Dotting the ‘Eyes: Tate Martell, Danny Clark impress in season openers, injury updates and more
Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Texas Whenever: Martell, Bishop Gorman run over Cedar Hill
One of the season’s most hyped prep football games – No. 3 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and No. 5 Cedar Hill (Texas) – started with some fireworks but ended with the Longhorns receiving a Texas-sized butt kicking from Tate Martell, Biaggio Ali-Walsh and an aggressive Gaels defense. Bishop Gorman surrendered the game’s first score – a 27 yard touchdown pass from Notre Dame quarterback commitment Avery Davis to Oklahoma verbal, wide receiver Charleston Rambo – but it was all Bishop Gorman the rest of the way.
It was an impressive showing by the Gaels as they went into hostile territory and once again announced themselves as the team to beat: it was the 40th straight win for the two-time defending national champions. Ohio State quarterback commitment Tate Martell made his mark against the Longhorns, but beat them as much with his feet as he did with his arm. The country’s second-ranked dual-threat quarterback ran for three scores (13, 34, 49) and 147 rushing yards to go along with 10-22 passing for 135 yards. The Gaels passing game struggled against a talented Longhorns secondary but Martell’s ability to hit the right play at the right time found gaping holes in the defensive line and with Ali-Walsh, a Cal commitment at running back, they exposed the Cedar Hill defensive line.
As Bishop Gorman began to run away with the contest, the game turned decidedly chippy and, in a lot of ways, very dirty as Cedar Hill took shot after shot at Gaels players after the whistle, including a number of hits to Martell’s head after plays like this:
Cedar Hill players continue to deliver blows to Tate Martell's head after the play is over. Three or four times now. pic.twitter.com/a2gfsPP8Yw
— 11W Recruiting (@11WRecruiting) August 28, 2016
and like this hit on another Buckeyes commitment, defensive tackle Haskell Garrett.
What a cheap shot in the Bishop Gorman vs Cedar Hill game. https://t.co/BiV5ydpZyN
— AL Recruiting (@AL_Recruiting) August 28, 2016
The Gaels talked back, of course, but did so after they lit up the Longhorns scoreboard.
It's honestly okay, I'm fine but what my team and I did will haunt them forever. He represented Texas well….. https://t.co/qbMn5xe6mw
— Haskell Garrett (@HaskellGarrett) August 28, 2016
Martell, who is never short on confidence, immediately tweeted following the game a “Texas who?” tweet and, shortly thereafter, a map of the United States with Nevada superimposed where Texas usually resides. Both of those tweets were deleted, but it’s easy to see why the Buckeyes commit felt like throwing some shots their way after the nonstop dirty plays. Still, Martell will have to do a better job of not letting that “stuff” get the best of him off the field: the 44-14 thrashing of Cedar Hill speaks loud enough.
Danny Clark has big game in season-opening win
Martell was not the only Buckeyes quarterback commitment who put together a big season-opening performance. Danny Clark and Archbishop Hoban (Akron) began their state title defense on Friday night against McKinley (Canton) and if one game is any indicator, Northeast Ohio will have its hands full with the Knights in 2016.
Clark accounted for five touchdowns, three passing and two on the ground, as Hoban ran over, around, and away from the Bulldogs 42-14. Overall, Clark was 14-23 passing, including the three scores and also threw one interception. Throws like this one are expected from the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Buckeyes commitment all year, as the Knights have a loaded roster full of talented pass-catchers.
— Ryan (@Isley23) August 26, 2016
Former Buckeyes commitment Todd Sibley ran for 175 yards on 30 carries to help maintain control of the contest for Archbishop Hoban.
Grimes and national No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas lose shocker
Ohio State commitment Trevon Grimes and national No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) entered their season-opener against No. 19 Booker T. Washington (Miami) with a lot of confidence and a lot of talent, but unfortunately left it with a heartbreaking 27-23 loss on their record.
Grimes, a 5-star wide receiver who committed to Ohio State last Monday, had the Raiders at the one-yard line with :23 remaining, though many believed the 6-foot-4, 205-pound wideout had scored the go-ahead touchdown in what turned out to be a very controversial ruling by the officiating crew.
At the 1 pic.twitter.com/uFbNkYn33X
— Josh Darrow (@joshdarrow) August 27, 2016
Controversy or not, Aquinas needed to score and on the ensuing play, Florida commitment Jake Allen and the St. Thomas offense found confusion instead of celebration.
There was confusion as to whether the Raiders were spiking the ball or running a play, and Allen was left in the backfield hung out to dry with blitzers approaching. He threw the ball up in the end zone and it was intercepted by Dedrick Mackey.
Game, set, match. St. Thomas will take on Miramar next Friday as they look to bounce back and get back on the winning track heading toward their Sept. 30 showdown in Las Vegas with Bishop Gorman.
Dobbins sprains ankle on season’s first carry
In an unfortunate twist, Ohio State commitment J.K. Dobbins suffered a serious ankle sprain on the first carry of his senior season for La Grange (Texas) on Friday night. To make matters worse, the game was cancelled with 5:55 remaining in the first quarter after lightning caused a 90 minute weather delay with the Panthers up 7-0.
There’s no immediate information available for Dobbins return, though he did tell Landof10.com that he was “feeling alright” on Sunday afternoon.
Following the game on Friday, La Grange coach Matt Kates told the Austin-Statesmans’s Rick Cantu that he’s not optimistic Dobbins will be back next week.
Kates said it was too early to tell how long Dobbins will be out, but the coach said he does not expected Dobbins to be in uniform for next week’s game against Argyle. Kates said he would be “elated” if Dobbins was back for the start of District 10-4A, Division II play in late September.
The loss of playing time – if it becomes extended – could cost Dobbins a chance at being the Austin area’s all-time leading rusher. He came into the season needing 2010 yards to eclipse the old mark, set by Giddens running back Brock Fitzhenry (2005-2008). Last season, Dobbins ran for 2740 yards and 35 touchdowns.
Anthony Hines III has commitment date
If East (Plano, Texas) linebacker Anthony Hines III wants to be a Buckeye, you’re not likely to find out anytime soon. The country’s top-ranked inside linebacker has set late-November decision date.
Dreams to reality….Committing on November 29th.
— ᴬᴺᵀᴴᴼᴺᵞ ᴴᴵᴺᴱˢ ᴵᴵᴵ® (@TheAntHines_Era) August 28, 2016
Hines has made two trips to Ohio State and is one of a very small group of linebackers still being considered by the Buckeyes in the 2017 recruiting cycle. If the date Hines has selected looks at all familiar, it should: it’s the same day that Kennedale (Texas) 5-star linebacker Baron Browning will make his college decision.
Are the two planning a Tyjon Lindsey/Trevon Grimes-esque double-whammy? That may be something to pay attention to.