Midwest Notebook: Spring Eval Heats Up

Midwest Regional Manager
Posted May 5, 2011


New offers, players rising, predictions, and other tidbits from the Midwest region.

NEWS and NOTES
  • Detroit Cass Tech safety Ruben Lile reported this afternoon that Cincinnati is the latest school to offer him. Watch out for this guy. He's 6'3, 200-lbs and showed recently that he could cover man to man. There are some who have seen him that believe he can be a big corner. Either way, I see more offers coming. Iowa, Toledo, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Central Michigan are his other offers. Wisconsin is reportedly close to offering, and Lile also attended the Michigan State spring game recently.

  • Osseo (Minn.) tight end Will Johnson had a big Wednesday. After we reported yesterday that he had new offers from Auburn and Boston College, the 6'7, 245-lb junior reported last night that Mississippi had offered. Johnson said the Rebels called his coach and extended the offer and a visit down to the school was likely going to happen this summer.

  • Toledo has offered Chicago Curie wide receiver prospect Maurice Fleming. The Rockets have also offered Fort Wayne Harding defensive tackle Donte Bowen and Hinsdale Central (IL) offensive tackle Ryan Callen.

  • Central Michigan has offered Chicago Hales Franciscan running back Andre Anthony and also Carmel (IN) linebacker Shawn Heffern and safety Jimmy Herman.

  • Iowa and Indiana were in West Michigan and stopped at Orchard View High School to see running back Brandon Hall today. Michigan was also on the west side recently checking in with Holland High linebacker Nathan Ricketts and Zeeland East defensive tackle T.J. Beelen among others.

    THE MUSICAL CHAIRS of QUARTERBACKS
    Five-star quarterback Zeke Pike's recent commitment to Auburn was a great thing for the Tigers, but it also benefited a lot of Midwestern quarterbacks who were below the Kentucky product on a lot of boards. We believe it won't be too long before Gunner Kiel and Maty Mauk announce their destinations and their commitments could set off a series of quarterback offers.

    Ohio products Tyler O'Connor and Austin Appleby are two likely beneficiaries, but watch out for a third Ohio quarterback, Lexington's Collin Michael. I've recently heard that a Big Ten team was very impressed by his workout and could be offering him soon.

    The same goes for Fort Wayne Homestead's Zach Terrell. His crosstown counterpart, Bishop Luers' James Knapke earned his first offer recently from Bowling Green, but it's Terrell who caught the eye of a Big Ten team. That team told Terrell they would like to be his first offer. A few others have told the 6'3, 190-lb passer that they are close to offering.

    In Illinois, Wes Lunt is the top quarterback prospect, but Ryan West and Anthony Maddie both picked up their first scholarship offers recently, and both are also in line for more.

    Two other interesting quarterbacks to watch this summer are Detroit Crockett's Brian Blackburn and Elida's (OH) Reggie McAdams. Both are 6'6 with big arms. Blackburn has improved his mechanics greatly and should turn some heads this summer. McAdams is a little under the radar, and needs some polish, but has ability.

    FIVE SUMMER SLEEPERS
    These guys, who aren't really on the radar now, could make some noise at camps:

  • Lance Sanders - A 6'4, 240-lb defensive end from Chicago Leo. I've been told by opposing coaches that this guy was tough to play against. He has a tremendous frame and has a few college inquiries already, but they should become more serious soon.

  • Jesse Thompson - Warren Central has plenty of Division-1 prospects, but this guy is just as talented, if not more than some of his teammates who have offers. He's 6'6, 230-lbs and colleges who have been through have been asking a lot of questions about who that big kid is.

  • Jonathan Conklin - Plainwell (Mich.) has an offensive lineman who we've seen on tape recently and has a good frame at 6'6, 265-lbs and good athleticism. He also plays varsity basketball and starts both ways on the football team. The son of a coach, Conklin should be ready for camps and has a shot at earning some offers.

  • Baxter DeBruyn - An offensive tackle from West Lafayette (IN), he has not gotten a lot of attention yet, but we like what he has shown on tape. He's 6'4, 285-lbs and a tough kid who finishes his blocks and showed good feet in pass protection.

  • Mike Love - Tinley Park Andrew has had good line prospects the last few years, and this guy could be the next one. He's 6'4, 275-lbs and played left tackle for them last year, but projects as a guard. He looked the part on tape, and he has been well coached. I think some summer offers will come his way.



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