NCF On The Trail: Marcus Whitfield

Cornerback Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) posted a 99.87 at the SPARQ Combine a few months ago at his school. His teammate, tight end Beau Huffman, landed a camp-best 119.58 the same day.

Since that February morning, their recruitments have taken off.

Ohio SPARQ All-Combine team

February, 20, 2013
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MASSILLON, Ohio -- Over 1,400 athletes gathered on Feb. 16 just down the road from the NFL Hall of Fame at Washington High School in Massillon, Ohio, for the third stop of the 2013 Nike Football SPARQ Combine Tour. Here is a look at the 25 standout performers who make up the Ohio All-Combine Team.

Note: Selections are based upon combine performance as well as past and projected on-field performance. Athletes must have completed two of the four combine tests to be eligible for selection. Athletes are in the Class of 2014 unless otherwise noted.

OFFENSE

QB: Mike Berry, 6-foot-1, 219 pounds, Beavercreek (Ohio) High
Results: 4.85 40-yard dash, 4.28 shuttle, 40-foot power ball throw, 29.1-inch vertical jump, 97.77 SPARQ Rating
Breakdown: The dual-threat QB also lines up at running back in the wing "T" system and can beat opponents with an impressive combination of speed and power.

RB: Jarred Brevard, 5-7 1/2, 188, Pittsburgh Shady Side Academy
Results: 4.57 40, 4.20 shuttle, 39.0'PB, 34.5" VJ, 109.65 SPARQ
Breakdown: Rushed for over 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns during his junior season.

[+] EnlargeL.J. Scott
Tom Hauck/Student SportsRunning back L.J. Scott posted a 110.82 SPARQ Rating at the Ohio combine.
RB: Darrin Hall Jr. (2015), 5-11 1/2, 194, Youngstown (Ohio) Austintown Fitch
Results: 4.68 40, 4.35 shuttle, 34.5' PB, 27.9" VJ, 83.64 SPARQ
Breakdown: Becoming one of the more heavily recruited backs for 2015 with offers already from Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska.

RB: L.J. Scott, 5-10, 224, Marion (Ohio) Harding
Results: 4.76 40, 4.25 shuttle, 42.0' PB, 30.4" VJ, 110.82 SPARQ
Breakdown: Well-built runner has been offered by Kent State and has an impressive list of suitors taking interest.

RB: Parris Campbell, 6-0, 181, Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary's
Results: 4.47 40, 4.60 shuttle, 31.0' PB, 38.9" VJ, 92.37
Breakdown: Future Ohio State Buckeye carried his team to the OHSAA Division III State Championship.

RB: Jerome Baker Jr. , 6-1, 190, Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine
Results: 4.54 40, 4.09 shuttle, 35.5' PB, 32.8" VJ, 106.35 SPARQ
Breakdown: Made significant improvements in every test from last year, raising his SPARQ Rating over 25 points.

WR: Thaddeus Snodgrass, 6-0, 180, Springfield (Ohio)
Results: 4.65 40, 4.30 shuttle, 35.0' PB, 30.8" VJ, 88.23 SPARQ
Breakdown: Highly ranked receiver has a long list of offers and recently picked up first two from SEC schools Kentucky and South Carolina.

WR: Terry McLaurin, 6-0, 175, Indianapolis Cathedral
Results: 4.43 40, 4.29 shuttle, 39.0' PB, 38.0" VJ, 116.55 SPARQ
Breakdown: McLaurin was the go-to player through the air this season, leading Cathedral to another state championship.

TE: Beau Hoffman, 6-1 1/2, 197, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
Results: 4.73 40, 4.03 shuttle, 42.5' PB, 33.2 VJ, 119.58 SPARQ
Breakdown: Extremely impressive to see a player of his size and position post the top SPARQ Rating on the day.

OL: Nathaniel Devers, 6-3, 270, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
Results: 5.19 40, 4.76 shuttle, 38.0' PB, 22.5" VJ, 72.27 SPARQ
Breakdown: Moves extremely well for size; it’s ideal for a guard prospect to be able to get out on edge.

