McCallister on Defensive Commits

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Last updated: 12/17/2012 2:33 AM
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Football Recruiting
Taking a Closer Look at OSU's In-State Commits and Prospects
By Tony Gerdeman

The Buckeyes currently have 19 commitments in the 2013 class, nine of whom are from Ohio. Now that the high school football season is over, we thought it would be a good time to check back in with our resident Ohio football scout John McCallister. He runs the McCallister Scouting Report, which provides scouting reports to numerous colleges all over the country.

Today, we will start with defense, of which there are currently seven commits from Ohio, and have included another prospect who could end up in the class as well. We also look ahead to the 2014 class, with a pair of linebackers who have already received offers from Ohio State.

COMMITS

DB Cameron Burrows (6-0 203), Trotwood-Madison

Rivals: 4 stars. #31 prospect overall. #5 CB
Scout: 4 stars. #101 prospect overall. #10 CB
247: 4 stars. #41 prospect overall. #6 CB
ESPN: 4 stars. #39 prospect overall. #6 CB

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

McCallister's Take: "I think he's gotten too big for corner. I think he's filled out. I don't know if he has great hips, but he can play safety. He's smart. He's gonna be an inside defensive back. He's big. He's started since halfway through his freshman year, so he understands the game. He's just gotten bigger and stronger. He's probably a free safety. I don't know if he can come up and play in the box or not. They may be able to get him in at corner, but they'll have to really work and get his speed and quickness and recovery skills up a bit. I just think he has trouble playing man on man. Maybe he can play the boundary side, but he can play some place in the secondary. He's not going to be a shut down corner."

DT/OG Donovan Munger (6-4 290), Shaker Heights
Rivals: 3 stars. Not in top 250 prospects overall. #38 DT
Scout: 4 stars. #216 prospect overall. #24 DT
247: 4 stars. Not in top 247 prospects overall. #18 DT
ESPN: 4 stars. #283 prospect overall. #24 DT

Offers: Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee.

McCallister's Take: "I really like Donovan Munger. I've known him since he was a freshman, and he keeps getting better. I think the thing with him is that he's big and strong, he has really good feet and can separate as a defender, but he can play either side of the ball. He can move and he can get his butt and hips around, he can turn, and he's tough. He's athletic and he also has an excellent punch. He plays both ways, so sometimes he takes plays off. That's not a negative, that's just how it goes in high school. He's strong. He's a good player. I think he should start on defense because defensive linemen are hard to find. For me, he'd come in and work on defense and see how that goes. He can be a three technique guy. I think he can compete at Ohio State. He has a world of potential."

DB Jayme Thompson (6-2 183), Toledo Central Catholic

Rivals: 4 stars. #202 prospect overall. #18 SAF
Scout: 4 stars. #250 prospect overall. #20 SAF
247: 4 stars. #228 prospect overall. #19 SAF
ESPN: 4 stars. #217 prospect overall. #12 SAF

Offers: Ohio State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, West Virginia, California.

McCallister's Take: "I think he's gonna be a pretty good player. It's gonna take him a little bit of time. He's not going to come in and light it up right now, but I think he'll be okay. I like him because I've watched him play for a while now, and he's pretty aggressive. He's strong against the run, he runs downhill really well and he's a good open-field tackler. He's got excellent burst, he can change direction and has the speed to cover the deep half of the field."

CB/WR Gareon Conley (6-2 165), Massillon Washington

Rivals: 3 stars. Not in top 250 prospects overall. #42 CB
Scout: 4 stars. #157 prospect overall. #17 CB
247: 4 stars. #230 prospect overall. #17 CB
ESPN: 4 stars. #62 prospect overall. #9 CB

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Northwestern, Cincinnati.

McCallister's Take: "He can play both sides of the ball. He hasn't played that much football yet. He's got good solid speed and good hips. He's a good cover corner. He's athletic, but I don't know what kind of closing speed he has. He also helps out in run support. He can play either side of the ball, but I would think they'd start him out at corner first because of his size. He's a smart player."

S/OLB Darron Lee (6-2 195), New Albany
Rivals: 3 stars. Not in top 250 prospects overall. #40 ATH
Scout: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #59 SAF
247: 3 stars. Not in top 247 prospects overall. #109 ATH
ESPN: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #22 SAF

Offers: Ohio State, Arizona State, Illinois, Minnesota, West Virginia

McCallister's Take: "I don't know how fast he is. He's solid. I don't believe all of that stuff about being a '4.4 guy', or '4.5 guy', but I think he's got really good speed. I think he's a free safety who maybe grows into an outside linebacker. The biggest thing about Darron Lee is that he'll light you up. He's got really good closing speed. I think he'll come in and be fine. He could maybe play receiver, but I think he's a defensive guy. He's a hard worker and a leader. He always makes plays. His physicality and his athleticism make him a special player."

