Football is a game of numbers, but in the Big Walnut state championship win over Licking Valley, the numbers lied. Big Walnut was out-gained 322 yards to 109. They only had two first downs in the first half, but that was double the amount they had in the second half. In the end, the only numbers Big Walnut cared about was 17-10, the final score.
Big Walnut senior Joe Reed had the game of his life, scoring both touchdowns, one on a 56 yard interception return, the second on a 60 yard fumble recovery. Reed was all over the field defensively and would seem to be a Division-I safety prospect. Reed said he has no scholarship offers, and that is shocking. Reed has the size, 6' 3" and 200 pounds, and showed good speed and game awareness. Somebody needs to take another look at Mr. Reed. Reed can play Mid-American Conference football, so hopefully the MAC recruiters take notice. Reed was also a sure tackler and moved well laterally. He was the difference in the Big Walnut victory.
Big Walnut junior linebacker Will Studlien gets a lot of attention for his gaudy tackle numbers. Studlien makes a lot of plays, but yesterday wasn't an easy day to evaluate him, with his team in a goal-line defense most of the day trying to slow down Storm Klein. Studlien's game doesn't really translate on film like it does in person. He is a player that just grows on you the more you watch him play and make plays. He plays guard on offense, and that's usually not a ringing endorsement of a linebacker's athletic ability, but Studlien moved pretty well. He doesn't have ideal size, but he has a motor that runs non-stop and he loves to hit. Studlien will need to have a great camp/combine circuit to get offers from the Big Four. He is a player I will look forward to seeing run and jump at a camp. Mark him down as a sure-fire D-I recruit.
Licking Valley senior offensive tackle Tim German had a great game yesterday leading the way for Storm Klein. German, who is committed to Bowling Green, consistently opened holes against a defense stacked to stop the run. German is a road grader and should play guard in college. I've seen him play three times and I'm surprised an Indiana or a Louisville isn't offering him. He reminds me of Steve Rehring of Ohio State a little bit. He plays nasty and has pretty good feet for someone 6' 7" and 300 pounds. German should have a nice career at Bowling Green alongside fellow recruit Marc Stevens of Lexington.
Licking Valley's Storm Klein had a great game in defeat. Klein gained 157 yards rushing, caught 3 passes, punted the football and starred defensively from his linebacker spot. He will be a linebacker at Ohio State, think a bigger James Laurinaitis, but he could succeed at running back. More impressive than the stats was the effort Klein put forth. He carried the ball 27 times in the second half, took some shots, and came back for more. This is as tough a kid as there is in Ohio, trust me. Going against basically a goal-line defense, Klein needed to make the first tackler miss, then run over the next couple defenders, but he still gained yardage. I've watched Ohio playoff football since the beginning and that showing by Storm Klein was up there with some of the best I've ever seen. Storm Klein will have a great career at Ohio State. Take that to the bank.