The Columbus East football program led by legendary coach Bob Gaddis has produced more wins than any other Indiana high school program in the last decade. Including a state championship in 2013 and two Mr. Football award winners in the last five years. A program not necessarily known as a hotbed for division one talent, a number of players go on to play college football each year. The most notable alumni include Gunner Kiel, once the nation’s top quarterback recruit, now leads the Cincinnati Bearcat football program. Kiel was the 2012 Mr. Football award winner. Purdue running back Markell Jones, also a Columbus East graduate, led his team to a state championship in 2013, and followed it up with a record breaking senior season, that landed him the Mr. Football award. Jones, arguably the most outstanding freshman in the Big 10 last year, is already receiving Heisman noise in West Lafayette.
Fast forward to the 2016 football team and you will find several prospects on the Columbus East roster. Starting with versatile 2017 lineman Harry Crider. Crider who looks more like a tight end or defensive end with his 6’4 250 pound frame, is a 3 year starter at center for the Columbus East team. His athleticism has allowed the Columbus East staff to line Crider up all over the field and on both sides of the ball. College coaches are recruiting him at the offensive and defensive line position. The recruiting process is starting to heat up for Crider, as he is up to 7 scholarship offers that includes ACC member Virginia. Crider is what college coaches consider a “high academic” kid, and he currently boast offers from Ivy league programs and plans to camp at several schools like Harvard, Yale and Brown this Summer. Dreams of playing football at a high level and receiving the best education puts Virginia currently at the top of his list. “It’s a high level of football at one of the best academic schools in the nation. Also, they have a brand new coaching staff and I have gotten to know them very well” said Crider.
Crider isn’t the lone division one prospect on the team. Add 2017 wide receiver Cam Wilson to the mix and there is a reason why college coaches are once again paying attention to the Columbus East program. Wilson a 6’1 180 athlete holds two early offers from Illinois State and Air Force, while receiving attention from several B1G programs. Wilson will camp at Iowa, Purdue and Ivy League members Harvard and Yale. Jared Clark a 2017 offensive lineman earned his first division one offer from FCS Morehead State earlier this week and is heading to several camps this summer to catch the eye of college coaches. Wade Forman a safety and Caleb Voelker a wide receiver, both have a few NAIA offers and are hearing from lower level division one and division two schools.
Two other intriguing players on the Columbus East roster include a pair of 2018s that will tower over every player they line up against this Fall. Tyler Thomas who saw action at tight end, is 6’6 260 pounds and could develop into a power five offensive tackle. On the other side of the ball is 6’5 240 defensive end Ty Henderson who could also develop into a power five lineman.