly to the football in run support? As the field corner, he cannot do that, as he has to protect the wide side cutback lanes. Did he tackle people in his area? Yes, he did. Maybe the best compliment is that University School went into the game thinking their "speed" receivers would handle Burrows, and they targeted him as a player to challenge. That plan did not work, and they soon looked elsewhere in the passing game. The University School staff was in 100% agreement after the game that Burrows was as good of a defensive back as they will see all season, and he earned their respect.

Nathaniel Devers: The Massillon junior was totally dominant against Akron Buchtel, and he is the top two-way lineman in Ohio for the class of 2014. Only holds a Toledo offer to date, but that will absolutely change in the near future. I would expect him to hold Michigan and Ohio State offers at some point, along with several others. He is a fine guard prospect, one of the top offensive linemen in the junior class in-state, but he might be better suited for the defensive line. He destroyed Buchtel from his defensive tackle spot the other night, and going both ways was tough on a hot night. I would have Devers rated higher than both Billy Price and Donovan Munger at the same stage of their careers. A possible Top-5 player in-state for the class of 2014.

Mikel Horton: The top in-state 2014 runningback was amazing Saturday night against La Salle, rushing for 239 yards on 43 carries. Best of all, he was more productive at the end of the game than he was in the beginning, the hallmark of a bigger back. He flat wore out La Salle in the fourth quarter in Eddie George or Maurice Clarett style, where the defense simply had no energy or will to hit him anymore. Horton had great stamina and good feet, although he is not a burner. He will be a heavily recruited prospect, and would fit the mold of a national power back. A top 2014 prospect in Ohio. We also saw him catch the football at Friday Night Lights, so he has that ability as well.

Nilijah Ballew: The Walnut Hills junior safety impressed in a loss, and he played his tail off in a game his team was out of early on. Ballew is a hard-hitting, physical safety, and a player that is just now starting to hit the recruiting radar. Will be a heavily recruited player, and a top 2014 prospect in Ohio. Nice size, at 6-foot-1, 190-pounds, and a strong safety prospect.

Marcus Whitfield: The Massillon junior was ultra-impressive against Buchtel on both sides of the football. He caught a long touchdown pass from his wide receiver spot, and played very well at safety, with a few nasty hits. Whitfield is just starting to hit the recruiting radar, and could project at either wide receiver or safety. At Scout.com, we will list him as a safety prospect first. Has the size/speed/athleticism combination to play in the Big Ten.

Quincy Wilson: The Fort Lauderdale University School safety continued his fine play Sunday, showing why he holds several BCS offers, including Ohio State. He played cornerback at 195-pounds and covered well. Wilson will probably play safety at the next level, but in the Big Ten he could be a big, physical cornerback. A similar player to Burrows at the same stage of development, and a player that still has parts of his game to improve upon. There is nothing not to like about Wilson, although he needs to play under control at all times and not let his competitiveness cross the line of what's permitted within the rules. He has the size/speed/athleticism skills to be a star at the next level.

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