Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ohio High School Players - Drafted

A few years ago I began looking at the NFL Draft list to find which draftees had Ohio high school ties. Honestly, doing the research was the only thing that I did with the draft. I am not a great NFL fan and listening to Mel Kiper gets really amusing.  NFL teams spend hours on end researching draft choices and trying to meet their needs, only to have sports talk shows give the NFL teams a grade. Back to the draft choices who have Ohio high school ties. The Toledo Blade only put Ohio Sate players in bold, but I thought that all of players drafted deserved bold.

Most of the comments are about each player's high school playing days. I saw all of them play, but for Vinny Curry who played for Cincinnati Harmony. Of course,  remember, I am an Ohio high school football guy and the NFL is something to watch as I prepare for a nap.

First Round
   Luke Kuechly - LB - St Xavier HS - Boston College - Carolina. Liked him as a strong  
 safety/linebacker. Only about 210, but ran really well. Huge motor. Smart. Tough. Closed well.
   Whitney Mercilus - LB - Akron Garfield HS - Illinois - Houston. Played DE/TE. Excellent bender. Athletic. Did not take plays off. Fast off the edge. Good hips. Loved his potential.

Second Round
   Mike Adams - OT - Dublin Coffman HS - Ohio State - Pittsburgh. Long. Tall. Really athletic. Excellent feet. Needed to be a better bender. More aggressive as run blocker. Did not realize had issuses. Questioned his toughness, but super athleticism. 
   Derek Wolfe - DE - Beaver Local HS - Cincinnati - Denver.  Like his aggressiveness. Excellent quickness. Saw him play well against Mooney in a scrimmage. Personal issuses were of a concern. Really liked his potential.
   Jerel Worthy - DL - Wayne HS - Michigan State - Green Bay. Excellent quickness. Good balance. Excellent first step. Got off blocks. Played hard. Finished plays.
   Isaiah Pead - RB - Columbus Eastmoor HS - Cincnnati - St Louis. Got north/south. Burst. Ran high at times. Good ball skills. Played hard. Excellent work habits.

Third Round
   DeVier Posey - WR - Cincinnati LaSalle HS - Ohio State - Houston. Fast. Excellent hands. Separated from defender. Excellent burst. Big play potential. Excellent character.
   John Hughes - DL - Gahanna Lincoln HS - Cincinnati - Cleveland. Really improved in college. Strong. Moved well. Concern about grades. Tough run stopper.

Fifth Round
   Zebrie Sanders - OL - Dayton Northmont HS - Florida State - Buffalo. Always liked him. Excellent frame. Natural left tackle. More aggressive run blocker. Very good pass blocker. Did not question desire. Light came on at FSU.
   Najee Goode - LB - Cleveland Benedictine HS - West Virginia - Tampa Bay. A QB in high school. State finalist in discus. Tough competitor. Good balance. Good hips. OLB instints. Needed to improve burst.

Sixth Round
   B J Cunningham - WR - Westerville South HS - Michigan State - Miami. Excellent ball skills. Faster when ball was in air. Good burst. Climbed for the ball. Strong hands. WR mentality. Tremendous competitor.
   Nate Ebner - DB - Hilliard Davidson HS - Ohio State - New England. Never evaluated. Did not play high school football.
   Daniel Herron - RB - Warren Harding HS - Ohio State - Cincinnati. Tough north/south runner. Good burst. Good hips. Durable. Changed direction well. Good hands. Thought that he a solid runner in high school.  Got much stronger in college.

Seventh Round
   Gregg Scruggs - DE - Cincinnati St Xavier HS - Louisville - Seattle. Really did not remember much about Gregg. More of LB type, but played DE. Ran really well. Stayed on his feet. Good burst off edge. Had to look back in notes.
   Jordan White - WR - North Ridgeville HS - Western Michigan - Solid speed guy. Good hands. Fast. Also played some defense. More of a multi-purpose in high school. Looked in notes.
   Jeremy Ebert - Hilliard Darby HS - Northwestern - New England. Fast. Quick release off LOS. Tough competitor. Played QB at times. Excellent athlete with speed. Can make plays.

As you read through the list and through the comments, there is one other point that I want to make. Ohio State is one of the top football programs in the country. There is no question about that.  Many young Ohio high school football players become discouraged, if there is no Ohio State offer. Regardless of what college that a player attends, if he works hard and stays with it, he has a chance to get drafted. Nate Ebner was a walk-on who never played high school football.

Every year Ohio has its share of home grown prospects getting a shot at the pro-level. The NFL also signs many free agents who grew up on Ohio high school football. As Coach Hayes used to say,"Yea Ohio!"


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