We started this series with a look at the players ranked from No. 51 to No. 105. The second installment looked at players ranked No. 31 to No. 50. Today, we'll examine the players ranked from No. 21 to No. 30.
21. *** Jovani Chappel 5-8
175 CB Trotwood-Madison
This ranking might be low based on talent, but the size factor is important and has become more important in the last few years as coaches at every level are looking to counter the size we are seeing with receivers these days with bigger corners. That is really the only chink in the armor of this warrior. If you could measure heart and toughness, Chappel would be 10 feet tall and bulletproof.
Warrior is an apt description for Chappel. He gets after it out there like a much larger player. He will not hesitate to take on the biggest linemen.
Chappell is a hitter as well as a tackler. He plays the game a lot like Glenville linebacker and Ohio State commitment Freddie Lenix. Anytime Chappel lines up, he will be the toughest player on the field. That said, Chappel has great ball skills and instincts in pass defense. He has great feet and hips for coverage.
Despite the size, he could be a fine safety, but I think he is going to be a fine corner. Illinois thought so two years ago when he became the first player in this class to be offered a scholarship after he camped there. Since then, Penn State, Purdue and others have added their name to the scholarship list.
*** Daven Jones 6-1
175 WR Cleveland Glenville
Two years ago, I couldn't have been more excited about the receivers in this class and what they would become. There were likely going to be four players from that position in the top ten overall in this class. David Lighty, the overall No. 1 in the class when we first saw them as freshmen, chose basketball. JuJuan Jones, left the state and will concentrate on basketball, and we lost Lorenzo Hunter to a senseless shooting. Daven Jones is the only one that remains.
Jones reminds me of Ohio State receiver Santonio Holmes. He runs great routes and finds the seams. A real natural receiver with deceptive speed, Jones caught 16 balls for 269 yards, averaging 16.6 yards per catch, and three touchdowns last year. Jones camped at Wisconsin the past few years and really liked it, and when the Badgers offered early, Jones accepted.
*** Nate Davis 6-3
220 QB/ATH Bellaire
Pick a sport. Any sport. Nate Davis may not have even heard of it, but I bet he would be good at it. This is one of the most gifted overall athletes I have seen in Ohio. I am not talking about a great football prospect who is also a basketball or baseball starter. I am talking about a scholarship athlete in three sports.
I have to go back to Bedford Chanel's Bam Childress to find an athlete who excels at every sport he plays like Davis. Davis will have the scholarship option of any of the three sports he competes in at the high school level – football, basketball and baseball. He had nine home runs in 14 games last year and was All-Ohio as a freshman and sophomore in basketball. That is just sick. As a junior, he threw for 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns for an 8-4 team. Then, he averaged 29 points and 14 rebounds a game in basketball.
Davis only plays defense when Bellaire needs him. He played in the defensive backfield for the first time all year in week seven and had an interception and eight tackles at corner. He has a big arm as a quarterback with a game like Florida's Chris Leak, who despite being a fine athlete is really a pocket passer.
Nate is the brother of former Bellaire quarterback Jose Davis. He is a great basketball player, but most feel like he would do himself a favor by playing football. That is where he is special.
24. *** Rudy Kirbus 6-4
190 QB Cleveland St. Ignatius
Kirbus seemed lost early on last season but found his stride after a few games. He made more progress than any of the quarterbacks in this class by year's end. There is such a tradition with St. Ignatius quarterbacks and such fierce competition at the position that most do not start until later in their high school careers, so they then do not mature until later. Reps mean everything at the quarterback position. As a junior, Kirbus completed 73 of 135 passes for 1,437 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season.
Kirbus does not have the physical tools of a Brian Hoyer but has the size and arm strength of a D-I quarterback. He is fundamentally sound, and once he got comfortable in there, he showed a lot of poise. I would not be surprised to see him make a move up these ratings by the season's end.
*** Brennen Glass 6-3
190 QB Springfield South
All Brennen Glass does is continue to complete passes and throw touchdowns. He had 210 completions in 355 attempts for 3,052 yards and 29 touchdowns last year. That is 306 yards per game and a 59 percent completion percentage. His yardage total led the state during the regular season. There is a lot of talk about other quarterbacks in this class, but Glass is the most productive. He sees the field well and spreads it around.
