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.
Big Fish: Trout had a weekend most dream of as The Opening invitation wasn’t the only big news for the 6-foot-5, 254-pound offensive tackle. He also excelled in field events at the Pickerington Division I Regional. The big man won the discus with a throw of 177-4 and then backed it up by taking the shot put title as well with a toss of 55-5¼ to advance to this weekend’s state meet. Incidentally, he’ll be joined by 2013 signee Billy Price (Youngstown, Ohio/Austintown Fitch), who won the Fitch Regional in discus and finished second in shot put.
Word on the street: Brutus676767 asks why Ohio State hasn’t offered quarterback DeShone Kizer yet. He’s 6-5 and an Ohio kid -- he’s out of Toledo Central Catholic -- so where is the in-state love? The answer is in consistency. Kizer has an incredible arm, but isn’t always the most accurate passer. Urban Meyer and a slew of coaches were at his state championship game last fall. There must have been something there they didn’t like or he would have an offer by now, we think.
What to watch: The Ohio State campus is where it’s at again this weekend. The state track and field tournament takes place on Friday and Saturday when Ohio State commits Gareon Conley, Darron Lee and Price will join commits Trout and Campbell at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. On Sunday, Ohio State will hold the first of its senior advanced camps. Scheduled to attend and unattached are big names such as quarterback Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County), running back Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peters), athlete George Brown Jr. (Cincinnati/Winton Woods), defensive tackle Poona Ford (Hilton Head Island, S.C./Hilton Head) and defensive end Nick Bosa (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas).