28 August 2011
20. Taylor Decker, OL, 6-8, 255, Vandalia-Butler
An extremely athletic big lineman. Up until he outgrew the game, he was a better basketball prospect. There was much talk that with better offers on the table he would have chosen basketball. Great frame. He is going to get bigger but will still be just as athletic as he is right now. He has the length and the feet you want in a left tackle prospect. He has been a basketball player first athlete until now so he has more work in front of him than other linemen in the class, especially in the run game, but the raw materials are top drawer.
21. Tyvis Powell, Ath, 6-4, 180, Bedford
The more I watched Powell the more impressed I became. He is a very football smart player. He makes great decisions on the field. He is a fine athlete. He is one of the best tacklers in the class. He has a very long body and is long limbed. I know the Buckeyes are talking about playing him at corner. I need to see that happen to believe it. I think it more likely he ends up growing into a linebacker. It does not really matter. I think the staff made a great decision to offer this much underrated
player who also happens to be a solid citizen and hard worker. Where he plays does not matter. Powell will be an impact player.
22. William Mahone , RB/S, 6-1,200, Austintown Fitch
It is a tough year to be an outstanding player at either running back or safety. Mahone is a prospect who can claim offers from Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, Boston College, Michigan State and Iowa but is the third best back in the state. He is an explosive and powerful back with good size and outstanding speed. Very quick feet and good vision. Excellent hands. He is also a great looking defensive player. I say defensive player, not specifically safety, because Mahone has the kind of build that says he could grow into a linebacker. I think his best fit on defense is at the hybrid position. Mahone is excellent in coverage. Some will say defense. I see a running back. On either side of the ball I see a Big Five player.
23. Najee Murray, Ath, 5-11, 180 Steubenville
I remember the e-mail from Mr. Bucknuts when I picked Najee Murray as a Buckeye several months before he was offered. That Mark Porter had also picked Murray as a player who would end up a Buckeye was really had him baffled. A player he had never heard of being picked by both of us separately to be a Buckeye recruit. Mark and I did not speak before we picked our future Buckeye teams but we had talked about Murray before. He did not have the pub but he had the film. We knew he was an elite athlete. It was more about what position he would play than whether the Big Five would come in on him. Murray could be a safety or a wide receiver in addition to corner. Great feet, speed, great instincts. Good corner size. Great offer by the Buckeyes.
24. Trae Clark DT; 6-4, 300, Colerain
I have always been a big fan of Trae Clark. I had him down this top 50 just a little before I watched his teammate Joe Boldens film several times. Clarks highlight film is impressive but Boldens is nearly 10 minutes long. Since Bolden is the focus you get to see a down in and down out look at Clark. I was more impressed with him off of that look than I was off his highlight film. He is what a nose tackle should be. He commands a double team on every play or he will disrupt the offense. I noticed how hard he played. That is something very important for a defensive lineman. He is quick in tight spaces and bear strong. He finds the play quickly. A much underrated football player who will see an even better offer list if he shows patience.
25. Evan Jones, 6-6, 240, TE/DL, Ridgewood West Lafayette
I have been a big fan of Evan Jones since the first time I saw his film. He has a great body. He is going to get alot bigger. He could be a great tight end in college. He shows hands and is an excellent blocker but I include Jones as one of the elite defensive linemen in the class. I think he can be an outstanding strong side end. I see his defensive film clips as more impressive than his tight end clips. He uses his hands very well. He plays very physical. He runs great, very athletic. He has the motor. No question in my mind the most underrated of an elite defensive line class.
26. Joe Bolden, LB, 6-3, 220, Colerain
I was looking at Boldens film for this top 50. I was trying to decide where he would play in college. I still don't know. He is a player you can plug in at any linebacker position and he will excel. He plays both inside and outside for Colerain and is an outstanding player at both. This is a kid who runs so well. He has instincts. He is a great tackler. He plays well in space. Great body. If you asked me to find a weakness in Boldens game I would have to get back to you on that. Great player.
27. DeShawn Dowdy, Ath, 6-4, 215, Akron North
Sometimes films come in late and you find a great player. I can't remember the last time I saw a film this late of a player so impressive. Dowdy is one of the best pure athletes in the class. He has all the tools to be a great receiver but I think he is going to get alot bigger. He is an outstanding linebacker and could play linebacker in college but I can see Dowdy filling out into a full blown defensive end. He is at his best coming off the edge so that would be a good fit. Dowdy has a nice offer list with West Virginia, Cincinnati and Iowa State but his film came out late so if he is patient I think that list gets alot better. Made a mistake not getting out to camps and combines this summer. He was going to open some eyes in that setting with his athleticism.
28. Arlington McClinton, DE 6-6 220, Midview
If you are new to blog right about now you are saying, who? I think you might not be saying that three years down the road. Smaller football programs here in Ohio have a nice history of putting elite pass rushers into the NFL. Hugh Douglas came out of Central State to have an impressive 80 sack pro career. Trent Cole is going to make many a top ten current NFL pass rushers list. He is from Cincinnati. Jason Taylor is wrapping up what is likely to be a Hall of Fame career. He is out of Akron. All of them came out of nowhere to be great players. I think McClinton, an Akron verbal, is the next in that line. I saw three players on film that were just head and shoulders above everyone else as pass rushers, Ifeadi Odenigbo, Brian Cox who was at Avon but is now at Aquinas in Florida, and Arlington McClinton. Grades are the concern. There is no question about the talent.
29. Tony Matteo, OL, 6-4, 280, Akron Manchester
There were five offensive linemen in this class that were Big Five prospects. Tony Matteo is one of them. He holds the unique distinction of being the most versatile of the lot. There are four position linemen pretty regularly. For that matter, most left tackle prospects can project to four positions. Tony Matteo could be a five position offensive lineman. He is tall and long enough to play either tackle spot. He has such great feet. He is a high school center and wants to play center but a player who has the tools to play tackle, you have to want him to play tackle. I am confident he could be a right tackle. I would at least try him at left tackle. West Virginia was a favorite all along and got a verbal from Matteo. I think they stole one.
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