Olentangy Valley News

Nine Braves sign in football

Nine Olentangy football players signed national letters of intent or otherwise announced their college choices Feb. 6.

Division I signees were defensive back Buchi Okafor (Miami University) and two-way lineman Austin Schmidt (Illinois). Quarterback/punter/defensive back Andrew Horstman received an appointment to the Air Force Academy, and running back/defensive back Ramal Iverson signed with Division II Saginaw Valley State.

Also, receivers/defensive backs Christian Brett and Francis Ramadhani as well as defensive lineman Michael Watkins will play at Otterbein University, offensive lineman Brian Raiff is going to Marietta, and linebacker/running back Zach Ries will go to Tiffin University.

Okafor, a 6-foot-2, 182-pound cornerback, was a first-team all-OCC-Capital Division selection and chose the Redhawks over Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Duke, Northwestern, Syracuse, Toledo and Vanderbilt, according to Rivals.com.

Schmidt, an offensive tackle, earned first-team all-league and all-district after helping pave the way for a rushing attack that amassed 2,404 yards and averaged 5.2 yards per carry. Raiff, who played right guard with a broken right foot the entire season, was named second-team all-league.

Horstman was 88-for-171 passing for 1,469 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions, rushed for 988 yards and 13 touchdowns on 135 carries and averaged an area-best 38.4 yards per punt on 36 attempts. He earned first-team all-league and all-district honors for his punting.

Iverson had 478 yards and three touchdowns on 65 carries to earn second-team all-league.

Brett caught 38 passes for 736 yards and four touchdowns, all team-highs, and earned first-team all-league and second-team all-district. He also had almost 60 tackles and an interception as a cornerback.

Ramadhani, an honorable mention all-league selection, caught 23 passes for 274 yards and a touchdown.

Ries and Watkins earned special mention all-league for the Braves, who went 10-2 overall and 6-1 in the OCC-Capital Division and lost to Hilliard Davidson 29-14 in a Division I, Region 3 semifinal.

-- Dave Purpura