Ohio State Buckeyes: Jalen Tabor

Three days of practice are now in the books and overall execution was sharper as the players begin to move into final preparations for the Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday. The productivity of the players picked up as did the speed of the play, and they’re continuing to think less and display their natural ability more. It was a physical day, with the pads popping and some big hits throughout the practice. Here are some of the highlights.

Top performers

The Opening, presented by Nike, will feature 162 of the best high school football players in the country. The event, which will include linemen, 7-on-7 and SPARQ testing competitions, is set to run from June 30 to July 3 at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.

The following events from The Opening will be televised on ESPNU:

July 1: SPARQ Rating National Championship, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. ET

July 2: 7-on-7 Pool Play, 9 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET

July 3: Linemen Challenge Finals and 7-on-7 semifinal and championship games, 9 p.m.-midnight ET

The players will be divided in to six teams -- Alpha Pro, Apocalypse, Field Generals, Land Sharks, Super Bad and Vapor Carbon. Here is a closer look at how the teams match up.

Team: Alpha Pro
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Jordan Palmer, defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson

The Alpha Pro team will have plenty of targets to spread the ball around. Ermon Lane and Tyler Luatua, the No. 1-ranked receiver and tight end in the country respectively, bring size and playmaking ability to the passing game. ESPN 300 athletes Corey Holmes, Jalen Hurd, John "JuJu" Smith, Ja'Von Harrison, and Derrell Scott are all explosive offensive weapons.

Defensively Alpha Pro is led by Andrew Brown, the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the country, ESPN 150 cornerback Damon Webb, defensive end Andrew Williams, Ohio State linebacker commit Dante Booker and LSU cornerback commit Chris Hardeman.

Complete Alpha Pro roster.

Team: Apocalypse
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Adam Tafralis, defensive coordinator Donovin Darius

The first thing that jumps out about team Apocalypse is the talent in the defensive front seven. Team Apocalypse will be led by five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand and inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan. Hand, from Woodbridge, Va., is the No. 4-ranked player in the country, while McMillan was recently bumped up to a five-star linebacker. Joining Hand and McMillan along the front seven are ESPN 300 defensive linemen Anthony Moten and Ainuu Taua, and linebackers D.J. Calhoun and Rashaan Evans.

Offensively, team Apocalypse has no shortage of playmakers. ESPN 300 wide receivers Artavis Scott, K.D. Cannon and Michiah Quick will provide explosiveness in the passing game, while athletic running backs Joe Mixon and Royce Freeman will provide athletic and reliable targets out of the backfield.

Complete Apocalypse roster.

Team: Field Generals
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Charlie Frye, defensive coordinator Michael Fletcher

Seven-on-seven events are always geared towards the offense, but with five-star defensive back Adoree' Jackson, No. 3-ranked safety Jamal Adams, and ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett in the secondary, the Field Generals should more than hold their own. New Ohio State defensive end commit Jalyn Holmes and the No. 6-ranked defensive end in the country, Solomon Thomas, will be two to watch along the defensive line.

Offensively, the Field Generals are led by ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama, ESPN 300 wide receivers Austin Roberts and Thaddeus Snodgrass and explosive Notre Dame running back commit Elijah Hood.

Complete Field Generals roster.

Team: Landsharks
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Craig Nall, defensive coordinator Keith Bulluck

The Landsharks have some big-time talent along each line of scrimmage. Led by five-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson, the Landsharks also feature ESPN 300 offensive guard Corey Martinez. ESPN 300 defensive linemen Gerald Willis III and Thomas Holley, as well as ESPN 300 defensive end Chad Thomas, will form a very physical and athletic defensive line.

In the secondary, the Landsharks will have three defensive backs -- Arrion Springs, Chris Lammons and Tony Brown -- that are ranked among the top 85 players in the country. The defense also features ESPN 150 linebacker Nyles Morgan.

