Former Ironton players making mark on Saturdays

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 24, 2003

It's Ironton football on Friday, and a little more on Saturday.

Former Ironton football players are getting playing time on Saturday afternoons at the Division I level.

Former Ironton defensive back Jason Harmon is not only starting for Michigan State, but he is putting up impressive numbers.

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Harmon generated two turnovers that resulted in Michigan State touchdowns as the Spartans routed Illinois 49-14 two weeks ago.

First, he intercepted a pass late in the third quarter and ran it back to the Illini 12. After a holding penalty, quarterback Jeff Smoker connected with Aaron Alexander for a score that put the Spartans ahead 35-7 with 14:26 to go.

Harmon later stripped the ball from Illini running back Pierre Thomas scored on a 52-yard fumble return with 6:29 to play, his first collegiate touchdown.

For his efforts, Harmon was named the Big

Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Harmon also had eight tackles including one for a 3-yard loss.

A redshirt junior, Harmon will graduate this year and is already being contacted by NFL scouts.

Just north of Ironton is former Associated Press Division IV co-Defensive Player of the Year Redgie Arden who plays for defending national champion Ohio State.

Arden is playing on a special teams and is listed as one of the Buckeyes top four defensive ends.

Using his rock 'n sock 'em style of play, Arden moved from tight end last year to defensive end this season to add depth at that position.

Turning south, former All-Ohio lineman Roman Fry got his first varsity start last week against North Carolina State on ESPN2. Fry is sharing playing time with a senior lineman and could see considerable playing time this Saturday when Clemson hosts North Carolina.

The game is one of the possible games to be televised by WVAH-TV 11 starting at either noon or 12:30 p.m.

Although he's not playing at the Division I level now, wide receiver James Taylor has found an offense that fits his talents.

Taylor signed with Ohio University out of Ironton, but after four years including a redshirt season, Taylor has opted for the wide-open Georgetown (Ky.) College offense instead of Ohio University where he even switched to defense because of the option-style offense that virtually ignored his receiving abilities.

Georgetown is an NAIA school, so Taylor was eligible to play right away after leaving Ohio.

OHSAA Playoffs

Don't forget the Ohio High School football playoffs will be announced Sunday.

The website will list the final computer ratings by about 11 a.m.

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.