Monday, June 17, 2013
ESPN 300 analysis: Ohio State Buckeyes
By Brad Bournival
The ESPN 300 was released Monday, and it is evident Ohio State has to make up some ground.
Last year, Ohio State debuted at No. 7 when the first 300 was released behind a core group of six ESPN 150 selections and five other top pledges.
This year, the Buckeyes have just one ESPN 150 senior in cornerback Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) and two other 300 selections in outside linebackers Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) and Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), though it should be noted that Booker is just six spots out of the 150.
Recently named five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan is the highest-rated prospect left on Ohio State's board.
Berger comes in at 299, but the star of the class -- like last season -- is a cornerback. Webb joined Booker and Berger as four-star standouts and is ranked No. 57 overall. The upside for Webb is he was a defensive MVP at both the Columbus Nike Football Training Camp and at a camp in Chicago two weeks ago.
Booker, Berger and Webb will join defensive tackle Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic), athlete Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) and offensive tackle Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) at The Opening, so they can improve their individual rankings and Ohio State’s class rankings.
While the six are the most in the nation at the star-studded nationally televised camp, Ohio State is lacking in ESPN 300 representatives and has fallen to 18th in the class rankings.
Michigan, Alabama and Texas A&M are tied for the most ESPN 300 selections with nine and are followed by LSU (eight), Florida (six), Texas (six), Florida State (five) and Georgia (five). The Buckeyes are lumped with three other schools at the aforementioned three.
The good news is they’re in the thick of it for many of the bigger names in the list. No. 1 on that list is inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), who picked up his fifth star and moved up to 13th overall. He has repeatedly named Ohio State as his favorite.
The Buckeyes are also the favorite to land the top player in Ohio in athlete Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville), who comes in at No. 49.
Ohio State is rumored to be the favorite for ESPN 300 offensive guard Demetrius Knox (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal), who comes in at No. 193. The Buckeyes are hosting No. 66 Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle) on Monday and are in the final four with the standout tackle. Dual-threat quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) has Ohio State in his list of finalists and comes in at No. 48.
The 18th overall player in the nation and third-ranked offensive tackle is Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara). He has the Buckeyes in the top 10, as do wide receiver Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan), the No. 111 player nationally, and offensive tackle Alex Bookser (Pittsburgh/Mt. Lebanon), who is No. 143.
The No. 218 prospect, defensive tackle Poona Ford (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head), is still in play as well.