Official high school football practice is still four months away, but it’s not too early to start the discussion.
TriStateFootball.com and WCPO.com present the first edition of our Top 100 high school football players to watch for the 2016 season.
The selections are based primarily on last season’s statistical performances and postseason honors along with reported college recruiting information. The player’s class
(senior, junior, etc.) reflect the upcoming season.
Here are 51-100. The top 50 can be found here .
51. AJ Mayer, Covington Catholic: The junior quarterback amassed 2,605 yards of total offense (1,974 passing, 631 rushing) and accounted for 25 touchdowns (17 passing, eight rushing) in his first year as the Colonels' starter.
52. Sid Fox, East Central: The senior linebacker was a Class 4A IFCA All-Indiana selection as a junior. He was in on 53 total tackles, had three sacks and recovered three fumbles.
53. Alssan Ramsby, Lakota West: The senior linebacker had four sacks, two forced fumbles and interception in 2015.
54. Trent Kincaid, Simon Kenton: The senior defensive back was a First Team All-NKFCA selection in 2015. He has had seven interceptions in each of the past two seasons.
55. Gunnar Leyendecker, Colerain: The junior quarterback will take over for Deshaunte Jones for a highly anticipated and talented Cardinals squad.
56. Adam Schwallie, Elder: The senior wide receiver is the Panthers’ next Nick Hall. Schwallie had 20 receptions for 336 yards and three touchdowns. He also returns kicks and punts
57. Nick Noyen, CHCA: The senior lineman was Division V first-team all-state. He has an offer from Columbia.
58. Preston Hutchinson, Mason: The senior quarterback threw for 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior.
59. Jaden Jackson, Cooper: The senior running back ran for 933 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015.
60. Jake Borman, Sycamore: The senior quarterback threw for 1,321 yards and was first-team all-district as a punter (41.8 yards average).
61. Justin Clark, Mount Healthy: The senior was Division III first-team all-state in 2015.
62. Larry Jones, Purcell Marian: The senior linebacker had 118 tackles in the 2015 regular season, which tied a school-record for total tackles in a season.
63. Vince Sanford, Hamilton: The senior wide receiver/defensive back had 662 yards receiving and seven touchdowns last season.
64. Dan Sichterman, Kings: The senior defensive lineman had 10.5 sacks as a junior. He is a part of sensationally talented triplets with his highly recruited brother, Matt, and sister, Megan, a standout swimmer at Kings.
65. Garren Messmore, Elder: The senior running back will be one of the top returners for the Panthers.
66. Dan Becker, Indian Hill: The senior linebacker was special mention all-state. He had 111 tackles in 2015.
67. Austin Bowling, Lawrenceburg: The senior running back was an All-EIAC 3A selection as a junior. He ran for 1,468 yards and 29 touchdowns.
68. Nelson Perrin, Scott: The junior running back/defensive back picked up 373 yards on the ground, averaged 11.7/carry, ran for six touchdowns, had 15 receptions for 260 yards, one touchdown catch and a punt return for a score in 2015.
69. Nick Niehaus, Elder: The senior linebacker/safety had 38 tackles for the Panthers in 2015.
70. Payton Standifer, Franklin: The junior linebacker was Division III special mention all-state and first-team all-district.
71. Elijah Johnson, Glen Este: The senior running back/defensive back was First Team All-ECC at DB as
junior. He could be the focal point of Trojans' offense this fall.
72. Cole Carmosino, McNicholas: The senior wide receiver/kicker might just be the best kicker in Southwest
Ohio. He had 25 receptions for 461 yards and six touchdowns. He was 23 of 26 on extra points and 12 of 14 on
field goals as a junior.
73. Colton Paul, St. Xavier: The senior wide receiver had at least one reception in the Bombers’ first eight games.
74. Andrew Reenan, Northwest: The senior offensive lineman was Division III special mention all-state and first-team all-district.
75. Patrick Henschen, Newport Central Catholic: The 6-foot-6 senior quarterback will be a three year starter. He threw for 1,409 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.
76. A.J. Hammonds, North College Hill: The senior outside linebacker had 20 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2015.
77. Eric Jackson, Hamilton: The senior athlete had 262 yards in 2015. He had two fumble recoveries, a forced
fumble and an interception on defense.
