Commentary

Ohio State has need for speed

Originally Published: November 9, 2007
By Billy Tucker | ESPN.com

Etienne Sabino's (Miami/Dr. Krop) commitment to Ohio State on Thursday night was by far the biggest news on the recruiting trail this week, but not a shocking revelation when looking at the top-tier talent already headed to Columbus in 2008. Scouts Inc.'s No. 1 inside linebacker prospect is impressively OSU's eighth ESPN 150 prospect out of its 13 total commitments, displaying the Buckeyes selective recruiting power.

[+] EnlargeJim Tressel
Hunter Martin/Getty ImagesJim Tressel is starting to recruit team speed to Columbus.
Aside from boasting an exceptional class in terms of skill, plucking three high-profile prospects out of the state of Florida -- where there is unparalleled speed -- might be Ohio State's biggest accomplishment. Size and strength on both sides of the line has never been an issue, but we did see the Buckeyes struggle to match the University of Florida's speed last year in the National Championship game.

Sabino and committed cornerback Travis Howard, also from Dr. Krop High School, could ignite a south Florida pipeline up to Columbus and thus raise that level of team speed.

"I kind of wanted to get out of Florida. Nothing against the Florida schools, I just wanted to branch out," Sabino told us on Thursday.

Looking ahead to 2009, the region is once again loaded with speed, and Dr. Krop might claim some of the best talent of any school in the Sunshine State. If more Florida prospects decide to branch out to OSU in the future, it could be an ominous sign for the rest of the Big 10 and maybe the entire country.

O-line recruiting always strong for BC

Boston College did receive some good news last weekend to help offset its upset loss to Florida State on a dreary Saturday night. Under Armour All-American offensive lineman Mike Goodman (Miami/Christopher Columbus) committed to the Eagles prior to the contest, giving the program its first ESPN 150 member since the origination of the ESPN 150 with the 2006 class.

While the 150 label preceding his name might be a first, an impressive offensive lineman on the campus of Chestnut Hill has become the norm. The Eagles have produced a plethora of NFL linemen, including: Tom Nalen, Pete Kendall, Dan Koppen, Damien Woody, Ron Stone, Chris Snee, Marc Colombo; now Gosder Cherilus is a projected first-rounder.

A football factory for turning out tough, intelligent, athletic offensive linemen, Cherilus' selection in April will mark the ninth time in 10 years that at least one Eagles' offensive lineman has been selected in the NFL Draft.

When you couple the Eagles history with the tutelage he will receive under head coach Jeff Jagodzinski, a respected O-line teacher, look for Goodman to carry on the great tradition in Chestnut Hill.

A.J. Green hits 5,000

5,000 yards in a career is remarkable for a high school running back. For a receiver, it's mind-boggling. ESPN 150 WR A.J. Green (Ridgeville, S.C./Summerville) became only the third player ever to reach the 5,000 yard milestone for receiving yards.

On January 5, fans will get a chance to check out Green and his Summerville head coach John McKissick, the all-time winningest coach in the history of high school football, at the Under Amour All-America Classic.

Etc.

• Had a chance to speak with Foley High School head coach Todd Watson regarding his star wide receiver Julio Jones' (Foley, Ala.) recruitment. Watson squashed the rumors that Jones attended the Alabama/LSU game and stated that he is focusing on the playoffs and will narrow down his schools to five after the season.

• Following up on last week's piece about Dan Hawkins building a winner at Colorado, running back Darrell Scott (Moorpark, Calif./Saint Bonaventure), ESPN's No. 7-rated overall prospect in 2008, now appears to have the Buffaloes as a frontrunner after a weekend in Boulder.

Billy Tucker

Scouts, Football Recruiting
• Recruiting coordinator for ESPN RecruitingNation.
• Nearly a decade of college coaching experience.
• Was recruiting coordinator at nationally-ranked Division II colleges.

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