Camps will be important to Glass because of the offense he plays in. Quarterbacks and receivers in spread offenses are coming under scrutiny these days because so many are seen as products of the system. But I think Glass is one of the exceptions. His level of competition cannot be questioned. He is pretty mobile but will hang tough and take the punishment to make a play. I like his competitiveness, and I think he makes sound decisions. I think he is very close to that listed 6-3 and is a well put-together kid. He does not have a gun but has a D-I arm. This is an awfully good quarterback that may not get his due because of the depth of this quarterback class.
*** Miles Schlichter 6-1 ½
185 QB Washington C.H. Miami
I am sure that I will have Schlichter rated higher than many others will, but that is no real surprise. Every year, I rank quarterbacks, while the top 20 programs recruit pitchers. Miles Schlichter is a quarterback.
I like tall quarterbacks, but the top schools see it as essential while I see it as an extra. Schlichter is not going to be as tall as most programs like. He does not have a big arm, but he does have an adequate arm. What I see out of him is a player that can read defenses already, makes great decisions as his touchdown to interception ratio is hard to believe, and understands when it is time to tuck it and run, which he does well enough to be in this top 100 as an athlete. He completed nearly 60 percent of his passes last year, throwing for 1,790 yards and 19 touchdowns. While that is an impressive number, if you watched every pass he threw with the idea of coming up with a number of passes that were on target, I would say that number is 75 percent or better.
Last year, Westlake's Jon Brown was the most accurate passer I had seen in Ohio in some time. Schlichter is even more accurate and has such great touch. I would not be surprised to see most of the top programs get too caught up in things like his height and not look at the things that are right.
*** Cody Blevins 6-2
197 S/LB/CB Miamisburg
No player made the most of his junior year like Blevins. He's just one heck of a football player and has the measureables to go with it. There were only 137 passes attempted against Miamisburg last year, but Blevins still intercepted five passes. He teamed with Notre Dame commitment David Bruton to form the best safety tandem in Ohio last year.
Blevins' 18 total interceptions through his junior year is an impressive number. Last year, the talk was about his teammate Bruton and Hamilton's Adam Myers-White, but by the end of the year, Blevins was playing better than any safety in Ohio. He could play at either safety spot as he is a good tackler, but his ball skills and athleticism make him an ideal free safety. He has good enough cover skills to allow a defensive coordinator to stay in a base defense, as he is plenty capable of covering most slot receivers. He also has a body that could make him a linebacker in time.
28. *** DeLeone Carter
5-10 190 RB
Don't let that measurables line fool you – Carter is no small back. He is thick legged and powerfully built. He runs through arm tackles like a 220-pound back. He reminds me a lot of Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Michael Pittman. He has the same build and the same quick feet.
Carter does a great job of following his blockers and cuts without losing speed. He put up the quietest 2,556 yards I have ever heard of and also had 28 touchdowns. Carter showed himself to be a very durable runner, carrying the ball 324 times last year. That is about 25 times a game in a Copley season that included three playoff games. He added another 169 yards receiving and 227 on kickoff returns.
*** Lance Smith 5-11
190 RB Warren Howland
That I would have a back this good ranked this low speaks volumes about the depth of this class. Smith is one of those players that is so smooth, it looks like he is gliding. That is, until he stops on a dime, changes direction and leaves tacklers grabbing at air. This is a slasher with some big time skills.
The only thing that I think keeps him from being a Big Ten-caliber back is that he might be a Big Ten-caliber receiver. He has the build of a receiver, and he certainly has the speed as Howland coach Dick Angle says Smith has 4.4 speed. Angle sent me an extensive tape, and I never saw this kid get caught once he broke through into the secondary. He plays defense and will mix it up with no hesitation, but this is a player you want with the ball in his hands, whether it be at running back or receiver.
Last year, Smith had 1,668 yards and 17 touchdowns on 233 carries. He attended a junior day at Penn State this spring and also stopped by Notre Dame unofficially. Iowa is showing a good deal of interest.
*** Bryant Browning 6-3
310 OL Cleveland Glenville
Once Browning locks up a defender, it is over. This is a wide-bodied road grader who is nearly impossible to deal with in tight spaces. He packs a punch at the point of attack. Browning is pretty nimble but does not have the height and wingspan that you want in a tackle.
Like his older brother Robert, Bryant is an outstanding student, carrying a 4.2 GPA in advanced classes. We often think about quarterbacks being smart, but I have noticed that quite a few successful offensive linemen were very smart, too. Browning is a quality kid that will be a success in life, whether it is straight out of college or after a run in the NFL.
For more information on Ohio High magazine, click the link below: