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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Ohio football recruiting notebook — One-time Pitt commit Aveon Grose finds new home; Youngstown State grabs Chardon duo

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, August 16, 2021, 2:40 pm

A one-time Pitt commit, Mansfield’s Aveon Grose has found a new landing spot, committing earlier this month to University of North Carolina-Charlotte. 

The 6-foot, 190-pound safety chose the 49ers over offers from Pitt and Cincinnati, as well as a handful of Mid-American Conference schools — Akron, Buffalo and Eastern Michigan. He was also interested in Michigan State, where older brother, Angelo — the 2019 runner-up for Mr. Football in Ohio — is a sophomore, but was not offered by the Spartans, despite visiting on June 28. 

A three-star recruit, Grose ranks among the top 50 players in Ohio’s class of 2022, and the No. 96 safety in the nation, according to 247Sports. He’s the second-highest ranked player in Charlotte’s 2022 class, behind Harrisburg (NC) Hickory Ridge offensive tackle Cade Goldman, and one of the dozen highest-ranked players recruited by the 49ers since 2000. 

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Youngstown State picks up pair from Chardon

The Penguins of Youngstown State added a pair of all-Ohio-caliber commitments from the defending Division III champions, Chardon, in linebacker Nathanael Sulka and tight end Alex McDonald. 

A first-team D-III All-Ohio pick at safety last year, Sulka is 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, while McDonald is 6-4, 230, and earned second-team All-Ohio a year ago at tight end. 

The duo are the second and third Ohio players so far in Youngstown’s class of 2022, joining Westerville quarterback Judah Holtzclaw and Sulka. Speedster Cephus Harris of Clinton Twp. (Mich.) Chippewa Valley is the fourth player. 

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St. Xavier keeps churning out the prospects

St. Xavier defensive lineman Sam Buerkle committed to Fordham on Aug. 10, giving the Bombers a fourth Division I commit from last year’s D-I state championship team. 

Listed at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Buerkle had 42 tackles (20 solo) and four sacks in 12 games as a junior, including a sack in the 44-3 win over Pickerington Central in the D-I title game. 

He joins linebacker Grant Lyons, a Miami (Ohio) commit, as well as a pair of Duke commits in offensive tackle Brian Parker II and tight end Max Klare. Offensive lineman Cameron Collins is a three-star prospect with double-digit offers, while quarterback Brogan McCaughey is also highly sought-after.