Damarion Witten

Ohio State Commit Damarion Witten Is a Rare Talent

CANTON, Ohio — Cleveland Glenville head coach Ted Ginn Sr. has seen just about everything during his time around the Tarblooders football program, which dates back to the 1970’s. Since becoming the head coach in the late 90’s, Ginn has been able to coach some of the best football prospects that have ever come through the state of Ohio, including his own son, former Ohio State and NFL star Ted Ginn Jr.

In fact, few high schools in America have produced Division I prospects at the volume that Glenville has. From Ginn Jr. and Donte Whitner, to Marshon Lattimore, to Christian and Coby Bryant, to Cardale Jones and Frank Clark, the list goes on and on.

So when the two-time state champion coach and National High School Sports Hall of Famer says he has a once in a generation type of athlete, your ears perk up.

“I’ve been at Glenville since the 70’s,” Ginn told Buckeye Huddle recently at the OHSAA State Championships. “I think of three people that have come to Glenville (during that time). It was Terry Jones in the 70’s, Dwayne Shields in the 80’s, and there’s Damarion Witten.”

‘Best’ is a subjective term. Maybe Witten isn’t one of the three best football players the program has had over the past 50 years and change. Maybe Ginn Jr. or Dareus ‘Superman’ Hiley fall on that list instead, but in terms of the different ways that Witten can impact a football game? He is on Ginn Sr.’s shortlist.

“He can play seven positions on a football field,” Ginn Sr. continued. “He can kick, he can punt, he can quarterback, he can be a receiver, he can be a tight end, he can be a defensive end, he can be a safety, he can do it all. In my time coaching, I’ve seen just three people come (around) like that. (Witten) is one of them, and he’s real special.”

At 6-foot-4, 215-pounds, Witten is a matchup nightmare for an opposing defense. He started his football career as a quarterback and can still chuck it around if he needs to. He can line up in the backfield, the slot, outside. He’s too fast for safeties and linebackers, too big and strong for corners.

At Ohio State, he’ll be a tight end. The program has seen the tight end position begin to evolve in recent years to become more of a threat in the passing game. Witten perhaps provides the purest receiving threat the Buckeyes have had at the position in a long time.

He’ll need to bulk up to be able to do everything that will be asked of him to play the tight end position in Columbus, but adjusting to the challenges of a new role is seemingly what Witten has always done best.

“The thing of it is, I don’t know what the future brings him but his (best) football is still in front of him,” Ginn said. “I think he’s going to be a superstar at Ohio State.”

Witten recently led Glenville to its second consecutive state championship, hauling in a pair of touchdown receptions and a two-point conversion. Highlights below.

Go to discussion...

You might also like