Ohio State Buckeyes: Speedy Noil

Top position classes: Athletes 

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
9:00
AM ET

With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and Big Ten)
Ohio State continues to add speed and versatility, and the 2014 class was more of the same. The Buckeyes signed five athletes, and versatility was the name of the game. The Buckeyes' haul included potential corners to big wide receivers to safeties to speedy playmaking receivers and return men. The uber-impressive list includes future cornerback and ESPN 300 No. 45 Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville), No. 153 Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall), No. 178 Parris Campbell Jr. (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), and four-star prospects Noah Brown (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) and Malik Hooker (New Castle, Pa./New Castle).

The Buckeyes had the nation’s best athlete class; these programs had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

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


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider


As expected, Day 2 at the Under Armour All-America practices were smoother, more concise and much more productive. The players are now starting to think less and play more. Natural ability is starting to come to the forefront, which allows for them to be more productive. There have been fewer dropped passes, fewer misses by the QBs and the offensive lines are starting to jell quicker than expected. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this group is there have not been any true letdowns. They have stepped up and been as advertised almost top to bottom for both squads. Let’s hit the highlights of the day:

Top performers

WR Cameron Sims (Monroe, La./Ouachita Parish): Sims might not wow anyone with his 40-yard dash time, but it may not matter. Sims is so similar to Mike Evans at Texas A&M. He just makes plays. He has extremely long arms and is outstanding when in contested matchups. The ball will look like it is uncatchable and then next thing you know he jumps out of nowhere, extends and makes a play and the defender is left scratching his head. When it comes down to it, the QBs for Team Highlight can trust that if they need to throw it up, Sims will make a play. The most basic thing about the position is catching the football and Sims has no problem doing that.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Under Armour Early Offer 

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
5:30
AM ET
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily morning dose of recruiting.

Today’s Early Offering is coming to you from the Under Armour All-America Game. Here’s a sample of some of the top news from the event, including a look at who stood out on the first day of practices and a quarterback who hopes to make a big impression.

No. 1 preps for announcement
Seven of the nation’s top prospects will commit live during the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 (ESPN, at 4 p.m. ET), including the No. 1 player in the country, running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine). Fournette has stuck with his top two of Alabama and LSU and said both school’s hats will be in front of him when he announces. A Texas hat will be there too, but it’s down to the Tigers and Tide. Fournette said he’s tired of getting asked where he’s going to end up, but that thankfully will end in a few days. “It is just something I want to get off my shoulders,” he said. “Everybody has been nagging me about a thousand times. At the end of the day, it’s where I’m going to be most successful and most comfortable at.”


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- One thing is for sure for all the 2014 Under Armour All-Americans: This isn’t high school anymore. Day 1 is about gauging the competition. Some guys dive right in and some test the waters with their big toe, but by the end of the first day of practice, all those in attendance have a pretty good idea of where they stand and what they need to do to compete and get better.

Given that it is Day 1, the playbook is introduced (Team Nitro is going no huddle with wrist bands and limited plays), and there can be sloppy moments of indecision and uncertainty. With each rep, most, if not all, prospects began to get a better feel for what is expected. Most importantly, the center-quarterback exchanges were very good for the most part, which is generally the biggest worry. Upon completion of the first practice, here are some observations and things to look for over the week:

Top Performers


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPN 300 QB Harris picks final three 

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
1:47
PM ET


For ESPN 300 quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway), an offseason that saw him rise from a relative unknown to one of the nation's top dual-threat quarterbacks will come to an end July 18 when he announces what college he is committing to.

While interest in Harris steadily rose through impressive camp performances that are reflected in his increased stock in recruiting rankings (Harris is ranked No. 48 in the ESPN 300 after not being in the initial ESPN 150), Harris, on the other hand, has narrowed his own focus.

On Monday, he announced that the final three schools he's considering are LSU, Ohio State and Auburn. He'll pick which one he'll attend at 2 p.m. on July 18 at Parkway High School.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Lessons Learned: SPARQ championships 

July, 1, 2013
7/01/13
8:38
PM ET
BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The Opening got underway on Monday with SPARQ testing, as the nation's top football players competed in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 20-yard short shuttle and kneeling power ball throw. The 10 best returned for the finals, with Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) taking home the championship. Here's a closer look at what we learned during the day:

Speedy is, well, speedy

Speedy Noil
David Helman/ESPN.comSpeedy Noil lived up to his name during SPARQ testing, posting the second-best score of all time.
Coming into The Opening, Noil was a prospect whom everyone was excited to see. Noil is ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the country, but his athleticism and speed were the two aspects that people were hoping to see.

He didn't disappoint on Monday, recording a 153.51 SPARQ score, which was the second-highest score ever behind Mike Mitchell from the 2012 SPARQ Finals.

Noil ran a 4.4 40, threw the power ball 41 feet and wowed everyone watching when he jumped 45.3 inches in the vertical jump.

And as his No. 8 overall ranking shows, Noil is far from just a freak athlete who can’t play.

At 6-foot, 176 pounds, Noil holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas and USC, among others. The ESPN Hot Board has the five-star prospect predicted to LSU, but he remains uncommitted at this point. -- Tom VanHaaren


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

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.

Throwback Thursday: Athletes

May, 2, 2013
5/02/13
11:23
AM ET

In this edition of Throwback Thursday, Tom Luginbill takes three ESPN 150 athletes and looks at which former college standouts the prospects remind him of.
As the 2014 recruiting class comes into focus, BuckeyeNation will take a position-by-position look at the juniors.

Today, we examine the athlete position. Though it’s a position of strength for Ohio State with ESPN 150 seniors Jalin Marshall (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) and Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) joining the mix, Urban Meyer is always looking for mismatches in his fast break offense.

Here are the top athletes of 2014 not committed somewhere else and with an offer from Ohio State. All five are ESPN 150 selections.

It should be noted, Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) used to be on this list, but he has since been classified as a cornerback.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

#BlueChipBattles: ESPN 150 release edition

April, 19, 2013
4/19/13
12:49
PM ET
Speedy Noil, Adoree Jackson, Da'Shawn HandStudent Sports, ESPN, ESPNSpeedy Noil, Adoree Jackson and Da'Shawn Hand are three of the most coveted recruits in the Class of 2014.
#BlueChipBattles Insider: RecruitingNation summoned its writers from around the country to outline the recruiting battles for the ESPN 150's top 10 prospects.

Plus, rank the battles in SportsNation.

#TopFBMixtapes: Athlete mixtapes are all the rage in this highlight-crazed era of sports. We reached out to our Twitter followers to find out which 2014 football stars had the best highlight reels on YouTube, then had our staff rank and comment on the top submissions.

Tom Luginbill writes Insider: After talking to many coaches across the country and hearing their frustrations, here are their five biggest complaints about homemade highlight videos.

WR Speedy Noil eyes Ohio State visit 

August, 14, 2012
8/14/12
1:22
PM ET
There’s no secret Ohio State coach Urban Meyer loves his wide receivers to be fast, so it appears the Buckeyes can’t go wrong with a guy by the name of “Speedy.”

Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr) is from the class of 2014 and as his name suggests, he has speed to burn.

A freshman wide receiver on his high school team that reached the Class 4A state final, Noil took the Cougars back there again last season. But this time it came at quarterback, where Noil passed for 1,654 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushed for 772 yards and eight scores.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Drive Through: Virginia Tech Fallout
One week after upsetting Ohio State, Virginia Tech lost at home to East Carolina. Heather Dinich and Danny Kanell look at what this means for the ACC and Ohio State.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG TEN SCOREBOARD