In the junior class of Ohio talent, the offensive line is one of the positions that stands out the most. One player to keep an eye on is Jacob Ballard of Springboro, who could project as a tackle in college.
Ballard is a fine athlete who also used to play basketball on the same AAU team as sophomore sensation O.J. Mayo of Cincinnati North College Hill. Ballard could also play defense in college; he put up 88 tackles, six sacks, and 12 tackles for loss last season as a defensive end.
"I could end up on the offensive line but I would rather play defense," Ballard said. "I am 6-7 and about 245 right now."
Ballard recently got a first-hand look at Ohio State as he took in the OSU/Wisconsin game.
"It was pretty amazing," he said. "That was my first time there. The players and the coaches were impressive. The stadium was really something."
Ballard talked about the other schools he planned on checking out this year.
"I have been to Notre Dame," he said. "I was supposed to be at Iowa this weekend for the Ohio State game but I can't make it. I will likely go out there for the Purdue game."
What schools have been in contact?
"I have been contacted by Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama, Virginia, Purdue, and some MAC schools," he said. "Michigan has recently been in touch some."
Ballard already appears to be into the recruiting process, but he hasn't decided yet when he will make a college choice.
"I go back and forth on when to commit," he said. "I would like to get it over with so I can concentrate on my senior year but I also want to make sure I am making the right decision."
Ballard is rated as one of the state's top ten junior offensive line prospects in the November midseason issue of Ohio High, available on newsstands in November.