NCF On The Trail: Sam Hubbard

Top position classes: LB 

February, 17, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
The Alabama Crimson Tide’s 2014 class fill just about every need on the board, and that includes linebacker. With designs on addressing pass rushing and the ability to play in space on the edge at outside 'backer in Nick Saban’s 3-4 scheme, Alabama signed the Nos. 1 and No. 2 outside linebackers in the country in No. 48 overall Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) and No. 52 overall Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), who is pound for pound of the best pure athletes in the 2014 cycle. The Crimson Tide added two more talented linebackers in ESPN 300’s No. 102 Shaun Dion Hamilton (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) and No. 281 Keith Holcombe (Tuscaloosa, Ala./Hillcrest). Hamilton is an MLB.

The Crimson Tide had the nation’s best linebacker class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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Typically losing a defensive line coach wouldn’t get too much publicity, but when Ohio State defensive line coach Mike Vrabel announced he would be leaving for the Houston Texans, it made some noise.

Vrabel was one of the best recruiters in the country and helped the Buckeyes reel in plenty of prospects over the past few years.

While Ohio State won’t likely lose any commitments from this departure, it is a big blow to the recruiting efforts overall. Vrabel was well liked among recruits and had a lot of success with his targets.


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It’s called the Big Ten Conference for a reason.

From big offers, to big official visits to big commitments, the Big Ten has been abuzz with activity.

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Best Big Ten recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

Michigan and Ohio State both sit in the top 10 recruiting rankings this year after each landed top 10 classes in 2013 -- the Buckeyes were third, while the Wolverines were sixth.

That's why it should come as no surprise that the two schools have the top four recruiters in the Big Ten Conference for the Class of 2014 so far.

Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters in the Big Ten and why they deserve such high praise:


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Urban Meyer said Ohio State has to seize momentum when it has it in when it comes to recruiting during a bye week.

Coming off two big wins over then-nationally ranked Wisconsin at home and currently ranked Northwestern on the road certainly doesn’t hurt. Then again, neither does having the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 games.

[+] EnlargeStephen Collier
Tom Hauck for Student SportsLeesburg, Ga., quarterback commit Stephen Collier was drawn to the winning ways of Urban Meyer and Ohio State.
While the computers haven’t taken notice and writers are skeptical of a weak conference and not-too-strong nonconference schedule, the future is buying in and it’s buying in big time.

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Urban Meyer doesn’t miss an opportunity to impress.


The two-time national champion did it last year when Nebraska played Ohio State in The Horseshoe under the lights and he’s not missing the opportunity this year.

Here’s a look at some of the bigger names scheduled to make the trek to the banks of the Olentangy River for the Buckeyes-Badgers game Saturday evening.

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Each class within the Big Ten has its strengths and weaknesses, but there is a lot of talent joining the conference. Here is a look at the top classes in the Big Ten by position.

Quarterback
Strongest class: Penn State


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The opening weekend of college football and the beginning of a fall evaluation period means there is plenty to talk about in recruiting. Here is a look at what happened this weekend in Big Ten recruiting:


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Ohio State had several areas of need in the 2014 class, chief among them being the offensive line and linebacker. Here’s a look at their top five areas of need and what they’ve done to address them so far.


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This month is very important for Ohio State, as the staff is set to host its senior advanced camp on Sunday. Hundreds of prospects will be in attendance, including several top targets. Here are five storylines to watch this week:


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BuckeyeNation continues to hit the road in search of budding Division I talent who should catch the eyes of Ohio State fans. Here’s what we came up with this week:

This week’s targets: BuckeyeNation as well as RecruitingNation headed to Columbus, Ohio, for the Elite 11 and Nike Football Training Camp. Seven Buckeyes commitments -- the only pledges missing were Marcelys Jones (Cleveland/Glenville) and Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) -- made their way to the Ohio State campus and didn’t disappoint as Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius), Kyle Trout (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), Dylan Thompson (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) and teammates Dante Booker and Parris Campbell Jr. of Akron (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary each earned trips to The Opening.

Detroit rock city: Assistant coach Kerry Coombs spent a good portion of the evaluation period in Detroit, and for good reason. He went after two-time Michigan commit David Dawson from Cass Tech High School last season, but missed. Coombs and the Buckeyes didn’t this time around as Webb committed back in January. Malik McDowell of Detroit Loyola is also on the Ohio State radar. Before he said yes to Michigan, Lawrence Marshall was an Ohio State pledge, even if it was only for three days. Marshall lives in Southfield, Mich. a suburb 19 minutes away from Detroit.

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Commitment No. 9 came in a big way for Ohio State on Thursday.

It came from an outside linebacker the Buckeyes have been coveting for some time now.

Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) will join running back and teammate Parris Campbell Jr. as part of the 2014 recruiting class for Ohio State.


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According to Vincent Jackson (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit), the offer apparently came a while ago. He just never confirmed it.

And now Ohio State's offer is out in the open, the 2014 outside linebacker isn’t taking it lightly even though he has offers from no fewer than 33 schools.


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Sometimes an athlete just knows what he wants.

While it took Lonnie Johnson (Gary, Ind./West Side) a few more months than anticipated, the two-way threat picked Ohio State on Sunday.

When an offer came in December from the Buckeyes, the 6-foot-2, 180-pound wide receiver said he wanted to make his announcement just days later, but instead held off to let his teammates from the Class of 2013 take center stage.

Five months removed from the Ohio State offer, Johnson made it official with a commitment to the Buckeyes, becoming the eighth member of the Buckeyes’ 2014 class.

In choosing Ohio State, Johnson turned down offers from Bowling Green, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Purdue and interest from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.


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When reached via text message, Malik Jefferson (Mesquite, Texas/Poteet) didn’t have much to say about his offer from Ohio State.

Then again, the exclamation point said plenty.


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