Panthers lead for massive Ohio OL

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff have been searching for big and athletic offensive tackles. It appears the staff may have unearthed a tremendous prospect from Ohio. Where do the Panthers stand with his 6-foot-7 inch, 310 pound prospect? Read on for details.

Jeff Spikes (6-foot-7 inches, 310 pounds) from Harvey High School in Painesville, OH was considered one of the top junior linemen in the state a year ago. A converted basketball center, he has the size and athleticism to excel on the football field. Jeff expected to dominate throughout the year and accumulate a large group of scholarship offers prior to his senior year. His plan was on track until something terrible occurred.

"I was running, I put my left foot down and I felt something. It turns out I broke a bone in my left foot and I had to miss my entire junior season," said Spikes. "It was very frustrating. I had been patient and my foot is perfectly healed. I'm determined to get out there for my senior year and prove that I'm the top linemen in the state of Ohio."

Spikes attended the Dave Wannstedt Football Camp on Saturday, June 10th. He was clearly the largest linemen in attendance. Jeff reports that Pitt, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State, Notre Dame and all of the MAC conference schools are currently pursuing him.

"At this point, Pitt is the school I want to go to. I have seen Big 10 schools but I love everything about the Panthers. They told me they really liked me at camp and they just want to see me in a few games because it has been a while since I have played the game. That doesn't bother me. I plan on dominating this season."

Spikes is far from a lumbering prospect due to his ample size. At 310 pounds, he looked fairly lean and moved exceptionally well. He is capable of bench pressing 345 pounds and running a 5.35 forty-yard dash.

"I know the Panthers need tackles and I feel I could get there and gain early playing time. Coach (Paul) Dunn is a great guy and he really knows the game of football. I could see him improving my game and possibly getting me to the next level."

When asked to pinpoint his strengths, he stated "Well, I'm really big and my size helps at tackle. I have a long wingspan and I'm strong. I like coaching and I'm willing to learn to learn new techniques."

"There are a lot of schools that want to take a close look at me. Ohio State is my next camp. The coaches at North Carolina really want me to come down and I think they may offer."

"If Pitt offers me a scholarship, I would probably commit. I like everything about the school and I think I could help them on the line."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at

Buckeye Sports Top Stories