First off, there is no more impressive figure in Ohio high school football than Ted Ginn Sr. Coach Ginn was on hand and more than willing to share his thoughts on his team, his health, his son, and the opening of the Ginn Academy. Look for a video interview with Ted Ginn later this week.
For Glenville, the leader of the band is senior Cordale Scott. Scott is a player I've watched a lot of film on and have seen in person 3 times. I've never seen him better than today. I've always been torn about what position he will play in college, but today he was great as a wide receiver. He made tough catches and ran better routes than I've seen out of him in the past. He is a great athlete. I can see him filling out to 225 pounds and being a linebacker, safety, tight end or split end. He would look good in a Buckeye uniform.
Glenville is breaking in a new quarterback in junior Terrence Owens. Owens is probably 6' 5" and has a strong arm. He is a player that needs reps and film work to become a great one. The Glenville offensive coordinator is Matt Chinchar and Owens couldn't be in better hands. Chinchar believes Owens is at the same stage of development as Arvelle Nelson was going into his junior year. I will look forward to tracking the progress of Owens throughout the season. He is a very intriguing prospect.
Glenville's Donnie Fletcher made a few big plays at cornerback and appears set for a great senior season. Fletcher is cat-quick and has good size for a cornerback. Fletcher has offers from the likes of Nebraska and Boston College and is a great student in the classroom. He is one of the top defensive backs in the state.
I'm also quite high on Glenville junior Travis Freeman, an outside linebacker. Freeman has a nice frame and quick feet. He runs to the football and seems to play with great passion for the game. I will look forward to seeing Freeman put the pads on and hit someone, but he passes the eye test. Freeman should be one of the top juniors in the state.
"Shaq" Rowell was in Akron for some linemen drills and he looked good physically. I didn't see him work out but he seemed slimmer than what was described on the Ginn bus tour a month ago. He's another kid I will look forward to seeing him put the pads on and play football. Glenville has a scrimmage against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney and that will show a lot. Rowell has 9 scholarship offers and that could double with a big senior year. "Shaq" is a great kid to talk with and I hope things work out well for him.
Gateway was a mirror image of Glenville, featuring long, lean, fast athletes who are being coached to play the game the right way. You can catch Gateway, in Ohio, against Youngstown Cardinal Mooney at Fawcett Stadium in week 2. I wouldn't miss that game.
Shayne Hale sat out the action with a slight injury but was kind enough to speak with us about his recruitment. Look for his video interview with teammate Cameron Saddler. They both talk about whether they truly are a package deal. Hale is as impressive physically as any player in America. A Gateway assistant told me he's the third fastest kid on that team. That's shocking, because that team has more speed than the Rolling Stones at the end of a tour. Hale is a flat-out stud.
Gateway junior linebacker Dorian Bell will be a national recruit, if he isn't already. When you look up "fly to the football" in your dictionary, you'll find Bell's picture. Before his junior year he has offers from Penn State, Pitt and Ohio State. He's tall enough, fast enough, quick enough and just plain good enough to play anywhere in America. And he'll get better and better each game. Bell will also line up at tight end, but his future will be wrecking offenses. There appears to be no weakness to his game. I'll be stunned if I'm not watching Bell play on Sunday afternoon in a few years. It's up to him because he has been given everything he needs by God to succeed.
Remember Gateway junior Corey Brown. Brown has offers already and picked up another one from Akron minutes into the competition. He should be a player the Buckeyes will recruit. He plays receiver and cornerback but I believe he will play defense in college. He has great size and quick feet to play on the edge. Great hips and recovery speed, that reminds me of Devon Torrence at the same age. Brown is a glider who will be recruited by everybody in the Mid-West.
I purposely saved the best for last. On a field filled with great players, the best one was Cameron Saddler of Gateway. I know he's only 5' 8" and 165 pounds, but I don't care. Saddler can play at the highest level of football. He just might be able to play cornerback. He has better hips than J-Lo and probably is a better dancer. He will lock down any receiver he goes up against. Can he tackle? He just has to go low and get them on the ground. He can surely be an unbelievable kick returner. Just watch the film. I believe he could be a threat at slot receiver too. I NEVER suggest who Ohio State should, or shouldn't offer, but Cameron Saddler is talented enough to play for the Buckeyes. Would I take him over Johnny Adams, Isaiah Pead or D. J. Woods? Answer…. Yes. Forget the package deal with teammate Hale. I want to see more of Saddler, but I just might take him WITHOUT Hale. I see hundreds of great players every year. I rarely, and I mean rarely, get excited over smaller football players, at any position. Football is a big man's game. Cameron Saddler has earned the offers he has on his own merit. If he were just 5' 10" he would be a 5-star recruit. Are 2 inches that important? Not to me, they aren't. I want Cameron Saddler on my team.