2011 High School All-Star Games Recap

Written January 13th, 2011 by Joe Laing

As promised here is a combined recap of the 3 High school all-star games that we previewed.  Lots and lots to talk about.

Offense / Defense All-American Bowl

In the game that showcased a high number of Buckeye commits our guys really showed out.  Chase Farris was named the defensive MVP for his play on the defensive line.  Kenny Hayes was probably one of the top 3 most recognizable recruits in the game and was talked about all week by the experts. He showed why by performing well in the game. These two were not the only D-line commits to perform well in all-star games, as we will get to further down.

Chase Farris

Derjuan Gambrell scored from the defensive side of the ball as he was able to pick up a fumble and take it back 28 yds to the house.  Ron Tanner and Jeremy Cash also made appearances in this game, but I have not heard reports on their play.

On offense, Nick Vannett, who is a guy that many haven’t talked much about, was very impressive in the game. After seeing him this season and hearing how impressive he looked in the game, I for one am really excited about the skill set he brings to Columbus.  He follows in the footsteps of other Ohio State TE’s that will pride themselves on blocking and have the ability with their huge frame to make plays down the field.

Tommy Brown; not much news during the week or the game.  He will most likely be a red-shirt and fall into the two deep on the inside in a couple years.

The one guy from Ohio that really showed out was Cardale Jones.  He threw for 125 yds, 2 scores, and ran for another.  While he has been hot and cold all year, it really comes down to a test score;  If he can qualify, we will find room for him I think.  I don’t see Braxton red-shirting so there could be at least a year of seperation, and if Braxton turns out to be the star that many believe he will be, there is an opportunity that he leaves early and gives Jones 2 year.  If nothing else, Jones looks like he has the ability to move out to WR for certain plays, especially in the red-zone.

His teammate Shane Wynn also performed well.  He scored a TD and had a block that left many talking as he led the QB to the endzone.  He is tiny, but we might regret this one in a couple years in terms of a weapon we really could have used.  I’m not sure why we are taking a pass on this one, although there have been rumors of grades, but I hate to speculate.  Eilar Hardy and Jarrett Grace are two other guys that played in this game that we might regret passing on in a couple years as well.

Under Armour All-American Bowl

Of the two televised games this was the more interesting one. It was still somewhat of a snooze fest until the end, when a last second field goal won it.

Two guys that really stood out where Karlos Williams at S who is going to FSU, and DE Jadeveon Clowney, who showed why he is the best player in the country.  Too bad he won’t be coming to Ohio State.

It was a disappointment that Braxton Miller didn’t get to see much playing time, but the silver lining is that he was not out there to get injured.  Many are drooling over Jeff Driskel, the Florida committ, but I would take Braxton over him.  Braxton made a couple throws, but didn’t get a chance to show off all of his skills. He was stopped on running plays by our very own OLB Ryan Shazier.  While a little smallish at this point at 205, he is a huge pickup.  He will be able to rush the passer from the OLB position or the LEO position after he gains another 30lbs.

Steve Miller

The best news of the night for Ohio State fans is that Doran Grant finally made official what many of us were predicting for months.  Doran struggled a little in the game and never really stood out in practice.  What I mean by that is not a slight on Doran, but he was on par with the other guys which is good.  He has the tools to take his game to the next level, and has the size to maybe step in as a true frosh in a nickel situation.  Don’t let this game and practice reports jade your judgment of him.  He is a player!!

Steve Miller was another one of our DL that played in an all-star game to record a sack.  He was dominating in practice all week as well, and really impressed me during the game.  He is still a little undersized and will need to increase strength to be able to take on the run in the Big Ten, but he has the frame, and can really get after the passer.

Jabari Gorman put on the Gators hat during the game.  No surprise here, we predicted him staying south.

