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COLUMBUS, Ohio – While it might not get as much national respect as some of the Southern states, Ohio is always one of the top talent-producing states in the nation. And many of the top players in the deep class of 2009 talent pool will be on display at Friday's NIKE Training Camp in Columbus at Ohio State.
This includes elite Ohio prospect Justin Turner of Massillon Washington. The 6-foot-2, 186-pound safety made an early commitment to Michigan and he's ranked as the nation's No. 47 player.
Clayton (Ohio) Northmont cornerback C.J. Barnett is also slated to be in Columbus. The 6-foot-1, 181-pound four-star prospect is ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 53 player. He committed early to Ohio State and should do really well in the one-on-one drills because his size easily allows him to match-up well against taller receivers.
Further proving it's a crazy year for talent, especially at defensive back, Middleton, Ohio, cornerback D.J. Hunter is slated to be at the camp. The 6-foot, 196-pounder is ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 143 player in the nation. Hunter has a strong list of scholarship offers, but lists Indiana and Ohio State as his top two schools.
Cincinnati (Ohio) Sycamore running back Bud Golden often gets overlooked when talking about the top rushers in the nation. But the four-star rusher will get a chance to shine on a national stage Friday.
2008 NIKE CAMP SCHEDULE
Miami, Fla. – Camp Recap
Gainesville, Fla. – Camp Recap
Los Angeles, Calif. – Camp Recap
Fort Worth, Texas – Camp Recap
Baton Rouge, La. – Camp Recap
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Camp Recap
Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Camp Recap
Columbus, Ohio – May 9
State College, Pa. – May 10
Stanford, Calif. – May 17
Eugene, Ore. – June 7
Provo, Utah - June 14
The 6-foot, 189-pounder is already ranked as the No. 159 player in the nation, and he has offers from programs like Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue and Ohio, but he could easily shoot up the charts with a strong showing at Ohio State.
Ohio State commitment Storm Klein of Newark (Ohio) Licking Valley is also slated to be there. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound four-star athlete will work out at linebacker, giving analysts a chance to see how he performs without having to being drained physically after playing both sides of the ball in every game on his high school squad.
Rivals.com rates Klein as the nation's No. 178 player, but he could easily climb higher after a strong showing Friday.
Three out of state top 100 prospects are also scheduled to be there Friday – Louisville Male cornerback Justin Green (No. 59), East St. Louis receiver Kraig Appleton (No. 78), and Detroit Renaissance linebacker Chris Norman (No. 94).
For many analysts this will be the first time to see Appleton in person, because he's been busy running track this spring. And Green exploded onto the scene with a great spring and an even better junior video that has recruiters from coast-to-coast buzzing. Norman committed early to Michigan State, and is one of the Spartans five four-star pledges early on. He'll be joined at the camp by fellow MSU four-star pledge Larry Caper of Battle Creek (Mich.) Central.
Receiver Cameron Gordon of Inkster, Mich., is another four-star, Rivals250 player from Michigan expected to be there Saturday. Gordon said he's been looking forward to the camp for a while now.
"This is a camp where you can show everybody in the nation how good you really are," he said. "I think some people have overlooked me because I've transferred from Melvindale to Inkster. But if you do well at a NIKE Camp, they can't overlook you."
Two Rivals250 prospects from Illinois are also slated to be there Friday – receiver Terry Hawthorne of East St. Louis and offensive lineman Michael Schofield of Orland Park Sandburg. Hawthorne is being recruited as heavily as Appelton, his teammate, and Schofield is quickly shedding his sleeper tag to become one of the nation's premiere line targets.
For more on the NIKE Football Training Camps, check out StudentSportsFootball.com.