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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Ohio schools have successful jaunt through the mitten, Toledo, BGSU snare local gridiron gems

By: Scott Burnstein, April 21, 2013, 11:00 am

The state of Ohio had a love affair with Michigan-bred linebackers this past week.

A pair of Metro Detroit’s best prep football players on the defensive side of the ball committed to colleges across the state-line.

It started with St. Claire Shores South Lake star outside linebacker Jalen Dingle committing to Bowling Green at the beginning of the week and concluded with Detroit Cass Tech star inside linebacker Will White committing to the University of Toledo Friday.

They are both considered one of the top players in the state at their position for the Class of 2014.

Dingle (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) is tall, fast and rangy, allowing him to also line up at defensive end and excel in pass coverage. Last season, Dingle recorded 85 tackles, 16 of them going for lost-yardage.

White (6-foot-1, 235 pounds) is a stout, run-stuffer of a linebacker that is extremely adept at rushing the quarterback. He’s gone over the 100-tackle plateau in both his seasons starting at two-time defending state-champion Cass Tech, a quickly emerging national power on the prep gridiron.

As a junior, White racked up 145 tackles and a whopping 13 sacks. Toledo got outstanding value in White’s decision to become a Rocket, considering he chose the school over other offers spawning from the Big 10 (Indiana) and Big East (Cincinnati).

With White’s commitment on the books, Cass Tech’s 2012 squad can now boast a robust total of 11 players (and counting) to accept Division I college scholarships. The scary thing is there might be another 8-to-10 coming down the pike.

Combining White on the inside with Deon Drake (Michigan State) on the outside, Cass Tech has another premiere linebacking corps in place as the program tries for a third consecutive state title in the fall.

Toledo finished 9-4 last year, ending its season in the Idaho Potato Bowl.

Bowling Green went 8-5 in 2012, concluding its campaign in the U.S. Military Bowl in Washington D.C.

Both programs compete in the Mid-American Conference and have experienced a healthy amount of success recruiting the area. Three separate 2013 standouts (Cass Tech cornerback DeJuan Rogers, Grand Blanc defensive lineman Daniel Davis and Portage Central offensive tackle Nate Jeppesen) are signed with Toledo and Bowling Green has four local prepsters heading for campus this fall (Warren Michigan Collegiate wide receiver Teo Redding, Auburn Hills Avondale offensive lineman Clark Clancy, Farmington safety Isaiah Gourdine and Grand Rapids Forrest Central tight end Hunter Folkertsma) and two already wrapped up for the Class of 2014 in Dingle and Cass Tech defensive lineman Brian Sanders.