After most of Ohio's top juniors in person over the summer and watching their sophomore highlights, I'm now ready to give my first top 10 for the state's 2016 recruiting class.
Factors taken into account are current talent level, how they project at the college level, and the potential the player has at the next level.
10. DE Jonathon Cooper, Gahanna Lincoln
I saw Cooper for the first time back in February at the Best of the Midwest Combine and came away very impressed. I've seen him two times since and think he's gotten even better each time. He has the potential to be a very good college defensive lineman. Ohio State is a heavy favorite here.
9. TE Luke Farrell, Perry
After seeing the athletic tight end in camp this summer on multiple occasions, I came away very impressed. While he's not on the same level as Hausmann he has the ability to be a solid all-around tight end in college. Ohio State will be tough to beat in this race.
8. WR Justin Layne, Cleveland Benedictine
The standout wide receiver hasn't fulfilled all of his potential just yet, but has the ability to turn into a very good one at the college level. In my opinion he's the state's best 'pure' wideout. Ohio State has yet to offer him a scholarship, but if they do, they'll be pretty tough to beat.
7. LB Brendan Ferns, St. Clairesville
I'm a big fan of Ferns' and could definitely see him shooting up my rankings in the coming months as he has a lot of potential. I've only seen him in person one time, but came away very impressed with his game. He's already very close to the frame of a college linebacker and could definitely play inside. I believe Ohio State is the team to beat here.
6. OL Liam Eichenberg, Cleveland St. Ignatius
I think the St. Ignatius standout projects as a guard at the college level, but has the chance to be a very good one and could even contribute immediately if he adds a little weight to his frame. His recruitment will likely come down to Michigan, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.
5. ATH George Hill, Hubbard
The speedy running back/slot receiver could easily play either position at the college level. He has been very productive out of the backfield in high school despite having to split time with Michigan State running back commit Larry Scott. Hill is currently committed to Ohio State.
4. DL Prince Sammons, Hills Christian Academy
The most raw prospect in the Buckeye state might have more potential than anyone in the state, though might need some time to develop. He just recently moved to the United States and started playing football upon his arrival. Sammons has a massive frame and could be an elite defensive lineman. Ohio State is the early favorite to land his commitment.
3. ATH Demario McCall, North Ridgeville
I saw McCall in action for the first time at Friday Night Lights and came away extremely impressed. His speed is his greatest asset and he was blowing by corners at the camp. I think he could be a very good slot receiver at the college level and could get some touches in the backfield.
2. TE Jake Hausmann, Cincinnati Moeller
I saw the Moeller standout in person over the summer and feel he has the potential to be an elite tight end at the college level. He's already a very good pass catcher and has the ability to be a good blocker as well. There's still plenty of time left in his recruitment, but Ohio State is the team to beat.
1. OT Tommy Kraemer, Cincinnati Elder
Very athletic and has the potential to be an elite offensive lineman upon reaching the college level. Also has the frame (6'5, 310) of a college lineman. This is going to be a very interesting recruiting battle between Ohio State and Notre Dame for his commitment.