Breaking Down the Commitments
Penn State has had a successful few days on the recruiting trail and landed a big one, literally and figuratively, in five-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt. We had a chance to see him in live game action last year as well as on tape and his athleticism at that size, his consistent effort and ability in pursuit stood out. He's light on his feet for a bigger kid. I've said all along, I think the main thing he'll have to learn is to play a more traditional defensive tackle in college because Glenbard West uses him all over and in a variety of different roles. He has the ability and physical tools to adapt though and has a shot to be an early contributor.
Ohio State picked up Pickerington Central (OH) wide receiver Roger Lewis. We saw Lewis three times in camp settings this year, as well as twice in-game last season and on tape. He did not have a ton of opportunities last year, but he made the most of what he had as a receiver and return man. He went out and had a great stretch of summer camps this year, showing us great ball skills and good explosiveness is a solid, 6'1 frame. We'll be interested to see what he does as a senior this year. We want to see him develop more as a underneath receiver and see if his added strength will help him break tackles in the open field.
Michigan State pulled in-state offensive tackle Kodi Kieler this week. He's a kid who we saw on film and at Michigan's camp. He's a good looking kid on the hoof. He's about 6'6, and has added good weight to get up to around 300-lbs, but still looks similar to when I first saw him at around 240. That's a good thing. I think he can add 20 more pounds easily. He's raw, a bit of a project, and will need a redshirt year, but he moves around well at that size and plays tough. He reminds me a lot of another in-state kid Michigan State took a few years back that wasn't highly touted, but ended up being a good player, Zach Hueter, whose career was unfortunately cut short due to injury. Like Hueter, I think Kieler can swing between right tackle and guard.
Indiana picked up Carmel (Ind.) defensive end Shawn Heffern, another kid whose offseason transformation helped him in his recruitment. At 6'6, he added 20 pounds to get to 240 and when we saw him at Michigan State's camp, he performed very well despite having a hamstring injury. It was surprising, to me, how advanced he was as a pass rusher. He had a variety of ways to get to the quarterback, quick feet and did well with his hands. I think that's his future. I know offensive tackle may end up being a possibility, but I have him penciled in as a defensive end and a pretty good one.
The Hoosiers also landed Pickerington Central (Ohio) safety Sebastian Smith. We saw him last year as well as the NIKE Camp this summer and he's a kid we like. He's 6'3, and on the skinnier side, but is not afraid to come up and hit. He has good ball skills and is a rangy kid. We'd like to see more of him this year as he steps into a full time role as one of the leaders on that defense with Tamani Carter, Eilar Hardy and others gone.
Michigan picked up four-star defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins this week. He's a big bodied kid who will anchor the nose position for the Wolverines. He's a space eater, but he's not just that. We saw at the Army Combine and the Ohio State NIKE Camp that he is athletic and explosive enough to be both a disruptor and a guy who ties up multiple blocks.
Medina (Ohio) QB Mason Schreck committed to Buffalo this week. He's a good sized passer at 6'5, 215-lbs and had a solid run this summer on the Raw Talent Bus Tour along with the NIKE Camp at Ohio State. He is the second quarterback in the class for the Bulls along with Collin Michael, so the future looks good under center. The Bulls also landed big 6'2, 190-lb receiver Malcom Robinson of Canton McKinley for these guys to throw to.
Another Ohio quarterback, Elida's Reggie McAdams chose Akron this week. Watch out for this one. He's raw, but an outstanding athlete at 6'6, 195-lbs. He's also a very good basketball player. He's an intriguing prospect with a lot of upside. He'll need a couple years, but I like his tools.
Westlake (Ohio) linebacker Anthony Zappone verballed to Eastern Michigan this week. He's a kid we've liked for a while now as a sleeper prospect. He has solid size at 6'2, 225-lbs, and is a tough as nails kid, but also impressed us in space this summer when we saw him in just shorts and t-shirts.
Ball State picked up Sturgis (Mich.) offensive lineman Drake Miller this week. We liked him at Michigan State's camp both years and on tape. He's listed at 6'6. If he's not quite that tall, he's close. He still has some room to fill out at 270-lbs, but he's very solid technically, moves well and on tape, was finishing his blocks strong. He could be a guard or tackle. We see him as a little more of a guard right now, but he could go either way.
Osseo (Minn.) tight end Will Johnson said do not expect a decision before the season. He will take official visits before he decides, but he has not set any of those visits yet.
Other News and Notes
Indianapolis Pike (Ind.) defensive end Pierre Aka says Stanford and Northwestern are just waiting on his test scores, but that those offers are highly probable once it comes. He takes the test September 10th and will receive the scores two weeks later. He said he did not have a clear favorite between the two.
Birmingham Seaholm (Mich.) defensive end Neal Page was offered by Akron and Kent State recently, adding to his Central Michigan and Illinois State offers. The 6'6 Page, has by all accounts, been looking great in early practices after a good off-season.
According to the Indy Star, Ben Davis cornerback Michael Taylor has earned his first offer from Western Michigan.
Lake City (Mich.) is a small town in Northern Michigan with a big talent in defensive end Adam Williams. A 6'4, 225-lb athlete who plays fast and aggressively, he does not have any offers to date, but we believe that may change over the season if questions about level of competition can be answered.
Sleeper of the Week
Underclassman of the Week
Prairie Ridge (Ill.) has a rising sophomore in Shane Evans that started every game as a freshman last year at right tackle. The 6'4, 250-lb Evans looks like a bona fide future FBS prospect, and is a kid we will be taking a harder look at this fall.
We take a look at the newest commitments in the region and offer other updates.