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Copeland goes with Michigan State


Vayante Copeland isn’t sure what position he’s going to play in college. The Thurgood Marshall senior does, however, know what decal he’s going to don.

Copeland committed to Michigan State last week during a lucrative seven-day stretch for area athletes.

In addition to Copeland, Marion Local quarterback Adam Bertke committed to Pittsburgh, Troy running back Miles Hibbler verballed to Kent State and Milton-Union offensive lineman Wesley Martin committed to Indiana.

“I feel that I can be a future NFL prospect playing cornerback or safety,” Copeland told spartantailgate.com. “I’m a good running back, too, but I think I’m better at defensive back. I see myself as a DB at the next level.”

Copeland picked Michigan State over West Virginia.

Bertke committed to Pitt during a midweek visit.

“Pitt’s offense is a perfect fit for me,” Bertke told panther247.com. “I’m really excited about my decision. The coaches and the people around the program were great. I look forward to being a Panther.”

Martin follows former Milton-Union star Mitchell Evans to Indiana. Hibbler becomes the second Troy senior to commit to a D-I school. Offensive lineman Andy Dalton (Oklahoma) was the first.

Bronco buster: Jefferson senior Dante Bland is a great example of a “prospect.” Bland (6-foot-2, 270 pounds) plays running back and linebacker for the Broncos. Due to size and athleticism, he projects as a defensive lineman in college.

Bland had 108 tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries last year. He also ran for 10 touchdowns. Bland holds an offer from D-II Ferris State (Mich.). Look for that list to grow.

Ram tough: Trotwood-Madison junior defensive back Kei Beckham (6-0, 155) added two offers (Indiana and Akron). Illinois was his first. Classmate Harrison Johnson (5-9, 170) has an offer from Illinois, too.

Most impressive: Asked what area player impressed the most at recent summer camps, one respected scout offered up a name: Patrick Osterhage. Apparently, the Centerville senior offensive lineman held his own at Ohio State. Said our source: “(Osterhage) did well against some of the best competition in the country.”

Weekly recap: New offers? Lakota West quarterback Tyler Jones (Kent State) and Mason linebacker Matt Stewart (Navy).

State pull: The Ohio Class of 2013 (recent graduates) produced 159 D-I college football recruits. Ohio’s Class of 2014 currently has 172 players with D-I offers. That could be an unofficial state record.

Buckeye update: One of Ohio’s top recruits and an expected Ohio State verbal — Cincinnati LaSalle receiver Derek Kief — committed to Alabama last week. Poor Buckeyes? Hardly. In the ensuing 48 hours, OSU received verbal commitments from Virginia defensive end Jalyn Holmes and Georgia quarterback Jason Collier. Those two raised OSU’s rank in the 247sports 2014 rankings from 19th to 11th.


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