Friday Night Lights Notebook

Written July 28th, 2012 by Tim Shoemaker
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High School football stars came to shine under the lights at the Shoe last night.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer has made it no secret that he loves speed. Because of Meyer’s love for speed, it should come as no surprise that Friday Night Lights concluded with all participants lining up by position on the 20 yard line to run 30 or 40 yard dashes to determine the fastest player at the camp.

The winner was Kentucky wide receiver Ryan Timmons, as he edged out defensive back Darius West and running back Ashton Jackson in the 40 yard dash that featured the fastest player at each position.

Aside from the sprint, there were a number of players that stood out in front of an estimated 2,000 fans that came out to watch despite the rainy weather.

Cleveland Heights wide receiver Shelton Gibson made the most noise on the evening, dominating from start to finish. During the agility drills at the beginning of the camp, no wide receiver could match his speed and quickness. And, it only got better once 1 on 1 play started, as he continued to abuse defensive backs for touchdowns. He has blazing speed and I would consider him a must-get player for the Buckeyes in the 2013 class.

Another stand out player was 2014 wide receiver Artavis Scott. He really shined during the 1 on 1 drills, not only at receiver, but at defensive back as well. He was equally as impressive on defense as he was on offense. He appears to have great size and hands. And, maybe the most important thing I saw with Scott was that he goes up and gets the ball when it’s in the air at its highest point. Like Gibson, I would also put Scott in the must-get category.

While it was hard to take my eyes of Gibson and Scott, I couldn’t help but notice Ohio State commit, defensive lineman Joey Bosa. He looks every bit the part and had a solid showing to go with his huge frame.

Class of 2014’s Mikale Wilbon, a running back from Chicago, also stood out to me. He is listed at 5’9” but is extremely quick and has good hands. He could be a very dangerous weapon in an Urban Meyer offense.

Class of 2014 wide receiver Braxton Berrios also looked very impressive. He showed the ability to run very good routes and has great hands.

And it did not go unnoticed that punter Johnny Townsend was casually booting 60 yard punts on the sidelines during all of this. He’s got a serious leg on him.

Former Ohio State greats such as Orlando Pace, Joey Galloway and Mike Doss were all in attendance, coaching and/or speaking to all of the 120+ campers, and Ohio State highlight videos were playing on the jumbotron for the duration of the camp.

Meyer’s first Friday Night Lights at Ohio State seemed to be a success, and may be a great new tradition for the Buckeyes.


  1. RyanNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    It sounds like fun was had by all, but no commits. I think that is just the difference between pay and Florida. Florida is all about the flash, players are there for the event. and the flash and bling makes them commit on the spot. Even though while at the event they are hit in the fave by a sad looking stadium and shoulf notice thelack of facilities. OSU is about tradition, hard work, and grinding out wins. That kind of place doesn’t result in on the spot commits from flashy


  2. BhopNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    I’m not sure I see it this^^^^way. While at FL, Meyer had the luxury of having around 25-28 commits a year. It’s nothing to do with pay, $$$ or bling. If OSU had over 25 spots unlike 20 or 21, then you’d see more “on the spot” commits as you call it. Only 5 to 6 spots left…you can’t tell them yes on the spot (Unless it’s Devon Allen, Shelton Gibson, T. Lewis, or Donovan Munger) who I feel are already in…they’re just waiting to announce when “they” want to, bc it is “their” recruitment. Watch for Mike Mitchell (LB) out of Plano TX to commit later today. That will leave 4-5. Not too many spots..I’d say 1.Gibson, 2. Munger and/or Finley, 3. T. Lewis, and 4. Chris Worley and/or God willing Vonn Bell and 5. Allen or Quick. That’s how I see it but could be drastically wrong. The and/or’s are in case they chose one or the other…considering they’re the experts (the coaches that is).


    JimNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I agree with this for the most part. A lot of the attention at FNL was on 2014 commits as the 2013 class is already winding down quickly. On-the-spot commitments from kids that will be juniors in high school this fall is asking a bit much.

    The good news is that almost all of the kids that did make it from the ’14 class say they want to come back.

    In the end, this year’s Friday Night Lights was more about starting the recruitment of 2014 players rather than closing the recruitment of 2013 players.


  3. MattNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Any word on Mike Mitchell?? I read he was down in Orlando with his other future Buckeye teammates competing at the Gridiron Kings. Is it true he might commit before visiting OSU or FSU in your opinion??


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    He was thinking about verballing on Sunday, but we’re hearing that that won’t happen. His parents are helping him take his time, which is a good thing for everyone involved.


  4. bhopNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Agreed Jim….2014 will be what may define Urban’s monster class. Those LB possibilities are scary…and I could see landing all 3 McMillan, Booker, and Garrett…I could see Hand too at DE but Im not as sure of him. Any way, it could be sick all around


  5. bhopNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Tim Gardner commits…so much for the first post;-)


    ryanNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Haha, it looks like he committed last night. :)

    Though I stick with my earlier comment. Gardner attempted to commit in June, but was told to lose some weight, which he did. So this was not a sporadic commitment from the spectacle of FNL. In the past the gators have received on the spot surprise commits from 2 or 3 or even 4 commits on during the Thurs, Fri and Sat around FNL. No doubt many of them planned it, but some weren’t expecting to commit and were sucked into the spectacle of the event. As a Buckeye fan who grew up living around Columbus and now lives less than two blocks from Florida Field (attending most of the home games), the Gators have a flash and draw almost rivaling that of Miami or USC. Maybe it’s the warm weather, maybe it’s the bright orange stadium, maybe it’s the fact that everything from bars to gas stations are named after the team, I don’t know. This was something that Meyer helped to grow in his time in Gainesville, with his high energy and youth (as far as a head coach goes). He is attempting to bring a semblance of that home to Columbus. The Big Ten is more so about toughness, power running and grinding through the winter, rather than sun and speed and flash. Myself, I much prefer the power and grind of the Big Ten. I think that creates an atmosphere of tradition and long term success. Flashy teams will remain successful as long as they meet expectations. A few bad years, leads to a long term mediocrity. Without a coach who knows how to sell the spectacle, Muschamp, my Alma Mater will be headed into a depression. There is a reason why the most successful team in the SEC, Bama, is more of a power team than a flashy speed team. There is a reason why even after years of mediocrity the Longhorns, Vols and Seminoles can still recruit. The flash of the Gators and Auburn is drying up, the flash of Oregon and Boise St will likely start to dry up soon. The power of teams like Bama, Michigan, Texas and Ohio State are the ones that remain. I suppose USC is the exception to the rule, flash and tradition.

    Just one fans opinion.


    MaliBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    July 28th, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    And it’s a good one- and good overview of the Gardner situation. :)


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