Eugene Clifford of Cincinnati Colerain is rated as one of Ohio's top overall prospects this year and one of the best defensive backs in the Midwest. Currently rated as the nation's No. 12 safety prospect, Clifford boasts offers from Ohio State, Michigan, West Virginia, and Michigan State, among others.
Clifford (6-2, 195) won second-team All-Ohio honors last season. He racked up 147 tackles and 6 interceptions on the year. Colerain, who steamrolled the competition on the way to the Division I state championship in 2004, fell in the earlier rounds of the playoffs in 2005.
Clifford says things could be different in 2006.
"I think we can be state champions this year," he said. "We have a good nucleus of players coming back plus some young talented players coming up."
Clifford plays safety and wide receiver for Colerain, and most assumed in the past he would be a safety. However, many colleges are looking at him for a different position.
"I am being recruited mostly to play corner but it really doesn't make a difference to me," he said. "Corner, safety, wide receiver."
Michigan and Ohio State have been on Clifford's interest list for quite some time. It appears both schools will receive official visits.
"I am going to take some visits but I don't know about taking five," he said. "I am more likely to just take three or four visits but I still need to sit down and decide for sure. I will visit Ohio State, Michigan and Florida. Beyond that I am not sure who I will visit or if I will take any other visits."
Clifford camped at the University of Michigan this summer.
"The only camp I went to was Michigan camp," he said. "I ran a 4.5 electronic at about 190 pounds."