OL: Brady Taylor, 6-4, 267, Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Ready
Results: 5.12 40, 4.62 shuttle, 37.0' PB, 26.4" VJ, 80.04 SPARQ
Breakdown: Bowling Green and Toledo have jumped in early with offers and should see more to come.

ATH: Dennis Briggs, 5-10, 195, Pittsburgh Shady Side Academy
Results: 4.65 40, 4.19 shuttle, 36.0' PB, 33.2" VJ, 100.53 SPARQ
Breakdown: After a strong junior year, the versatile back showed the speed necessary to possibly play ball on the collegiate level.

ATH: Malik Seales, 5-9, 222, Flint (Mich.) Carmen-Ainsworth
Results: 4.83 40, 4.35 shuttle, 40' PB
Breakdown: Dual-threat type running back caught 82 passes for 832 yards as a junior.


DEFENSE

DL: Alex Neering, 6-6 1/2, 230, Essexville (Mich.) Garber
Results: 5.10 40, 4.66 shuttle, 39.0' PB, 28.2" VJ, 78.15 SPARQ
Breakdown: Has ideal size with above-average speed to garner some attention as a rush end. He was named to multiple all-state teams this season.

DL: Charlie Yost, 6-5, 231, Livonia (Mich.) Churchill
Results: 5.11 40, 4.47 shuttle, 35.5' PB, 26.0" VJ, 73.17 SPARQ
Breakdown: Monster junior season consisted of 12 tackles for loss with 102 total tackles and earned him Detroit Free Press All-Area honors.

DL: Kenny Finley, 6-2, 269, Muskegon (Mich.)
Results: 5.23 40, 4.59 shuttle, 37.0' PB, 29.5" VJ, 85.02 SPARQ
Breakdown: Strong and athletic, Finley had a strong junior season and could really benefit from more impressive performances this spring.

LB: Dameon Willis, 6-1, 210, Cleveland St. Ignatius
Results: 4.74 40, 4.60 shuttle, 38.0' PB, 32.8" VJ, 90.84 SPARQ
Breakdown: Don’t be surprised to see a few schools come offering Willis, who was the top underclassman on the nationally ranked St. Ignatius squad.

LB: Chris Frey Jr. , 6-2, 214, Columbus (Ohio) Upper Arlington
Results: 4.75 40, 4.31 shuttle, 37.5' PB, 33.3 VJ, 100.20 SPARQ
Breakdown: Versatile athlete has offers to play linebacker as well as safety.

LB: Airius Moore, 5-11 1/2, 212, Beavercreek (Ohio) High
Results: 5.08 40, 4.41 shuttle, 41.0' PB, 28.3" VJ, 89.16 SPARQ
Breakdown: Was selected to multiple postseason teams, leading to offers from Illinois and Cincinnati.

DB: Jalen Fox, 5-10, 175, Wyoming (Ohio) High
Results: 4.75 40, 4.40 shuttle 35.0' PB, 37.4" VJ, 90.27 SPARQ
Breakdown: Was a Division III all-state selection after recording five interceptions and 57 tackles during his junior season.

DB: Shaun Crawford (2015) , 5-9, 168, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's
Results: 4.51 40, 4.23 shuttle, 30.5' PB, 37.4" VJ, 90.03 SPARQ
Breakdown: The defensive back is also an electrifying wide receiver, but it’s his cover skills that have earned him offers from Tennessee and Illinois.

DB: Jack Walz, 5-10.5, 191, Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward's
Results: 4.65 40, 3.90 shuttle, 34.0' PB, 33.6" VJ, 107.73 SPARQ
Breakdown: Fleet-footed cover corner posted the day’s top shuttle time.

DB: Tim Cason, 5-11 1/2, 179, Clarkston (Mich.) High
Results: 4.78 40, 4.25 shuttle, 37.0' PB, 30.3" VJ, 88.41 SPARQ
Breakdown: Had a breakout junior season, leading to offers from Bowling Green, Toledo and Michigan State.

ATH: Marcus Whitfield, 5-11 1/2, 166, Massillon (Ohio) Washington
Results: 4.58 40, 3.95 SH, 35.0' PB, 29.6" VJ, 99.87 SPARQ
Breakdown: Akron, Toledo and Kent State have offered the speedy two-way standout.

ATH: Marcus Samuels, 5-9, 169, Riverview (Mich.) High
Results: 4.46 40, 4.40 shuttle, 31.5' PB, 35.8" VJ, 92.82 SPARQ
Breakdown: Rushed for 1,285 yards last season earning a spot on the Division 3 AP All-State Team.

One school standing out for Whitfield 

February, 17, 2013
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Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has offers from Akron, Kent State and Toledo, but he’s looking north for the big one.


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Marcus Whitfield sees OSU undefeated 

October, 21, 2012
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Consider Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) a believer.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior no longer sits on the edge of his seat -- well, at least he says he doesn’t -- when an Ohio State football game is in peril.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-point win over Michigan State, a three-point victory over Indiana or an overtime thriller against Purdue, Whitfield knows the eventual outcome and enjoys the win.

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Marcus Whitfield sees OSU undefeated 

October, 21, 2012
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Consider Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) a believer.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior no longer sits on the edge of his seat -- well, at least he says he doesn’t -- when an Ohio State football game is in peril.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a 1-point win over Michigan State, a 3-point victory over Indiana or an overtime thriller against Purdue, Whitfield knows the eventual outcome and enjoys the win.

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Ohio State-Michigan comes a bit early 

October, 18, 2012
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The calendar says Michigan will travel to Ohio State on Nov. 24, but a small scale version will play out Friday in Hudson, Ohio. That’s where Elyria (6-2) will take on the Explorers (7-1) in an important Division I, Region 2 meeting.

Hudson controls its postseason destiny, while a win by the Pioneers would push the squad higher in the playoff picture. Ohio State commit and defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle calls it the biggest game of his career with Elyria. Michigan commit and inside linebacker Ben Gedeon says a win will catapult Hudson toward an even bigger showdown with North Royalton (8-0) in Week 10.

“I’ve wanted to lead this team to the playoffs since I started playing here,” Sprinkle said. “That’s my main goal. Every year, we want to go to the playoffs.

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When bloodlines ooze scarlet and gray, it’s tough for family members not to think like a Buckeye.

Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has an offer from Toledo and interest from Michigan State, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State and Virginia. But his grandfather Dave was a captain for the Buckeyes’ 1969 squad, so he’s grown up watching and rooting for the Buckeyes.

Marcus attended Ohio State’s Sept. 8 game against UCF and on Sept. 29 was in East Lansing, Mich., to see the Buckeyes play Michigan State. As a guest of the Spartans, Whitfield liked Michigan State, but he came away more impressed with his experience at Ohio State.

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James Quick AP Photo/Joe ImelLouisville (Ky.) Trinity wide receiver James Quick, the No. 57 prospect in the ESPN 150, will visit Ohio State for this weekend's game against Nebraska.
Saturday’s home game against Nebraska isn’t just a chance to impress the pollsters as much as it is an opportunity to grab the attention of some of the biggest recruits for Ohio State.

The list for the primetime game against the Cornhuskers reads like a who’s who of candidates for the Buckeyes starting with former Penn State commit Dorian Johnson (Belle Vernon, Pa./Belle Vernon). No. 27 in the ESPN 150, the second-ranked offensive tackle leads the list of headliners planning to attend and is followed by James Quick (Louisville, Ky./Trinity) at wide receiver.

Both have Ohio State in their top three. Johnson rounds out his list with Pitt and Virginia Tech, while Quick (No. 57) comes in with Louisville and Oregon.

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Class of 2014 amped for OSU/UCF contest 

September, 6, 2012
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Ohio State’s game with Central Florida has the eye of the junior class.

Keeping an eye extra close on the game will be wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, Ohio/Springfield), quarterback Joey Duckworth (Louisville, Ohio/Louisville), offensive guard Nathaniel Devers (Massillon, Ohio/Washington), safety Darius West (Lima, Ohio/Central Catholic), offensive tackle Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) and wide receiver Marcus Whitfield (Massillon, Ohio/Washington), as they have scheduled unofficial visits.

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