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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Gophers get commitment from Springfield four-star 2023 wideout Anthony Brown

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, September 6, 2021, 4:39 pm

While PJ Fleck’s Minnesota program may have been outlasted by Ohio State in Week 1, ultimately losing the battle in their back-and-forth season opener, the Gophers DID win a key battle against the Buckeyes over the weekend. 

Minnesota got a commitment from one of the top players in the state of Ohio’s graduating class of 2023 just a day after the loss on the field, plucking four-star Springfield wideout Anthony Brown out of the Buckeyes’ backyard. 

Older brother Mike Brown-Stephens — a three-star recruit in Minnesota’s 2019 class — is a redshirt sophomore with the Gophers, and caught a pair of passes for 34 yards in the Ohio State loss. 

The No. 6 player in Ohio’s 2023 class, and a top-50 wideout in the nation according to the 247Sports rankings, Brown picked the Gophers over 17 total offers, including ones from Cincinnati, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Penn State, Michigan and others. He attended Ohio State’s camp in early June — before hitting Penn State and West Virginia later in the month — but did not yet have an offer from the in-state Buckeyes. 

As a sophomore, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Brown had 40 receptions for 829 yards and 12 scores, averaging 82.9 yards per game and 20.7 yards per catch.

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Miamisburg’s Salley stays close to home

The Cincinnati Bearcats got a big commitment from just an hour up I-75, when Miamisburg offensive tackle AJ Salley became their first cornerstone in the 2023 class. The three-star prospect — ranked in the top 10 players in Ohio for 2023 (the top tackle) and among the top 25 offensive tackles in the nation — announced his commitment on Sept. 1, roughly three months after taking his unofficial visit to campus.

The Bearcats were the second to offer the youngster, back in mid-March, two weeks after Toledo broke the seal. Kentucky, Tennessee, Oregon, Pitt and Iowa State also had offers out to the rising junior. 

At just 260 pounds now, Salley has plenty of room on his 6-foot-5 frame — with a 78-inch wingspan — to add more bulk, but he’s already a force on the line. 

Brown and Salley are the second and third top 2023s from Ohio to make their college commitments. Mentor’s Brenan Vernon, the state’s No. 2 player in the class of 2023, committed to Notre Dame back at the end of June.

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GVSU grabs first Ohio player for 2022

After raiding Ohio for four players in the 2021 class, Grand Valley State got its first Ohioan for the 2022 class, getting a commitment from Olentangy Orange offensive tackle Connor Kemmerling on Sept. 2.

A two-star prospect ranked just inside Ohio’s top 100 players in the 2022 class by 247Sports, the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Kemmerling chose the Lakers over one other offer from Long Island.