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Kentucky Football: Crossing the River - Part 2 of 2

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We're going on a recruiting trip into Ohio. We need to know where we want to go.

Okay, we’re crossing the Ohio River into the great state of Ohio. Where do we go? What direction?

I’m pretty sure that Mark Stoops and his staff know exactly their multiple destinations in their quest to hunt down Ohio talent. But, what about us, the fans? Remember, we are after elite talent, so where are they likely to be found? Let’s get to know Ohio and the mighty Ohio River, since we have to cross it.

The name "Ohio" originated from Iroquois word ohi-yo’, meaning "great river" or "large creek", according to Wikileaks Wikipedia. However, I find it odd that this describes the Ohio River: The Ohio River (Seneca: ohi:yó) is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River….. “ – Wikipedia. So which is it? Iroquois or Seneca? Senequois. Yeah, that's the ticket.

I digress.

Looking as far back to 2002 in Scout’s High School player rankings, I think I’ve found where the talent is hiding. We’re looking for Scout 4 & 5 Star talent in this exercise. We can find 2 and 3 Star talent anywhere and everywhere, not that there’s anything wrong with 3 stars.

Here’s what I discovered:

Cincinnati - 26 elite players between 2002 – 2013.

Cleveland – 23

Youngstown and Toledo – 10 ea.

Columbus – 9

Pickerington and Canton – 6 ea.

Massillon, Dublin, and Lakewood -5 ea.

Westerchester, Akron, and Warren – 4 ea.

Clayton, Trotwood, Huber Heights, Centerfield, Lynhurst, and Dayton – 3 ea.

Garfield Heights, Mentor, University Heights, Middletown, Avon Lake, Piqua, Hamilton, and Lancaster – 2 ea.

Washington Court House, Wauseon, Medina, Newark, Wyoming, Sunbury, North Canton, Whitehouse, East Cleveland, Springfield, Elyria, Westerville, Lewis Center, Kenton, Vandalia, Steubenville, Alliance, Kettering, Hudson, Kent, Shaker Heights, New Albany, Sparta, Marion, Reading, Sebring, Upper Arlington, Warrensville Heights, Carrollton, Xenia, Troy, Springboro, Euclid, Coldwater, Copely, Hilliard and Macendonia have all had one four or five star player.

So, if we (you and I) are going to the larger cities and towns, We're going to the following schools before we go looking far and wide. It's the "best bang for the buck" kind of thing, you know?

If we decide to go to the largest producer of talent in Ohio, we are going to visit Glenville High School in Cleveland. This school has produced three 5 Star players and fifteen 4 Star players since 2002. For Louisville fans, that's eighteen. No one else even comes close. While we're in Cleveland, we are also going to stop by St. Ignatius and Garfield Heights High School. And, we're going over to Euclid to buy the best made-on-site Kielbasa in the U.S. of A. We'll find it in the Slovenian section of town. Of course, we’ll have to cross the Cuyahoga River a couple of times and hope it doesn’t catch fire like in did in The Summer of ’69.

When we decide to recruit in Cincinnati, it may take more than a single day because we’re going to want to make stops at Colerain (pronounced Cole-Rain). This school boasts the most Cincinnati elites (six) over the years covered here. We will also stop by La Salle, Archbishop Moeller, St. Xavier, Elder, Winton Woods, Princeton, Finneytown, Mt. Healthy, Taft, Sycamore, Glen Este, Withrow and Harmony Community School.

After a couple of days of Skyline Chili, and the accompanying heartburn, we will want to stop off at some of the small towns listed above on our way to Columbus where we’ll say hello and start the relationship building at St. Francis DeSales, Eastmoor Academy, Walnut Ridge, Bishop Hartley, Beechcroft, Brookhaven and Franklin Heights high schools. We actually have a decent shot at landing a recruit from Columbus. Of the 9 previous elite players, six have gone somewhere not named THE Ohio State University. But, we’ll have to cross the Olantangy River (Wyandot Indian for “River of Red Face Paint” a couple of times. “ It was originally called keenhongsheconsepung, a Delaware word literally translated as "stone for your knife stream", based on the shale found along its shores") - Wikipedia

So, after a day of socializing in Columbus, we’ll start heading over to Youngstown. We have four schools to visit: Fitch, Boardman, Ursuline and, of course, Cardinal Mooney. Of the ten elite players from Youngstown, Cardinal Mooney had five of them, according to Scout. I should point out that I consider 2013 recruit (Scout 3 Star) Courtney Love to be a 4 Star because every other service says he is. I can’t count him because I am using Scout for this article and I want to be consistent. I guess Scout is punishing the kid for signing with Nebraska. Too bad, so sad.

Again, another river. The Mahoning River is a river located in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. It joins the Shenango River to form the Beaver River.

Our final destination will be Toledo where they make great swords. We have stops planned at St. John’s Jesuit, Whitmer, Central Catholic, and Rogers. Oh yeah, we’ll probably cross the Maumee River in Toledo. Here's some useless valuable information on this river from Wikipeadia: "Historically the river was also known as the "Miami" in United States treaties with Native Americans. As early as 1671, French colonists called the river Miami du Lac, or Miami of the Lake (in contrast to the "Miami of the Ohio" or the Great Miami River). Maumee is an anglicized spelling of the Ottawa name for the Miami Indians, Maamii.”

On our way home, we’ll stop in Dayton to visit Chaminade Julienne High School and the Pine Club for dinner before making our way back across the Ohio River towards Lexington. As a matter of course, we’ll be stopping at all the little towns along the way who have produced the kind of talent that we're looking for. Sorry, but another river to cross: The Great Miami River. ”The river is named for the Miami, an Algonquian-speaking Native American people who lived in the region during the early days of European settlement.” - Wikipedia

When we get home, we’re going to tell our graduate assistant to hit the road for all the little towns we missed. We'll also tell him to return the rental car in Cleveland and take a plane home.

So to sum up our recruiting trip, we "crossed the river" and we not only survived, but solved the mystery of recruiting in Ohio. I hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did. If not, then you at least learned where to recruit and the names of several rivers.

Thanks for reading.