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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: West Virginia grabs up Cleveland Heights’ Big Moe; Miami (Ohio) grabs in-state defenders Coppess, Lyons

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, June 8, 2021, 8:18 pm

Billed as the best guard in Ohio — the heart of Big 10 country — there’s nothing small about Cleveland Heights offensive guard Maurice “Big Moe” Hamilton, who stands in at 6-foot-4, 345 pounds.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’d be bound to the B1G.

Instead, Hamilton chose Big 12 powerhouse West Virginia, committing to the Mountaineers earlier this week after taking a visit to Morgantown last weekend. He’d been offered by West Virginia last fall, and moved WVU to the top of his docket after a virtual visit in February. 

Hamilton is ranked as a three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite system, the No. 25 player in Ohio’s class of 2022, and a top-35 interior offensive line prospect in the nation in his class. 

He chose the Mountaineers over seven other offers, including Purdue, Iowa State and a handful of Mid-American Conference schools — Akron, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Toledo.

Hamilton is the third offensive lineman in West Virginia’s 2022 class, joining tackle Sullivan Weidman (6-6, 300) of the Dexter School in Brookline, Mass., and interior offensive lineman Charlie Katarincic (6-5, 280) of Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn. 

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Miami (OH) picks up two in-state defensive studs

Chuck Martin’s Miami (Ohio) class of 2022 continued its haul of in-state stars picking up commitments from two Ohio defensive prospects in a 24-hour span with Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Grant Lyons on June 6, and Pickerington North outside linebacker/safety Eli Coppess a day later. 

The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Coppess is ranked as a three-star prospect by 247Sports, a top-75 player in the state’s 2022 class and a top-100 safety in the nation. Coppess had three other offers: Air Force, Army and Penn. 

In seven games in 2020, Coppess racked up 370 return yards (16.1 yards per return) and a pair of scores, and had 34 tackles and two picks. 

The 6-3, 230-pound Lyons is a two-star prospect, rated No. 91 in Ohio by 247Sports, and the No. 224 linebacker in the nation’s class of 2022. He chose Miami over 10 total offers, including all three service academies, Ball State, three Ivy League schools (Brown, Columbia, Penn) and the Patriot League’s Lehigh and Fordham.

Lyons tallied 55 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, three forced fumbles, six quarterback hurries and three passes broken up. 

Miami’s 2022 class already had one previous commit — also from Ohio — prior to this two-day binge: Berea-Midpark athlete Devin Johnson, who committed back in February.

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Hamilton’s Johnson narrows list to six

One of the top running backs in Ohio’s 2022 class, Hamilton’s Kaleb Johnson has narrowed his school list from 17 offers down to a top six, he announced on Twitter over the weekend. 

That six includes: Cal, Iowa, Iowa State, Michigan, Michigan State and Pitt. 

Johnson also holds offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and a handful of MAC schools — Miami (Ohio), Toledo, Western Michigan, Kent State and Ball Stateee. 

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Bonus note: 

• The University of Michigan was the first to offer Findlay 2025 quarterback Ryan Montgomery. His older brother, Luke, is a four-star defensive lineman and the No. 3 player in Ohio’s class of 2023.