Thursday, February 5, 2004

Ginn caps stellar recruiting class

Buckeyes ranked in nation's top 10

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Ohio State's class of 23 football signees is rated No. 6 nationally by and No. 8 by The only Big Ten class rated higher is Michigan's, ranked fourth by

"I thought they did a great job," recruiting guru Tom Lemming said of the Buckeyes. "They filled their needs."

OSU's class is led by prized cornerback Ted Ginn Jr. of Cleveland's Glenville High. Ginn was named national high school player of the year by SuperPrep and national defensive player of the year by USA Today.

Ginn intercepted eight passes, returning five for touchdowns, and had a total of 40 TDs between passing, rushing, receiving, kick returns and defense.

The other big names are linebacker Marcus Freeman from Huber Heights Wayne and offensive lineman Kyle Mitchum from Erie, Pa., who are both Parade and USA Today All-Americans.

"I think the strength of the class is its diversity," OSU coach Jim Tressel said. "We have 12 on offense and 11 on defense, or 11 on offense and 12 on defense depending on where we play Chad Hoobler," a tight end/linebacker from Carrollton, Ohio.

Other OSU signees rated highly: Rory Nicol, a tight end from Beaver, Pa., is No. 81 by, and Nader Abdallah, a defensive lineman from Metairie, La., is No. 91 by

Offensive line signees Mitchum, Ben Person, Steve Rehring (Lakota West) and Jon Skinner are being hailed as one of the best groups in the nation.

Rehring graduated in December and already is enrolled at OSU. The other Cincinnati-area signee is Hamilton cornerback Brandon Underwood.

OSU's only downside was letting the state's second-best prospect, Toledo Rogers receiver/defensive back Fred Davis, get away. He chose Southern California.


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