Friday nights in the state of Ohio have produced a ton of outstanding high school football talent over the years.
The regions from the north, south, east and west corners of the state each hold a significant spot in history, with teams always making a case to be considered among the best in the nation while complemented by stellar athletes that eventually go on to the NCAA level and even the NFL.
And the 2022 Ohio high school football season certainly looks to continue the overall trend.
As the gridiron action kicks off, we’re looking at the top five players to watch in the Buckeye State, according to the Ohio journalists within the USA TODAY Sports Network.
Here’s how the players were ranked, per Cincinnati.com | The Enquirer:
USA TODAY Network Ohio staff members across the state researched and compiled a list of its respective area’s top players. The journalists voted on these players using a point system. First-place players received 22 points, second-place players got 21 and so on until the 22nd player wrapped it up with 1 point. Those points were tabulated to determine the top 22 players.
And with that in mind, here are the top five …
5. Jordan Marshall — Archbishop Moeller
Position: Running Back
The scoop: Marshall’s just a junior but considered the top running back in the state. He helped lead Moeller to a Final Four berth last season, so definitely a talent in the backfield to keep an eye on in 2022.
4. Jermaine Mathews Jr. — Winton Woods
The scoop: The picture explains it perfectly— Mathews is an exceptional talent, one of the best from the class of 2023, and it’s not surprising that Ohio State went after the 4-star recruit.
3. Ben Minich — Lakota West
The scoop: Another standout in the secondary, Minich has a top-tier defensive skill set that’s highlighted with uncanny speed (his 100-meter dash times have topped at 10.47!). The West Chester, Ohio product will head to South Bend for his college carer.
2. Malik Hartford — Lakota West
The scoop: Hartford joins fellow teammate Ben Minich in a Secondary of Secondaries: A Notre Dame Fighting Fighting Irish commit and an Ohio State Buckeyes commit. In short: Good luck with the passing game if your team faces the Firebirds in 2022.
1. Luke Montgomery — Findlay
Position: Offensive Tackle
The scoop: Whenever a player gets scouted as “having the potential to eventually play on Sundays,” you know you’re talking about a unique talent. And that’s exactly what Montgomery is, a remarkable athlete with that multi-sport athleticism that will only help him improve at a position he’s not played consistently throughout his HS career (OT). And when he gets to Ohio State in 2023? Look out!
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