Two of the top juniors in the state are off to a good start in 2005. Massillon's Andrew Dailey and Brian Gamble had big games against Dover on opening night.
Dailey is a player most fans are aware of. He has been rated as one of the best players in his class since his freshman season. Gamble is a player most people have never heard of. That is all about to change.
Massillon coach Tom Stacy told me about Gamble the first day of practice. Gamble (6-0, 190) was moved from wide receiver to tailback by Stacy early in fall camp and was an instant success.
In the Tigers' only scrimmage, against Perry, Gamble ran 70 yards for a touchdown on the first play. He also played well at his safety position. He continued his fine play against Dover, rushing for 160 yards, including a run of 68 yards, to lead the Tigers to victory. He was nearly flawless on defense, helping the Tigers shut out the high scoring Dover team.
After the game I talked with Shawn Gamble, Brian's father, and asked about Brian's summer camp participation.
"Brian went to a camp at the University of Miami in Florida," Shawn Gamble said. "He also went to a camp in Pittsburgh sponsored by Recruits Unlimited. He did real well at both camps. He ran an electronically timed 4.4 forty in Pittsburgh."
Brian Gamble is a top 10 player in the class of 2007. He will probably be recruited as a cover cornerback. He has quick feet and great hips. Coach Stacy is quite high on Gamble.
"He might be our best football player," said Stacy. "He's a threat every time he touches the ball. He's got a chance to be a great one."
Dailey also played extremely well in the opener. Dailey (6-3, 215) is playing safety but lines up everywhere for Massillon's defense. Dailey also plays wide receiver, but his future will be on defense.
Against Dover's five-receiver sets, Dailey was forced to cover receivers in space and did a great job for a player his size. Dailey, who has run a 4.5 forty, also stopped the run and pressured the quarterback. He made the defensive play of the night, making a diving tackle and stripping the ball from a Dover receiver.
Dover head coach Dan Ifft commented about that play after the game.
"Dailey made a great play, diving to strip the ball," said Ifft. "He's a bonafide Big-10 football player."
Both Dailey and Gamble are on Ohio State's list of players to recruit in the class of 2007. They will be in the sights of most of the college programs that recruit Ohio. This week, the Tigers travel to Cincinnati to take on Elder in a great early season matchup.