NFTC Columbus: Buckeye Commits

Several Ohio State commits were in Columbus this past weekend performing at the Nike Football Training Camp. How did the future Buckeyes fare?

Kyle Berger: Four-star linebacker. Cleveland St. Ignatius. Won the top linebacker award from Nike, and although their selections can be head-scratchers, I had no disagreement with their choice. Coming off hernia surgery, but there were no signs of any hint of a problem. He just ran so well and moved through the drills effortlessly. Berger hasn't been asked to drop in coverage much at St. Ignatius, but he showed himself to be a natural in that area Sunday. Looks like he has been able to add upper-body strength in the off season, which will only make him better next year. His strength is his speed and athleticism. Berger has a chance to play early at Ohio State, regardless of what the depth chart looks like.

Dante Booker: Four-star linebacker. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Was expected to shine during the NFTC, and he certainly did not disappoint. The size, speed, athleticism combination is pretty eye-popping, and that shows well in a combine setting. Even at 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, Booker just glides through drills, and shows the balance and quickness that had college coaches salivating. Watching Berger and Booker work out together is a possible preview of what could be at Ohio State in a few years. Making comparisons to previous stars is always a tough proposition, but you could bring up A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter and move on from there.

Parris Campbell: Four-star runningback. Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary. Worked out at wide receiver, and had trouble catching the football. The positives would be the cutting ability and speed did allow Campbell to get open. He had no clue how to run routes, but used his athletic ability to beat defensive backs. People can always work to improve their skills, but it's hard to see Campbell playing wide receiver at the highest level, because he did not catch the football free and easy. But as a runningback, Campbell should be a star at Ohio State. If a position switch was in the cards, I would love to see him play some at cornerback, where his hip turn, long arms and athletic ability would serve him well.

Dylan Thompson: Three-star defensive end. Montini Catholic (ILL). After not being too high on Thompson, he really rose to the occasion and performed well against some very talented offensive linemen. I can see Thompson playing at 300-pounds, and moving inside for Ohio State. He kind of reminded me of another player from his school, Garrett Goebel, and they are similar in ability. Thompson's strength on Sunday was his high-intensity, non-stop effort, and he will fight people right to the whistle. He will get bigger and stronger, and either play strong side defensive end or move inside to play tackle in the 4-3 defense.

Kyle Trout: Four-star offensive tackle. Lancaster. If any of the Ohio State commits did not exceed expectations, it would be Trout, although he performed as expected. He is a player that needs pass-blocking work, and will be a redshirt candidate at Ohio State. On the plus side, Trout is another high-effort player and he will come quickly with Ed Warriner's coaching. To be fair, combines tend to favor tackles that are advanced in pass-blocking over run-blocking, and this is not Trout's strength at this point in time. He did take a lot of reps, and won his share. He has a chance to be a fine player for Ohio State.

Damon Webb: Four-star cornerback. Detroit Cass Tech. Won the top defensive back award, and it had to have been a unanimous vote. He is just a natural cornerback, and he is only going to continue to get better and better with experience. Needs to add upper-body strength to body bigger receivers, but he is so skilled in man coverage that there are no worries with Webb. His strength would be his change of direction, and he has the ability to stop on a dime and head the opposite way in a flash. It's to the point now where it's stunning to see anyone catch a football on him, and he loves to take a ton of reps. There is just nothing not to like with Damon Webb, and he has a very bright future.

Lonnie Johnson: Three-star wide receiver. Gary West Side. Was in attendance but did not work out due to a slight injury. Definitely passes the look test, and spent his time recruiting for the Buckeyes.

Marcelys Jones: Three-star offensive guard. Cleveland Glenville. Was registered with teammates Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore, but none of the three were at the camp.

Sam Hubbard: Four-star linebacker. Cincinnati Moeller. Was not registered and did not perform at Nike.


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