DT/OL Billy Price (6-4 280), Austintown Fitch
Rivals: 4 stars. #174 prospect overall. #14 DT
Scout: 4 stars. #156 prospect overall. #19 DT
247: 4 stars. #198 prospect overall. #15 DT
ESPN: 4 stars. #242 prospect overall. #19 DT

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee, UCLA.

McCallister's Take: "Billy keeps improving, but when I think it's all said and done, he's a center. He wants to play defense first, but I think when it all shakes out, he's an offensive lineman. He gets off the ball, he gets good leverage, he plays pad under pad. He does a lot of those things well. He's got a good first step. I think he's going to surprise people. He's a tough guy. I saw him the second week of the season and was better than I thought he would be. He was listed at 6-4 and 312 pounds. He showed really good footwork. He's a good lead blocker who bends well. He's just an overpowering run blocker and a solid pass protector. Always looking to block a defender. Goes to the whistle. An ideal center for the Buckeyes."

DL Tracy Sprinkle (6-5 268), Elyria
Rivals: 3 stars. Not in top 250 prospects overall. #26 SDE
Scout: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #48 DE
247: 3 stars. Not in top 247 prospects overall. #29 SDE
ESPN: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #34 DT

Offers: Ohio State, Arkansas, Michigan State, Penn State.

McCallister's Take: "I think Tracy's gonna be okay. I think he's probably going to end up sliding inside and playing defensive tackle. I think he'll probably work on the outside first, but he'll end up sliding down inside. The thing about him is that he's got a motor, he plays hard, and he plays pad under pad. The biggest thing about him is his motor. He doesn't take plays off. He also encourages his teammates. He is quick and relentless. I like him."

PROSPECTS

S/LB Chris Worley (6-3 190), Cleveland Glenville

Rivals: 3 stars. Not in top 250 prospects overall. #44 OLB
Scout: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #58 OLB
247: 4 stars. Not in top 247 prospects overall. #28 ATH
ESPN: 3 stars. Not in top 300 prospects overall. #43 OLB

Offers: Ohio State, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia.

McCallister's Take: "Chris Worley is a really good athlete. He's going to get bigger and stronger. He's got really good closing speed. He's a football player. I don't know exactly where he's gonna play. He can do a lot of things. I'd probably play him at strong safety, until he outgrows it. He's got good hips. He's a strong run stopper. I think he's a lot like Jermale Hines, but I really like Jermale. He probably runs better and has better hips than Jermale, but Jermale was a heck of a football player. He's not Jermale Hines yet."

2014 PROSPECTS

LB Dante Booker (6-3 210) Akron St. Vincent - St. Mary

Rivals: 4 stars. One of top 250 prospects overall.
Scout: 4 stars. #110 prospect overall. #2 OLB
247: 4 stars. #20 prospect overall. #1 OLB
ESPN: ESPN 300 Watch List

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State.

McCallister's Take: "I like him. I think he is going to get bigger and stronger, but he's a work in progress. Now he can play, but I think he's going to end up putting his hand down on the outside and being a defensive end when it's all said and done. He's there, but he doesn't always make the play. But I think if you can put his hand down and play him on the outside, he's got a chance to be pretty good. He's one of the better players in Ohio. I don't see him as a linebacker though right now. But he's not really big yet. He's slender. This summer will tell the story on him."

LB Kyle Berger (6-3 205) Cleveland St. Ignatius

Rivals: Not yet ranked
Scout: Not yet ranked
247: Not yet ranked
ESPN: Not yet ranked

Offers: Ohio State, Michigan State, West Virginia, Illinois.

McCallister's Take: "I think he's a big sleeper. I really like him. I don't know if anybody's offered him or not, but he's tough. He's got a good frame, but he's got to add weight. But the best thing about him is that he has closing speed. I think he's got a chance to be really good. He can run, he's got good hips, and he'll just hit you. He runs downhill well. He fills well, he finishes plays and he's intense. I think he could be one of the better linebackers we've seen for a while. He's a lot like (Michigan linebacker) Jake Ryan. Maybe a little bit better runner, but he's got that mentality of Ryan. I think Kyle Berger is gonna be a special guy."

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