Midwest Recruiting Notebook
Malik Zaire
Malik Zaire
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Mar 29, 2012


How will the early commitment flurries change this June's summer camps? We take a look and break down recent commitments, as well as give the latest tidbits on recruiting from around the Midwest.

Camp Season Nearly Upon Us

One of my favorite months of the year is June, a grueling time that only a recruiting nut like myself can really enjoy, for it is filled with standing out in the heat of high noon each day watching hours and hours of drills and tests.

This year, I expect the camp season to be a little different though. With so many early commitments in the Midwest, the door is open for more of the sleeper variety or kids who are looking to earn offers to make their mark as some of the known names will be committed and staying home. It also means a lot of coaches, particularly at schools like Notre Dame and Michigan, who have received a good amount of early 2013 verbals, will be looking to evaluate the younger classes. There could be more class of 2014 offers and action following these camps than in past years.

What has been nice to see, however, are committed players still taking part and getting out and competing. Michigan State commit Jon Reschke at the NIKE SPARQ Combine and Michigan commit Shane Morris at the Elite 11 tryout in Dallas are two recent examples.


Breaking Down Recent Commitments

 
Malik Zaire | QB | Kettering Alter (Ohio)
Committed to Notre Dame
The big weekend for the Fighting Irish culminated with a quarterback who fits Brian Kelly's offense in Zaire. He's equally comfortable making plays with his feet as well as his arm, but he's a pass first guy. He has good velocity on throws and runs a similar offense at Alter. The knock on him is height, but at 6'1, he's the same height at Zach Collaros and Ben Mauk, two guys who did pretty well under Kelly.

 
Hunter Bivin | OT | Owensboro Apollo (Ky.)
Committed to Notre Dame
This class now has four high school tackles in it, and I think a guy like Bivin is important because he can go inside or outside. Of the guys the Irish have, he's one of the thickest, and his dominance in the run game suggests he could play guard if necessary. He's a four-star who had a lot of other programs after him. We saw him at the Irish's lineman challenge last summer and that early relationship played a hand in this commitment.

 
Colin McGovern | OT | Lincoln Way West (Ill.)
Committed to Notre Dame
One of those guys who went from lightly recruited to national prospect almost in the blink of an eye, and in that same time, he's also gone from the 270-280 range up to around 295. His frame, ability to move that frame, and the way he finishes blocks on tape are impressive and his measurables and abilities checked out when we saw him in person. Well deserving of his four-stars and a kid who is only going to get better.

 
Austin Ramesh | RB-LB | Northland Pines (Wisc.)
Committed to Wisconsin
He plays at a smaller school, but he dominates the competition. At 6'2, 221-lbs, he's only going to get bigger and that's why many project him to play linebacker at the next level. However, with his ability to catch the ball and the 2,500 all purpose yards he put up last year, this is a guy who can make things happen on offense, and I think a fullback/h-back kind of role may suit him perfectly.


