'The Hitman' Making Summer Plans

Ohio State is chasing a number of talented prospects in the Sunshine State, but only one shares a name with a 15th century ruler. Find out what nickname has been bestowed on Vlad Emilien, what his plans are for the summer and what about his game makes him a top-level prospect.

Do not call Vlad Emilien "Vlad the Impaler." Although his penchant for making big plays combined with his first name have led some to dub the hard-hitting safety prospect after the cruel 15th century ruler, Emilien already has a nickname.

You may call him "Vlad the Hitman" instead.

"Once scouts started watching my tape, they told my coach that I look like a hitman," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "They like to see me hit."

The three-star prospect from Plantation, Fla., is listed as the No. 51 safety prospect in the country by Scout.com. After moving into the starting lineup midway through his sophomore season, Emilien finished with 45 tackles. As a junior, he improved upon those numbers and recorded 93 tackles while grabbing two interceptions.

But it is primarily his ability to hit that has college coaches courting the 6-1, 190-pound prospect. Emilien plays linebacker, strong safety, free safety and cornerback but that his favorite spot is free safety because it allows him to make big hits.

"I get to see everything happen right in front of my eyes," he said. "Then I can come up and just whack somebody. Basically I play with aggression. I love to hit. I'm a ball hawk. I play for the ball and I play with speed."

One believer in Emilien's ability to change games with his hitting is Plantation head coach Alphonso Davis, who has seen it happen firsthand.

Asked to recall a moment when the senior-to-be changed a game with a hit, he immediately harkened back to the first game of Emilien's junior season. The player on the receiving end of the hit was Deshaun Sands, a running back prospect who has verbally committed to Kansas but was in his junior season at Coconut Creek (Fla.) Monarch.

"He did last year in our first game on a running back that was going through the hole," he said. "He really blasted him. It kind of set the tone for us."

Colleges are paying notice to Emilien's talents. He holds offers from the likes of Ohio State, Michigan, South Florida and Tennessee, among others. He took in the Buckeyes' spring game April 19 and said he has noticed how the OSU coaching staff recruits differently than other schools after him.

"They're very laid back and they don't like to pressure you into committing," he said. "Other schools go after you very hard but they're very laid back because they're very confident. They're going to recruit the top prospects."

When looking at schools, Emilien said he will look at the overall environment, the education available and how well he gets along with the team's coaching staff. When asked which teams currently recruiting him fit those criteria, Emilien listed OSU, Michigan, USC and Boston College – all of whom have offered, he said.

OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes is handling his recruitment for the Buckeyes.

"He's really good," Emilien said. "I like talking to him. He's very friendly. Basically, I could see him being my position coach in college."

Looking ahead, Emilien is planning on making a final decision before his senior season starts. The summer will be spent taking several unofficial visits across the country in an effort to narrow his list.

For now, though, he does not have a list of top schools or a list of schools that will receive visits.

"I'm going on many college visits over the summer," he said. "There are a variety of colleges I'm going to visit. I'll be going from the north to the south to the Midwest. I'm going to go back there probably the first or second week of June."

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