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June 11, 2011

Canton, Ohio DB on the rise

Include Canton (Ohio) McKinley High School defensive back Jermaine Edmondson among the most intriguing stock-on-the-rise prospects heading into the summer camp season.

Edmondson, a 6-foot-2, 170-pound DB with cornerback skills, is expected to kick off his camp experience with a stop-off at Ohio State this weekend. Buckeye coaches are among a growing group of Midwestern staffs eager to get a look at the native Californian who is new to the Great Lakes region, new to cornerback play but long on old-fashioned talent.

"He has an incredible upside," said Canton McKinley head coach Ron Johnson. "He came from California and the first time I met him was July 4th of last year. He was on no (prospect) list as an underclassman. No one had even heard of his name to ask me about him. Hell, I didn't even know him and didn't meet him until July.

"But he came here in July and he started every game and the first time people were exposed to him was in recruiting this winter as coaches were finishing up last year's class. This spring, they saw him and watched film and they would meet him and hoof him up, and then go watch him run track. He was in the state championship last weekend in the 4 by 100 relay and the 4 by 200. I think his best this year was a 10.9. He ran a 21.9 in the 200."

Johnson reports that Edmondson had earlier scholarship offers from Louisville and Illinois plus recent offers from Nebraska and Purdue.

"He is a heck of a player and he is only going to get better," Johnson said. "He was a tailback in California and when we got him here he became a corner, but had never played it before. So everything is the first time.

"Everything he has done as a defensive back is the first time he's done it."

And he looks like a natural.

"He had eight picks last year," Johnson said. "He is a great cover guy. I mean he has a great upside, which is what a lot of people like about him, plus being a big corner, which is what everybody is after."

He vertically jumped 31.4 inches at the NIKE Camp this summer. His height and good jumping ability mesh well with his impressive aptitude for the position.

"The thing he does uniquely well over a lot of high school player is he really knows how to judge the flight of the ball," Johnson said. "A lot of guys can't go get it as a defensive back, but he has great ball skills and can adjust to the ball in flight. He plays the deep ball very well."

Those skills will be on display during summer camps.

"He has a lot of offers and he is going to go through the camp circuit this summer and see what he thinks of the staffs and the guys that are going to be coaching him, and make his decision from there," Johnson said. "Ohio State is recruiting him. Michigan has been in as well; Greg Mattison really likes him. So he is getting all kinds of interest.

"I know he likes Coach Larry Slade at Louisville a lot. He is going to go down and see those guys."

As for camps, "He is going to a bunch of them (camps). He is going to Ohio State on the 12th.

"I know (Michigan State defensive backs coach) Harlon Barnett has been down to see him. (Michigan State defensive coordinator) Pat Narduzzi was in first. Michigan State has interest. I think they are pretty high on him.

"I think he is going up to Michigan State. They have talked about it, he and Harlon, so he is probably going to be up there.

"He has been up to Michigan State a couple of times, for a basketball game, and a spring practice."














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