Big Ten Quick Hits

Northwestern: One player to watch for this summer is Chicago Vocational quarterback Darrien Boone. Boone stands 6'3, 195-lbs and is a dual threat, having rushed for 1,600 yards and ten touchdowns a year ago. He threw 27 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He also is number one in his class academically, so he'd be a good fit in Evanston, but will have to prove himself at camp this June. He says Northwestern is one of the schools contacting him along with Vanderbilt, Colorado, Indiana and others.
Ohio State: As usual, the Buckeyes' June camps should feature a lot of talent both in the rising senior and underclass ranks. One Midwest sophomore who says he will be in Columbus is Mount Carmel defensive tackle Enoch Smith. Already 6'3, 260-lbs, Smith was a full time starter on varsity last year and also performed well at the Semper Fidelis camp in August. He will now look to do the same in front of the Buckeyes and says he has also been invited to camps at Notre Dame, Illinois and Michigan State.
Michigan: The defensive ends should be fun to watch at camp this year, as there may be several rising seniors looking to earn offers. Among the new names on the radar are Daniel Davis (Grand Blanc, MI), Tracy Sprinkle (Elyria, OH), and Chikwe Obasih (Brookfield, WI). It is not certain that all three will camp, but all three have reported Michigan recruiting them harder of late. Davis just visited and Obasih will visit. If all three make it to camp, that will certainly make the 1-1s interest, especially if all the committed offensive linemen make it in.
Michigan State: The Spartans have done well in Wisconsin over the last few years and that has continued so far in 2013. One prospect to watch for in the 2013 class is Beaver Dam defensive end Owen Salzwedel. He's the teammate of MSU commit R.J. Shelton and says the Spartans have just started contact with him. At nearly 6'6, 230-lbs, he's similar to A.J. Natter, a touted Wisconsin DE the Spartans have offered. If Natter goes elsewhere, Salzwedel's recruitment with MSU could heat up. He is not sure if he will camp in East Lansing, but it is a possibility.
Illinois: Grand Blanc (Mich.) defensive end Daniel Davis visits the Illini on Tuesday and believes they may end up being his first Big Ten offer. The Illini have recruited Michigan hard this year, with one commitment (Jesse Chadwell) from the state. Several other Michigan players, notably, Detroit King defensive back Mycial Allen, Holland athlete Corey Willis, Farmington safety Isaiah Gourdine and Port Huron wide receiver prospect Mark Chapman have all reported recent contact with Illinois.
Iowa: Word on the street is the Hawkeyes are turning up the heat on a couple of sleeper wide receivers in Michigan. Chandler Park's Csont'e York and Plymouth's Jamarl Eiland both have had increased contact with Iowa recently. The Hawkeyes extended an offer recently to Fort Wayne Bishop Luers' Mike Rogers, so they aren't afraid to be the first to offer a kid. Word is Eiland may be a guy they look harder at soon.
Indiana: Warren Central junior defensive tackle Kristopher Davis visited practice on Tuesday. He is the younger brother of 2012 signees Jordan Wallace and Kevin Davis. Kris is a little bigger than those two though, at 6'2, 265-lbs. After battling injury and playing behind Sheldon Day and Darnell Smith a year ago, he was one of the top performers at the Best of the Midwest Combine in February and may be poised for a breakout year. One 2013 prospect to watch is Toledo St. Johns quarterback Brogan Roback, who fits what the Hoosiers do and says IU has been recruiting him.
Wisconsin: The Badgers continue to recruit what appears to be a strong 2014 class within their own state borders. Monona Grove offensive tackle Jaden Gault reports he will be at Wisconsin's practice today. At 6'7, 273-lbs, he's big for a sophomore and had a very good 2011 season, one that has him as one of the early top prospects in the state.
Minnesota: Minneapolis Washburn is a program with a lot of talent under the radar. The Gophers have already offered 2014 running back Jeff Jones, but there are a couple of 2013 sleepers there to watch who should camp at Minnesota this summer. They include 6'5 wide receiver Noah Scarver, 6'3 safety Jamison Whiting, described as a freak by the coaching staff, and 6'6, 260-lb offensive tackle Jack Evenson, who is beginning to receive attention from more and more schools.
Penn State: One recent Midwest visitor to Happy Valley was Plymouth (Ind.) offensive lineman Dan Samuelson. Samuelson holds offers from several other schools including Pittsburgh. He did not receive a Nittany Lion offer on his visit, but the 6'5, 280-lb prospect is on the board. One sleeper who says he will camp at Penn State is Aurora (Ohio) linebacker Zachary Smierciak, who had 97 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions a year ago. He says he will camp in Happy Valley, Northwestern and Vanderbilt among others.
Nebraska: Peoria Central (Ill.) defensive lineman Josh Augusta is rising fast and according to a source close to Augusta, Nebraska has recently started to recruit him harder. He holds offers from Oklahoma, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa and others, and the Cornhuskers are now in the picture.
Purdue: The Boilers offered Carmel High linebacker John Kenny yesterday after the 6'2, 215-lb junior attended a practice in West Lafayette. Another Midwest prospect who visited recently was Detroit Catholic Central's Derek Edwards. The junior offensive lineman said it was a good visit and he was impressed with everything the Boilers showed him, but he did not walk away with an offer just yet. Edwards has offers from Toledo and Arizona.



Sleeper of the Week

Franklin Central (Ind.) has a two-way lineman in Patrick Malone with good tape. At 6'5, 255-lbs, he has a good frame and he gets after it on both sides of the ball. As a right tackle, he was aggressive and finished his blocks. He also showed good balance and the ability to pull and play in space. On defense, he was disruptive and made a lot of plays in the backfield. He's one to watch as he may emerge here as his tape makes the rounds.



Underclassman of the Week

Centerville (Ohio) always has talent coming up the pipe and sophomore offensive lineman Jared Weyler may be the next one. He's a rough and tumble type lineman who played directly next to Ohio State commit Evan Lisle last year, but reminds me a little more of 2012 Michigan State signee Benny McGowan. Weyler, at 6'4, 250-lbs, projects inside like McGowan and is tough as nails and strong for a young kid.



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