Offensively, explosive running backs Dalvin Cook, a Florida commit, and Racean Thomas form a dangerous tandem out of the backfield, and wide receivers Travis Rudolph and Jalen Harvey are solid receiving threats.

Complete Landsharks roster.

Team: Superbad
Coaches: Offensive coordinator Dennis Gile, defensive coordinator Harold Nash Jr.

The Superbad defense line is led by five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and ESPN 150 defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson. The linebacking corp is stacked with three ESPN 300 members, including Clifton Garrett, Christian Miller and Edwin Freeman. Cornerback Jalen Tabor is the No. 19-ranked player in the country.

Offensively, Superbad has a huge advantage with the No. 1-ranked prospect in the country, running back Leonard Fournette. This team is loaded on offense, with wide receivers Drake Harris, Josh Malone and Speedy Noil all in the mix.

Complete Superbad roster.

Team: Vapor Carbon
Coaches: Offensive coordinator George Whitfield, defensive coordinator Chris Gizzi.

Vapor Carbon will be tough to throw against with defensive backs Quin Blanding, Naijiel Hale and Ed Paris roaming the field. The linebacker group is just as impressive, with Ohio State commit Kyle Berger, Kain Daub and Dillon Bates all leading the way.

The offense for Vapor Carbon could be lethal with running back Joseph Yearby and Nick Chubb in the backfield. Spreading out wide receivers T.V. Williams, Justin Brent and tight end Ian Bunting on the outside could prove to be an awesome combination for this squad.

Team Vapor Carbon has a lot of pieces to make a long run in the 7-on-7 tournament, but then again, every team is stacked in this competition.

Complete Vapor Carbon roster.
As the 2014 recruiting class comes more into focus following what was yet another strong national signing day for Urban Meyer, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the cornerbacks, a position that highlighted the 2013 class with one five-star cornerback and four other four-star defensive backs.

Here are the top five cornerbacks not committed elsewhere who have an offer from the Buckeyes.

1. Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus)


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Tennessee looking for D.C. package deal 

April, 30, 2013
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Tennessee continues to heavily recruit Washington (D.C.) Friendship.

Running back Jonathan Haden is the latest prospect from the talent-rich school to receive a scholarship offer from Tennessee. He confirmed the offer to ESPN on Monday after receiving it on Sunday. Haden spent much of the weekend complimenting Tennessee on Twitter.


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ESPN 150 CB Jalen Tabor taking his time 

April, 23, 2013
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ASHBURN, Va. -- Cornerback Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate), the No. 19 overall player in the ESPN 150, is in no rush to commit.


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RN Top 10: D.C. NFTC 

April, 22, 2013
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The RN Top 10 will appear throughout the camp and combine season and rank prospects based strictly on their on-field performance at that particular event. It does not reflect their overall prospect ranking.

ASHBURN, Va. – The East Coast and mid-Atlantic states represented well on Sunday as eight players earned invites to The Opening at the Nike Football Training Camp outside of Washington, D.C. Defense ruled the day, led by two five-star prospects from Virginia.

10. Nick Scott
Fairfax (Va.) Fairfax |RB| 5-11, 180

Scott stood out among a field of backs who were overshadowed by the prospects at nearly every other position. He earned the attention of coaches for his strong play and versatility but missed the MVP award, which went to Vincent Lowe (Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield), who also posted the top SPARQ score.

Scott committed to Penn State in February over an offer from Boston College.

ESPN national recruiting analyst Craig Haubert’s take: “He’s got a great frame, and what I like about him as a Penn State verbal, he’s a versatile player. He may not run by you, but he does a good job in route-running.”


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Ohio State outlook: Top 5 CBs in 2014 

March, 13, 2013
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As the 2014 recruiting class comes more and more into focus following what was yet another strong national signing day for Urban Meyer, BuckeyeNation is taking a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the cornerbacks, a position that was a big strength in the 2013 OSU class with one five-star cornerback and four other four-star defensive backs. The Buckeyes also already have a commit at the position in Watch List CB Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), one of the top juniors in the country.

