With the 2015 recruiting cycle now in full swing, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at the top players in the state of Ohio's 2015 class while also examining where Ohio State stands with many of them.
The only two things that will be taken into account in these rankings will be current talent and upside.
10. LB Anthony McKee, Columbus Walnut Ridge
McKee is flying under the radar early in the recruiting process, but is one of the best players in the state for my money. He is already a very good tackler at the linebacker position and is solid in coverage. Whichever college lands him will be getting one hell of a football player.
It's tough to predict where he'll play his college ball, but Ohio State, Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, and others will have a big hand in his recruitment.
9. ATH David Dowell, Lakewood St. Edward
It would be nice if Dowell was a little bigger or a little faster, but he has proven to be one of the state's best offensive prospects. He has great hands and is already a very good route runner, but getting a step quicker would take his game to the next level. His twin brother, Andrew, is also a highly touted recruit.
It's tough to get an outright read on his recruitment right now.
8. C James Daniels, Warren G Harding
The Buckeye legacy has the ability to be a very good center at the college level, provided he adds some weight to his 6'4, 275-pound frame. There's also a chance he could be a guard at the next level, but center is the more likely destination. He'll need to shore up his pass-blocking abilities in addition to getting stronger.
I think Ohio State is the clear leader, followed by Iowa.
7. DE/LB Rashod Berry, Lorain Digital
Berry has the ability to be a phenomenal player and might be one of the two or three players in the state with the most upside. Like with the next player in our countdown, there are rumors he has had academic issues, but he could be a dominant defensive end (or even linebacker) if he achieves his full potential. He could shoot way up in the next edition of our rankings.
I think he's a Buckeye if he makes the grades.
6. RB Larry Scott, Hubbard
I don't think anyone questions the talent and potential that Scott boasts. There are rumors making the rounds that he might not be taking care of things in the classroom, which could hurt him with colleges, but he is a force on the football field. He has great vision, uses his size well, and has decent speed.
West Virginia is probably the favorite to land him right now, followed by Michigan State and Ohio State (if they offer).
5. TE CJ Conrad, Keystone
It's pretty clear that Conrad is the state's top tight end as things currently stand. He has the ability to be a very good pass catcher, in addition to a good blocking tight end at the college level. He already stands at 6'5 and weighs in at 225 pounds.
He seems to be a good fit for Ohio State if they take two tight ends. Kentucky is another major player in his recruitment.
4. CB Shaun Crawford, Lakewood St. Edward
The Michigan commit is a good-looking prospect. He's already pretty fast and from what I've seen of him, he's excellent in pass coverage – plus he isn't a bad tackler, either. I think he'll be a very good defensive back when he reaches the college level and should have a huge senior year for St. Ed's.
Though some had hoped he'd take a second look at Ohio State, the UM pledge very recently said Ohio State got involved too late in the game. He seems all Wolverine all the way.
3. ATH Eric Glover-Williams, Canton McKinley
The first commit in Ohio State's 2015 recruiting class, he could play running back or corner at the college level and is probably the state's most electric player. He's fast and has shown promise on both sides of the football. While he's a good corner, I think he's going to play offense in college. The Ohio State commit is poised for a huge senior season.
Though there had been some smoke Ohio State might revoke his offer, assuming things stand as they do currently, he's solid Buckeye commit.
2. LB Justin Hilliard, Cincinnati St. Xavier
Ohio has produced many elite linebackers and Hilliard should be the next great one to emerge from the state. Good tackler, solid in coverage, but could stand to add a little bit of weight before stepping onto the field in college. He was close to being my number one player.
It's going to be a heated race between Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan, Oklahoma, and others for Hilliard's commitment.
1. ATH Jerome Baker, Cleveland Benedictine
It was close, but Baker is the top player in the state, for my money. He's an excellent athlete and could be a running back, linebacker, or even defensive back at the college level. He's fast, athletic, a solid tackler, and there aren't too many holes in his game. If he wants to be a linebacker, he'll definitely need to add to his 6'1, 205-pound frame.
I really like him to land with Ohio State, with Penn State being the biggest threat to the Buckeyes.
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