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Thursday, February 14, 2013
It's combine time in the Midwest

By Brad Bournival

It’s time to camp.

With the signing period over, the need for the Class of 2014 to get noticed becomes paramount. This weekend, three big combines take place.

Saturday, the Nike SPARQ combine hits Massillon, Ohio. Sunday, the Core 6 Showcase takes center stage in Cincinnati, and on Monday, the Best of the Midwest combine hits Indianapolis.

BuckeyeNation will dissect the SPARQ combine with a story on Friday. Here’s a look at what the other two combines will bring.

Sunday, the Queen City is scheduled to be invaded by the likes of Malik McDowell, Lawrence Marshall, Jamarco Jones, Clifton Garrett, Ian Bunting, Nile Sykes, Lonnie Johnson, Vontae Diggs and Dominique Booth.

Monday wraps up with targets Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith scheduled to make the trip with Buckeyes commit Marcelys Jones.

Also along for the ride are Darius West, Alonzo Saxton and Airius Moore as well as emerging Cleveland St. Ignatius standout Mike Siragusa. Detroit hits home with William White, Joshua Alabi, Jay’ru Campbell, Jalen Embry and Carl Fuller expected to camp.

Offers out: Slipping through the cracks of a busy national signing day were offers handed out to 2014 running backs Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and Marcus Outlow (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Free Academy) and outside linebacker Petera Wilson (Memphis/White Station).

Mixon rushed for 1,443 yards on 201 carries and scored 20 touchdowns. The ESPN Watch List junior also notched 383 yards receiving on 18 catches and added six more scores. Mixon has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, California, Colorado, Fresno State, Houston, Idaho, Louisville, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, Washington, Washington State and Wisconsin as well.

Outlow has offers from Boston College, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa and Ohio State.

While sharing time with Joey Paparelli and Khaleed Exum-Strong, Outlow carried the ball 90 times for a team-leading 954 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also added two receiving touchdowns in the Wildcats’ run-heavy offense.

Wilson has offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCLA and USC.

Punting priorities: Also lost in the euphoria of the great signing day and junior day last week is what is next for the Buckeyes at punter.

While there are rumblings that Urban Meyer is still looking to fill a spot from the class of 2013 after Johnny Townsend picked Florida over Ohio State, he has options.

Drew Basil could take over as punter as well. The other two names making the rounds are current Buckeye wideout Frank Epitropoulos, who punted in high school, and walk-on punter Kevin Niehoff.

Top priorities: ESPN Watch List juniors Elijah Hood and Nick Glass all released their top lists and, yawn, the Buckeyes found their way onto each one.

Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) put the Buckeyes in the mix with Georgia Tech, Michigan, Notre Dame and North Carolina,

Glass (Atlanta/Ga./Saint Pius X Catholic), a Georgia commitment, has Ohio State involved with the Bulldogs, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ole Miss, South Carolina and UCLA.