The Ohio State Buckeyes boast a Heisman Trophy candidate in running back Ezekiel Elliott, but the junior will likely play on Sundays next season.
When Elliott eventually bolts for an NFL opportunity, there will be plenty of carries up for grabs in Columbus, creating opportunities for incoming playmakers. Antonio Williams, a North Carolina product who initially committed to Wisconsin, could vie for an immediate role at Ohio State next season.
The 5'11", 210-pound prospect pledged to Ohio State in October and wrapped up his high school career Friday night. Williams rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-21 loss to East Montgomery High School.
The North Stanly High School senior collected his sixth 200-yard game of the season, according to MaxPreps. Williams surpassed 300 rushing yards in two contests this fall.
Rated No. 7 nationally among running backs in 2016 composite rankings, Williams racked up the most career yards and touchdowns in North Stanly history. He tallied at least 2,000 rushing yards during each of the past three seasons and will receive his next handoff in Columbus.
"The next chapter in my life has come," Williams tweeted Saturday. "I promise, to the people that want to see me fail and to the ones that want to see me succeed, just watch."
Todd Sibley is still more than a year away from signing with Ohio State, but the in-state standout continues to show promising signs of immense potential. The Archbishop Hoban (Akron) High School junior dominated throughout a second-round playoff matchup against Louisville High School.
Sibley, who stands 5'11", 205 pounds, pounded opponents en route to 298 rushing yards on 39 carries, according to Jim Berdysz of Cleveland.com. His effort included a late win-sealing score that propelled Archbishop Hoban to a 21-14 victory.
“He’s a warrior and we needed him," Hoban head coach Tim Tyrrell told Berdysz.
Sibley, rated 15th among 2017 running back recruits, rose to prominence with 1,576 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore. He committed to the Buckeyes in April.
Sibley's high school teammate and fellow Ohio State pledge Danny Clark also played a crucial role in that victory. The 6'4", 223-pound quarterback connected on a pair of touchdown tosses, firing 29- and five-yard scoring strikes.
Clark, an early commit who joined Ohio State's 2017 class as a freshman, is No. 12 among pro-style quarterbacks in the cycle. He threw for 3,163 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as an underclassman, according to Chris Easterling of FridayNightOhio.com.
Texas quarterback Tristen Wallace, a 6'3", 228-pound senior prospect from DeSoto High School, also led his squad to a playoff victory. He attempted just eight passes, resulting in 84 yards and a touchdown, per Brian Perroni of 247Sports.
His biggest efforts occurred on the ground, as Wallace erupted for 126 yards and two scores. This prowess as a runner places him among America's most intriguing dual-threat talents of the 2016 class.
Wallace rushed for more than 1,100 yards during the regular season. He previously pledged to Texas Tech before committing to the Buckeyes in April.