The early commitments of junior football players like Jake Butt, Taco Charlton and Jaron Dukes to Michigan and Jacob Matuska to Notre Dame has helped to keep central Ohio football on the national radar during the past several weeks.

Over the coming months, players like Pickerington North's Godwin Igwebuike, Walnut Ridge's Rob Wheelwright, New Albany's Darron Lee and Westerville South's Marcus Ball likely will join them as commits to major Division I programs.

It's not surprising that Igwebuike has offers from places such as Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Kent State and Wisconsin, considering we do live in Big Ten country.

Our location makes you wonder how a school like Buffalo ever ended up being one of the schools to offer Igwebuike or Pickerington North teammate Chris Huhn, or how Georgia Tech has begun to show interest in Beechcroft junior quarterback Maurice Hale.

The easiest answer has to do with the ties that college coaches often can have to a particular area of the country.

Jeff Quinn, who enters his third season as Buffalo's coach, is a perfect example of this. He was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for Cincinnati for three seasons before taking over the Bulls' program.

Then there's David Walkosky, who is the special teams coordinator for Georgia Tech. He is a 1992 University of Toledo graduate who was Tiffin's head coach from 2008-10 before serving a one-year stint as linebackers coach for Calgary of the CFL.

Beechcroft coach Bruce Ward recently got a call from Walkosky inquiring about Hale, a 6-2, 190-pounder who made ThisWeek Super 25 honorable mention last fall after leading his team to the playoffs.

You could call it the Glen Mason effect. After serving as an assistant for Ohio State, Mason attempted to recruit numerous central Ohio players once he became the head coach for Minnesota.

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