Dayton (Ohio) Trotwood-Madison will look to defend its state championship this season with a loaded roster that includes Top247 junior outside linebacker Verondtae Wilkinson.
Rated by 247Sports as the country's No. 8 player at his position, and the No. 134 prospect overall in his class, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wilkinson registered 50 tackles as a junior playing in the same defense as Ohio State cornerback commit Cameron Burrows and Michigan linebacker pledge Michael McCray.
Early offers have come in from Illinois, Kentucky, Buffalo, Ohio and Toledo, and Wilkinson is already hearing plenty about the Illini from his senior teammates in cornerback Reon Dawson and defensive end Jarrod Clements, who are both verbals to the school.
“Right now they’re just trying to get me there and try to motivate me and tell me they’re going to be there,” Wilkinson said. “I’m definitely going to go visit Illinois this season. Probably Kentucky too because I have family down there.”
Wilkinson said he’s still learning about the Wildcats program, and that he’s currently more familiar with Illinois.
“That was my first offer and that caught my attention,” Wilkinson added. “From what I’ve been hearing it’s a great school. It’s one of those schools where you could probably play early on in your years instead of waiting to play. It’s one of those schools I’d truly go to.”
The nephew of former Ohio State great Dan Wilkinson, the Buckeyes are a program he hopes to hear more from as the recruiting process continues. The only camp he attended this summer was in Columbus.
“They like me,” Wilkinson said. “Where they want to use me at is probably linebacker, so they said they want to see me get taller and a little faster.”
A scholarship from Ohio State would put the Buckeyes in a great spot.
“Ohio State, what’s not to like,” Wilkinson said. “I’ve been liking them since I was young. I like that rivalry with Michigan.”
Trotwood-Madison opens the season on Sunday against Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School at the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown in the Cincinnati area.