What Wins Championships?
Defense does of course and the first seven in the Midwest 150 are all on the defensive side of the ball including three linebackers: Clifton Garrett, Nyles Morgan and Sam Hubbard. Considering how Midwestern linebackers like Trey DePriest, Jaylon Smith and others have done in their college careers after being highly regarded prep prospects, those three are in elite company. The next four, defensive end Malik McDowell and defensive backs Damon Webb, Erick Smith and Marshon Lattimore all participated in the Army Bowl and showed that the Midwest can play with anyone.
Buckeyes Clean Up
Ohio State leads the way with 13 commitments in the Midwest 150 followed closely by the team that beat them in this year's Big Ten title game, Michigan State, who had 12. The Buckeyes also had five of the top ten.
Wisconsin, aided by a really strong group in their home state came away with ten, followed by Kentucky's Big Blue Nation with nine and Notre Dame had eight.
Four schools put seven on the list, Michigan, Cincinnati, Iowa and how about Western Michigan? The Broncos are running away with the MAC recruiting title at the moment and a lot of that class hails from in-state and the Midwest.
2013 In Review
Several kids on last year's list stepped in and made impacts as true freshmen last year. Here are some of the notables:
Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame (1): Started 13 games for the Irish and finished third on the team in tackles making Athlon's All-Freshman Team.
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss (3): Won the SEC's Freshman of the Year award after catching 67 passes for 447 yards and five touchdowns.
Ty Isaac, USC (5): Flashed his talent carrying the ball 40 times for 236 yards and two scores. Had one of his best games in the Las Vegas Bowl with 79 total yards.
Shane Morris, Michigan (7): Played briefly during the season but started the Wolverines' bowl game. Finished the season 29 of 47 (61%) for 261 yards and two interceptions.
Kyle Bosch, Michigan (8): Made three starts for the Wolverines at left guard.
Steven Elmer, Notre Dame (12): Started four games and played in ten at guard for the Irish.
Elijah Daniel, Auburn (15): Played in all 14 games at defensive end and had three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Jason Hatcher, Kentucky (16): Played in ten games for the Wildcats, recording three tackles for loss and two sacks.
Aaron Bailey, Illinois (20): Change of pace QB for the Illini passed for a touchdown and rushed for three this season.
Jake Butt, Michigan (23): ESPN All Big Ten Freshman selection after starting eight games and catching 20 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns.
TraVon Chapman, Pittsburgh (38): Dismissed from the team in August, ended up at Division-II Ashlan where he passed for 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns.
Darius Latham, Indiana (39): Started for the Hoosiers at defensive tackle and recorded 22 tackles (three for loss) and two sacks.
Antonio Allen, Indiana (48): Played in seven games, recording 35 tackles (1.5 for loss) and one fumble recovery.
Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan (58): Started several games for the Eagles and completed 49 of 116 passes for 640 yards and four touchdowns to five interceptions.
Danny Etling, Purdue (68): Took over as starter mid-way through the season and completed 149 of 267 passes for 1,690 yards and ten touchdowns.
Ryan Timmons, Kentucky (69): Caught 32 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. Rushed for 91 yards as well.
Desmond King, Iowa (94): Played very well as a starter for the Hawkeyes and ended the season with an impressive performance against LSU in the Outback Bowl.
Matthew Harris, Northwestern (113): Started five games for the Wildcats and also returned kick. Made ESPN.com's All Big Ten Freshman team.