COLUMBUS, Ohio - Players from seven different states converged on the Woody Hayes Center at Ohio State on Sunday for the third installment of the Rivals100 Junior Days for the Class of 2004.
Recruits from Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia got a great introduction to the recruiting process from Rivals100.com's Joe Hornback and they also got a chance to see how they measure up against some of the area's best recruits, too.
One of the most physically impressive looking players at the event was Detroit Renaissance defensive end Ronald Talley.
Talley measured in at 6-foot-3 ½ and 233 pounds and when he shook hands with the other players in attendance it was clear that he has to have some of the biggest set of paws in the entire nation.
"I'd say that I'm aggressive, tenacious, relentless and smart," Talley said when talking about what he does great on the field. "I've been getting a lot of hand-written letters from Michigan and a bunch of other schools. They're all talking about offering me in May, so I'm glad that I came to this event."
"I learned a lot today about how to communicate with the colleges," Talley, who also lists Northwestern, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Boston College and Florida along with Michigan, said. "I learned how to talk to them and how to understand where they're coming from, too."
Along with Talley, several of Michigan's better players also made it to the Junior Day.
Josh Hunt of Jackson (Mich.) Lumen Christi measured in at an impressive 6-foot-4 ½ and 245 pounds. He definitely passed the eye-ball test with a solid frame and massive biceps. It's easy to see why a Colorado has extended an early offer and Michigan, Notre Dame, Purdue, Penn State and Michigan State are all showing heavy interest.
Another Michigan stud that showed up was Jamarko Simmons of Flint Central. Simmons, who is sporting offers from Michigan State and Wisconsin and also getting recruited by Michigan, Iowa, Maryland and N.C. State, said the Junior Day was educational and he's now better prepared to handle the calls in the month of May from the college coaches.
"I didn't know what I was going to talk to them about," Simmons, who will camp at Michigan but has family that went to Michigan State, said.
"But now I know a lot more about the recruiting process and how to help myself and impress the coaches."
A sleepy Kyle Wasson made the trip to Columbus from Romulus, Mich., and it's easy to see from the eye-ball test why he's already looking at an offer from Purdue and heavy interest from Ohio State, Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State and Indiana.
Wasson, who measured in at 5-foot-10 ¾ and 186 pounds, is a pure athlete and made the trip to Ohio after taking the ACT on Saturday and also playing in a baseball double-header.
"I'm a little tired, but the drive down was well worth it," Wasson said. "I now have a lot of information on the recruiting process, and I should be able to use this to make a better decision when the time comes."
Carrollton, Ohio, standout tight end Chad Hoobler also made it to the Junior Day. Hoobler, who measured in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, said the event was great and will help him take a deeper look at the schools on his list.
It's a list that already includes a scholarship offer from Penn State and heavy interest from Boston College, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Pernell Williams, who used to be at Dayton Jefferson and Dayton Chaminade is now at Clayton (Ohio) Northmont, should be one of the more exciting players to watch as a senior.
The 5-fooot-8, 196-pound Williams already has an offer on the table from Michigan State an is also getting serious looks from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Maryland and Iowa passed the eye-ball test with flying colors. With his solid and well-built frame it was easy to see why he rushed for around 1,200 yards as a junior.
"Today was fun," Williams said.
"I learned that I need to look at things like what my family thinks about the schools, what it's like to be around the teammates and look at the school itself, instead of just picking after talking to the coaches."
Hamilton, Ohio, cornerback Brandon Underwood also looked impressive coming in at 6-foot ¾ and 170 pounds. The talk was that Underwood actually is a little more physically developed than his older brother, E.J. Underwood, who is a freshman defensive back at Ohio State, and Brandon didn't disappoint in that department.
With an offer from Arizona State on the table and heavy interest from Penn State, Arizona State, Iowa, Virginia, Ohio State, Tennessee and Notre Dame, look for his stock to shoot up during the May evaluation period.