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June 12, 2012
Ohio continues rep as talent-producer
Ohio's reputation as a top talent-producing state has been strengthened in recent years.
The class of 2012 saw more than 160 prospects from the state sign Division I letters of intent, placing Ohio fifth nationally behind just California, Florida, Texas and Georgia.
The class of 2013 will only enhance Ohio's reputation as a deep pool of talent. One-hundred and twenty prospects entered the summer claiming FBS or FCS scholarship offers, and 20 of those have already earned four-star status.
Leading the Ohio preseason top 60 ranking is the state's first five-star prospect, cornerback Cameron Burrows of Trotwood-Madison. The Dayton-area school boasts the largest number of representatives in the top 60 with linebacker Mike McCray, the state's No. 3 ranked prospect, along with defensive ends Jarrod Clements and Trey Williams-Brown and athlete Reon Dawson.
Despite the amount of talent Ohio has kicked out over the years, the state has never been known as a consistent producer of quarterback talent.
The means 2013 is an anomaly, with five quarterbacks finding spots in the top 60, including three ranked among the top 20 players in the state. Notre Dame commit Malik Zaire leads the quarterback group, checking in at No. 6 in the state.
Another position of strength in Ohio for 2013 is linebacker. Besides the 6-foot-4, 230-pound McCray, Hudson's Ben Gedeon, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne's Darrien Howard and Cincinnati Moeller's Shane Jones have earned four stars and rank among the state's top 20 prospects.
Middletown's Jalin Marshall checks in as the state's No. 2 ranked prospect. Both he and Burrows committed early to Ohio State. Ohio State also has commitments from top 10 prospects Evan Lisle (No. 5) of Centerville and Billy Price (No. 9) of Austintown-Fitch. Rival Michigan is challenging the Buckeyes in their home state, with Wolverines' commitments McCray, safety Dymonte Thomas (No. 4) and tight end Jake Butt (No. 7) all finding spots in the top 10.
Cleveland Heights wide receiver Shelton Gibson is the state's highest ranked uncommitted prospect, checking in at No. 8. Of the 16 prospects in Ohio ranked in the Rivals250, only he and Hilliard Darby athlete Caleb Day and Toledo St. John's quarterback Brogan Roback have yet to make a commitment.
The state rankings for Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia were also released today.
Although the state is only the 19th most populous in the country, Maryland has strong representation in the top of the national rankings every year. That is certainly the case in 2013, with the nation's No. 1 cornerback and No. 3 player overall, Kendall Fuller of Olney (Md.) Good Counsel, leading off the Maryland preseason top 25. Fuller is joined in the national top six by the state's No. 2 ranked prospect, defensive end Kenny Bigelow of Eastern Christian Academy.
Both Fuller and Bigelow also have teammates ranked among the state's top five. Good Counsel linebacker Dorian O'Daniel is the state's No. 3 ranked prospect and Eastern Christian's offensive lineman Khaliel Rodgers checks in at No. 5.
The state of Illinois is experiencing a very strong talent year in 2013, led by seven prospects who have been rated four stars.
Illinois-bound Aaron Bailey (No. 5) and Northwestern-bound Matt Alviti (No. 6) are far and away the state's top two quarterbacks. Michigan-bound offensive linemen Kyle Bosch (No. 4) of Wheaton St. Francis and Logan Tuley-Tillman of Peoria Manuel (No. 8) round out the state's four-stars.
Pro-style quarterback Shane Morris leads off the Michigan preseason top 30 and is the state's only representative in the Rivals100. However, the next five prospects in the state of Michigan rankings -- Midland offensive tackle Steve Elmer, Detroit Cass Tech teammates Jourdan Lewis and David Dawson, Detroit Catholic Central jumbo athlete Wyatt Shallman and Cadillac offensive tackle Riley Norman -- all have found places in the top 250.
It is not often that a tight end leads off the state rankings in a top talent-producing state such as Pennsylvania, but then it is not often a tight end the caliber of Camp Hill Cedar Cliff's Adam Breneman comes around. Pass-catchers hold down three of the top five spots in the Pennsylvania preseason top 30.
Monaca Central Valley wide receiver Robert Foster is the No. 2 ranked prospect in the state, with Clairton wide receiver Tyler Boyd sitting in the No. 5 spot. Boyd, Wyomissing linebacker Alex Anzalone (No. 3) and Philadelphia William Penn offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey (No. 8) each made strong moves in the last rankings update and are ranked among the state's top 10 prospects.
With the class of 2014 out of Virginia already drawing headlines, the state's 2013 offering is getting a little overshadowed. Led by new five-star Derrick Green of Richmond Heritage, though, the Virginia preseason top 30 is loaded with top-end talent. The top 12 prospects in the state are ranked in the Rivals250, including eight in the Rivals100.
Defensive linemen hold down five of the top 12 spots in the New Jersey preseason top 30, led by Red Bank Regional four-star defensive end Garrett Sickels as the state's No. 2 player. Ohio State defensive back commit Eli Woodard is the No. 1 player in New Jersey preseason.