Sunday, August 1, 2010


WALDORF, Md. — Ohio State has yet to land a linebacker for the 2011 class, and with Trey DePriest's (Springfield) announcement on Friday that he would be playing at Alabama, the Buckeyes are in serious need of filling the position.

(left, Conner Crowell)

Sure, the Buckeyes are definitely healthy at linebacker for the future with young talent like Storm Klein, Dorian Bell, Andrew Sweat and Scott McVey all waiting in the wings. But let's face it, Ohio State is a linebacker school and when they are unable to land a top notch backer in any class, it begins to make the natives a little restless.

Well, they still have hope for the 2011 class with prospects like Pennsylvania stars Ejuan Price (Woodland Hills/Pittsburgh) and Michael Caputo (West Allegheny/Imperial) still very much in the mix.

It doesn't end in Pa.

Another linebacker prospect — and perhaps the most versatile of the class — is Maryland-native Conner Crowell (North Point/Waldorf).

Crowell (6-1, 220) is exactly the type of linebacker the Buckeyes look for — athletic and versatile — a player who can play on the inside and take on interior linemen and running backs, or who can play the outside and rush the passer.

Crowell is a lot like OSU senior linebacker Ross Homan in that respect.

However, when The Buckeye Times asked Crowell who he played the game of football like his answer was a bit unorthodox.

"This will sound a bit odd but I like to compare myself to Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers," Crowell said. "Like him, I'm very versatile and can play pretty much every position, and I can do it well."

Crowell not only recorded more than 100 tackles and four interceptions as a junior in 2009, but he also ran for eight touchdowns as a running back. The kid is one exceptional athlete and when you study him on film he doesn't appear to have any glaring weakness.

Many recruiting experts think he is a lock to be a Penn State Nittany Lion, but Crowell says not so fast.

"I love everything about (Ohio State)," Crowell said. "The atmosphere when I walk into the stadium. The fans there have been the best I've seen out of every college I've been to.

"And the coaches there are great."

Crowell said that he has narrowed his list down to three schools — Ohio State, Penn State and North Carolina. He said that he will decide "sometime during the season."

Crowell said that he has set some big goals for his senior year at North Point.

"My goals are for my team to get a state championship," Crowell said. "And for me to achieve all the post season honors I had last year (All-Metro, All-State, All-Conference). I want to be voted defensive player of the year for the state and metro."

Of course, Ohio State fans have a goal for this season too, and that's to have Crowell put on an Ohio State ball cap come d-day.

One aspect that might win Crowell services may not have anything to do with football.

"(I want to major) somewhere in the area of physical training," Crowell said. "Something to do with sports."

This could give OSU an edge over the rest.

According to, Ohio State is among the top 20 colleges in the country in the field of athletic training. North Carolina and Penn State were not on the list.

The Buckeye Times will continue to keep tabs on the star linebacker from the east coast.

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