A few days ago, SBNation.com.com threw out an interesting idea, the best teams comprised of players from Florida, California or Texas schools. Since all three of those states have a proliferation of D1 institutions, the lists focused on where players were playing in college, so the Florida list was a mix of FSU, Florida, and Miami kids, with the occasional UCF or USF player.
It's an interesting idea, but one that focused on Ohio colleges would probably be pretty boring, since Ohio State would likely have at least 19 of the 22 starters (sup, Cincinnati). That doesn't mean that the idea couldn't be reappropriated for the Buckeye State though. What if we made an all-star team of players who played their high school ball in Ohio? Given the proliferation of great, FBS quality players throughout Ohio, we thought this might be a more competitive exercise.
We combed through the 2010-2014 recruiting classes to find players who are still in school to make the list. This is what we came up with:
|QB||Braxton Miller, Ohio State|
|RB||Kareem Hunt, Toledo|
|WR||Shane Wynn, Indiana|
|WR||Shaq Washington, Cincinnati|
|WR||Devin Smith, Ohio State|
|TE||Jake Butt, Michigan|
|OT||Taylor Decker, Ohio State|
|OG||Pat Elflein, Ohio State|
|C||Travis Jackson, Michigan State|
|OG||Aundrey Walker, USC|
|OT||Donavon Clark, Michigan State|
|DE||Adolphus Washington, Ohio State|
|DT||Michael Bennett, Ohio State|
|DE||Frank Clark, Michigan|
|LB||Trey DePriest, Alabama|
|LB||Jake Ryan, Michigan|
|LB||Jordan Hicks, Texas|
|LB||Josh Perry, Ohio State|
|CB||Doran Grant, Ohio State|
|S||Kurtis Drummond, Michigan State|
|S||Jarrod Wilson, Michigan|
|CB||Darius Hillary, Wisconsin|
|K||Jeremiah Detmer, Toledo|
|P||Drew Kaser, Texas A&M|
A couple of immediate takeaways here:
- We were a little surprised by the lack of depth at the RB position. Ohio State has recently signed two four-star backs in Bri'onte Dunn and Warren Ball, but both have been buried on the depth chart. The most productive player so far has been Toledo freshman Kareem Hunt, who ran over 800 yards while splitting carries. Dunn and Ball might be better than Hunt (who was a three-star), but if they aren't really playing, we have no way of knowing.
- Braxton Miller is your clear favorite at the QB spot, but that doesn't mean there isn't other talent at the position group. Two other Ohio QBs, Maty Mauk of Missouri and Connor Cook at Michigan State, played in conference championship games last season.
- The strength of this unit might be their linebacking corps, which probably will sting Buckeye fans a little, given the relative lack of depth at the position group over the last few seasons. When healthy, Jake Ryan has been a tackling machine at Michigan, and DePriest, a former No. 1 recruit in the state, was 3rd in tackles on Alabama last year. Josh Perry would be a more than capable fourth linebacker in this scenario. We're banking a bit on Jordan Hicks returning to form after an injury plagued career, but if he can make it through 13 games, watch out.
- Ohio State has eight players on the list. Michigan is next with four, followed by Michigan State with three.
- Big play wide receivers were also a little harder to find. Wynn, Washington and Smith would be a perfectly fine threesome, and Cody Latimer of Indiana did just go to the NFL, but after those three, the pickings become a little slim.
- As you might expect, the strengths here appear to be on the lines. The Buckeyes have two players on the offensive line, both projected starters on this year's team, and plenty of talented defensive linemen miss out on his all-star team for only being guilty of being not as good as guys like Adolphus Washington. Running the ball on the All-Ohio team would be tricky. We shifted Sparty's Travis Jackson from guard to center (where he's seen time) and rolled the dice on Donavon Clark, who's a bit green but projected to start at right tackle next season.
- I don't necessarily think a Buckeye fan should look at this list and think that this as awash with recruiting misses. Since there is only one football, it would be pretty hard to get every single skill position slot if we based everything on production. Every year, there will probably be a few three-star guys that Ohio State didn't go after that will develop and have highly productive college careers. But overall, the Buckeyes are getting excellent players from Ohio, as well as out of state.
What do you think? Did we have any egregious omissions? Who would you have on your All-Ohio team?
Luke Zimmermann, Charles Doss and Miles Joseph contributed to this report.