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Ohio State recruiting: State Secrets 2/20 - Marshon Lattimore shines, Jabrill Peppers has OSU in top five

Ohio is an important target for coach Meyer in 2014, as some of the best prospects come out of the Buckeye state. Names like Marshon Lattimore, Dante Booker and more have fans excited about the possibilities with the class of 2014.

'14 5-star CB/RB Jabrill Peppers has listed Ohio State in his top five. Who else is competing for his talents?
'14 5-star CB/RB Jabrill Peppers has listed Ohio State in his top five. Who else is competing for his talents?

In case you missed it, on Monday, the annual "Best of the Midwest" combine hosted many of the top prospects in the class of 2014 and beyond, including '14 ATH Marshon Lattimore and '14 Buckeye commit OL Marcelys Jones. Lattimore was the true shining star at the combine, however. The 5'11", 180-pound Lattimore shut down just about every wide receiver he faced working on the defensive side of the ball. He also showed out in the speed category, as mentioned, clocking a 40-yard dash time of 4.48. Lattimore lives up to the status of "athlete" because of his ability to run with some of the fastest receivers and make plays on the ball. While Ohio State is high up on his list, Lattimore has offers from Ohio State, Michigan, USC and many others. He also has unofficially visited Ohio State several times.

For Jones, as we discussed yesterday, the 6'5", 320-pounder has lost weight and it obviously made an impact. From everything we've heard, Jones dominated the competition, especially in the one-on-one drills. Physically, Jones has the gifts that you need to have to succeed in college football, and the coaching staff knows this. His wide frame really gives a tough test for any defensive lineman to work around, and we can see Jones excelling on the offensive line at Ohio State.

Some other highlights from the combine were '14 WR Lonnie Johnson clocking a 4.52 40-yard dash which is solid for his 6'3", 190-pound frame. Johnson has an offer from Ohio State, as well as Nebraska and Illinois. Johnson is another possible player that could see the defensive side of the field rather than the offensive. The real question about Johnson is whether or not his offer is committable. We'll have to stay tuned.

'14 CB/RB Jabrill Peppers is a name you should be used to hearing by now. The 5-star prospect has had Ohio State among his top schools for a while now and just recently named the Buckeyes to his top five. Stanford, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Alabama were the five he listed, which means only good things for OSU. Up to this point, Peppers seemed like a virtual lock to head to Stanford, but recently the Buckeyes have been making a great push, especially from coach Coombs and coach Meyer.

National Signing Day 2013 brought Buckeye Nation a pleasant surprise in the form of '13 S Vonn Bell committing to Ohio State, but that day was also busy for the coaching staff in more ways than one. Co-defensive coordinator Everrett Withers played a huge role in landing Bell, but was also busy at work($), offering '14 S Cortez McDowell the very same day.

The 6'2" and 203-pound McDowell has been a varsity starter since his freshman season. This past season, McDowell made over 50 tackles, intercepted two passes and broke-up 10 others. Ohio State isn't the only school impressed with the Georgia-native. McDowell holds scholarship offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi State and North Carolina State. McDowell has said before that he wants to make his decision during National Signing Day 2014.

Another future Buckeye is making waves across the country, as '14 Buckeye commit CB Damon Webb received an invitation to join the 2014 Army All-American team, which is about the highest honor you can receive at the high school level, as far as all-star games go.