April 6, 2012

Saxton impressed by Ohio State practice

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Follow Noon | Rowland | Givler | Birmingham

One of the top defensive backs in the state of Ohio for the 2014 class is Columbus Bishop Hartley product Alonzo Saxton. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound prospect was at Ohio State on Wednesday to check out spring practice. The short trip wasn't his first to Ohio State's campus but it was his first look at a practice and he came away impressed by what he saw.

"I was mostly watching the DB's," explained Saxton. "I thought Christian Bryant stood out and also number four C.J. (Barnett). They were very energetic and very active and I liked that that kind of got me hyped up. I liked the DB drills and stuff and it actually motivated to get better and never stay at the same level."

In addition to watching the players, Saxton also spent some time watching the coaches, specifically cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

"He's very loud," Saxton laughed. "I like that. I like coaches that get in your grill and are telling you when you're doing something wrong."

Saxton stayed for the entire practice and is hoping to bring back some of the things he saw to his high school practices.

"I thought everything was great," he said. "I liked how they separated offense and defense and basically built the team (unity) on the different sides of the ball and I liked how they got together and had different competitions. I wish we could incorporate some of that into Bishop Hartley's practice, although we don't have as many players."

Ultimately, the intensity of the practice is what Saxton says he will remember most about his visit.

"The energy is what stood out the most to me," he said. "I just liked the whole environment. I liked how all of the DB's got a chance to show what they could do in the drills and one-on-one's and stuff."

On the recruiting front, Saxton holds a pair of early verbal offers from Illinois and Toledo and he's also hearing from a handful of other programs.

"Me and my dad are trying to work out a visit to Illinois to their spring game," he said. "I'm supposed to call coach (Tim) Hinton from Ohio State (to schedule a future visit) and also Northwestern and Cincinnati (are possible visit destinations). A lot of schools are inviting me to their camp over the summer."

The Fighting Illini got in early with an offer to Saxton and the athletic defender stays in regular contact with the coaching staff.

"When I talk to Illinois I talk to their DB's coach, coach (Steve) Clinkscale," he said. "I normally talk to him like every week. I went their last year and I liked their campus, I think it was kind of original and that is the best thing about it. I like their coaching staff. They came from Toledo and they offered me there so I'm very close to their coaching staff. I like how they are interested to know what their recruits are up to and that they are concerned about you and like to talk to you as much as they can."


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