As part of last weekend’s OHSFCA clinic, the teams for the 66th annual Ohio
North-South Classic were announced. The game will be played at Ohio Stadium the day before OSU’s spring football game (and April
22) and since that
day falls on Good Friday, the game will be played at 4 p.m. Here’s everything else you need to know as well…
As part of last weekend’s Ohio High School Football Coaches Association clinic in Columbus, the teams for the 66th annual Ohio North-South Classic were announced.
For the second year in a row, the game will be played at Ohio Stadium on the day before OSU’s spring football game. That will be Fri., April 22. Ed Terwilliger, an officer with the OHSFCA, revealed that since that day falls on Good Friday, the game will be played at 4 p.m.
There will be six future Ohio State players in the game. DL Chase Farris (Elyria), DB DerJuan Gambrell (Toledo Rogers), DB Doran Grant (Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary), DE Steve Miller (Canton McKinley) and WR Devin Smith (Massillon) will play for the North, while TE Nick Vannett (Westerville Central) will play for the South.
Dick Angle of Warren Howland will coach the North and Jason Krause of Middletown will coach the South.
The Ohio North-South Classic is the nation’s longest continuous running high school all-star game. It drew an estimated 5,000 to Ohio Stadium last year as OSU signee Verlon Reed scored the winning touchdown in the South’s 23-20 win. The North still owns a 38-24-3 lead in the all-time series. The series is tied at 5-5 since it returned to Columbus in 2001.
“We learned one thing – it doesn’t matter how many people are in that stadium, it is an unbelievable experience for those kids to come out of those locker rooms and go down that tunnel at Ohio Stadium,” Terwilliger said. “It doesn’t matter what school they were going to. It was phenomenal.
“The other thing is that Coach Tressel is just a huge supporter. That has made it very easy for us. He and the rest of the staff at Ohio State make it very doable for us to get things done. (Director of football operations Greg) Gillum works with me specifically just on this game.”
Perhaps the best scenario for this game would be for it to be played as a twin-bill with the OSU spring game, which typically draws crowds between 50,000 and 90,000 depending on the weather. But NCAA rules – as currently written – preclude that.
“The stadium would have to be cleared between games and they’d have to be on separate tickets,” Terwilliger said.
But with this year’s spring game falling on Easter weekend, Terwilliger is optimistic that will help attendance for the Friday night all-star game.
“This year, the way it falls during the Ohio State coaching clinic it is Good Friday,” he said. “That means no one will be in school. We’re playing the game in the afternoon at 4 p.m., so with nobody in school we are hoping everybody who wants to come can get there.
“We have the National Guard involved, Under Armour and then the coaches association. Once people realize the venue and the talent of players from across the state, we hope it will be a good draw. But we can’t say enough about Coach Tressel and what they do.”
Terwilliger said the OHSFCA is still working on details regarding television. SportsTime Ohio aired the game on tape delay last year. He said STO, Big Ten Network and Fox Sports Ohio have all expressed an interest.
This will actually be the fourth straight year the game will be played in Ohio Stadium. The 2008 and 2009 games were played in the Horseshoe as well, but they were played in June on the same day as the Big 33 Football Classic in Hershey, Pa.
Ohio had lost three straight Big 33 games to the Pennsylvania all-stars. However, in 2009 the OHSFCA decided to send its top players to play in the Big 33 instead of in its own game. The result was an Ohio win (38-31). Last year, without the direct conflict on the dates, the Ohio team pulled out an 18-15 win and tied that series at 9-9.
This year, the Ohio team will have seven OSU signees with Farris, Gambrell, Grant, Steve Miller, Smith, OL Antonio Underwood and Vannett all committed to play. The Pennsylvania team will also feature OSU signee LB Ejuan Price. (Players who have enrolled at colleges in the winter or spring aren’t eligible for these all-star games. That explains why OSU signees QB Braxton Miller, DB Ron Tanner and OL Tommy Brown aren’t in either game.)
Terwilliger said by moving the Ohio North-South Classic to April it is the best of both worlds and the top players can play in both games.
“It’s too good for kids and coaches to not be involved (in the Big 33),” he said. “It’s great to go over and compete against another state. The game last year was awesome. We have a good standing relationship. We have ours in the spring and theirs in the summer, so there are no conflicts.”
Video Interview Segments
Below we have video interview segments with three of the OSU players tapped to play in both of these all-star games. Here are also links to signing day stories (and highlight videos) with each of these players.
Devin Smith video interview:
Chase Farris video interview:
Steve Miller video interview: