There are a several players from central Ohio from the 2014 recruiting class of football players who fall in the 3-star to 4-star range, including Kyle Trout from Lancaster who verbally committed to Ohio State in February.
So far, Trout is the only player from the area to make a commitment, but players like Hartley's Alonzo Saxton, Westerville South's Darryl Long, Upper Arlington's Chris Frey, Marion-Franklin's Martesse Patterson and Westerville Central's Nick Richardson should be making their decisions to commit to Division I colleges over the next few months.
I recently had a chance to do a question-and-answer session with Richardson, who, like Trout, is an offensive tackle. Richardson is listed as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and gets three stars from Scout.com.
Here is a chance to get to know the player who is on the radar of numerous Big Ten schools.
QUESTION: Nick, you're ranked 180th in the Rivals250 for the 2014 recruiting class. How does that make you feel?
ANSWER: It's actually very humbling and just makes me want to work harder and see if maybe I can move up a little bit.
QUESTION: You're listed at 6-4, 285. Is that close to the size you expect to be as a senior next fall for Westerville Central?
ANSWER: I haven't updated my height for a while but I'm about 6-5 and I'd like to play anywhere from 280-295. I don't want to get too heavy to where it slows me down but the extra weight helps my power.
QUESTION: How has your recruiting process been going?
ANSWER: It's been a very hectic process. The letters have been piling up and it just gets overwhelming.
QUESTION: Do you have any visits scheduled? What are some of the things you hope to show college recruiters over the next few months?
ANSWER: I'm going to Tennessee on the 13th and that is the only scheduled visit so far. I'd like to get out and see a bunch of different schools this spring and summer. The thing I'd like to show recruiters is my good footwork. That's one thing I'm proud of and put a lot of time in.
QUESTION: Your profile has you with offers from Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State and Toledo. Are there any other schools that have offered?
ANSWER: Ole Miss and Miami of Ohio as well.
QUESTION: What are some of the schools at the top of your list among those that already have offered? Do you anticipate making a verbal any time soon or are you expecting it to take a few more months?
ANSWER: Right now Ole Miss and Michigan State are my favorites but I don't plan on making a decision any time soon.
QUESTION: Are you playing any spring sports?
ANSWER: I do track and field. I throw shot and discus.
QUESTION: Central has had a couple nice seasons the last two years, although your team came up a little short of the playoffs last year. What are some things you're looking forward to about your final season with the Warhawks?
ANSWER: We're returning a lot of good players at the skill positions. On the line we lost a lot of talent but we will find a way to fill in the pieces and hopefully make a run.
Olentangy Orange had a historically great senior class this season in girls basketball, with guard and Indiana-recruit Taylor Agler leading the way.
Some of the other members of the first state tournament team in program history inevitably also will end up playing basketball at the small-college level, including guard Kierstynn Myers.
On her Twitter account last week, Myers announced that she'll play for Ohio Wesleyan University.
Myers averaged seven points and was honorable mention all-league this season as the Pioneers went 26-3 and won their first Division I district and regional championships. Orange lost to Twinsburg 73-63 in a state semifinal March 15.
Ohio Wesleyan has struggled in recent years, including going 8-18 this season under second-year coach and former Delaware coach Stacey Ungashick Reed.
Others from central Ohio who played for the Battling Bishops this season included Sarah McQuade (Dublin Coffman), Tamra Londot (Utica), Mary Corbett (Upper Arlington), Caroline Welker (Delaware) and Helen Scheblo (DeSales).
Pickerington Central senior two-sport standout Brent Walton will play football and lacrosse for Capital University, according to Tigers boys lacrosse coach Pete Campbell.
During the past several months, Walton had a huge impact on a pair of league championship teams.
Last spring, Walton had 38 goals and 40 assists while making first-team all-OCC-Central Division in boys lacrosse. The Tigers finished 11-6 and tied Delaware and Westerville Central for first in the league at 5-1.
Then last fall, he made honorable mention all-district as a running back and linebacker for the football team. Walton rushed for 631 yards and 11 touchdowns for Central, which went 7-3 and tied Pickerington North for the OCC-Ohio championship at 6-1.
Walton also saw action as a junior in 2011 when the Central football team earned a Division I state runner-up finish.
Senior forward Steve Romesburg of the Marysville boys basketball team will be playing for a defending national champion next winter.
On March 21, Romesburg is expected to participate in a signing ceremony at his school to announce that he'll play for Ohio Christian University located in Circleville.
OCU beat Arlington Baptist 73-62 for the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) title March 8 in Springfield, Mo. The win gave the Trailblazers a 22-0 record against teams in its division this season.
Wesley Russell, who is a Centennial graduate, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player while also earning all-tournament team MVP honors. Kenny Cooper (DeSales), Joe Collier (Canal Winchester) and Evan Mills (Pickerington North) are other central Ohio natives who play for OCU.
Romesburg averaged 11 points and was honorable mention all-district this season for Marysville, which was seeded 34th for the district tournament and finished 7-16. The Monarchs hung with fourth-seeded New Albany before losing 63-61 in the first round of the district tournament Feb. 22.
It's only been two years since Worthington Christian wasn't able to have a softball team because of low numbers, so the recent college signing of senior Caylan DeLucia from its program is one that provides a reason to pause.
DeLucia, who pitched some as a freshman before she and her teammates weren't able to get on the field in 2011, returned last spring to hit .350 while playing catcher.
The Warriors won only two games, but the return to prep softball was a nice story for first-year coach Stephanie Smith and her program.
In late February, De Lucia signed to play for Huntington University in Indiana.
For her prep career according to Huntington's team website, DeLucia has batted .370. She made second-team all-district last season in Division IV.
Last season, Huntington finished 29-18 against a schedule that included Mount Vernon Nazarene and Cedarville.
With the basketball season nearly wrapped up for most central Ohio athletes, we should be hearing about where many of the area's top seniors who plan to play small-college basketball are going to end up next winter.
Found out about a couple yesterday from the Grove City community.
Senior guard Miranda Frase from the Grove City girls team will be holding a signing ceremony March 11 to announce her commitment to play for the University of Rio Grande, a school that resides in a small community in southern Ohio. Frase averaged eight points, had 54 assists and 36 steals and made special mention all-OCC-Ohio Division this season as the Greyhounds went 8-14.
Africentric graduate Shardai Morrison-Fountain is among the players for Rio Grande, which is an NAIA school.
Grove City Christian senior boys basketball player Derek Vaughn, a 6-foot-1 guard, has committed to Ohio Christian University located in Circleville. OCU competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association.
Vaughn made honorable mention all-district in Division IV this season as the Eagles went 9-15.
It's been an exciting few months for Worthington Kilbourne senior Selena Fushimi-Karns.
Last fall, she helped the Wolves girls soccer team win seven more games than in 2011 as it finished 11-7-1 and was a Division I district runners-up.
A long-time gymnast who is the daughter of Kilbourne gymnastics coach Cindy Fushimi, Fushimi-Karns helped the Wolves win a district championship Feb. 23.
Then on Feb. 28, the day before the state team gymnastics meet at Hilliard Bradley, Fushimi-Karns signed to play women's soccer for California University of Pa.
Fushimi-Karns made first-team all-league and ThisWeek Super 12 honorable mention.
"It's a really good soccer program," Fushimi-Karns said. "They placed in the top three in their conference and just have a great program."
Fushimi-Karns was Kilbourne's only senior at the state team gymnastics meet March 1 as the Wolves placed sixth.
Dec 07, 2013 | Currently: 27° Overcast