MANSFIELD — If you were to design the prototypical high school linebacker, there’s a pretty good chance the end product would look a lot like Mansfield Senior’s Mekhi Bradley.
The two-time area Defensive Player of the Year, Bradley comes straight from central casting. The senior is big (6-foot, 240 pounds) physical (he placed seventh at 215 pounds at last year’s Division II state wrestling meet) and loves to hit.
The son of Senior High coach Chioke Bradley and a two-time Division III All-Ohio first-teamer, Bradley led north central Ohio’s top defensive unit with 113 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He had 22 tackles for loss, forced two fumbles and broke up a pass as the Tygers (10-3) reached the Region 10 semifinals.
Aside from his obvious physical tools, Bradley was the undisputed leader of Senior High’s defense. He was a four-year letterman and the lone holdover from the 2019 state runner-up team and will graduate with more than 300 career tackles.
“A lot of kids look up to Mekhi,” Chioke Bradley said. “He has played in a lot of big games for us.”
The younger Bradley will graduate with 314 career tackles, 42 tackles for loss and 21 sacks. He is the centerpiece of an all-area defense that includes seven other first-team All-Ohioans:
Ricky Mills, Mansfield Senior: An undersized defensive tackle, the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Mills had 96 tackles and a team-high 26.5 tackles for loss for north central Ohio’s top defense. The Tygers reached the Region 10 semifinals before falling to Holy Name. Mills was an All-Ohio first-team pick in Division III.
Landon Kurtzman, Galion: A 6-foot-1, 217-pound senior, Kurtzman was among the most disruptive defensive players in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. The defensive end led the MOAC with 23 sacks among his 104 tackles as Galion (6-5) qualified for the Region 14 playoffs. Kurtzman was an All-Ohio first-team pick in Division IV.
Owen Barker, Crestview: The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior became Crestview’s career sacks leader during the regular season. He had 12 sacks on the season to go with 88 tackles. An All-Ohio first-team pick in Division VI, Barker had five tackles and two sacks in the Blue Grey All-American Game recently in Dallas.
Bralen Boone, Ontario: A 6-foot-3, 225-pound senior, Boone had 60 tackles and six sacks during the regular season as the Warriors reached the Region 10 playoffs. Boone forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles, earning a spot on the All-Ohio third team in Division III.
Mekhi Bradley, Mansfield Senior: The powerful 6-foot, 240-pound senior led Senior High with 113 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble, leading the Tygers to the third round of the Region 10 playoffs. The son of Senior High coach Chioke Bradley, Mekhi was an All-Ohio first-team pick in Division III.
Levi Lyons, Danville: The 6-foot, 210-pound senior capped a spectacular high school career by being selected the Division VII Defensive Player of the Year. Lyons ranked second in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with 103 tackles during the regular season, helping the Blue Devils reach the Region 25 championship game.
Ty Lehnhart, Lucas: The Cubs reached the Region 25 semifinals after finishing with a sub-.500 record during the regular season for the first time since 2013. A 6-foot, 175-pound senior, Lehnhart had 132 tackles and three forced fumbles. He was selected to the All-Ohio second team in Division VII.
Luke Schlosser, Clear Fork: The 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior was Clear Fork’s leading tackler, making 61 stops during the regular season as the Colts won a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference championship and reached the second round of the Region 14 playoffs. Schlosser was an All-Ohio third-team pick in Division IV.
Amarr Davis, Mansfield Senior: A 6-foot, 175-pound junior, Davis shifted from safety to cornerback midway through the season and the move immediately paid off. Davis had nine interceptions, four of which came in three playoff games. He was an All-Ohio first-team pick in Division III.
Caden Cunningham, Crestview: The 6-foot-1, 175-pound Cunningham was an All-Ohio first-team pick in Division VI. The senior had six interceptions and 13 passes defensed to go with 61 tackles as the Cougars won the Firelands Conference title for the third straight year.
Kaiden Colopy, Danville: The Blue Devils reached the Region 25 championship game and had eventual Division VII state runner-up Warren JFK on the ropes before falling 22-21. A 6-foot, 175-pound senior, Colopy tied for the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference lead with five interceptions during the regular season. He was an All-Ohio first-teamer in Division VII.
Logan Toms, Lucas: A 6-foot, 179-pound junior, Toms was an All-Ohio second-team selection in Division VII. He had 149 tackles and two interceptions and forced three fumbles.
Keontez Bradley, Mansfield Senior: A rangy 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior, Bradley signed a letter of intent to play for Power Five school Arizona State of the PAC-12. Bradley split time between cornerback and safety. He had 53 tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in an opening-round playoff game against Ontario.
Landon Campbell, Galion: A 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior, Campbell was an All-Ohio first-team selection after averaging 42.3 yards per punt. In addition to his role on special teams, Campbell had 94 tackles and 11 sacks on defense and 23 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns on offense.
Max Vesper, Hillsdale: An speedy 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior, Vesper helped the Falcons reach the second round of the Region 25 playoffs before falling to Danville. He was a Division VII All-Ohio honorable mention selection as a defensive back after picking off a pair of passes to go with 69 tackles. He averaged 5.7 yards per punt return.