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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Ohio football recruiting notebook >> Mentor QB Ian Kipp chooses Kent State, OL Hunter Colao chooses Ashland

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 31, 2021, 1:43 pm

Mentor quarterback Ian Kipp committed to Kent State late last week, after leading the Cardinals to a third berth in four years in the OHSAA Division I final four in his senior season last fall. 

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Kipp chose the Golden Flashes over offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Toledo, Fordham and UMass. 

As a junior, Kipp threw for 2,314 yards and 22 scores and ran for 849 more yards and 14 scores, and followed that up with an 2,048-yard, 26-touchdown passing season as a senior, with 384 yards and seven scores on the ground. 

In the regional final against Medina — unknowingly his final career game — he went 12 of 16 for 196 yards and four scores through the air, and had 10 carries, 66 yards and two TDs on the ground accounting for more than half (262 yards) of Mentor’s 428 total yards on the game. Due to COVID protocols, Kipp was unable to play in the semifinals against Pickerington Central, the team that knocked Mentor out of the semifinals in 2019 and beat them in the 2017 title game. 

He went 19-0 in his career against Greater Cleveland Conference competition. 

Ranked a three-star prospect by 247Sports, Kipp was considered the third-best QB prospect in Ohio’s 2021 class, behind Broadview Heights’ Joey Labas (Iowa) and Toledo St. John’s Jesuit’s Brady Lichtenberg (Cincinnati).

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One of Kipp’s key protectors since the second grade, Hunter Colao, committed to Ashland University on Saturday, where his grandfather, Mark Camp, played on the offensive line in the 1960s. 

A two-time All-Ohio lineman, Colao checks in at 6-foot, 280 pounds, and lined up at left tackle for the Cardinals as a junior and senior after playing guard as a sophomore. 

Also a wrestler for the Cardinals, Colao had offers from Siena Heights, Valparaiso and Lake Erie. 

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Another member of the powerful Wickliffe backfield has found a home at the collegiate level, with Isaiah Bolon picking Division II Ashland University on Monday. A 6-foot-1, 195-pound running back and defensive back, Bolon helped the Blue Devils to an 8-1 record, before falling to Norwayne in the playoffs. 

Defensively, Bolon earned third-team all-Ohio Division VI honors from the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association, first-team all-district honors, intercepting five passes as a senior. 

Backfield mate Chase Fortkamp, a first-team all-Ohio pick, committed to Kent State back in December.

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Columbus Africentric all-state athlete Justin Fudge Jr. chose Tiffin on Sunday. A two-time first-team all-district player, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Fudge played both ways for the Nubians, earning special mention from the Columbus Dispatch and all-Ohio honors as a running back. 

He picked Tiffin over offers from Mercyhurst, Lawrence Tech, Wilmington, Central State, Baldwin Wallace, Heidelberg and Lake Erie. Fudge also had track offers from Mt. Union and Muskingum.