High School Football: 22 players to watch in 2022

SPRINGFIELD — The high school football season is finally upon us as the regular season starts Friday, Aug. 19.

Last season, five Clark County programs advanced to the expanded 16-team playoffs, including Springfield, which made its first trip to the Division I state championship game. The Wildcats fell to Lakewood St. Edward 23-13 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

ExplorePHOTOS: Cath. Central-Twin Valley South football scrimmage

While several key players graduated — including Springfield quarterback Te’Sean Smoot, the Ohio Mr. Football runner-up — Clark County’s football programs return a plethora of talent on both sides of the ball.

Here are 22 players to watch — 11 on offense and 11 on defense — in Clark County this fall:

OFFENSE

Lucas Berner, Tecumseh: The senior running back rushed for 627 yards and six TDs last year despite missing five games in the middle of the season due to injury. He was an All-Central Buckeye Conference Second Team selection.

Daylen Bradley, Springfield: The senior wide receiver caught 44 passes for 741 yards and five TDs last season. He’s currently got D-I offers fromPurdue and Massachusetts.

Anthony Brown, Springfield: The senior wide receiver led the Wildcats with 57 catches for 822 yards and seven TDs last season. The All-Ohio honorable mention selection recently committed to the University of Kentucky.

Zion Crowe, Shawnee: The senior wide receiver caught 41 passes for 681 yards and 3 TDs last year, earning D-V All-Ohio honorable mention honors. Defensively, he had four interceptions at defensive back for the Braves.

ExplorePHOTOS: Shawnee vs. Greenon, football scrimmage

RJ Griffin, Shawnee: The senior threw for 1,006 yards and five TDs and rushed for 734 yards and 14 TDs for the Braves last season, earning All-CBC Kenton Trail Division first team honors.

Max Guyer, Shawnee: The senior running back rushed for 734 yards and 12 TDs for the Braves last fall, earning All-CBC Kenton Trail Division first team honors.

Gavin Higgins, Kenton Ridge: The senior running back rushed for 532 yards and four TDs for the Cougars last season.

Bryce Schondelmyer, Springfield: The senior quarterback moved to Springfield in the offseason after earning back-to-back D-VI Player of the Year honors at Arcanum. He threw for 6,078 yards and 83 TD passes over the last two seasons.

Shawn Thigpen, Springfield: The senior wide receiver caught 54 passes for 780 yards and five TDs last season. He’s got a dozen D-I offers, including Indiana, Kentucky and Syracuse.

Tyler Young, Catholic Central: The senior running back rushed for 317 yards and three TDs for the Irish last season. He also tallied 59 tackles and two sacks at linebacker.

Kaden Wooten, Greenon: The senior quarterback threw for 1,027 yards and 10 TDs and rushed for 277 yards and five TDs last season.

Credit: Name Test

Credit: Name Test

DEFENSE

Hunter Albright, Northeastern: The D-VI All-Ohio second team defensive lineman tallied 93 tackles, 8.5 sacks and an interception return TD for the Jets last fall. He also rushed for 1,002 yards and eight TDs last season.

Jonah Asebrook, Southeastern: The junior defensive back earned D-VII All-Ohio third team honors with 38 tackles and six interceptions last season.

Tyron Barnes, Springfield: The All-GWOC second team selection has multiple college offers, including Purdue, Marist and Findlay. He tallied 53 tackles and three fumble recoveries, as well as 186 yards and a TD as a kickoff returner.

Jackson Berner, Tecumseh: The senior linebacker tallied 79 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception last season, earning All-CBC Second Team honors. He also rushed for 291 yards and two TDs.

Cade Houseman, Northeastern: The senior linebacker had 102 tackles, two interceptions and 1.5 sacks for the Jets last season. He also accounted for more than 2,874 yards and 28 TDs at quarterback, earning third team All-Ohio honors in D-VI.

Heath Jones, Kenton Ridge: The junior safety had 54 tackles and two interceptions, earning All-CBC Kenton Trail first team honors. He also accounted for 392 yards and four TDs as a wide receiver last fall.

Brock Mansfield, Northwestern: The senior running back and linebacker accounted for 426 total yards and four TDs as a sophomore quarterback in 2020.

Jaivian Norman, Springfield: The senior inside linebacker had 95 tackles and 10 sacks last season. The D-I All-Ohio first team selection recently committed to Eastern Michigan.

Aaron Scott, Springfield: The junior defensive back was a key cog in the Wildcats defense last fall, earning All-GWOC special mention with 20 tackles. One of the top recruits in the 2024 class in Ohio, Scott has more than 20 Division I offers, including Ohio State and Oklahoma.

Darrien Stapleton, Catholic Central: The junior linebacker had 118 tackles and 7.5 sacks last season, earning All-OHC South first team honors.

Zack Stevens, Greenon: The senior defensive end tallied 102 tackles and two sacks for the Knights last season, earning All-OHC South first team honors.

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