Sports Today: Recruiting Ohio continues to be tricky for Urban Meyer at Ohio State


Another area high school football made his verbal commitment earlier this week when Gabe Newburg announced he will be going to Michigan. 

The Northmont defensive end is a three-star prospect with a dozen college offers

LandOf10.com recruiting analyst Ryan Donnelly reports he visited Ohio State last week but wasn’t willing to wait any longer to see if Urban Meyer was going to offer him. 

“It went well,” Newburg said of his unofficial visit to Ohio State last Friday. “I watched their practice, went on a tour of the campus, and then talked to Coach Meyer for a little while. He talked to me a lot about how close they were to offering me. We talked for a little while. We’d talk and then he’d turn to one of his assistants and say, ‘I like this kid. We gotta get him.’ He said that a few times.“

He told me to be patient and asked if I could wait a month before committing somewhere else, but I can’t do that, man. I know what I want to do and I’m going to do it. I can’t wait around.”

This is a familiar story from the Meyer era at Ohio State. 

Michigan and other programs have made a habit of swooping in to grab Ohio prospects before the Buckeyes were ready to offer. 

Among notable examples are Trotwood-Madison linebacker Mike McCray II, who ended up a captain and multi-year starter at Michigan, and Alter quarterback Malik Zaire (Notre Dame). 

Last week, Springfield defensive back Moses Douglass chose Kentucky out of an impressive offer list that did not include Ohio State — at least not yet . 

It’s certainly hard to blame any kid for striking when the iron is hot, and obviously the recruiting approach is working for Meyer as he continues to sign top five classes filled with players from all over the country

RELATED: 5 things to know about Urban Meyer’s latest recruiting class

Whether or not forsaking the state too much is a factor in duds like the Iowa game last season remains to be seen. 

I can’t shake the feeling it might be, but I’m also biased as an Ohio high school football advocate who grew up watching the guys John Cooper let go out of state come back to haunt the Buckeyes regularly. 

That happened less under Jim Tressel, but his teams also had a talent disparity against Florida, LSU and USC, so there is no doubt a balance must be struck when it comes to building a roster in Columbus. 

That both of Ohio State’s national championship teams since the end of the Woody Hayes era had a mix of Tressel and Cooper/Meyer players is probably not a coincidence... 

Meanwhile, Donnelly reports Ohio State is also asking another Northmont junior for more time to evaluate the linebacker class. 

“They mentioned that an offer could be coming soon,” linebacker Jestin Jacobs told Donnelly. “But if not I’ll have to earn it during a [summer prospect camp at Ohio State]. That offer would be big for me. It would be a dream come true.” 

This weekend a trio of area high school basketball standouts will take part in the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star Game at Thomas More College in northern Kentucky. 

Wayne guards Darius Quisenberry and Deshon Parker will join Versailles wing Justin Ahrens, who is headed to Ohio State next season. 

Also on the Ohio squad is future Wright State Raider Jeremiah Davenport, who is fresh off a state championship victory with Cincinnati Moeller. 

Quisenberry is going to Youngstown State and Parker has signed with James Madison. 

The Reds didn’t play yesterday, but there was some good news anyway: Scott Schebler isn’t going to play through an arm injury and risk making it worse. 

This is good not only for him but the team. 

Via Hal McCoy

It is a case of Scott Schebler not doing what Scott Schebler did last year. He injured his shoulder making a diving catch and the numbess he felt was similar to the numbness he felt when he was hit Sunday.

Last year he tried to play through it and his batting average tumbled like dice on a craps table. He doesn’t want that to happen this year, especially after an excellent spring training and a .333 start this season.

Perhaps this not unique to them (I don’t follow every other team as closely to know what they do), but the Reds seems to have had a bad habit of failing to have their players deal with injuries properly. 

This leads to them playing with a short bench more often than necessary and can have long-standing negative effects on the player, too. 

It goes all the way back (at least) to original Dayton Dragon Austin Kearns, who let a lingering shoulder injury ruin his second season 15 years ago. 

He never could stay healthy the rest of his career. 

Of course Schebler also runs the risk of being Wally Pip’d with Jesse Winker there to gobble up at-bats, but maybe a little extra playing time will help Billy Hamilton find his stroke, too… 

Today is Dayton Dragons media day, which means we local scribes get the chance to meet Hunter Greene for the first time at Fifth Third Field. 

Another Reds No. 1 draft pick, catcher Tyler Stephenson, has been tabbed as the “biggest breakout prospect” in the system this year. 

“He's primed to have a good year,” Reds farm director Jeff Graupe told MLB.com. "He has a chance to make an impact offensively and defensively, but he stands out with the chance to produce high-quality at-bats. He did take a huge step forward with his receiving and his game-calling, and he's maximizing his abilities back there.”

Stephenson showed a lot of promise as the Dragons catcher the last two seasons — at least when he was healthy.

Hopefully that bad injury luck is behind as he moves up to advanced Class A Daytona, but of course catching can be an unforgiving business. 


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