Here are the top five cornerbacks not committed elsewhere who have an offer from the Buckeyes.


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Assessing the 2014 defensive backs 

February, 28, 2013
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After scoring the No. 1-ranked defensive backfield in the nation in 2013, the question becomes can Ohio State do it again?

While the Buckeyes missed out Wednesday on safety Quin Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside), who chose Virginia over Ohio State, the team certainly isn’t backing down from adding to an already-solid unit.

The Buckeyes have offered 21 defensive backs from the class of 2014 -- 13 of them at the cornerback position -- and count 18 ESPN Watch List individuals among them. They received a huge commitment from Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech) back on Jan. 13, but aren’t likely through adding one -- maybe two -- more names to the class.


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Ohio State's 2014 Dream Team: Defense 

February, 13, 2013
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Da'Shawn HandTom Hauck for ESPN.comVirginia prospect Da'Shawn Hand would be an ideal LEO for the Buckeyes, a DE/LB combo.
With the 2014 recruiting cycle now in full swing, BuckeyeNation wondered what it would be like to create a dream team. Tuesday we looked at the offense, Wednesday we switch to the defensive side.

There are stipulations in this dream list of recruits for the 2014 class.

The team has to mirror that of the Buckeyes’ defense. That means there aren’t 11 middle linebackers or safeties on the squad, just one standout at each position.

To be fair, linemen could move inside if need be, and inside backers could move to an outside linebacker spot as well.

One other thing, if a player was committed -- be it to the Buckeyes or somewhere else -- he was disqualified. The individual also had to have an offer from Ohio State.

Here’s what we came up with. It’s a formidable list:


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Watch List S Jalen Tabor will not take visit 

November, 21, 2012
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Ohio Stadium will be ripe with top prospects on Saturday when the Buckeyes host arch-rival Michigan.

Jalen Tabor, however, will not be one of the them. The ESPN Watch List safety from Washington (D.C.) Friendship originally was scheduled to make the trip but will not, because his school has a game this weekend.

Tabor visited Maryland on Saturday, which was a rare trip for the junior prospect. Tabor hasn't taken many visits this fall.

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Watch List DB Tabor making rare visit 

November, 15, 2012
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Jalen Tabor will visit Maryland this weekend for the Florida State game, the ESPN Watch List safety said on Thursday.

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OSU brass prep for busy recruiting week 

November, 5, 2012
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The way Ohio State coaches see it, Dorian Johnson is still sitting out there.

Ditto for Vonn Bell, Mike Mitchell, David Dawson and Corn Elder.

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Jalen Tabor talks Vols and top 5 

October, 23, 2012
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Despite a loss to its bitter rival, Tennessee cemented its standing with Jalen Tabor.

The Watch List safety from Washington Friendship told ESPN that Tennessee is firmly in his top five, along with Alabama, Maryland, Ohio State and Florida.

"It was great," Tabor said via text message when asked about the visit. "I couldn't ask for anything more."

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A talked-about recruiting trend is Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and the globalization of his recruiting classes, but the fact of the matter is -- at least right now in the 2014 recruiting process -- the two-time national champion coach likes to recruit from places he knows best.

The 2014 ESPN Watch List was unveiled Thursday, and not surprisingly the places the Buckeyes are hitting hardest are Ohio and Florida.


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Wide receivers headline OSU visitors 

September, 13, 2012
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Thaddeus SnodgrassTom Hauck for ESPN.com2014 WR Thaddeus Snodgrass is among a handful of receivers slated to visit this weekend.
Call the Ohio State-Cal game the weekend of the wide receivers in term of unofficial visits.

Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield) is hoping the third time is the charm as he was derailed the two previous weeks in terms of unofficial visits.

He has got company, however, as Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike) and Zach Yousey (Columbus, Ohio/Harvest Preparatory) have plans to find their way to The Horseshoe.

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