Ohio signs 21 players in 2017 football recruiting class
Class heavy on Florida players, linemen
By Lonnie McMillan / Contributor
Wednesday, February 01, 2017
ATHENS – Ohio’s 2017 recruiting class features plenty of southern recruits and linemen.
The Bobcats signed 21 players, including six from Florida, two from Georgia and one from Alabama. Five of the recruits are offensive linemen, and four are defensive linemen.
While in the past, some classes have been half or more made up of recruits from Ohio, this year’s class has only two native players. There are two players from Oklahoma, one from Texas, one from Missouri, one from Maryland, one from Indiana and one from Canada.
The class includes two junior college players.
Some of Ohio’s latest commitments were its highest rated, but so too is its first. According to 247Sports’ composite ratings, wide receiver Brevin Harris, who did not announce his commitment to Ohio until today, is the Bobcats’ top prospect. The Bobcats’ second-highest rated player is defensive back De’Vante Mitchell, who was the first player to commit nearly nine months ago.
Harris previously committed to Marshall and Purdue and also had offers from Bowling Green and Navy. Mitchell passed on offers from Indiana, Syracuse and Temple, among others.
Among the offensive linemen are Brett Kitrell from Nebraska. Previously committed to Minnesota, he was rated three stars by 247Sports and ESPN. The other three-star offensive lineman, according to 247Sports, is Jylton Tusha, who first committed to Purdue. Among Tusha’s others offers were Cincinnati, and according to some sources, Miami (Fla.).
The Bobcats’ other offensive linemen in the class are junior college transfer Steven Hayes and high school players Hagen Meservy and Samson Jackson.
Ohio picked up a pair of quarterbacks, including one junior college player who will be expected to compete for the starting job right away. Nathan Rourke is from Canada and played previously at Fort Scott Community College. He had an offer from Akron.
The other quarterback signed is Indiana high schooler Drew Keszei, who had offers from Buffalo, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois and was rated three stars by Scout and 247Sports.
Julian Ross was the only player listed as a running back in the class, and Ohio was his only reported FBS offer.
Wide receiver Isiah Cox, who first announced his commitment today, has similarities to current Bobcat Papi White. In addition to Cox and Harris, wide receivers picked up included Willie Cherry, whose offers included Mississippi State, and KJ Minter.
Defensive lineman Marcus Coleman was the final player to be announced in the signing class and is among the highest rated as a three-star recruit according to ESPN and 247Sports. He held offers from Kentucky, Marshall, North Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia and previously was expected to sign with West Virginia.
Other defensive linemen signed were Kaieem Caesar, Amos Ogun-Semore and Juan Watkins.
The only linebacker in the class is the highly rated TJ Robinson, who had offers from Colorado, Syracuse and Wake Forest, among others.
In addition to Mitchell, secondary commits include three-star prospect Marlin Brooks, Tariq Drake and late addition Alvin Floyd.
Two junior college offensive linemen who previously announced commitments to Ohio were not part of the class. Kevin Haas reportedly had enrolled in class at Ohio but recently left the university. Tre Newton also was not part of the class.
Among the preferred walk-ons who have made known their intents to go to Ohio are Ohio defensive back Michael Ballentine, Athens offensive lineman Brody Rogers, and cornerback Xavier Bailey.
Players listed with height, weight, hometown, previous school, 247Sports composite ratings and other offers (according to various sources)
DB Marlin Brooks/5-10/165/Miami, Fla. (Coral Gables Senior)/.8154/FIU, Florida Atlantic, Jacksonville State, Southeast Missouri State, Temple, Towson, Cincinnati
DL Kaieem Caesar/6-2/280/Cache, Okla. (Cache)/.7480/Arkansas State, Army, Eastern Michigan, Missouri State, North Texas, Stephen F. Austin, Tulsa, Wyoming
WR Willie Cherry/6-1/195/Wichita Falls, Texas (Rider)/.7924/Mississippi State, New Mexico State, North Texas
DL Marcus Coleman/6-5/290/Upper Marlboro, Md. (St. Francis Academy)/.8125/Coastal Carolina, James Madison, Kentucky, Marshall, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Syracuse, Virginia, West Virginia (previously committed to West Virginia)
WR Isiah Cox/5-11/190/Jasper, Ala. (Walker)/NA/Arkansas State, South Alabama, Southern Miss
DB Tariq Drake/6-1/165/Leavittsburg, Ohio (Labrae)/.7698/Akron, Marshall
DB Alvin Floyd/5-11/170/Miami, Fla. (North Miami Beach)/NA/Kentucky, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Toledo
OL Steven Hayes/6-4/295/Decula, Ga., (Hutchinson CC)/.7600/Eastern Kentucky, Georgia State
WR Brevin Harris/6-4/180/Creston, Ohio (Norwayne)/.8388/Bowling Green, Marshall, Navy, Purdue, Toledo (previously committed to Marshall and Purdue)
OL Samson Jackson/6-6/285/Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Palm Harbor)/.7898/FIU, Old Dominion, Southern Miss, Stetson, Troy
QB Drew Keszei/6-1/185/Fort Wayne, Ind. (Homestead)/.7882/Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Holy Cross, Illinois State, Northern Illinois
OL Brett Kitrell/6-4/280/Ashland, Neb. (Ashland-Greenwood)/.8153/Air Force, Army, Minnesota, South Dakota, South Dakota State, UCF, Wyoming (previously committed to Minnesota)
OL Hagen Meservy/6-4/280/Jenks, Okla. (Jenks)/.7397/Missouri State
DB De’Vante Mitchell/5-11/190/Hialeah, Fla. (Champagnat Catholic)/.8281/Appalachian State, Florida A&M, Indiana, Jacksonville State, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Temple, USF
WR KJ Minter/6-1/186/Gainesville, Fla. (Gainesville)/.7924/Bethune-Cookman, Charleston Southern, Citadel, East Tennessee State, Florida A&M, South Alabama, Southern Miss
DE Amos Ogun-Semore/6-5/220/Dacula, Ga. (Mill Creek)/NA/Buffalo, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Elon, Mercer, Tennessee Tech, Tulane, UTSA, Western Carolina
LB TJ Robinson/6-0/200/Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian)/.8255/Appalachian State, Buffalo, Charleston Southern, Charlotte, Colorado, Delaware State, FIU, Georgia Southern, McNeese State, Middle Tennessee State, Samford, Southern Miss, Syracuse, Troy, USF, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan
RB Julian Ross/5-10/190/Kansas City, Mo. (Staley)/NA/Murray State, South Dakota State, Southwest Missouri State
QB Nathan Rourke/6-3/210/Ontario, Canada (Fort Scott CC)/NA/Akron
OL Jylton Tusha/.8031/Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Massachusetts, Miami (Fla.), Middle Tennessee State, North Texas, Purdue, Southern Miss, Toledo, Towson (previously commited to Purdue)
DE Juan Watkins/6-5/220/Lusby, Md. (Patuxent)/.7497/