Ohio State Buckeyes: Nyles Morgan

Who's left in the Midwest 

August, 13, 2013
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Marshon LattimoreBrad Bournival/ESPNMarshon Lattimore, the No. 51 prospect in the ESPN 300, might go to an Ohio State feeder school, but programs such as Alabama and Michigan are making a push for him.
There are currently 198 committed prospects within the ESPN 300. That means that it’s a dogfight for the remaining 102 uncommitted prospects.

The Big Ten schools are recruiting prospects within the ESPN 300 from across the nation, but as always, the Midwest is a big focus. There are currently 11 prospects from the Midwest in the top list that are uncommitted.

Here is a look at those Midwest prospects and where they’re at in the process.

As the recruiting class rounds the halfway point in its cycle, Ohio State certainly has done its part in strengthening weaknesses and shoring up depth issues in the Class of 2014.

With four starters gone after this season on the offensive line, the trenches were a priority as were the linebackers. That became even more a factor after linebackers Luke Roberts and David Perkins transferred.

Under NCAA guidelines, the Buckeyes essentially have two remaining scholarships to fill, but they aren’t recruiting that way. Through transfers, medical scholarships and the like it appears Ohio State’s class will be a decent size once again and will far exceed the 16 spots it currently is allowed to have.

Remember, the Buckeyes will have until August of 2014 to get to the allotted 82 scholarships. With that in mind, here’s an idea of who might be left to grab:

Offensive line


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With Luke Roberts following David Perkins out the door as a transfer, the linebacker depth chart at Ohio State became even thinner.

It also opened up another scholarship for Ohio State in the Class of 2014, should the Buckeyes choose to use it that way.


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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.

RN Top 10: Chicago NFTC 

May, 6, 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 what their overall prospect ranking will be when the 2014 rankings are unveiled this spring.

ADDISON, Ill. -- The Chicago NFTC did not disappoint when it came to top talent. The Midwest showcased some very good looking talent across the board and all the way down to the 2016 class. The camp produced seven invitations to The Opening and one Elite 11 invitation.

10. Kyron Watson
East St. Louis (Ill.) East St. Louis | LB | 6-1, 210

Watson has started to see his stock rise recently, with offers coming in from Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Purdue, Syracuse and TCU.

The No. 100 ranked player in the country isn't the biggest guy on the field, but his highlight tape shows that doesn't matter. He loves to hit and loves contact, which is a necessity at the linebacker spot.

He says his top two are currently Michigan and Kansas and he plans to visit Michigan on May 20.

NFTC linebacker coach Chris Gizzi on Watson: "Twitchy type guy. If anything he would be like a WILL. You talk about a football player and an inquisitive guy, a guy that asks the right questions and very football smart type player. He got better as the day went on."


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Assessing the 2014 linebackers 

February, 27, 2013
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After signing two ESPN 150 linebackers in four-star seniors Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) and adding three-star Christopher Worley (Cleveland/Glenville), Ohio State certainly isn’t showing signs of letting up.


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Ohio State will leave no stone unturned in its effort to shore up the linebacking unit for the future.

The latest Class of 2014 linebacker to join the list is Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee), who announced on his Twitter account the news of an offer from the Buckeyes.

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It was an up-and-down weekend for Brian Allen (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central), though much of it was down for the 2014 two-way lineman.

His high school team suffered its first loss of the season Friday after blowing a halftime lead. He was hoping his visit to Michigan State on Saturday would cheer him up, but it only made it worse.

“They didn’t play too hot, either,” said Allen, who has an offer from the Spartans.

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