Five-star quarterback Torrance Gibson of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said he is going to stick to his plan and pick a college after his senior season this fall. Ohio State is in the running and has made no secret that Gibson is No. 1 on its list of quarterbacks.
The Buckeyes can’t afford to stand pat as Gibson mulls his choices, though. He narrowed his list to 15 schools this week, and named them in order, with OSU No. 4 behind Tennessee, Auburn and LSU. Ohio State has offers out to a few other quarterbacks, including Lamar Jackson of Boynton Beach, Fla., who tweeted on Wednesday that he had just received his.
Two more possibilities to keep an eye on, Bucknuts analyst Bill Kurelic said, are Travis Waller of Anaheim, Calif., and Tommy Stevens of Indianapolis. Offensive coordinator Tom Herman is expected to watch Waller throw on Monday, and a scholarship offer could follow. Stevens, already holding offers from Michigan State, Louisville, Purdue and Indiana, is said to covet one from OSU.
Should the Buckeyes gain a quarterback commitment in the next couple of months, Kurelic said, they still are expected to hold out for Gibson’s decision.
Clippers first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit .319 with seven home runs and 17 RBI in the first 31 games, the kind of numbers you would think would get the attention of a major league club that has had the hitting problems that the parent Indians have.
Problem is, Indians officials are having a hard time figuring out where the 24-year-old from Venezuela fits. Nick Swisher occupies his position in Cleveland, and although the former Ohio State star is one of the players struggling at the plate — he was hitting .202 with two home runs and 13 RBI in 34 games — the Indians also made a $56 million commitment to him.
Aguilar could be used as a designated hitter, but the Tribe has no shortage of those, including Carlos Santana, Ryan Raburn and Lonnie Chisenhall. Santana (.139, four HR, 11 RBI) and Raburn (.167, 0 HR, six RBI) also are struggling, but Santana is the team’s starting third baseman, and Raburn was signed to a two-year extension.
Ben Speas has been stuck in a kind of no-man’s land for the Crew this season.
Eighteen players are in uniform for every game, and he has yet to be one of them, nor has he been one of several Crew players who have played for the minor-league Dayton Dutch Lions. His inactivity has caught the eye of officials of several Major League Soccer clubs, who have been told that the Crew isn’t interested in trading him.
Speas appeared in 19 games for the Crew last season, starting 10, but he is the backup at central midfield to designated player Frederico Higuain. Last season, Speas logged some time on the wings, but new coach Gregg Berhalter apparently doesn’t see him out there, or at least hasn’t yet.
Enon Harris, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound guard who averaged 17.2 points and 3.5 rebounds as a sophomore at West Virginia last season, has been granted his release, and Ohio State is reportedly one of the numerous schools that have contacted him.
The fact that he hit 42 percent of his three-point shots for the Mountaineers should answer any questions about why the Buckeyes would be interested, after a season in which long-range shooting was a weakness for them.
Harris is from Indianapolis and reportedly wants to play closer to home. Harris’ father also told the Indianapolis Star that the coaching style of West Virginia’s Bob Huggins wasn’t a good fit.
Harris will have to sit out a season before he is eligible.
Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes was glad to renew acquaintances with the Cincinnati Reds this week. After spending six seasons with Tampa Bay, he was brought in by Cincinnati in 2009 to help provide veteran leadership and an offensive spark on a young club that had a lot of talent.
In 2009 and 2010, he hit .267 with 20 home runs in 2009 after getting called up in May and making 133 starts in 2010 and hitting .266 with 18 home runs and 86 RBI on a team that won the National League Central title.
“There were a lot of role players around that did a heck of a job,” he told WEEI-FM of Boston. “ Granted, it wasn’t the best playoff run, but I’m definitely proud that I can say we put Cincinnati baseball back on the map.”
Since then, Gomes also has played on playoff teams with Oakland (2012) and Boston (2013).
Tyree Kinnel, Rivals’ ninth-ranked safety prospect in the 2015 class and an early Michigan commitment, has been picking up a lot of late offers, apparently including one from Alabama. Steve Lorenz of 247sports.com reported that Kinnel, a 6-foot, 190-pound prospect from Huber Heights, Ohio, called Alabama’s offer “big” but said that he is still “100 percent to Michigan.”
Kinnel is one of three top defensive backs in Michigan’s class, including 6-1, 188-pound corner Garrett Taylor, Rivals’ 41st-ranked prospect overall. Four-star cornerback Shaun Crawford of Lakewood, Ohio, also is in the class.
Chris Hartsburg, son of Blue Jackets assistant coach Craig Hartsburg, is leaving Erie of the Ontario Hockey League after one season as an assistant coach to take his first head-coaching job, with Lincoln of the United States Hockey League.
The younger Hartsburg oversaw a defense that improved from 312 goals against a season ago to a league-best and franchise-best 170 goals against this season. He had previously served as an assistant with Colorado of the Central Hockey League and Everett of the Western Hockey League.
Bob Hunter is a sports columnist for The Dispatch.