Wednesday, February 03, 1999

OSU recruits guarantee bright future




BY JOHN ERARDI
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Today is national high school football signing day. And if all of Ohio State's 24 oral commitments become official, it will be another bumper crop, recruiting experts say.

        Included are local running backs Kelton Lindsay of Lebanon and Wyoming's Richard Hall.

        “(OSU coach) John Cooper has done another great job in getting Ohio players to go to Ohio State,” said Bill Kurelic, editor of Ohio Football Recruiting News in Westerville. “It's like he's built a fence around the state. The majority of great prep talent in Ohio is staying in Ohio. He's also done a very, very good job in southwest Ohio the last few years.

        “It's a great year for talent in Ohio, one of the greatest years in recent memory, and (OSU) got most of it. They got eight of the top 10 players in Ohio.

        Two players Ohio State missed on was Hamilton quarterback Andy Mignery, who's going to Michigan, and Deryck Toles, a running back out of Warren Harding who's heading to Penn State.

        Kurelic rates Texas' class No. 1, followed by Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio State.

        “And if Ohio State gets Reggie Brown, the wide receiver from Georgia, who's going to announce his decision (today), I'd move them to fourth. He'll probably go to Georgia, but who knows?”

        If Hall qualifies academically, he will likely get playing time at running back as a freshman, Kurelic said.

        “They use more than one tailback at Ohio State,” he said. “"You saw it last year with Michael Wiley and Joe Montgomery. Montgomery has graduated. Hall could be in the mix with Jonathan Wells, and Kelton Lindsay and the other guys they've got ... Lindsay will come in as a running back, but he could be switched to defensive back. He's a tremendous athlete.”

        Here's Kurelic's top 10 prep players in Ohio:

        1. Lindsay

        2. Curtis Crosby (DB, Columbus)

        3. Fred Pagac Jr. (linebacker, Dublin, son of OSU's defensive coordinator)

        4. Matt Wilhelm (LB, Elyria Catholic)

        5. Mike Doss (DB, Canton McKinley)

        6. Tim Anderson (defensive lineman, Clyde)

        7. Adrien Clarke (offensive lineman, Shaker Heights)

        8. Toles

        9. Maurice Lee (wide receiver, Cleveland South)

        10. Mignery.

        “The only reason I didn't have Hall in my top 10 is be cause we didn't know if he'd be a qualifier (academically),” Kurelic said. “If I knew he'd qualify, he'd be in my top five.”

       



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