SCIOTO COUNTY — With nine Scioto County high school football teams, sometimes you need a checklist, a scorecard, a clipboard — or even a cheat sheet to keep track of the county’s collegiate players.
And, of course, that’s a lot of whos, wheres, whens and at what positions.
Then, throw in the coronavirus situation which wreaked havoc for college football in 2020, and it’s easy to maybe miss somebody somewhere —or misfiring upon marking down up-to-date information.
With most college camps opening already in early August, it appears as if the 2021 season is well-represented with some of Scioto County’s best.
Headlining the list is of course Cain Madden from Minford, a two-time Division V all-Ohio two-way lineman for the Falcons and who graduated in 2016.
In June, Madden —a four-year standout and three-year starter along the offensive line and primarily playing right guard —made the decision to transfer from Marshall University to the University of Notre Dame, where he is expected to roll right in and fill one of the Fighting Irish’s starting guard spots.
Madden is a grad transfer from Marshall to Notre Dame, and will play for the Fighting Irish as a sixth-year senior.
With the NCAA offering an extra year of athletic eligibility due to the coronavirus situation and its impact on college football, Madden —a six-foot three-inch and 313-pounder who was named second-team All-American last year by the Associated Press — made good on that available extra year.
Originally a walk-on at Marshall, Madden made first-team All-Conference USA in 2020 — after earning second-team all-conference the year before.
He was red-shirted in 2016, saw action in all 13 games as a freshman and sophomore, and started the final nine in 2018 at right guard.
He started in all 13 games as a junior, and was recognized at the Thundering Herd’s season-end banquet with the Offensive Gridiron Gladiator Award — an honor given by the former coaching staff to the “player who is relentless and gives his everything all of the time”.
At one point, Madden started 22 consecutive contests for the Thundering Herd — and started in nine of the team’s 10 tilts in 2020.
Notre Dame, of course, is the storied and most nationally-recognized independent college football program in the entire Football Bowl Subdivision — and was one of the four teams along with Clemson, runner-up Ohio State and national champion Alabama as part of last season’s College Football Playoff.
With the exception of the Irish’s bout against Toledo on Sept. 11, which will be streamed exclusively on Peacock, all Notre Dame home games are televised nationally by NBC.
Blaine Scott of East, a three-time Division VII all-Ohioan as a Tartan two-way standout lineman, features almost identical size as Madden at 6-3 and 315 pounds — and followed a similar path which Madden took to the FBS level.
Recruited by former head coach Dana Holgorsen, Scott played his first three years at West Virginia University —red-shirting his freshman season and playing in exactly a dozen games along the offensive line after that.
A 2018 East graduate, Scott actually enrolled early at WVU — starting his collegiate years in January 2018.
Scott played for current Mountaineer head coach Neal Brown in his final two years in Morgantown, before transferring in late spring to another mountainous state and program — the University of Northern Colorado of the Football Championship Subdivision.
Scott goes to the Northern Colorado campus as a grad transfer too, as he graduated with his degree from WVU in May.
“I was ready for a change and venture out somewhere new and somewhere exciting while I had the chance. I absolutely loved and appreciated my time at WVU as I made some of my very best friends and have been to their homes, been to their weddings, and watched their kids grow up,” said Scott. “It was quite a blessing.”
Scott said that the Bears’ head coach Ed McCaffrey, a former star wide receiver with the NFL’s Denver Broncos when Hall of Famer John Elway was the quarterback, “was a big reason why I came to UNC.”
“He (McCaffrey) knows so much about the game and really is bringing some excitement to UNC football,” raved Scott. “He was a baller with the Broncos, and is a great person too.”
Scott said he will likely play center along the offensive line for the Bears, and has two years of eligibility remaining —and a third if he so chooses with the NCAA’s offering because of COVID-19.
Sticking with the offensive linemen and NCAA level themes, Portsmouth’s Colin Boehm is a sophomore at West Virginia State University —a member of the Mountain East Conference of the NCAA Division II.
As a freshman two years ago, he played in two games —and returns this season at six-foot five-inches tall and weighing exactly 300 pounds.
Speaking of two games, Muskingum University sophomore-to-be and 2020 Green graduate Nathanial Hensley had his freshman football season moved from fall to spring because of the coronavirus.
Some programs played in the spring of 2021 — including many NCAA Division III members like Muskingum and others in the Ohio Athletic Conference.
Hensley said five games were scheduled for the Muskies, but two were ultimately canceled because of COVID-19 —thus they only played three.
With the NCAA offering its extra year of athletic eligibility, Hensley said he plans on taking advantage of that fifth year.
Another NCAA Division III program, Wittenberg University, includes a Notre Dame quartet — seniors Sam Kayser (wide receiver) and Grant Sparks (defensive lineman) and freshmen Logan Emnett (running back) and Caleb Nichols (wide receiver).
Wheelersburg is represented by freshman running back Makya Matthews at University of Findlay, freshman wide receiver L.J. Payton at Ohio Northern University, and University of Pikeville juniors Xander Carmichael (LB) and Nic Parsley (DL).
Carmichael and Parsley as seniors and Matthews as a sophomore were all instrumental in the Pirates’ 2017 Division V state championship.
Four Pirates which were 2021 graduates also committed to play collegiately — Ian Fannin for Marietta, Jay Holsinger for Lindsey Wilson, Matthew Miller for Georgetown College and Gage Adkins at Pikeville.
For West, defensive lineman Brandon Weaver and offensive lineman Caleb Deaver are seniors for Wilmington, as three Senator seniors of 2021 have also committed to play — Eli Tilley at Ashland, Luke Wroten with Muskingum and Hunter Brown for Marietta.
There are three Valley Indians among the college ranks — junior wideout Tanner Spradlin with Wilmington, sophomore linebacker Tre Bratchett with Wittenberg, and defensive lineman Mason Zaler for Fairmont State in West Virginia.
Northwest’s Caleb Crabtree committed to play offensive line for Fullerton College in southern California.
For more information on Scioto County’s current college football players, please visit their respective schools’ athletic department websites.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved