Here are the area’s Top 50 football players to watch for the 2016 season as compiled by TriStateFootball.com and WCPO.com. You can read about numbers 51-100 here.
The selections are based on last season’s statistical performances and reported college recruiting information along with team success. The player’s class (senior, junior, etc.) reflect the upcoming season.
50. Ridge Reed, Carlisle: The senior running back/linebacker was Division V first-team all-district. He rushed for 1824 yards and 19 touchdowns and had 1,938 all-purpose yards He had seven sacks on defense.
49. Luke Bohenek, Turpin: The senior running back was second-team all-district. He rushed for 1,620 yards and 18 touchdowns and caught 44 passes for 407 yards and five touchdowns.
48. Mason Parris, Lawrenceburg: The junior offensive lineman/linebacker was a Class 3A IFCA Jr. All-Indiana (OL) selection as a sophomore & EIAC 3A Defensive MVP too. He had 156 total tackles (63 solo), 23 tackles for a loss, had four sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered five fumbles a year ago.
47. Will Coker, Woodward: The senior running back was Division III second-team all-district. He rushed for 2,284 yards and 29 touchdowns. He had 357 yards against Cincinnati College Prep.
46. Trayvon Wilburn, Mount Healthy: The senior linebacker was Division III second-team all-district. He had 81 tackles (55) in the 2015 regular season. He has an offer from Kent State.
45. Gerald Smith, Harrison: The senior was second-team all-district. He had 44 receptions for 705 yards and 30 carries for 372 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 153 yards on punt returns and 497 yards on kickoff returns.
44. Tony Clark, Miamisburg: The junior running back/defensive back was a Division II second-team all-state selection in 2015. He ran for 1,137 yards, had 1,595 all-purpose yards, found the end zone 17 times (16 rushing), was in on 37 tackles and had three interceptions. Don’t be surprised if Clark runs for 2,000 yards behind Myers and Lamb.
43. Zach Carpenter, Moeller: The sophomore offensive lineman was named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-America Second Team in 2015.
42. Lang Evans, Turpin: The senior was Division II special mention all-state and was the ECC Defensive Player of the Year. He had three interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2015.
41. Darrian Beavers, Colerain: The senior safety/wide receiver has Mid-American Conference offers.
40. Cody Lamb, Miamisburg: The 6-4, 255-pound senior offensive lineman has offers from Ball State, Marshall and Toledo.
39. Kesean Gamble, CHCA: The senior running back has offers from Miami University and Toledo.
38. Colton Williams, Simon Kenton: The 6-5, 270-pound junior offensive lineman has an offer from UC.
37. Tyler Knecht, Kings: The senior quarterback threw for 2,441 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2015. He rushed for 800 yards and 15 touchdowns.
36. Jacob Gall, Moeller: The 6-3, 290-pound offensive lineman has an offer from Toledo. He was first-team all-GCL South.
35. Tyler Glenn, Lakota East: The senior running back had 700 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns as a junior before he was injured.
34. Nick Kovacs, Springboro: The senior wide receiver has an offer from Toledo. He was first-team all-state after he caught 78 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2015.
33. Dante Hendrix, Cooper: The senior wide receiver/defensive back was a First Team All-NKFCA selection in 2015. He had 53 receptions for 1,150 yards, 15 touchdowns catches, had 1,731 all-purpose yards, 26 tackles, a fumble recovery and seven interceptions.
32. Dakota Allen, Lebanon: The senior quarterback threw for 2,844 yards and 30 touchdowns. He rushed for 305 yards and six touchdowns. He’s gaining Mid-American Conference interest.
31. Samari Saddler, Moeller: The 6-3, 285-pound senior offensive lineman has offers that include Eastern Michigan, Marshall, Kent State and Eastern Kentucky.
30. Cameron Racke, Simon Kenton: The senior quarterback helped Simon Kenton go 13-1 was one of seven finalist for TriState Football Northern Kentucky Offensive Player of the Year in 2015. He amassed 2,757 yards of total offense (1,824 passing, 933 rushing) and accounted for 34 touchdowns (17 passing, 17 rushing) as a junior.
29. Monalo Caldwell, Colerain: The senior running back rushed for 1,343 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2015.
28. Josiah Scott, Fairfield: The senior was second-team all-district and first-team all-GMC. He has an offer from Army. He had 34 tackles, two sacks and 15 pass breakups in 2015. He has nine interceptions the past two seasons. He will continue to generate interest.
27. Jamal Hines, Princeton: The senior defensive lineman has an offer from UC. He had 4 ½ sacks, five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in 2015. It will be interesting to see how he performs under new coach Pat McLaughlin.
26. Jeremy Meiser, Moeller: The senior defensive lineman has impressed Crusaders coach John Rodenberg with his work ethic this spring. Meiser, who is 6-2 and 280 pounds, has offers from Ball State, Eastern Michigan and Old Dominion.
25. Howard Watkins, Colerain: The 6-5, 271-pound senior lineman has offers that include Miami University and Indiana.
24. Chris Oats, Winton Woods: The 6-3, 190-pound junior linebacker has offers from Michigan State and Kentucky and should make a solid impact on a talented defensive unit.
