Although the Groveport football team stumbled to a 3-7 finish last season, a pair of linemen provide hope that this season could be an improvement.

According to Cruisers veteran coach Tim Brown, defensive end Dawuane Smoot verbally committed to Illinois and huge offensive lineman Durrell Wood verballed to Ohio University earlier this summer.

Smoot, who made first-team all-OCC-Ohio Division last fall, also received scholarship offers from Indiana, Ball State, Ohio and Eastern Michigan before becoming the 14th member of the Illini's recruiting class. He joins Olentangy's Austin Schmidt, an offensive lineman, as a central Ohio player who has verballed to Illinois.

Also known as D.J., the 6-3, 225-pound Smoot impressed at a camp in early June and was offered by Illinois at the event.

Depending on what recruiting website you click on, Durrell Wood also is known as Durrell Bristol. When I talked to Brown a few days ago, he called him Durrell Wood, so we'll go with that when referring to the prospect. He verballed in mid-July.

Wood is 6-3 and on some sites is listed as 320 or 325 pounds, so the framework should be there for Ohio to mold him. He also considered Ball State, Bowling Green and Western Michigan before verbally to play for the Bobcats. He was second-team all-league last season.

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