The tapes have been reviewed and the evaluations are in, and there's no question that running back Chris Wells of Akron Garfield is Ohio's No. 1 prospect this year.
It's actually no surprise that Wells is rated as the No. 1 prospect by Duane Long in his first top 100 of this season, set to be released in early May in the next issue of Ohio High magazine. It is impressive for Wells to be such a clear No. 1 prospect in a year of wonderful talent in the Buckeye state, but he backs it up on the field.
In the upcoming Ohio High issue, Duane Long talks about how impressive Wells' progress has been throughout the years.
"The back I saw as a freshman and sophomore was more like Eddie George, but as a junior, I saw a back that reminded me more of O.J. Simpson and Eric Dickerson," Long wrote. "But more than any back, he reminds me of current Oklahoma star Adrian Peterson.
"If Wells is not the best back in the country, I would like to see the kid who is."
Wells rushed for over 1,900 yards and 20 touchdowns with an average of 9.1 yards per carry last season while splitting time with top 100 senior Marcus Council. Wells surprised everyone by making a commitment to Ohio State on Feb. 6, one day after attending OSU junior day.
"I picked Ohio State just because I like the environment down there," Wells said last month. "I just like the whole feel of the community and the coaches. Everyone was nice down there and I just liked the whole situation."
Wells received an offer from Ohio State during the summer of 2004. He also had offers from Michigan, Oklahoma, and others before making his decision. Some schools have not given up on recruiting Wells, but after his commitment, he seemed sold on Ohio State.
"I never thought I would fall in love with a school like I fell in love with Ohio State," he said on the day he committed. "I'm 100 percent sure about Ohio State."
On top of all the talent, Wells is a young player. He plans on enrolling early and would not turn 18 until just before his freshman season at Ohio State.
"Yeah, I am pretty young," he said. "I'll be 17 on Aug. 7 and that's only a couple weeks before the season. But it really doesn't play a big role, because I'm real mature and I have to be a leader out there on the field. So I just try and take advantage of that. People think I'm so young and I might be immature, but I'm really not. I just go out there and do what I do."
Wells also goes by the nickname "Beanie."
"I got the nickname because when I was a baby, I came out and my big brother said I had a bean head," Wells said.
Now, Bucknuts Premium subscribers will be able see what Wells will be bringing to the Buckeyes. We have eight minutes of video today from Wells' junior season, and you will be able to see why some are wondering if Wells is indeed a better prospect than Maurice Clarett was in high school.
Each video is around 6 MB. To watch these videos, you will need Microsoft Media Player. Click here to here download the most recent version of Media Player. Click on a link below to view the video: