NCF On The Trail: Nathaniel Devers

Each week Big Ten recruiting reporters Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival outline a few big high school games involving Big Ten recruits and commits. Here is this week’s list:

At the end of the 2013 season, there will be a changing of the guards at Massillon (Ohio) Washington High School.

Right now, the Tigers have ever-changing offensive guards as the recruiting process morphs from one day to the next.

Nathaniel Devers and Chase Lash are impossible to miss at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds and 6-3 and 313 pounds, respectively.

Connecticut, Indiana, Ohio and Toledo have offered Devers. Akron has come forward with an offer to Lash.

But one thing remains consistent. Both love what they see in Michigan State despite not having offers. Not that the offers are far away for either.


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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.
There is no doubt Devin Smith will have plenty to tell Urban Meyer at practice this week. On hand Saturday to watch his alma mater Massillon (Ohio) Washington play Canton McKinley in a Division I, Region 2 semifinal, the Ohio State wide receiver saw plenty in the 123rd meeting between the two longtime rivals in a game loaded with Buckeyes targets.

While all aren’t sure-fire possible pledges, Ohio State has some interest in McKinley quarterback Eric Glover-Williams and linebacker Jamal Davis as well as the Massillon quartet of cornerback Gareon Conley, offensive tackle Chase Lash, wide receiver Marcus Whitfield and offensive guard Nathaniel Devers.

Gareon Conley
Courtesy Conley FamilyGareon Conley caught a touchdown pass in Massillon (Ohio) Washington's playoff victory over archrival Canton McKinley.
What Smith saw even more was his Tigers one-up the Bulldogs 28-19 in a game that wasn’t that close. Massillon had 413 total yards of offense and held Glover-Williams to 30 yards rushing. Conley snared four passes for 95 yards and a touchdown.

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Watch List junior Nathaniel Devers (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has his favorites, but he’s not ready to make a decision.

[+] EnlargeNathaniel Devers
Chantel Jennings/ESPN.comNathaniel Devers' top three are Alabama, Michigan and Northwestern.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Devers wanted to make that clear before continuing, but that didn’t mean the offensive guard wasn’t ready to discuss his top three following a 34-14 win over Austintown Fitch last week.

Schools such as Alabama, Cincinnati, Kent State, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin have shown interest, while Toledo has offered.

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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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U-M targets litter ESPN Watch List 

September, 27, 2012
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Much like every other program in the country, Michigan has already started to focus on the 2014 recruiting class. The Wolverines have sent out approximately 49 offers to 2014 prospects, and 41 of those offered recruits are part of the first ESPN Watch List for 2014.

The Watch List includes seven prospects from the state of Michigan, including defensive back Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), defensive end Malik McDowell (Detroit/Loyola) and offensive lineman Jordan Van Dort (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland West).

The state of Ohio is also well represented with 11 prospects on the Watch List. Michigan's only 2014 commitment, linebacker Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville), makes up part of the Ohio section, along with offered targets Joe Henderson (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) and Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary).

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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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MASSILLON, Ohio -- Michigan’s 2013 class is just about filled up, so Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has his eye on helping out the 2014 class. Specifically, he has an eye on one of his teammates.

“Nathaniel Devers,” Conley said when asked who he’s recruiting. “He said he likes them. I keep telling him every day. He wears Ohio State shirts sometimes and I get mad at him and tell him you can’t wear that shirt if you want to go Michigan.”

Devers, a guard at Massillon, does not have a Michigan offer, but Conley says he better commit if and when he gets one.

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Offensive lineman Nathaniel Devers (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has been impressed with Michigan throughout his entire recruitment. But with his visit for the BBQ in the Big House, the Wolverines have solidified themselves even more so as his top school.

“[The visit] keeps Michigan right now at my No. 1 spot,” Devers said. “It was great -- really relaxed, just meeting the coaches and their families. It just made me feel like a part of the Michigan family.”

For the rising junior, he hasn’t just been impressed by Michigan’s football program, though the program’s tradition is very important to him. The academic prestige the University of Michigan offers has been a big draw for Devers.

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