Sports Today: Recruiting pickups for OSU and UD, Cubs crush Reds pitching, NBA draft lottery, etc.


Tuesday was a big 24 hours for recruiting as the flagship teams at Ohio State and Dayton both scored new players. 

First, Urban Meyer added to his 2018 football recruiting class with the verbal commitment of Dallas Gant, a four-star linebacker from Toledo St. John’s. 

Gant is expected to be able to play any of the three linebacker spots when he gets to Columbus, and his commitment moved Ohio State into the No. 2 spot in the country in terms of 247sports competitive class rankings, trailing only Miami (Fla.). 

He’s the second prospect from Ohio, joining Westerville South DB Jaelen Gill. 

Several uncommitted area stars have OSU offers, including Fairfield offensive lineman Jackson Carman, Wayne receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith, Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas and Springfield tight end/defensive end Leonard Taylor… 

Anthony Grant wrapped up his first Dayton recruiting class by signing Obadiah Toppin, a 6-foot-9 forward from Mt. Zion Prep in Baltimore, Md. 

Toppin is unrated by 247Sports or Scout but brings size and potential to the Flyers. 

RELATED: Dayton gets its man; can Anthony Grant keep the Flyers on the upswing?

After being hired in late March, Grant ended up finding a new point guard, keeping three players from Archie Miller’s recruiting class and adding another big man. 

Toppin’s presence could gain added significance depending on the status of Ryan Mikesell, who had the first of two hip surgeries Monday

READ MORE: Dayton Flyers pick up another 2017 recruit 

Bronson Arroyo and the Cincinnati Reds woke up the slumping Chicago Cubs bats at Wrigley Field last night. 

Middletown native Kyle Schwarber and University of Cincinnati grad Ian Happ both homered off Arroyo, whose ERA is 6.31 after he gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings. 

The bullpen backed him up by giving up four more runs, including a pair of dingers. 

Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Tucker Barnhart all homered for the Reds. 

Maybe they should save their 10-hit, five-run games for opponents other than the defending World Series champions. 

Scott Feldman takes the mount tonight for the Reds… 

RELATED: Reds pick up former prospect from Royals, move Finnegan to 60-day DL

Despite a two-hit night, Schwarber is hitting just .187, and the Chicago Tribune suggests he be taken out of the leadoff spot. 

The problem with that is the Cubs don’t have any obvious candidates to replace him at the top of the order despite having a stacked lineup and prospects to spare in the minors… 

Earlier this week, Andy Dalton said all the right things about the new weapons the Cincinnati Bengals added in the draft. 

Yesterday, there were more glimpses of what one of those players can do as Joe Mixon talked about wanting to be a complete running back. 

“With his versatility – the ability to run and catch – I think that’s going to be big,” Dalton said. “One of the things that helps with a guy that is versatile is you’re not tipping anything – you could be running the ball and you could be throwing it.” 

It will certainly be interesting to see what second-year offensive coordinator Ken Zampese can do with a variety of weapons that more resembles what predecessor Hue Jackson had in 2015… 

RELATED: Soft hands, fleet feet make Mixon a dual threat 

Switching back to basketball, the NBA draft lottery was held last night, and the big winners were the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Celtics, who begin the Eastern Conference finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, got the No. 1 pick thanks to a terrible trade the terrible Nets organization made a few years ago involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce going to New Jersey. 

The Lakers ending up at No. 2 likely means they will take UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, and that probably D’Angelo Russell will be playing somewhere else next season. 

SI.com reported multiple teams are looking into what it would take to acquire the former Ohio State point guard, who has had a star-crossed couple of years in LA. 

(Remember when SI wrote about how Kobe Bryant was going to help nurture Russell as a rookie? LMAO) 

READ MORE at Marcus Hartman’s “Cus Words Blog” 

I am still bullish on Russell, who isn’t as explosive off the dribble as most of the recent crop of point guards in the NBA but brings size, shooting ability and great court vision. 

He’s kind of like a modern Mark Jackson to me, although he’s a lot more athletic than I remember Jackson being. Jackson, of course, played in an era when point guards were pretty much all pass-first players while now it is expected they will score as well. 


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