78. Tyler Smith, Milford: The senior quarterback threw for 1,182 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for seven touchdowns.
79. Marcos Aull, Lakota West: The senior defensive back had five interceptions in 2015, including a 56-yard return for touchdown in October.
80. Casey McGinness, Covington Catholic: The sophomore running back came out of nowhere averaging 9.0 yards on 25 carries with three touchdown during last season’s playoffs. Those were the only three games that McGinness played in for the Colonels.
81. Ayron Thompson, Middletown: The junior defensive lineman was in on 51 total tackles with five sacks and a 66-yard interception return for a touchdown a year ago.
82. Zach Lyons, Elder: The senior defensive back had 34 tackles in 2015.
83. Sammy DeBiasi, Bishop Fenwick: The senior linebacker was part of the Falcons’ Division IV state
84. Dawson Aichholz, Indian Hill: The senior wide receiver had 39 receptions for 726 yards and six touchdowns. He also had 47 tackles on defense.
85. Grant Murray, Highlands: The senior running back ran for 534 yards, averaging 8.5 yards per carry with six
touchdowns in 2015.
86. LaShaun Townsend, Lloyd Memorial: The senior wide receiver/defensive back ran for 356 yards, had 49 receptions for 438 yards, amassed 1,064 all-purpose yards and found the end zone 10 times (five rushing, five receiving in 2015.
87. Dylan Beaugard, Wilmington: The junior wide receiver/defensive back was Division III first-team all-district
88. Aiden Justice, Beechwood: The senior running back/defensive ran for 471 yards, averaged 10.4/carry, had 24 receptions for 433 yards, found the end zone 18 times (eight rushing, 10 passing) and had an interception in 2015.
89. Colin Thurman, Moeller: The junior running back emerged late as a sophomore for the Crusaders. In weeks six through nine against La Salle, Elder, St. Ignatius and St. Edward he averaged 71 yards rushing. Those efforts showed that Thurman could be the answer in the Moeller backfield.
90. Stephen Cooper, Bethel-Tate: The senior running back/linebacker will be looking for his third straight 1,000-yard season rushing. He was a second team all-district selection a year ago.
91. Danny Vanatsky, CHCA: A starter as a freshman at Indian Hill, Vanatsky transferred to CHCA only to sit behind Division V Southwest District Player of the Year and First Team All-Ohio selection, Johnny Noyen. With the job now his for the next two seasons former Eagles coach Eric Taylor believes that Vanatsky is capable of reaching the same heights as his predecessor.
92. Alex Maxwell, East Central: Filling the boots of two-time TriState Football Indiana Offensive Player of the Year Luke Patton is a ton to ask of sophomore quarterback Maxwell. As a freshman Maxwell played in 11 games rushing for 230 yards and three total touchdowns (two rushing, one passing). There will be no jitters for him under center next fall.
93. Torraye Martin, CCPA: The 6-1, 270-pound senior lineman will be a force this season. He was a Division VII Honorable Mention All-Southwest District selection a year ago.
94. Joe Veeneman, Mariemont: The 6-3, 280-pound senior offensive lineman was a Cincinnati Hills League first-team selection in 2015.
95. Tyler Uetrecht, Clinton-Massie: The junior tight end/middle linebacker has excellent upside for the Falcons.
96. Josh Anderson, New Richmond: The sophomore had a solid varsity debut, doing most of his damage in the final seven weeks of the season. He finished with 617 yards passing, 341 yards rushing with four rushing and four passing touchdowns.
97. Austin Cain, Conner: The senior linebacker had 74 total tackles, one sack and two fumble recoveries in 2015.
98. Chase Sutherland, East Central: The senior offensive lineman was a Class 4A IFCA All-Indiana selection as a junior.
99. Bradley Greene, Highlands: The senior wide receiver/defensive back is Mr. Electric. He had four
interceptions, averaged 17.4 on 17 punt returns and 25.4 on 14 kickoff returns in as a junior.
100. Justin Blackburn, Ludlow: The junior quarterback/linebacker amassed total offense (1,287 passing,
1,315 rushing) and accounted for 27 touchdowns (14 passing, 13 rushing) and had 118 total tackles in 2015.