Three players from local high schools and three Ohio State Buckeyes are set to take part in college all-star games next month.
The East-West Shrine Game will have the most local interest as its rosters include two players from Ohio State and three players who prepped in the Miami Valley.
Dunbar grad Tavion Thomas, who was a standout at running back for Utah the last two seasons, has accepted an invite to play in the Shrine game along with Cincinnati grad Leonard Taylor and Dallas Daniels of Jackson State.
The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Thomas was an All-Pac 12 first-teamer in 2021 when he ran for 1,108 yards and 21 touchdowns. He added 687 yards last season, but his season was cut short by an injury and he did not play in the Pac 12 title game or the Rose Bowl for the Utes.
After starring in multiple sports at Springfield High School, Taylor was a contributor for all five of his seasons in Cincinnati. The 6-5, 255-pound tight end played 60 games for the Bearcats and caught 69 passes for 697 yards and eight touchdowns.
Daniels was the GWOC’s top receiver in 2017 when he caught 66 passes for 1,218 yards and 20 touchdowns for state champion Trotwood-Madison.
He attended Arizona Community College, Northeast Oklahoma A&M and Western Illinois before finishing his career last season at Jackson State for coach Deion Sanders. The 6-1, 180-pounder caught 63 passes for 692 yards and six touchdowns last season and has been identified as one of the top prospects coming from the Football Championship Subdivision this year.
Credit: Rogelio V. Solis
Credit: Rogelio V. Solis
Also heading to Las Vegas, where the East-West Shrine Game will be played Feb. 2 at Allegiant Stadium, are Ohio State defensive tackle Taron Vincent and cornerback Cameron Brown.
Vincent (6-2, 300) had 25 tackles last season, including 2.5 for loss, while helping to provide an anchor in the middle of the Buckeyes’ new-look defense. The former five-star recruit started 20 games over the last two seasons after having his early career marred by injuries.
The 6-0, 192-pound Brown was in and out of the lineup the last two seasons dealing with injuries, but he looked solid when he was out there. The St. Louis native finished with 14 tackles in eight games last season.
The annual Senior Bowl is set for Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, Ala., on Feb. 4.
It will include Dawand Jones, Ohio State’s starter at right tackle the last two seasons and a big player (6-8, 359) with a big upside after the Indiana native concentrated on basketball during much of his younger days.
The Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game are part of the pre-NFL Draft process, giving NFL coaches and scouts a chance to see prospects up close in many cases for the first time.
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