Its getting to be around that time again. The crack of the pads crashing together, the double sessions in the heat, and teams starting to come together looking forward to a great season.
The Cleveland area has always been a hotbed of college recruiting, and many a player has gone on to major college stardom. The class of the 2013 football season is no different. There is tons of talent in the Cleveland area again this year. Here is a look at the Top Ten players in this years class:
1. Marshon Lattimore, CB, Cleveland Glenville…. Just another in a great line of players to come out of Glenville. Currently rated as the best player in Ohio, the fourth best cornerback in the country, and the 34th best player overall in the country, Lattimore looks to take the Tarblooders back to the state playoffs. The 6 foot 175 pounder has run a 4.38 40 yard dash, and has narrowed down his college choices to Kentucky, Ohio State, and Alabama.
2. Dante Booker, OLB, St. Vincent-St. Mary…. Led the Irish to a state championship last season. The 6 foot 3, 212 pound linebacker is currently ranked as the second best player in Ohio, fifth best outside linebacker in the country, and 77th overall best player in the country. Runs an astounding 4.52 in the 40 yard dash. Booker has committed to play for Urban Meyer and Ohio State next season.
3. Kyle Berger, OLB, St. Ignatius…. Comes from one of the top programs in the country. State champions in 2011. Led the Wildcats in tackles by a wide margin in 2012. Rangy linebacker with sideline-to-sideline speed and great instincts. Three year starter for the Wildcats, which is rare in a program that successful. Has committed to play at Ohio State next season.
4. Marcelys Jones, OG, Cleveland Glenville…. Massive. At 6 foot 5 and 325 pounds, he dominates at the high school level. Graded out at over 90% last season. Three year starter for the Tarblooders. Also starts at defensive tackle. Has committed to play at Ohio State next season. In a quote to Bleacherreport.com, Jones talked about his excitement on being a future Buckeye:
“I’m going to get some more 2014 guys to commit to Ohio State. I can’t wait to go to work at O-State. It’s one of the best schools. We’ll be contending in BCS bowls. I wanted to go where I knew I could win.”
5. Parris Campbell, WR, St. Vincent-St. Mary…. A name skyrocketing up recruiting boards. Loaded with potential. Just turned 16 this past year after skipping a grade. This 6 foot, 184 pound “hybrid” type athlete can take the ball the distance on every touch. Runs the 40 yard dash in 4.41 seconds. Had 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a state championship game victory. Will give Urban Meyer another offensive weapon when he suits up for Ohio State next fall.
6. Joe Henderson, DE, Shaker Hts….. Another recruiting sleeper. Projected as a weak side defensive end at the next level. At 6 foot 4 and 225 pounds, he needs to add weight and strength. Runs the 40 yard dash in an incredible 4.5 seconds. Adds versatility in being able to rush the passer, or drop into coverage and cover a back out of the backfield. Has committed to play at the University of Tennessee next season.
7. Erick Smith, S, Cleveland Glenville…. Getting the hint that Glenville may be pretty good this year/ Erick Smith follows in the footsteps of Donte Whitner and Ted Ginn Jr. as another outstanding safety prospect. Runs the 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds. Will team with Marshon Lattimore in making the Tarblooders secondary one of the best in the state. This 6 foot 1, 185 pounder has limited his college choices to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Georgia tech, Illinois, and Indiana. Odds are he will become a future Buckeye.
8. Jimmy Byrne, OG, St. Ignatius…. Another strong offensive lineman coming out of Cleveland’s West Side. At 6 foot 4 and 290 pounds, he already has a “college ready” type body. Anchors an offensive line that is arguably the best in the state of Ohio. Great run blocker with good strength and lateral movement. Will play next year at Notre Dame.
9. Brandon Fritts, WR, Mentor…. Put himself on the recruiting map with an unbelievable post-season. Who can forget the two massive games he had against St. Edward and St. Ignatius in the state playoffs? This 6 foot 4, 215 pounder will play a “hybrid” type position next fall when he steps on the field and follows his high school quarterback, Mitch Trubisky, at the University of North Carolina.
10. Odell Spencer, WR, Shaker Hts….. Spencer and quarterback Jimmy Pope led the football revival at Shaker last season, leading the Raiders to an 8-2 record. This 6 foot, 180 pound slot receiver should be a perfect fit in the wide open offense next year at Bowling Green.