Video: L'Christian "Blue" Smith highlights for Wayne High SchoolSee the uncommitted and highly touted receiver prospect in action last season.1. Pickerington Central2016 record:
The Tigers have unfinished business after reaching the final four last
year and falling 29-27 to eventual state champion St. Xavier. Talent is
Seniors Trenton Gillison
(tight end) and Xavier Henderson
(defensive back) have committed to Michigan State. Senior defensive back Jeremiah Wood
holds 11 offers including Cincinnati, Rutgers, Kentucky and Iowa State. Senior tight end Alex Morgan
has committed to Toledo.
Other key returning seniors include offensive linemen Brody Egan
and Trey Madison
and defensive back Jalen Mitchell
. Junior defensive tackle DeWayne Carter
holds six offers, including Tennessee, Indiana and Kentucky. The quarterback? Super sophomore Demeatric Crenshaw
(Kentucky offer). It's time.
See the MaxPreps Ohio Football Computer Rankings presented by the Army National Guard2. St. Xavier (Cincinnati)2016 record:
The Bombers became the first team to enter Ohio’s playoffs 5-5 and win a
state title (the program’s third overall). They must replace 12 All-Greater
Catholic League selections.
Senior quarterback Chase Wolf
(1,291 yards and 15 touchdowns) has committed to Wisconsin and takes
over full-time under center. He has two outstanding targets in senior
receivers Cameron Specht
(68 receptions, 655 yards, three touchdowns) and Andrew Wittrock
receptions, 569 yards, nine touchdowns).
Senior defensive end Blake Bacevich
has committed to Cincinnati. He had 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, a
sack and a fumble recovery against St. Ignatius in last year’s state
championship. See the MaxPreps Ohio football playoff brackets3. Wayne (Huber Heights)2016 record:
The Warriors return enough talent to make a third big school state final in four years.
The headliner is senior receiver L'Christian 'Blue' Smith
, who holds 14 offers including Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame and Penn State. Junior quarterback Rashad McKee
directs the offense. The defense features senior defensive end Alex Reigelsperger
(Kentucky) and senior defensive back Demetrius Ross
.See the MaxPreps Ohio football photo galleries
4. Colerain (Cincinnati)2016 record:
Cardinals split a pair of overtime games with St. Xavier last season, dropping the postseason meeting 29-23.
The linebacking corps will
feature two good ones in senior Dan Bolden
and junior Ivan Pace. The
offense is loaded. A pair of quarterbacks that earned All-Greater Miami
Conference honors last year return in senior Gunnar Leyendecker
total touchdowns) and junior Deante Smith
(11 total touchdowns).
Junior running backs Jarin "JJ" davis
and Syncere Jones
and senior receiver
Ja’von Hicks (Cincinnati) were also All-GMC selections. See the MaxPreps Ohio football stat leaders5. La Salle (Cincinnati)2016 record:
The Lancers started 2-2 last year and then won 11 straight games and
their third-straight state title. Graduation took its toll, but plenty
of talent remains.
Senior quarterback Griffin Merritt
, senior defensive lineman Zach Rumpke
, senior tight end Josh Whyle
(Cincinnati) and junior linebacker Brody Ingle
were all first team All-Greater Catholic League South Division last
season. Merritt was the GCL South’s leading passer with 1,930 yards and
21 touchdowns. A new stable of running backs will be called upon.
McLaughlin takes over as head coach after serving in that capacity at Princeton for three years. He is La Salle's third head coach in four years. The Week 1 meeting with Colerain is big one.
Also see:Preseason All-Ohio Teams: Small School Offense, Small School DefenseOhio Preseason Polls: Division I, Division II, Division III, Division IV, Division V, Division VI, Division VII