BEAVERCREEK – Jim Tressel’s visit to Beavercreek High School on Monday may have been his first stop at the Greene County school, but it definitely wasn’t Ohio State’s first venture into the Miami Valley.
For years the Buckeyes have mined the Dayton-area for football recruits and this year OSU is slated to add Creek’s Zach Domicone to a roster already littered with Miami Valley alumni.
“The Beavercreek, Xenia, Centerville and Wayne area has been a good ground for us,” Ohio State recruiting coordinator John Peterson said. “There’s a lot of quality football played in the region.”
Domicone is expected to play in the defensive backfield at Oho State and he won’t have to look far for familiar faces.
This season, the Buckeyes had four starters from the Greater Western Ohio Conference in right guard Ben Person (Xenia), linebacker Marcus Freeman (Wayne), defensive lineman Todd Denlinger (Troy) and defensive back Kurt Coleman (Northmont).
Other GWOC alumni on the Ohio State two-deep included tight end Jake Ballard (Springboro) and running back Brandon Saine (Piqua).
Additional OSU roster spots are owned by wide receiver Brent Ullery (Centerville) and defensive lineman Tom Ingham (Centerville),
Linebacker Austin Spitler from neighboring district Bellbrook (Southwestern Buckeye League) was a back-up linebacker.
Last season Ohio State signed defensive back Donnie Evege from Wayne. Recent GWOC alumni who starred for Ohio State include Centerville products A.J. Hawk and Mike Nugent and Wayne’s Will Allen.
“The GWOC has been a great conference for us to pull players from because these kids come prepared to compete,” Peterson said. “That’s a testament to the football coaches and programs in the area. They get their kids ready to play a high-level of football.”
Another Miami Valley conference that has provided Ohio State valuable players over the years is the rural Midwest Athletic Conference. Although a small-school conference dotted with silos, steeples and stadium lights, the MAC has produced some big-time talent.
Starting quarterback Todd Boeckman honed his skills at MAC member St. Henry, while back-up linebacker Ross Homan played at neighboring Coldwater. Homan’s brother Adam, a Coldwater junior, has already verbally committed to Ohio State.
“Some people might talk about (the MAC) being small school football, but we believe a kid can either play football or they can’t,” Peterson said. “Those kids can play football.”
Tressel and Peterson will continue to make the rounds at high schools this week before wrapping their visits on Saturday. National signing day for high school seniors is next Wednesday (Feb. 6), and the GWOC will host its first ever National Signing Day Ceremony in Huber Heights. All conference schools will participate and all players singing letters-of-intent to NCAA FBS and FCS schools will attend.
In addition to touring the school Monday, Tressel spent time with school administrators and signed autographs for various students. He also spent time with the Creek student newspaper and yearbook staffs. A cake in the shape of Ohio Stadium was also consumed.