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Top State Contenders & Top Prospects


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Top state contenders, per www.Cleveland.com


Cincinnati Colerain (11-2 in 2008): Veteran defense and two 1,000-yard rushers return from a team that lost to Cincinnati Elder in a double-overtime regional final.


Cincinnati Moeller (6-5): A state final between Moeller and St. Ignatius would add to their rich histories. QB Andrew Hendrix leads the offense, and the defense is star-studded.


Cincinnati St. Xavier (4-6): Coming off a rare losing season rife with injuries. Plays perhaps Ohio's most difficult schedule. Third-year QB Luke Massa is among seven starters back on offense.


Glenville (11-1): As talented as any recent Glenville team - and that's a lot of talent. The addition of TB/CB Latwan Anderson from St. Edward could put the Tarblooders over the top.


Don't count out


Cincinnati Elder (13-2): QB Mark Miller, WR Tim O'Conner (Indiana) and TE Alex Welch (Notre Dame) return from state runner-up team, but offensive line needs rebuilding and holes need plugging on defense.


Mentor (9-3): More of a power offense than in past with junior backs Ricky Hanzlik and Mike Korecz in a two-back spread formation. Much depends on maturation of talented junior class and health of senior QB Sam Mayse.


Solon (6-4): If the offensive line improves and running game takes off, this will be a tough team come playoff time. Look for QB Jake Voigt to have a big year.


St. Ignatius (14-1): Can the Wildcats reload after graduating 16 starters? Defending champs have some big holes to fill, especially at wide receiver and defensive back.


Players to watch


Latwan Anderson, Glenville, TB/WR/DB, Sr., 5-11, 185: He and Christian Bryant form the state's top cornerback combo. A big year from Anderson on offense will be the key.


Darryl Baldwin, Solon, TE/DE, Sr., 6-6, 205: A game-changer on defense. Underrated as a receiver, look for him to become a big part of the offense.


Andrew Hendrix, Cincinnati Moeller, QB, Sr., 6-3, 220: Notre Dame recruit passed for 1,600 yards last year and has terrific supporting cast.


Jordan Hicks, Lakota West, LB, Sr., 6-2, 200: Regarded by some as Ohio's top senior. Ohio State fans eagerly await word if he'll choose the Buckeyes over USC, LSU, Florida State and Alabama.


Erick Howard, North Canton Hoover, RB, Sr., 5-10, 210: Just the second junior to win Ohio's Mr. Football award, he rushed for 2,387 yards and scored 31 touchdowns, leading Hoover to the state semifinals, where it lost to St. Ignatius. He's uncommitted.


Matt James, Cincinnati St. Xavier, OT, Sr., 6-8, 280: Another top uncommitted recruit, he has visits to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Boston College and Florida on his itinerary.


Scott McVey, St. Ignatius, LB, Sr., 6-1, 215: A big-timer who makes big plays. Ohio State recruit's four-sack performance in last year's final was the highlight of state tournament weekend.


Mark Miller, Cincinnati Elder, QB, Sr., 6-0 170: Threw for 3,327 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior and top two targets return.


Steve Miller, Canton McKinley, DE, Jr., 6-4, 230: Among Ohio's top 2011 recruits, he's a load to block and had 11 sacks and 23 tackles for loss.


Andrew Norwell, Cincinnati Anderson, OT, Sr. 6-6, 225: Anderson lost a lot of key players from its Division II state runner-up squad last year, but Norwell (Ohio State) returns to anchor the line.


Cole Stoudt, Dublin Coffman, QB, Jr., 6-3, 180: Highly touted junior at Brady Quinn's alma mater comes from a QB family. Father, Cliff, played in the NFL and brother, Zack, is at Louisville.


Tyrone Williams, Shaw, WR, Sr., 6-6, 205: The Cardinals face an uphill battle to make the playoffs after moving up from Division II, but if they do, Williams will be a force.


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