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Orchard Lake St. Mary's senior RB Grant Niemiec verbally committed to Miami of Ohio last week. (The Oakland Press file photo)


COLLEGE RECRUITING: Miami of Ohio nabs pair of Oakland County players

St. Mary's Niemiec, Southfield's Buchanan verbally commit to the RedHawks

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Miami University of Ohio went on a recruiting raid of Oakland County last week, walking away with two primetime prep football prospects in its back pocket.

Orchard Lake St. Mary's all-state running back Grant Niemiec and Southfield all-league offensive lineman Collin Buchanan both gave verbal commitments to the RedHawks within a 24 hour period late last week, pulling two more top recruits from the state's Class of 2013 off the board.

"I know it was the right decision for me," said Niemiec of his choice. "It's where I want to be. The feeling knowing I finally got my college plans figured out is just awesome."

Buchanan (6-foot-6, 305 pounds) was blown away on his visit.

"The facilities, the campus and the caching staff were all unbelievable," he said. "They really courted me in the recruiting process and made me feel very wanted. That's what it really came down to on my end."

The Red Hawks are 4-7 this season and currently have five players hailing from the state of Michigan on the roster.

One of those former Michigan prep stars wearing a Miami (OH) uniform this year is Niemiec's first cousin and best friend, Spencer McInnis, another dynamic running back talent who prepped at St. Mary's.

Niemiec, a three-year starter in the backfield, will lead his Eaglets squad into its fourth straight appearance in the Division 3 state championship game on Saturday down at Ford Field, as St. Mary's will try to repeat as state crown-holders against Grand Rapids Christian.

Last week in the state semifinals, Niemiec eclipsed his school's all-time single-season rushing record by going for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-7 besting of Battle Creek Harper Creek. He enters the state finals this week with 1,750 yards and 25 touchdowns so far this fall. Because of graduation losses, Niemiec was forced to double-up this season and play both on offense and on defense as the squad's middle linebacker, where he surprised nobody by excelling at a position he had never played before.

Parker McInnis, Spencer's little brother, starts alongside Niemiec in the Eaglets backfield this year.

In his second year starting on the line for Southfield, Buchanan, set to play tackle on the college level, helped take the Bluejays into the playoffs for the second straight season. As a junior in 2011, he was an integral part of Southfield's Division 2 district title.

Both Niemiec and Buchanan selected Miami (OH) over several other offers from Mid-American Conference schools.

Last Updated: 11/20/2012 2:53:03 AM EST

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