Wayne’s L’Christian Smith had four catches for 76 yards and a TD during a 24-22 defeat of Moeller at Lockland last season. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Photo: MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Five area juniors ranked among top 10 football recruits in Ohio

National recruiting service 247Sports lists five area players among its top 10 for the Class of 2018 Ohio high school football players.

It derived its “Composite Rating” from a “proprietary algorithm” based on all major recruiting services that are available in the public domain. 247Sports did not list the services that it gleaned information from.

There are separate numerical rankings and star ratings for players.

Two Fairfield players and one each from Wayne, Dunbar and Springfield made the top 10. All will be juniors this coming season.

Fairfield offensive tackle Jackson Carman, 6 feet 6, 290 pounds, is the highest ranked area player at No. 2 and was rated with five stars. Springfield defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, 6-6, 258, is No. 3 and also rated with five stars.

Wayne’s L’Christian Smith, 6-6, 205, is No. 4 (four stars) and is listed as an athlete. He broke into the Warriors’ starting lineup late his freshman year. Last season he was Wayne’s go-to receiver with 54 catches for 1,311 yards and 17 touchdowns during Wayne’s run to a second straight Division I state title game, a 45-35 loss to Lakewood St. Edward.

Smith also is being heavily recruited for basketball. He was a key sub on Wayne’s D-I state title team as a freshman and a starter last season, averaging 14.7 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds.

Dunbar linebacker Antwuan Johnson, 6-1, 210, is ranked No. 8 with four stars. He transferred from Springfield this past spring and like Taylor, has verbally committed to the University of Michigan.

Fairfield linebacker Malik Vann, 6-1, 249, is No. 9. He also was rated four stars.

Ranked No. 1 was Westerville South’s Jaelen Gill, 6-0, 172. He was listed as an all-purpose back and also rated five stars.

All of those players have received multiple offers, including from Ohio State and many other Big Ten programs. Verbal commitments are not binding and schools can continue to recruit players who have committed. The Class of 2018 players can’t sign binding national letters of intent until February 2018.

The upcoming high school football preseason practice begins on Aug. 1. Most Week 1 games will be played on Friday, Aug. 26.

247Sports focuses primarily on college football and basketball recruiting.

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