This season, I am once again publishing my top 10 Tri-State college recruits in the 2017 class. Last year, Elder offensive lineman and Notre Dame commit Tommy Kramer was atop the list. And this year -- once again -- an offensive lineman takes the top spot, but this time from Elder’s conference rival St. Xavier.
Matt Bockhorst, St. Xavier, OL: This Clemson commit is the best player in the Tri-State. Unfortunately, he most likely will miss his senior year with a torn ACL, but that does not prevent Bockhorst from being atop this list. Bockhorst had the opportunity to go to Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Cincinnati or Louisville, but he chose the Atlantic Coast Conference and one of the best college programs in the country.
Amir Riep, Colerain, DB: After receiving 48 scholarship offers, Riep made his decision to attend The Ohio State University next fall. Riep told TriState Football in an interview that he wanted to go to a college where he would compete against the best and prepare himself for the next level. This four-star athlete had 40 solo tackles, seven interceptions and two forced fumbles last season. He helped Colerain to a 12-2 record and a trip to the regional semifinal. He is a Preseason All-TSF First Team.
Sean Clifford, St. Xavier, QB: This 6-foot-2 quarterback committed to Penn State before his junior season. He helped the Bombers to a 6-4 record a year ago after throwing for 1,748 yards and 18 total touchdowns. They reached the second round of the Division I playoffs after losing to Colerain, 42-14. He is part of the Preseason TSF-First Team and the best quarterback in the Tri-State.
Matt Dotson, Moeller, TE: This 6-foot-5, 225-lb. Michigan State commit was in the shadows of former Moeller tight end Jake Hausmann, but now he is the primary tight end for the Crusaders. He finished last season with 12 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Lakota West did not have an answer for Dotson in the season opener as he caught two touchdown passes and gained 49 yards.
Jarell White, La Salle, RB/DB: Scored the Lancers' first touchdown of 2016 against Sycamore in Week 1 and accumulated over 380 all-purpose yards. A good start to the season after gaining 413 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago behind Northwestern recruit commit Jeremy Larkin. White made 75 tackles, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns a year ago as a defensive back. He has been offered a scholarship from Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Ohio and Toledo.
Matt Sichterman, Kings, OL: This 6-foot-5, 270-pound lineman committed to Nebraska this summer after having more than 20 scholarship offers. He is a Preseason TSF First-Team. He helped the offense exceed 2,500 yards of rushing and 2,400 of passing last season. Kings made the playoffs for the second straight season, and this time made it to the regional semifinal.
Jerron Cage, Winton Woods, DL: Led the Warriors with 3 1/2 sacks and 40 tackles a year ago. He was offered scholarships from Illinois, Cincinnati and Kentucky, but decided on The Ohio State University. His brother is currently playing for Notre Dame.
Kyle Bolden, Colerain, LB: Another Bolden makes the list of top players in the Tri-State. As a junior, he was second on the team in tackles and had 3 1/2 sacks. His best game was against Dublin Coffman, recording a sack, five tackles and a forced fumble. Bolden was named the 2015 TriState Football Cincinnati Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts. He has offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Marshall, Maryland, Miami (OH) and Toledo.
Josiah Scott, Fairfield, DB: This 5-foot-10 defensive back is undecided, but has offers from Bowling Green, Iowa, Kent State, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. According to numerous sites, he has been clocked at a 4.4 on the 40-yard dash. He led Fairfield with three interceptions a year ago, 33 tackles and a fumble recovery for touchdown. Scott had two interceptions in the season opener at Centerville.
Keonte Jones, Colerain, DB: Jones is another piece of one of the best secondaries in the state. Jones had a crucial interception in the season opener that helped Colerain come back to win 31-28 against Warren Central (IN). Last season, he recorded 80 tackles, and was second on the team with four interception, contributing to the Cardinals' 12-2 record. He has been recruited by Wisconsin, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue and Louisville, among others.