On the surface it appears to be a down year for quarterbacks in the Buckeye state, however 2 players stood out Tuesday afternoon.
First off, let me say that I think Zac Dysert, of Ada, is the top QB prospect in the class of 2008 in Ohio. I sat and watched film with 2 D-1 college coaches in March and all three of us were sold on Zac instantly. Seeing him live did nothing to dispel that evaluation. He has height [6' 4"] and great touch on the football. A gun? No, but he can make all the throws. Offers this early from Troy, Ball State, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Akron and Cincinnati confirm my feelings on the Blond Bomber.
The second QB I liked was Dublin Coffman's Zack Stoudt, son of former Steeler QB Cliff Stoudt. I haven't studied film on him yet, but he showed well at the combine. He HAS a gun. He didn't throw against a live defense but he can sling it. He's probably 6' 5" and seemed to move well. I'll see him again this Sunday at our Scout camp in Pittsburgh and I'm looking forward to it.
There were three stars who fell into the ‘athlete" category- Johnny Adams, Isaiah Pead and D.J. Woods. All three lit it up, but Woods came up HOT...and drove home with offers from Kent State, Ball State, Indiana, Iowa and Pitt. Just as important was a promise from Ohio State assistant Taver Johnson to talk by phone soon. Jim Tressel reportedly told Woods that he is the #1 cornerback prospect in Ohio on the Buckeye board.
Pead, Columbus Eastmoor Academy, received an offer from Indiana the day after the combine. I doubt this will be his last offer from the Big-10. Pead showed great hip turn and amazing quick feet going through defensive back drills.
Adams, holding offers from Akron, West Virginia and Syracuse, was also explosive and super-quick. Johnny needs to show he can be a cornerback or a wideout and not just a return man. This Sunday, in Pittsburgh, he gets his chance.
The Glenville kids were impressive as usual with Cordale Scott stealing the show, ala Devier Posey's performance at out Scout camp in Cincinnati. Assuming Scott decides to attend Ohio State, it's not too tough to get excited about having Posey, Scott and Jake Stoneburner on the field at the same time. Add in DeVoe Torrence running behind Mike Adams, Mike Brewster and J. B. Shugarts and all you need is a big-time quarterback. Terrelle Pryor? More on him later.
It's hard not to root for Glenville's "Shaq" Rowell, the huge defensive lineman. He has lost over 40 pounds and plans to lose another 30. I saw him at a camp when he 15 years old and I thought he had a ton of talent then. I still do. He's a great kid and under the guidance of Ted Ginn, he has a chance to make it big. How big? Try being included in the Ohio State recruiting class. The Bucks need defensive tackles and with the weight under control and grades in order, he has a shot. Everybody will be anxious to see him play defense this year. He should play both sides of the football to prove he's in shape and dedicated to staying there.
The "big-uglies" on the offensive line showed well too. Youngstown Ursuline's Harold Coates was as impressive as any of them. His awesome film equaled his combine performance.
Marc Stevens remains one of my favorite O-linemen. He added Western Michigan to his list of Akron, Ball State and Bowling Green. If Stevens could take on more of the personality and temperament of his head coach, he would get Big-East and Big-10 offers in my opinion. His head coach is B. J. Payne who played at Massillon and later Mount Union college. He was a mean, nasty junkyard dog when he played. Stevens needs to become more like Payne and when he does…… look out. Marc was dramatically better in Cleveland than he was in Cincinnati, proving that just one look might not be enough when scouting high school kids.
Want a couple "under the radar" offensive linemen? I'll give you two of them. These kids had heads turning and I have a feeling they won't be secrets much longer.
Chardon's Joe Madsen earned a lot of "Who's that kid" remarks all day. He seems like a kid who kind of enjoys hitting people, although there were no one-on-one drills. I'll keep an eye out for his progress. He can play football on Saturday's somewhere.
The Cardinal Mooney "Big Four" gets all the recruiting attention, but don't forget the name Jared Emerson. Emerson had an impressive playoff run for the Cardinals and picked up his first offer from Army this week. No way he gets through the evaluation process without more offers. He's 6' 6" and weighs 285 pounds. He can carry another 30 pounds easily and be a force on the offensive line at the next level.
Lakewood St. Edward's Justin Staples is as impressive a linebacker as there is in Ohio. Staples picked up an offer from Purdue after the camp to go with an ever-expanding list. I suspect Michigan State will be tough to beat from Justin. High school superstar basketball player Delvon Roe has committed to the Spartans and he's actively recruiting his buddy to join him in East Lansing.
One of my favorite players is Trotwood-Madison's Jamiihr Williams. He loves to compete and it's evident. Williams jumped in every drill at every position, even though his future is at linebacker. Jamiihr just picked up three offers this week and there should be more coming. His athletic ability is unquestioned and his attitude is unmatched. He has worked hard on his physical shape and it shows. He should be playing the Big-10 someday.
Clemson commit Nic DiLillo was as impressive as anybody. He put on a show of size, speed and agility that was amazing for a his size. Clemson flat-out stole a great player from the Buckeye state. DiLillo is good enough to play at Ohio State, but like a D-I hoops coach told me at the King James Classic last weekend, "You can't take them all."
Brandon Beachum continues to shine at every camp and combine he attends, and he attends all of them. Why? Because this just loves the competition. He has over 20 scholarship offers, so he doesn't need the exposure, but he loves competing against the best. After seeing Brandon's quick feet and change of direction, I definitely can see him playing tailback in college. Many schools see him as a linebacker but Wisconsin and Colorado talked to his coach about the possibility of playing runningback for them. No surprise that Beachum will be at our Scout combine in Pittsburgh this weekend.
Speaking of our combine, it appears that DeVoe Torrence, Jake Stoneburner, Mike Adams and Devier Posey will be working out in Pittsburgh this Sunday. There is a chance that Pennsylvania superstar quarterback Terrelle Pryor will be there too. You think the Buckeye "family" will be trying to encourage Pryor to join them in C-Bus? If you're a Buckeye fan you'd better hope so, because Pryor is an AMAZING athlete. I saw him play hoops last weekend in Akron in the King James Classic. The term ‘Freak" is one of the most overused clichés in sports, but trust me, Pryor is a freak. He's 6' 6" and 210 pounds and moves like Muhammad Ali in his prime. Pryor is a glider and there simply aren't athletes his size that get described that way. Picturing him at QB in this great Buckeye recruiting class seems too good to be true. Visions of national championships, plural, are dancing in my head. Adding Pryor just might make that thought a reality. TAKE IT TO THE BANK.