A couple of weeks into the season (on the field, at least), and all eyes following recruiting in Ohio have narrowed to the secondary at Glenville High School.
That’s where Marshon Lattimore and Erick Smith, both four-star recruits who stand as the top two remaining uncommitted recruits in Ohio, are roaming every Friday night.
Lattimore, who is listed as an athlete but is getting the most attention as a cornerback, is the No. 51 player in the country (according to ESPN.com’s rankings) and the top recruit in the state. Smith is listed as a Top 300 recruit and the 14th best safety nationally.
They’re the top targets left in the state, and they just happen to play right next to each other.
Both took an unofficial visit to Michigan for the Notre Dame game, and both came away impressed with the Wolverines.
“It was good to finally get there for a game, and we got to be there for the game with the record for attendance, which was cool,” Smith told Brad Bournival of ESPN.com. “It was good being there, especially for the Notre Dame game. The atmosphere was amazing, and I watched their defense pretty closely. I always watch a team and I imagine myself playing in their defense, and I could see myself playing corner or safety there.”
Lattimore and Smith haven't taken any official visits yet but are both planning on visiting Alabama for the Crimson Tide’s game against Louisiana State on Nov. 9. Lattimore has mentioned Ohio State, Oregon and USC as possible programs to visit and Smith has mentioned possibly visiting Ohio State, Michigan State, Louisville and Georgia Tech.
The possibility that a program gets both of them is fairly high, considering their high ranking.
“We always talk about playing college football together,” Smith told Bournival. “I would say the chance we play at the same school would be 50 percent.”
The Buckeyes are hoping to get some recruiting help from Glenville offensive tackle Marcelys Jones, a three-star recruit who committed to Urban Meyer last Christmas. Glenville has been known to be one of Ohio State’s better pipelines. Adding Lattimore and Smith, along with Jones, would make quite the haul from Cleveland to Columbus.
Recruit No. 18
Ohio State last week added the 18th commitment to the class of 2014 with Noah Brown, a four-star wide receiver/athlete from New Jersey.
Brown, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, picked the Buckeyes over hometown Rutgers following an official visit to Columbus.
Brown’s best quality is his speed — at his size, he runs a 4.58 40-yard dash. He’s the sixth “speedster” of this class already, along with Parris Campbell of St. Vincent-St. Mary, Lonnie Johnson, Malik Hooker, Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel.
At Pope John XXIII High School, Brown caught 41 passes for 630 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. Showing his versatility, he also ran for 847 yards on 98 carries, a 6.8 yards-per-carry average.
“He’s one of those rare breeds where he’s a big, strong, physical guy,” Pope John XXIII coach Brian Carlson told ESPN.com. “But he can play in space. He’s 6-foot-2, 212 now, and he’s still growing. We haven’t seen a guy yet that can take him down.”
With the addition of Brown, Ohio State now holds the No. 9 recruiting class in the country, per ESPN.com’s rankings. The Buckeyes moved up two spots, past Texas A&M and LSU. Alabama still owns the No. 1 class and Michigan is the top Big Ten school, coming in at No. 6 (15 recruits).
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.