25. Donnie Fletcher – Glenville – CB
Bob Lichtenfels: 6-foot-0, corners don't grow on trees, and corners with that size that are lockdown corners are even rarer. People always talk about Cordale Scott and how great of a player he is and rightly so, but Fletcher is just as capable. He has the size to end up being a very solid corner or a standout safety.
Greg Powers: True cornerback's are hard to find, and that is what makes Fletcher so valuable. He has the ability to man up against some of the premier wide receivers. He oozes quiet confidence while he is on the field, and is physical enough to press in man coverage. He will need to work on some of his techniques, but the raw physical skills all seem to be in place.
Bill Greene: The best thing about Donnie Fletcher is the fact that he takes his academic career as serious as he takes his football career. The offers from the likes of Nebraska, Pitt, Cincinnati and Boston College speak volumes about his talent. Donnie is a pure cornerback and just a shade behind players like Isaiah Pead and D. J. Woods. Donnie has the size[ 6'0" and 170] and speed to be a nice player at the next level. Great work ethic and desire to be a success.
Dave Berk: The team that signs Fletcher gets a player that could come in and compete right away. The skill to cover the opponent's top receiver is a skill many programs struggle to find. Fletcher combines technique with physical skills that allow him to take chances and make plays. Some will question his weight but he'll do just fine no matter what conference he ends up in.
24. Doug Rippy – Linden-McKinley – SLB
Bob: After seeing Rippy in three combines and then finally seeing him on film, I was sold. First off, he is a great kid and he does everything you want in a linebacker. He can rush the quarterback. He can play the run. He can cover the pass and he has some nastiness to his game. One thing no one can ever question about Rippy is his competitiveness; he'll take on anyone at any time.
Greg: Rippy is just starting to mature as a football player. When you watch his junior film it is easy to see his raw athletic ability, but after you see him in person almost a year later it is hard to imagine that it is the same player. He his thickened up, but still maintained his speed and quickness. He is just starting to realize his potential. The Nebraska Cornhuskers got a steal with Rippy. He also reports that he is on schedule for a January enrollment.
Bill: His film was as anticipated as Star Wars II and took about as long to finally produce. It was worth the wait and explains why the offers came so late. He was born to be a SAM linebacker and could grow into a DE. Saw him at 2 combines and loved his desire to take every rep he could. College recruiters were impressed with his size/speed numbers. A great get for Nebraska and could end up being a player that Buckeye fans regret seeing not be offered by the hometown school.
Dave: I've watched Rippy in two combines and two summer camps coming away impressed with what I saw. The question I feel will come from what position he ends up playing as his body matures in the coming years. Don't be surprised if Doug moves to defensive end later in his career and blossoms into a great catch for Nebraska. You always look for guys who like to compete and Rippy has shown he's not afraid to go up against anyone, anytime. While his 40 time could have been better, Rippy showed the ability to change direction and make plays.
23. Taylor Hill – Cardinal Mooney – WLB
Bob: Gets over looked at Cardinal Mooney, but he is still one of the best players in the state. An outstanding pass rusher who is going to have to likely learn to be a linebacker at the next level, but as good of an athlete as Hill is it should not be a problem for him. It would not surprise me at all if he ends up as the best of a very talented group at Mooney.
Greg: Hill may not be the biggest defensive lineman physically, but plays with real passion and fire on every snap. He has nice fundamentals, and quickness off of the ball. He may be a tweener when projecting on the next level, but may fit in perfectly in a system that will use him as a dual threat type of end where he can put some pressure on the quarterback or drop back in coverage.
Bill: Taylor Hill- Yet another great linebacker prospect out of Ohio. Good chance we will see him playing for the Oklahoma Sooners some day. Hill plays for a great high school program. Taylor is as good at rushing the QB as any player in Ohio. Could grow into a DE. I see Taylor playing a significant role at the next level once he gets physically stronger. He is a quiet kid off the field but a real impact player on it. Gets overlooked playing next to Beachum, Zordich and McCarthy but the college recruiters know who he is.
Dave: If Taylor Hill goes to the right college program he'll be a star. He has to work more in the weight room but has the lean body structure college strength coaches love to see walking through their door. Hill gets overlooked at Cardinal Mooney with the stockpile of talent there but takes second fiddle to no-one when it comes to future talent. Linebacker? Defensive end? That is the question college coaches will have to answer.
22. Isaiah Pead – Eastmoore Academy – CB
Bob: He may have one of the most electrifying highlight reels I have seen this year and he can play the game. The big question is, which side of the ball will he play? I say any side he wants, but realistically I think it will all depend on the scheme of the team he goes to. He is athletic and fluid enough to be a corner and a very good one at that.
Greg: Isaiah Pead is one of the most exciting players to watch on film. He has some amazing runs and rushed for over 1,700 yards as a junior to earn Division IV Player of the Year honors, but may end up playing cornerback for an elite program on the next level. When I watched him at camp earlier this year, I was surprised at his footwork. He looked excellent in his drop back and showed nice lateral movement.
Bill: Pead is one of my favorite players in this class. His highlight film is a "must-watch." Has over 20 scholarship offers, mostly for running back. He is very special with the football in his hands. Doesn't have ideal RB size at 5' 11" and 180 pounds but he's put together well and is a tough kid. Runs a sub 11.0 hundred so speed is fine. His strength is his change of direction and hip turn. I like him as a cornerback. I see him possibly committing to Wisconsin if Ohio State doesn't offer.
Dave: If highlight films got you scholarship offers, Isaiah Pead would lead the country in them. But don't be fooled into thinking Pead is all film and no substance. When he's on the field he shows great ability using speed and power. Speed is a key factor at the next level and Pead has plenty to give while using his cutting ability making defenders look loss. While listed as a cornerback, Pead could be a stud at running back if placed in the right offense.
21. Darius Ashley – St. Xavier – RB
Bob: I watched St. Xavier in the Herbsreit Challenge against one of the nation's best teams Lakeland last year and I felt he was the best player on the field. I don't care how big he is, he gets it done and he does it against some of the best competition in the state. He will run between the tackles. He can get to the outside and breakaway and he is a very talented receiver out of the backfield.
Greg: Ashley has been the subject of many message board posts over the past couple of seasons, and rightly so as he is one of the most exciting players in the state and plays against some of the best defensive talents in the state on a weekly basis. He may not have the size of an every down back, but Northwestern's Tyrell Sutton has silenced some of the small back critics.
Bill: I saw him completely take over the state championship as a sophomore and lead his team to the title. He's a kid you would have to overlook his size and focus on his speed and cutting ability at the running back spot. He could be very productive in a spread offense at the next level. He is a winner from one of the top programs in Ohio. Offers from Tennessee, Louisville and West Virginia tells you that the college recruiters like him very much.
Dave: Ashley has seen some of the luster leave his star since breaking onto the scene as a sophomore helping St. Xavier win a state title. Many have talked about Ashley's size and the fact he'll never be an every down back. Shame on them! I've watched this kid since his sophomore season and each time he has shown the ability to run between the tackles. What makes Ashley dangerous is his vision and cutting ability. Running in a zone scheme has helped Ashley develop both skills and with the increased number of offenses using zone, Ashley could post some huge numbers. Vision and quick feet set Ashley apart from other backs in this class plus the knowledge of running in the zone scheme. Knowing he's competed against the best in Ohio and the country over the past couple of seasons is enough for me to feel Ashley is a special talent with big-play ability.
**Stay tuned as we continue our countdown the rest of the week and it concludes on Monday with our top five.