January 26, 2012
Big junior day on tap
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Even with National Signing Day less than a week away, efforts are still being made by Urban Meyer and his staff to get off to a strong start with the junior class. On Sunday, Ohio State will host its first big junior day of the winter as the Men's basketball team hosts Michigan at the Value City Arena. Some of the top juniors in the state of Ohio will be on hand, many of which will be getting their first chance to interact with the new coaches that have been brought on board.
On the list of expected visitors are the top two offensive line prospects in the BuckeyeGrove.com class of 2013 Ohio rankings in Centerville tackle Evan Lisle and Huber Heights Wayne interior prospect Lovell Peterson.
For Lisle, the last few weeks have seen him add some big offers from the likes of Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, and Miami (FL), making him one of the fastest rising recruits in the state. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder is hearing from just about every other program in the Midwest with Michigan and Ohio State both stopping by the school earlier in the week.
Peterson, a 6-foot-3, 280-pound two-way lineman, is still sitting on his one offer from Illinois but that will certainly change sooner rather than later. Peterson is the state's top center prospect but could also project to both guard and defensive tackle at the next level, making him one of the more versatile prospects in Ohio. Peterson continues to list Alabama and Ohio State (in no particular order) as his top two schools.
Another big-time player out of the Dayton area is expected in Trotwood-Madison linebacker [db]Mike McCray. Like Peterson, McCray lists a top two that consists of Ohio State and an SEC school, this time it's Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 218-pound prospect is Ohio's top linebacker in the 2013 class and was as impressive on the field this past fall as any defensive player in the state not named Adolphus Washington. McCray has been to Columbus multiple times over the last six months and an offer to McCray in the near future would not be a surprise.
Sticking with the Dayton theme, one of the Midwest's top junior signal callers is also expected to be on campus in Kettering Alter's Malik Zaire. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound dual-threat prospect holds an Ohio State offer and lists an early top three of Nebraska, Ohio State, and Pittsburgh.
From the Cincinnati area, one of the top offensive linemen in Ohio is Moeller's Alex Gall and he is also expected to make the trip north up I-71. Gall recently just landed his first offer from Kentucky and is a player that has been firmly on Ohio State's radar since earning the OL MVP award at two-day underclassmen camp back in June.
There will certainly be some local prospects from the Columbus area on hand as well, including the Pickerington North duo of tight end/defensive end Jake Butt and safety/running back Godwin Igwebuike. Butt has racked up more than a dozen offers already and is the top tight end prospect in the state of Ohio. The Buckeyes have not offered at this point but that could be one to watch over the next few weeks.
Igwebuike entered his junior season under the radar but exploded with a big year for North and now has himself on the radar of many of the Midwest's top programs. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder holds early offers from Boston College, Buffalo, and Duke and has made a handful of unofficial visits to Ohio State in the last few months.
Northeast Ohio is always a hot bed for talent and a pair of teammates from Shaker Heights are expected to make the drive down to Columbus in [db]Donovan Munger and De'Niro Laster. Munger has been one of the hottest prospects in the state recently, as two-way lineman closes in on double digit offers.
Laster currently holds five offers from Mid-American Conference programs and should be closing in on some BCS level offers in the near future. At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds, Laster is one of the top wide receiver prospects in the state in what is looking to be a very strong year at the position.
Stay tuned to BuckeyeGrove.com throughout the weekend as we update the list of expected visitors as we get the names.
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