Initial Scout 300 Top Heavy With Buckeye Targets
By Tony Gerdeman
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Scout.com released their initial "Scout 300" for 2016 on Wednesday, ranking the top 300 players in the nation. The good news for Ohio State fans, as is normally the case, is that there are plenty of Buckeye targets listed.
Perhaps the better news, however, is just how many of them are in the top 100. For instance, there are six Ohioans in the top 66 alone, compared to just two in the 2015 class.
While the state of Ohio will bolster the Buckeyes' 2016 class, there are a pair of Floridians who might just do the same. Tampa receiver Nate Craig (#8 overall) and Fort Lauderdale defensive end Nick Bosa (#9 overall) are both believed to be Ohio State leans at this point.
Nick Bosa is the younger brother of OSU sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa, so you can understand why the Buckeyes would be tough to beat here. Craig is Scout's #1 receiver overall and has already declared OSU as his leader.
The highest-rated Ohioan is Cincinnati Elder offensive lineman Tommy Kraemer (#16), who is ranked the #2 offensive tackle in the class. Not too far behind him is Cincinnati Moeller tight end Jake Hausmann (#23), whom Scout ranks #1 at his position.
A few spots further is Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy's Prince Sammons (#29), a 6-foot-8 260-pound defensive end. Scout ranks him the #4 player at his position. He does not yet have an Ohio State offer, but he will be at an OSU camp next week to work out for defensive line coach Larry Johnson, and an offer could come if the coaches like what they see.
Heading back to St. Thomas Aquinas where Nick Bosa plays, there is receiver Sam Bruce (#44), a 5-foot-8 dynamo who has offers from everywhere, and has Ohio State in his top five. Sticking with receivers, there is Cleveland Benedictine's Justin Layne (#48), ranked as the #10 receiver in the class.
Layne grew up a Buckeye fan but does not yet hold an offer from Ohio State. At 6-foot-3, he's a long receiver and an outstanding athlete.
Austin Mack (#54) is a receiver from Fort Wayne who was recently offered by Ohio State following an outstanding camp performance. He has the Buckeyes as his leader. He's a 6-foot-2 guy who ran in the 4.4s at the camp.
One of the Buckeyes' top running back targets is George Hill (#60) out of Hubbard, Ohio. Hill is Scout's #6 running back and a heavy Ohio State lean. The final Ohioan in the top 100 is linebacker Brendan Ferns (#66), who just landed an Ohio State offer in the last week. His brother plays at Michigan.
Another name to watch will be Fort Wayne athlete Auston Robertson (#92), who is Scout's #9 defensive end despite only playing on offense a year ago. A recent camp outing opened quite a few eyes, so it will be interesting to see how he does once the season gets started.
Those are just the names in the top 100, and there are eight more Ohioans listed throughout the rest of the Scout 300.
Liam Eichenberg (#110) from Cleveland St. Ignatius comes in much lower than he does in 247Sports's rankings, where he is a five-star prospect and the #7 overall player in the class. Scout ranks Eichenberg the #5 guard in the nation. He has already named a top three of Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.
Not too far behind Eichenberg is Sciotoville's Tyler Gerald (#116), whom Scout ranks as the #6 guard in the nation. Running back Demario McCall (#153) out of North Ridgeville is the #15 running back in the nation. Ohio State is in a very good position for both players.
Akron cornerback Tyrece Speaight (#166) plays at St. Vincent - St. Mary, which is the same school that current Buckeye cornerback Doran Grant played at. He only holds an offer from Akron at this point, but likes both Michigan and Ohio State.
One of the more intriguing in-state prospects is Jonathan Cooper (#230), a linebacker/defensive end out of Gahanna Lincoln. He's 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds and is an explosive edge rusher. He holds offers from Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana, but not yet from Ohio State. Being only a 20-minute drive or so from the OSU campus, if the Buckeyes were to offer, they'd be in a very good position.
Ethan Tucky (#260) is an outside linebacker from Delaware, and he is pretty fast for a 6-foot-2 210-pound linebacker. He doesn't yet have an OSU offer. While he is fast, he still needs to work on his athleticism and his hips.
Rounding out the Ohioans are defensive tackle Jake Saunders (#285) and linebacker Zach Sandwisch (#300). Currently, Illinois is the only offer for Saunders and Toledo is the only offer for Sandwisch. Obviously, however, the process is still early and ongoing.
With the 2016 Ohio class being a bit deeper at the top than the 2015 class, if the Buckeyes can land the Ohioans they want, and keep the out-of-state kids who already have them out in front, another top-five class is on the way.
Even though the 2015 class is still in its early stages, plenty of strides are being made in the 2016 class, which is only going to continue in 2017 and beyond.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2014 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.