23. Zelwyn Robinson, Lakota West: The senior rushed for 607 yards and 18 touchdowns and he had 30 receptions for 408 yards and three touchdowns in 2015. He was second-team all-district and first-team all-GMC.
22. Dan Bolden, Colerain: The junior linebacker will be a force on a strong, experienced Cardinals defense. He had three sacks and an interception in 2015. He has an offer from Iowa State.
21. Reed Aichholz, Indian Hill: The senior threw for 2,568 yards and 16 touchdowns for the Braves in 2015. He rushed for 1,105 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was the Division IV Southwest District Player of the Year and first-team all-state.
20. Luke Waddell, Loveland: The senior running back was Division II special mention all-state. He rushed for 1,784 yards and 23 touchdowns and caught 33 passes for 760 yards and nine touchdowns. He is committed to play baseball at Georgia Tech.
19. Aeneas Hawkins, Moeller: The 6-2, 260-pound junior defensive end picked up an offer from Florida State on Tuesday night. He also has an offer from Kentucky.
18. Tanner Morgan, Ryle: The senior quarterback has offers that include Louisville, Wake Forest, UC, Bowling Green and Akron.
17. TreSean Smith, La Salle: The senior defensive back had 47 tackles and six interceptions in 2015. He has offers that include Louisville and Toledo. At 6-3 and 180 pounds, his stock will continue to rise.
16. Andrew Marty, Wyoming: The 6-4 ½ senior quarterback verbally committed to Miami University. He also had offers from Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. An injury cut his junior season short, but he is expected to have a standout season for the Cowboys.
15. Ra’Von Bonner, Sycamore: The senior was second-team all-district. He rushed for 1,429 yards and 27 touchdowns. He has offers from UC, Toledo, Buffalo and Ohio University.
14. Malik Vann, Fairfield: The junior linebacker has offers from UC, Maryland, West Virginia and Louisville. A second-team all-district selection, he had 30 tackles, including three sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
13. Alex King, Mason: The senior defensive end has offers that include UC, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Rutgers, Purdue, Colorado State and others. He was special mention all-state and had 5 ½ sacks in 2015.
12. Thayer Munford, La Salle: The senior 6-6, 325-pound offensive tackle has offers that include UC, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue, Maryland and others. He was third-team all-state and first-team all-GCL South in 2015.
11. Matt Dotson, Moeller: The senior tight end is an athletic force for the Crusaders and his offers include Ohio State, Oregon, Auburn, Michigan State, Michigan, Arkansas, Tennessee, Boston College and many others. Jake Hausmann(Ohio State signee) received the bulk of the attention last season so this is Dotson’s time to shine.
10. Sean Clifford, St. Xavier: The senior quarterback is verbally committed to Penn State. A three-year starter, the Bombers will look to his leadership for his senior season. He threw for 1,746 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2015.
9. Matt Sichterman, Kings: The senior offensive lineman has 25 scholarship offers including UC, Kentucky, Boston College, Nebraska, Purdue, Pitt, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Northwestern, Oregon State and several others.
8. Keontae Jones, Colerain: The senior safety has offers that include UC, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa State and others. A second-team all-district selection, he had 77 tackles including two sacks in 2015.
7. Jarell White, La Salle: The senior running back/safety has made a significant impact on the Lancers’ back-to-back state titles for the Lancers and will be an instrumental part of the 2016 squad. He was third-team all-state and first-team all-district. He had 75 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and interception in 2015.
6. Jerron Cage, Winton Woods: The senior defensive tackle is verbally committed to Ohio State. He had 48 tackles including 13 tackles for loss and six sacks. He is the brother of Notre Dame defensive lineman Daniel Cage, a former Winton Woods standout.
5. Kyle Bolden, Colerain: The senior linebacker has offers that include UC, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Marshall and Toledo. He was Division I first-team all-state and had 81 tackles including three sacks last season. He was named the TSF Defensive Player of the Year in 2015.
4. Matt Bockhorst, St. Xavier: The senior offensive lineman tore his ACL at the Nike Opening in July and will likely miss the season. Bockhorst verbally committed to Clemson. He was named Associated Press Division I first-team all-state.
3. Jack Carman, Fairfield: The 6-foot-6, 275-pound offensive tackle is one of the nation’s top recruited players in the 2018 class. He has offers that include Ohio State, Alabama, Louisville, West Virginia, Penn State, Michigan State and many others. Fairfield coach Jason Krause said Carman will be the highest-recruited player he’s ever coached.
2. Amir Riep, Colerain: Before he verbally committed to Ohio State in July, the senior defensive back was one of the highest recruited players in any sport in this area in the last 10 years. The 2015 GMC Defensive Player of the Year had 40 scholarship offers, including Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oregon, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina, Penn State, Iowa and many others. He had 53 tackles and seven interceptions last season.
1. Josh Myers, Miamisburg: The 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle verbally committed to Ohio State Jan. 25, 2015. He is rated the nation’s top offensive tackle in the 2017 class by 247Sports. He is rated the nation’s No. 3 player overall in his class by the 247Sports Composite Rating. He also had offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia and several others. He’s committed to play in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.