You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Buckeyes stock up on linebackers

It’s not the same as a victory on the field. Yet having a nationally ranked recruiting class is almost as important to Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

“I hear people say it’s not important,” Meyer said Wednesday on the first day athletes could sign up to play major-college football. “I disagree. As long as you’re keeping score we’re going to try to win. I’m disappointed we weren’t the No. 1 recruiting class in the country.”

The Buckeyes had to settle for No. 3 in the country according to most of the experts.

Meyer and his staff were seeking reinforcements at several thin spots — principally linebacker and offensive line — and were pleased with what they got.

“There is a correlation between how teams do and where your recruiting class is ranked,” said Meyer, 24-2 through two years at Ohio State after winning two national titles at Florida. “But certainly that’s not the final product because you’ve got to coach and develop them after you get them here. But we do pay attention to (the national recruiting rankings).”

Ohio State locked up 23 players, including four linebackers, five offensive linemen and four wide receivers. The Buckeyes needed help at all of those positions, since top linebacker Ryan Shazier left a year early for the NFL draft, the line loses four senior starters and the leading receiver is also graduating.

Perhaps the biggest get was Raekwon McMillan, a 6-foot-2, 249-pound brute out of Georgia who some scouting services called the best linebacker in the nation.

“Every time I visited Ohio State I felt it was the place for me,” said McMillan, who chose Ohio State over several powerhouses including Clemson, which beat the Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl. “Everything about it was great. Coach Meyer, the coaching staff is one of the best in the nation and I really like working with these guys.”

Meyer has been unhappy with his linebacker play. He clearly took a step toward changing that by also bringing in Ohio Associated Press Mr. Football Dante Booker Jr. out of LeBron James’ high school, St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, along with Kyle Berger from Cleveland St. Ignatius and Sam Hubbard of Cincinnati Moeller — three of the top prep programs in the state.

Johnnie Dixon, a fleet wide-out from West Palm Beach, Fla., said he hoped to step right in and play.

“I’ve just got to work hard,” he said. “Nothing is ever given to you. Depending on how hard you work, it’s there.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

WATCH: Bengals first-round pick gets shout out from rapper Snoop Dogg, his youth football coach
WATCH: Bengals first-round pick gets shout out from rapper Snoop Dogg, his youth football coach

Cincinnati Bengals first-round pick John Ross on Friday touched on his relationship with rapper Snoop Dogg, who was his youth football coach. Ross, a wide receiver taken ninth overall in Thursday’s first round, isn’t the first player to go from the Snoop Youth Football League to the NFL, but he said he’s the first player from Snoop&rsquo...
Bengals draft defensive end Willis in third round
Bengals draft defensive end Willis in third round

The Cincinnati Bengals continued their shopping spree for speed Friday night in the third round when they took Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis, whose 4.53 40-yard dash at the Combine was the fastest of any defensive lineman. The pick comes after their first-round selection of wide receiver John Ross, who broke the Combine record with a 4.22...
Cincinnati Bengals stay true to themselves with choice of Joe Mixon
Cincinnati Bengals stay true to themselves with choice of Joe Mixon

Apparently the Cincinnati Bengals are determined to prove they can win without being great on defense. (We already knew they don’t care about bad press, but more on that later.) With their second pick of the 2017 draft, they chose another dynamic offensive player while continuing to wait to address a defense in need of an athleticism upgrade...
Bengals take a gamble on Oklahoma running back Mixon
Bengals take a gamble on Oklahoma running back Mixon

The Cincinnati Bengals gambled Friday night by trading down seven spots in the second round. Whether they won or lost depends on your view on the value of forgiveness, redemption and rehabilitation. Actually, whether they won or lost may not be known for many years, until Joe Mixon exits the NFL as a redeemed or repeat offender. The Bengals drafted...
H.S. Results for 4/28: Valentino perfect in win for Badin

Devon Valentino threw five innings of perfect baseball in Badin’s 14-0 win over Carroll on Friday. Valentino struck out three to earn the win. Offensively Badin racked up 14 hits, with Gavin Matthews and Zac Wilson each hitting a triple and Daunte DeCello doubling twice. Badin, at 10-11 overall, sits atop the Greater Catholic League Co-Ed Central...
More Stories