Ohio's Future Stars Top Players Preview

The next issue of Ohio's Future Stars is on the way, and we have a special preview for you. We're going to unveil 20 players in Duane's top 50, starting today with four Buckeye commitments and a name you probably haven't heard before...

We're busy trying to get the next issue of Ohio's Future Stars magazine together as we speak, and one section we already have completed is Duane Long's top 50 seniors.  This week, we want to give you a special preview of 20 of those seniors -- Duane's top 16 as well as four OSU commitments.  Today, we start with that #16 player as well as those four OSU commitments that aren't listed in his top 16.  Take a look:

26.  **  Todd Boeckman     6-5  220   4.8  QB     St. Henry

There are two different points of view on Boeckman. One is that after a breakout freshman year, when he threw for 2,500 yards, Boeckman has not gotten any better and that he has peaked. The other is that Boeckman has not had the supporting cast. I think both are accurate. Boeckman has never matched that freshman year production, but there is no question he has not been surrounded by players that could help him be better. At one point during his junior year he was working with third stringers at about half the other offensive positions. That would be difficult anywhere, but at a school as small as St. Henry, that is nearly an impossibly situation. This year, he quietly had an impressive season, going 99 of 177 for 1,415 yards and 15 TDs with only 7 interceptions in only 7-1/2 games. What you have with Boeckman is a big, athletic player who has never thrown more interceptions than TDs and is fundamentally sound being the son of a coach. Whether he has peaked will be decided in college at Ohio State, where he will be surrounded by talent.

23. ***  Tony Gonzalez     6-0  185  4.37   WR/DB     Cleveland St. Ignatius

It was an up and down season for Gonzalez. An Ohio's Future Stars spotter was at every St. Ignatius game, and more often than not, there was more than one. He was either very impressive or was not a factor. Gonzalez says he will play corner at Ohio State, but he never stood out to me as a corner, and spending his high school career in a zone defense does not help with his chances of being a corner in college. When I review what I have seen of Gonzalez, where he stands out -- and is occasionally a game breaker -- is at wide receiver. He seems such a natural there. On the other hand, the traits that make him a standout at wide receiver are his quick feet and explosion, and those are key traits for playing corner, so we will see. He averaged nearly 30 yards a catch as a junior. Michigan would still love to change his mind about his college choice. 

20.  ***  Devin Jordan     6-3  190     WR     Massillon Washington

The way Jordan's season started, the question arose: "Was he a creation of Justin Zwick's magic?" He was off to a very ordinary start. Since about midseason, after getting adjusted to a new quarterback, Jordan has been on a tear that carried over into the playoffs. He has more than doubled his early season production and is looking like the player who caught nearly 100 balls last year for 1500 yards and 18 TDs. You could even say he has been more of a big play receiver because his TD-to-catches ratio is way up. Through the regional final, where Jordan accounted for both TDs in a 14-0 Massillon win, Jordan has 14 TD catches. Fans regularly ask me to compare recruits to players they are familiar with. Jordan is bigger, but his game reminds me of former Buckeye Jeff Graham. He's so smooth he looks like he is not working hard. 

19. ***  Curt Lukens  6-2      210     4.55    ATH      N. Canton Hoover

Lukens is a great looking athlete. He ran 4.5 or less at two camps last summer, including Ohio State. He also recorded a 31-inch vertical leap. Those measurements put to rest any questions about Lukens. There was never any question about him as a football player. I projected him as a college linebacker, but Ohio's Future Stars associate Bill Greene, who has seen him a lot more than I have, thinks he's a safety all the way. He thinks the Buckeyes have landed a big time prospect who will make it onto the field sooner than anyone else does.

16. **** Greg Lowe       6-2     175    4.5    WR    Shaker Heights    

 In all the time I've been doing this, I have never come across a player this good this late. Lowe has excellent size. He is a legit 6-2 and is very well put together with a strong muscular body. He shows excellent athleticism and is very explosive. He runs to daylight like a good running back. Strong with excellent balance, Lowe is difficult to bring down after the catch. He played at Bedford Chanel last year, which was a run-dominant team with star running back Tony Franklin running over 2500 yards. There was a senior receiver who was the "go to" guy when Chanel did throw the ball. Lowe had 31 catches this year but was well on his way to 50 catches before a turf toe injury limited his effectiveness for the second half of the year.

This is a player to keep your eye on. He is scheduled to take the ACT in December. Full qualification could make him a hot name late in the recruiting season. The best way to describe Lowe is to point out that on tape, I needed to see his number to tell him apart from his junior superstar teammate Michael Bell. Lowe is that good.

Check back tomorrow for players 11-15!



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