Ohio State took a fullback in the recruiting class of 2004 (Dionte Johnson), but if they wanted to pursue one from the state of Ohio this year, there are two quality prospects out there in Lance Phillips of Wellston and Matt Shumaker of Delphos St. John's.
Phillips has previously been thought of as a linebacker or defensive lineman, but looking at his size and his style, it struck me that he could possibly be a great fullback. I asked Lance about that, and he said, "I would love to play fullback. I played there as a sophomore. We have a new coach, so maybe I can get back in the backfield."
He sent me tape from his sophomore year playing fullback, and is he ever a load. He really brings it and is very physical. This is a fullback who has pancake blocks.
Phillips certainly has the size for a fullback.
"I'm 6 foot right now and 232," he said. "I wanted to take a little weight off."
Phillips, who is ranked as one of Ohio High magazine's top 75 players in the state of Ohio, camped at Marshall, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Ohio State, and Miami of Ohio. He put up a 4.1 shuttle at Marshall.
"I really enjoyed the experience of the camps," he said. "I got to know a lot of great players, a lot of really good guys."
Phillips also had some good things to say about OSU wide receiver commitment Brian Hartline, whom he saw while at Buckeye camp.
"He runs routes so beautifully," Phillips said. "He is so smooth."
Shumaker, meanwhile, seems to be a player that may be more on Ohio State's radar. He has been to Ohio State more than once this year.
"I camped at Nike (Columbus), Ohio State, Iowa, Notre Dame, Purdue, and Bowling Green," he said. "I still have no offers, but I understand fullbacks mostly have to wait. I understand how position plays a part in this, so I know my offers won't come until late."
It sounds like Ohio State has been keeping tabs on Shumaker.
"I enjoyed my Ohio State visit and the time I spent there," he said. "I enjoyed all of them, but I really enjoyed Ohio State. I kind of feel like they want to offer a fullback this year, and they have been staying with me."
All the schools recruiting Shumaker are looking at him as a fullback.
"They all told me their linebacker scholarships are tight this year," he said. "They all want senior tape of my first two games."
Shumaker is rated as one of Ohio High's top 75 prospects in the state of Ohio. He ran for 1200 yards and 15 touchdowns on only 120 carries in his sophomore year. He rushed for 2127 yards on 269 carries for 31 touchdowns as a junior