Reviewing Ohio State’s 4 Star Recruits, Part III (LB/S/CB)

I’m pretty excited about the 4 star’s we picked up for the Secondary.  It was a sore spot last season, and these kids (with Vonn Bell) promise to upgrade our talent and potential there dramatically.


1.  Eli Apple, Cornerback

At 6′, 185 lbs, Eli Apple (formerly Woodard, but more on that in a minute) stands the best chance of the 4 star secondary recruits of seeing serious playing time this coming season.  He has uncanny instincts, has a remarkable understanding of route running (letting him play ice cold lockdown man defense), as well as playing to an elite level in the zone.  Factor in his 4.4 40 time, and the fact that he’s probably still going to pack on some muscle, and Apple could be a truly elite player at his position.  He’s got the athleticism  brains and instincts to be very, very good.  Outside of his skill on the field, he kept a 3.2 GPA in high school, and change his last name just prior to the All-Army game to honor his stepfather, who has had a major impact on his life.  This young fella has some serious character, and I’m honestly pulling for him.  Watch him do work:


2.  Cameron Burrows, Cornerback

At 6’2″, 195 lbs, Cameron Burrows brings a much more mature physical presence to the secondary.  He’s still fast for his size, but can really put a hurting on receivers.  He’s got excellent vision and is very good on the read.  He can drop back and play strong safety, but is comfortable on the corners as well.


3.  Gareon Conley, Cornerback

At 6’2″, 170 lbs, Gareon Conley is probably going to need to pack on some muscle over the summer and in camp.  That said, he has great speed, tremendous control and balance.  He has good instincts, and is comfortable in both man and zone coverages.  Should develop into a well rounded, solid defender.


4.  Trey Johnson, Linebacker

At 6’2, 220 lbs, the odds are pretty good that Trey Johnson will be put into a strength program pretty quick once he gets to campus to pack on a few more pounds of muscle.  Outside of that, Trey Johnson may be the second best steal OSU pulled off this NSD.  He had originally verbally committed to Auburn, but took a trip to Columbus and came away ready to switch to Ohio State.  He’s fast, extremely physical and very versatile.  A solid pass rusher and excellent tackler, he also is solid in coverage.  He’s smart, has some leadership potential and has outstanding character.  A solid pick up for the Buckeyes.


5.  Jayme Thompson, Safety/Kick Returner

At 6’2″, 185 lbs, the name of the game is speed for Jayme Thompson.  He’s got next level explosiveness, and can really turn it up in the open field.  This makes him a threat both as a Safety (he’s a ball hawk), and as a kick returner on special teams.  He’s got an outstanding vertical, and can play high on just about any WR.


6.  Darron Lee, Safety

At 6’2″, 205 lbs, Darron Lee has the size to play strong safety or even outside linebacker.  He’s got good hands, ball handling and timing when making a play on the ball, good angles and great closing speed, and can put good hits on opposing players.  He is a for sure tackler, and is great at making open field tackles.




Browns Officially Set To Switch To 3-4 Defense

It’s official: The Cleveland Browns will be moving from a 4-3 defense to the 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on an interview Horton gave with 910 AM in Arizona, in which he confirmed that the Browns will be a 3-4 defense starting this year—not a hybrid-style defense like many had speculated. Horton anticipates his defense to look similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ attack-style 3-4 defense, which he himself worked with from 2004 until 2010.

This move will require a thorough evaluation of the players currently on the defensive roster to see who can make the switch and who cannot. It will likely result in a bit more free agency activity than we’ve typically seen out of the Browns in recent years. It might be a defense-heavy draft for Cleveland, too, to ensure the team has enough personnel capable of running the new scheme.


Originally posted at