YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Eight local high school football players have earned a Division One college scholarships this year. From Leavittsburg to Columbiana, the best high school football players in The Valley were signing on the dotted line.
Nine members of the Warren Harding Football team, dressed in jersey’s and bow ties, announced their college plans today. That includes Quarterback, and two-time Big 22 Player of the Year Lynn Bowden. Despite some late interest from Ohio State, he officially signed with Kentucky.
“Yea, they (Ohio State) reached out to me, wanted to sit down, but I told them, flat out, I was 100% committed to the University of Kentucky. There was no changing my mind at that point,” Bowden said. “I want to break records, get the the SEC Championship, and hopefully BCS,” added Bowden.
The Mid-American Conference claimed six local recruits. Bowling Green snagged Boardman Tight End Travis Koontz and Crestview Defensive End Jordan Murphy. Murphy is leaving a Rebels program that has won 31 games over the last 4 years. He joins a Falcons program that has won three conference titles during the same time span.
“That was something I knew if I come there, there’s a very high chance that I’m going to be winning a lot, and going to championships and bowl games, and that was pretty big,” Murphy said.
Koontz is relieved to conclude the college recruiting process.
“It just feels like a big weight is lifted off your shoulder because the recruiting process was very stressful,” admitted Koontz. “I’m sure a lot of kids would say that, and i’m just glad it’s over with.”
Kent State has signed Struthers touchdown king A.J. Musolino, while Victor Williams, a four-year starter at Howland, will look to have the same early impact at Toledo.
“Every freshman wants to go play on the field so, I just want to work my butt off in the offseason to get where I need to be. they expect me to come out. they expect their money’s worth,” Williams said.
“I just cant wait to go play football again,” Musolino said. “I really miss football. Football is more than just football, lot of life lessons. It’s just something that been a passion for since i was little.”
Ohio University has landed two of the fastest kids in the valley in Labrae Wide Receiver Tariq Drake and Brookfield Quarterback Xavier Bailey have both signed with the Bobcats. But that’s not the only thing they have in common. They’re both Big 22 Alumni, they both run track, and they’re both looking to add weight this summer to play cornerback at the next level.
“They love the speed, the 4.4 speed in the 40 yard dash and then love my height and my weight right now as a 17 year old because i’m young for my grade so they says they’re going to put some weight on me, get me around 200 pounds and have me play corner at my speed,” said Bailey.
Drake is likewise thrilled to now officially call himself a Bobcat.
“It’s just a surreal feeling, knowing the fact that I get to play collegiate football is something I can’t take for granted because most kids don’t get to do this.” Drake added.
It is “anchors aweigh for our final commit…Ursuline’s 4-year starter and captain Jeff Marx is headed to Annapolis to join the Naval Academy.
“Yea it’s been a dream ever since i was 8-years old. saw a kid signing on ESPNU and I told my dad that’s something I want to do someday,” Marx revealed.