It’s never too early to address high school football. We’ll start with who we think are the top returning seven players, our “Select 7.”
Check back later for the top returning area players by league, by position, by division and by class.
And just so you know, the first day of preseason is Monday, Aug. 1. The first Friday football night is Aug. 26.
7. David Rueth, Alter, sr., 6-2, 193, LB
David Rueth. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Alter coach Ed Domsitz favorably compares Rueth with all the great Knights LB’s he’s coached, which is saying a lot. Collected 44 solo tackles, 22 assists and one forced fumble. Was limited to eight games after suffering a season-ending hand injury in Week 8 against McNicholas.
6. Alex Reigelsperger, Wayne, jr., 6-4, 235, DE
Alex Reigelsperger. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Has been high on the Warriors’ radar since a middle school standout and delivered last season, emerging as a force at end with 8.5 sacks and a forced fumble. OSU noticed, too, and offered him this past winter. Pitt, Purdue, Kentucky and Miami are among others who also have offered. H
5. Nick Kovacs, Springboro, sr., 6-3, 195, WR
Nick Kovacs. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Big-time reason why the Panthers were the most productive GWOC offense in the regular season with 4,562 combined yards. An outstanding route runner and possession receiver and good-sized target. In 12 games amassed 78 catches for 1,190 yards (15.3) and 19 TDs. Has committed to Toledo.
4. Danny Davis, Springfield, sr., 6-3, 178, RB/WR/RET/DB
Danny Davis. BILL LACKEY / STAFF
Another outstanding football/basketball talent. Rushed for 1,259 yards (8.6) and had 43 catches for 700 yards (16.3) and a combined 22 TDs last season for the Wildcats (3-7) despite being targeted defensively. Hasn’t verbally committed for either sport. Has football offers from OSU, Kentucky, Michigan State, West Virginia and many others.
3. L’Christian “Blue” Smith, Wayne, jr., 6-5, 205, WR
L’Christian Smith. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
An emerging force in both football and basketball. Hard to believe but his impact has been somewhat limited because he’s been surrounded by so many great Warriors teammates in both sports. Led the GWOC in receiving yards during the regular season (830) and finished with 54 receptions for 1,311 yards (24.3 average) and 17 TD’s during Wayne’s (14-1) run to the D-I state title game. Landed by offer by OSU in January. Also has offers from Michigan, Kentucky, Penn State and Purdue.
2. Raveion “Shock” Hargrove, Trotwood-Madison, jr., 5-7, 165, RB
Raveion Hargrove. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
The area’s most dynamic RB since Javon Ringer was running wild at Chaminade Julienne. Trotwood-Madison claimed two of three combined Divisions III-IV top honors. Trotwood rode Hargrove to the D-III state semifinals this past season. Amassed 3,039 yards rushing and 39 touchdowns in 13 games, an unofficial all-time, single-season area best. In four playoff games he rushed for 1,107 yards and 14 TDs. Size will be a concern at the next level, but not with the Rams.
1. Josh Myers, Miamisburg, sr., 6-6, 290, OL
Josh Myers. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Ranked among the top five offensive linemen in the nation and No. 1 in Ohio by 247sports. Was the first of the Class of 2017 to verbally commit to Ohio State after receiving a Buckeyes offer as a freshman. Fast and mobile, has played guard for the Vikings and also is a DL. Most major powers made offers, including Alabama and OSU rival Michigan.