May 20, 2011

2011 Ohio State Nike Camp Primer - Offense

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The Ohio State NIKE Camp on Saturday provides a great opportunity to evaluate some of the top prospects from around the country all in one setting. Very rarely in football does this much talent gather in one place and while the pads won't be on, seeing how the best of the best stack up physically is a major tool in the evaluation process. Below, breaks down some of Ohio State's top targets at the event on the offensive side of the football and takes a look at what we'll be looking to see out of each prospect.


Austin Appleby - Class of 2012 - North Canton (Ohio) Hoover

What we're looking for: Appleby will be participating in both the Elite 11 and NIKE Camps this weekend. The big question with Appleby will be his progress coming off of serious knee surgery that caused him to miss most of his junior season. At 6-foot-5 with a big arm, Appleby has a chance to improve his stock perhaps more than any other quarterback in the field this weekend.

Kyle Bolin - Class of 2013 - Lexington (Ky.) Lexington Catholic

What we're looking for: One of the more polished rising juniors that you will see, Bolin already showed us plenty at the Best of the Midwest combine in Indianapolis this winter. As one of the more fundamentally sound quarterbacks in the field, seeing where Bolin's arm strength stacks up against some of his peers will be important.

Jalin Marshall - Class of 2013 - Middletown (Ohio)>

What we're looking for: Marshall is the most intriguing guy in this group because he could be a national level prospect as a wide receiver. Marshall has a track meet on Friday and will miss the Elite 11 camp. How his body feels after the meet will determine whether or not he will take reps at wide receiver. While at quarterback, improved mechanics and arm strength are the two major things to look for. If he takes reps at receiver, route running will be a major focal point as we already know he's an electric athlete.

Kyle Stahl - Class of 2013 - St. Henry (Ohio)

What we're looking for: The Elite 11 camp on Friday will be a better tool to evaluate Stahl but still there are some things to watch for at Saturday's NIKE Camp. Stahl and St. Henry play in one of the best small school leagues in the nation but this will be the most speed and athleticism that Stahl will have seen. How he adjusts to that will be interesting to follow as well as simply validating the arm strength that he shows on film.

Running Backs

William Mahone - Class of 2012 - Austintown (Ohio) Fitch

What we're looking for: With Warren Ball and Bri'onte Dunn already in the fold, it is highly unlikely that Ohio State recruits another back in this class. However, Mahone is definitely one of the top backs in the Midwest and with a group of backs that lacks a lot of big names, Mahone is the top prospect in the field at the position. A big thing with backs is always their feet, Mahone will need to show he has the quick feet to go along with his 200-pound body.

Wide Receivers

Chris Davis - Class of 2012 - Austintown (Ohio) Fitch

What we're looking for: The Buckeyes have shown Davis some interest and he was on campus for the spring game in April. Though definitely on the shorter side, Davis is very strong for his size and is one of the fastest players in Ohio. Davis' speed and great change of direction should serve him well in the one-on-one's. Showing that he can get separation against some of the Midwest's top defensive backs should only continue to bolster his stock.

Dwayne Stanford - Class of 2012 - Cincinnati (Ohio) Taft

What we're looking for: Stanford is widely regarded as the number one wide receiver prospect in the state of Ohio and has offers from coast to coast. At 6-foot-4, he is a match-up nightmare for opposing corners. Still a bit raw on the football field, Stanford can prove that is continuing to make progress as a polished receiver by showing improved route running. Stanford can also answer some speed concerns in the one-on-one's as he tries to create separation against some big time corners.

Tight Ends

Devon Edwards - Class of 2013 - Columbus (OH) Eastmoor Academy

What we're looking for: With Blake Thomas missing the event due to obligations to his track team, there aren't a whole lot of tight ends on the Ohio State radar at the moment that will be participating on Saturday. Edwards is getting some early love from Boston College, Michigan, and Ohio State and at nearly 6-foot-5 and 235-pounds could be a prospect that uses this camp to break out. Coming from a basketball background, Edwards will need to show that he can run at the level of a BCS caliber tight end prospect.

Sleeper Watch

ATHLakeith Walls - Class of 2012 - Cleveland (Ohio) Rhodes

Walls comes into the NIKE Camp with half a dozen scholarship offers but not much is known about the versatile athlete. Listed at 6-foot-4, 200-pounds, Walls plays both running back and linebacker at the high school level. A big performance could see Walls' stock skyrocket.

WR Roger Lewis - Class of 2012 - Pickerington (Ohio) Central

Lewis is one of the fastest rising prospects in Ohio right now as he has picked up 10 offers in the last two months. As physically impressive as any wide receiver in Ohio, Lewis has dominated a variety of camps this off-season but none will have the talent of Saturday's NIKE Camp. Still waiting for some of the "big" offers to come, a standout performance on Saturday would certainly help his case.


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