As we complete another year in the Midwest, once again we believe there are players who have the opportunity to make early impacts, and even those who don't are set up to contribute later in their careers.
The state of
Ohio once again paces the region with a large number of FBS prospects and the most BCS prospects of any state in the region. Sam Hubbard of Cincinnati Moeller is the top player in a state where the top six are all committed to Ohio State.
Michigan had a battle at the top where Malik McDowell, Damon Webb and Drake Harris all came into the season as legitimate candidates for number one. Harris was injured before the season though, leaving McDowell and Webb to Duke it out. While the big Southfield linemen won out, we believe all three and multiple others in the state are primed for future success.
The state of
Illinois was extremely deep this season. It was a difficult state to rank because there were so many players who had great junior and senior seasons. Clifton Garrett and Nyles Morgan, two blue-chip linebackers lead the crop, but there was also great talent at running back and on the offensive line.
Speaking of offensive line talent, how about
Wisconsin? Jaden Gault, George Panos, Beau Benzschawel and Jacob Maxwell are all top O-line prospects and all four will be Badgers. Gary Andersen and his staff still kept the fence up around the state. The one that got away was tight end Gaelin Elmore headed to Minnesota.
Minnesota, the Gophers are having to fight to hang onto their state's top prospect, four-star running back Jeffrey Jones. The Land of 1,000 Lakes produced two more four-stars this year, center J.C. Hassenauer headed to Alabama and offensive lineman Frank Ragnow, who is still uncommitted.
Kentucky placed two in the final Scout 300, massive defensive tackle Matthew Elam and prolific quarterback Drew Barker.
Here's an upset, the top two prospects in the state of
Iowa are not going to be Hawkeyes as offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher is off to Alabama while Allen Lazard is committed to Iowa State. The Hawkeyes still came away with a good in-state class though lead by 6-foot-8 defensive end Matt Nelson and several highly regarded offensive linemen.
Indiana, Notre Dame landed the top two with wide receiver Justin Brent and linebacker Drue Tranquill. Indiana also had success keeping a four-star at home yet again as Pike receiver Dominique Booth made a late switch to IU. It was a wide receiver strong year with physical Austin Roberts and explosive Terry McLaurin also in-state pass catchers in the Scout 300.