The surprise of the week was probably the news surrounding James Vaughters and his reaching out to the OSU staff after Jim Harbaugh move on to the NFL.  He really showed well as a MLB in this game and compares very favorably to Curtis Grant.  You take both if they want to come, but I say we get one and call it a LB class unless Ejuan Price wants on board as well.  Will there be room?  With all this LB talk it is still disappointing losing Trey DePreist to ‘Bama (who played well in this game), and rolling back a year losing Jordan Hicks to Texas as well. We wouldn’t be talking about Grant and Vaughters if they were both on the roster.  So whenever we lose a top recruit there will always be the next one to look forward.  Celebrate the ones we land.

Jujuan Story also played in the game and is still trying to make an official visit to Ohio State in the next couple weeks. Darius Jennings was on the roster but sat out due to concussion.  He is down to 3 schools: Ga Tech, Virginia, and Ohio State.  Not feeling warm and fuzzy on this one at this point.

Army All-American Bowl

This was a very ugly game;  not sure if you can call it a defensive struggle or just poor play.  There was a lot of talent in this game, but no one really stood out that deserved mention. Let’s still take a look at our Buckeye recruits.

Brian Bobek played great at center.  He really led the line, made calls. Even though he looked ‘smallish’ out there (obviously playing alongside Walker), he looked quick, and showed the ability to get to the next level.  With time in the weight room and learning behind Brewster he should be the next in line from the very good center pipeline we have going. Mangold to Brewster to Bobek?

Obviously the broken forearm of Michael Bennett was a downer from this game, but when he was playing he was all over the opposing QB and in the backfield. He looked a little undersized, but much like Bobek, a year or two in the weight room and we could see another Cam Heyward playing inside and outside on the defensive line.

Aundrey Walker

Aundrey Walker- Wow!! Did he look great at guard or what?   He showed out in practice all week, took on the best defensive lineman, and showed the ability to maybe slide out to RT if needed.  He has yet to make a commitment, but all are predicting him to Ohio state at this point.  His performance in the game was a pleasant surprise as many have questioned his toughness. His ability to flip the switch on or off in a game started to earn him a reputation of taking plays off, but the games must have been boring.  He really flipped the switch on for the week of practice and in the game.  He looks like a mauler at guard.  Rod Smith, Warren Ball, and Brionte Dunn are going to be following him on a ton of running plays!  The surprise of the all star games.  Could he move up to 5 star status after this show?  We shall see.

Curtis Grant was the other player in this game to keep an eye on and he really showed why he is so highly though of in the game after having a so-so week of practice according to the experts.  He was able to get into the backfield and knock down guys.  He is not a drag down tackler at all.  He will come up and hit you.  I was reminded of a pure MLB that can play against the spread.   He would be a huge pick-up if we are able to win this one over Florida.

Summary

No disappointments this year which is a good thing.  Our guys really performed well and showed why this class is ranked so highly, as high as #2 some places.  We look extremely strong along the o-line and d-line as well as the defensive backfield which all nicely compliments the top QB in the country (IMHO).  The staff addressed the places where we really needed depth the most.  We could really get a boost at LB with a Grant or Vaughters commitment. Outside of a suprise visitor or name we are really down to just 7 guys on the radar for the 3 spots we are looking to fill.  Walker (Buckeye), Jennings, Vaughters, Grant, Price, Story, and Jones are the names we will follow over the next 3 weeks up until signing Day.

Overall it appears that Under Armour is starting to take the better talent and with the ESPN backing and sponsorship will become the top game in a couple years.  The Army game lost their credibility with Tom Lemming.  The hat game wasn’t quite as bad as it has been in years past which is a good thing to see.   The disappointment is that Big Ten/Eleven/Twelve whatever it is called continues to fall behind in recruiting, and is not really making a splash in these games outside of Ohio State.  We basically had our whole class playing in one of these 3 games.  For kicks, on Feb 2nd there will be another game called ‘US vs the World’.  Ron Tanner will be the only active player in this game, as Michael Bennett was set to play but the broken forearm will hold him out.

Stay tuned up until Signing day for any breaking news!!!

1 Comment

  1. Class of 2011 All Star Games/Teams - UPDATED 12/28/10
    January 13th, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    [...] Battle Cry – 2011 High School All-Star Games Recap Written January 13th, 2011 by Joe As promised here is a combined recap of the 3 High school [...]

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