Ohio State Buckeyes: Kentucky Wildcats



The state of Florida has always been known for producing some of the top athletes in the country. The term "athlete" is sometimes looked at as a negative term, but it really means our scouts believe these talented prospects could play more than one position in college. Here is a closer look at some of the top athletes from the Sunshine State in the 2015 class.

ESPN 300 athletes from Florida

No. 8 Torrance Gibson: Gibson is a skilled athlete who can make plays on offense. The five-star athlete led his high school, Plantation American Heritage, to the state championship game. In the game, he had a touchdown run of 80 yards and also a long touchdown pass that was among the "SportsCenter" Top 10 plays. He wants to play quarterback on the next level, but he’s the most talented wide receiver on his South Florida Express 7-on-7 team. Whatever position he chooses, Gibson has a bright future ahead of him.

Army Bowl notebook: Decision time 

December, 30, 2013
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SAN ANTONIO -- Day 1 is in the books for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Here is Monday’s notebook featuring some of the nation’s top players:

Elam in his element; ready to choose UK or Bama

At 6-foot-6 and more than 350 pounds, ESPN 300 defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) is a big man, and he’s used to being the bully on the football field.

Being at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, however, has made him appreciate football at the next level. What he’s heard all his life is true: The players are bigger, faster, stronger.

Or, as he was able to see firsthand during Monday’s first day of practice, a combination of all three.


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Early Offer: Mixon all mixed up 

November, 7, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Just when it seemed clear on what four-star running back Joe Mixon was thinking, an official visit to Florida State has seemingly brought his decision back to square one; two of the top recruits in Ohio were hoping to make a decision in early January, but the success of their high school teams might change those plans; Missouri and Tennessee made nice climbs in the latest RecruitingNation class rankings.

Mixon mixed up

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Handicapping the race for Myles Turner 

August, 14, 2013
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Myles TurnerCourtesy of Kelly Kline/Under ArmourNo. 10 recruit Myles Turner is down to eight finalists: Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State, Duke, Kentucky, Arizona, Louisville and Ohio State.
Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Euless Trinity) was unknown and anonymous just a few months ago, heading into the April recruiting period. A broken ankle kept him off the summer circuit last season and kept him off the radar for most of the elite college programs.

But it has all changed in a hurry for the 6-foot-11, 225-pound Texan, who has made an Anthony Davis-esque rise up the rankings, elevating himself from outside the ESPN 100 to No. 10 overall in the Class of 2014 to now potentially challenging fellow big men Jahlil Okafor (Chicago/Whitney Young) and Cliff Alexander (Chicago/Curie) for the No. 1 spot. While Okafor is polished and skilled, no one in the 2014 class may have as much upside as Turner.

Turner recently cut his college list to eight and has set just one official visit thus far, to Lawrence, Kan., for the Jayhawks’ Midnight Madness on Oct. 4. Turner’s father, David, told ESPN.com that the family has also already set up in-home visits with Texas and Kentucky.

Here’s handicapping the race for Turner, ranking his finalists from 1-8 after talking to those involved in the recruitment:

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Best of the Midwest: Class of 2015 

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
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Hjalte FroholdtBrad Bournival/ESPNHjalte Froholdt, the No. 14 player in the ESPN Junior 300, will be playing his junior season in his native Denmark but will have plenty of suitors waiting for his return to the United States.
There are currently 34 Midwest prospects -- 15 from Ohio -- within the ESPN Junior 300. Not a single one of them has pledged an allegiance to a school as of yet.

That means the dogfight is already on, as Big Ten schools and others around the country prepare for an 18-month battle for some of the best.

As is usually the case, the Midwest will bring some interesting storylines over the next few years as the focus will shift to the heartland for some of the biggest names at the high school level.

In keeping with Tuesday’s theme, here are the top 11 prospects out of the Midwest and where they’re at in the process.


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Myles Turner trims list to 8 schools 

August, 7, 2013
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Five-star center Myles Turner (Bedford, Texas/Trinity) has confirmed that he has trimmed his list to eight schools. In no particular order, the finalists for high school basketball’s hottest prospect are Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State and Texas.


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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- While everyone at The Horseshoe was busy watching Eric-Glover Williams (Canton, Ohio/McKinley) and Ohio State pledge Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) go at it during the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp, there was a safety making a lot of noise.


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Most colleges are not completely sure which position Eric Glover-Williams will play at the next level, but they plan to use him the same way his Canton (Ohio) McKinley coaches will in 2013. Glover-Williams will have the ball in his hands early and often.


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The final few days of July could shape the end of Brady Taylor’s recruitment.


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The mayor of Columbus, Ohio, had a message for four-star defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin): He better be back at Ohio State soon.

The No. 2 prospect in Kentucky visited the Buckeyes on Thursday, and he had an opportunity to meet mayor Michael B. Coleman.


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WR Derek Kief commits to Alabama

June, 16, 2013
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The University of Alabama found its quarterback of the future on Friday when ESPN 150 selection David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) committed to the Crimson Tide. Two days later, they reeled in a target to help Cornwell down the road, four-star wide receiver Derek Kief (Cincinnati/LaSalle).

The 6-foot-5, 198-pound Kief announced his commitment via Twitter and his website. He had narrowed his list to Alabama, Kentucky and Ohio State, but the two-time defending champions won out.

"I love everything about it. I love the coaches, the offense, everything. They will develop me as a football player as well as a person," Kief said Sunday.

Last week, Kief and his family made a second trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they spent time around the program, with the coaches and with several of the current players. Kief first visited Alabama in March during spring practice.

“It’s all business,” he said after that trip. “They’re very disciplined, and it shows if you do that, it’ll help you win.”

As a junior, Kief had 65 catches for 907 yards and nine touchdowns. He set a school record for receptions in a season and was named first-team all-district in Ohio.

"They said they can see me playing in multiple receiver positions," Kief said Sunday. "I run good routes for my size, and they said I'll be a red-zone weapon."

With the addition of Cornwell and Kief this weekend, Alabama has 12 commitments for 2014, a group that now includes eight four-star recruits. Kief becomes the first wide receiver taken by the Tide in this class.
Alabama, Ohio State or Kentucky will know by Sunday evening if their recruiting classes increase by one.

Wide receiver Derek Kief (Cincinnati/La Salle) confirmed he will announce where he will continue his academic and athletic future on his personal Twitter account on Sunday.


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CINCINNATI -- Derek Kief will have a lot of time to ponder his recruitment next week. He has close to a four-hour drive to Atlanta and then a flight back home to Cincinnati.


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The nation's top-ranked Class of 2014 recruit, Jahlil Okafor, cut his list to eight schools Wednesday, with Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan State and Ohio State remaining in the mix for the ridiculously talented center. But like every other great post, Okafor will be dependent on a player -- primarily the point guard -- to deliver the post feed or drop-off pass on time and on target for him to be in the best position to score.

Let’s take a look at how the eight finalists may sell Okafor on how he’ll receive the ball in their half-court sets.

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Justin Hilliard sees the ball and runs to it. Then he delivers a crushing blow.

That is the consensus on the 2015 Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker who already holds 20 offers.


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