Midwest Recruiting Notebook

Midwest Recruiting Notebook

Two of the Midwest's top linebackers committed over the weekend, one more has set his announcement date and another his cut his list to ten. Here is all the latest around the region.

Kirkland Ready to Decide
Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central junior linebacker Darrin Kirkland, a four-star prospect, reported to Scout this morning that he will be announcing his decision on May 30th at his high school. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Kirkland has offers from around the country, but Tennessee and Penn State are the front-runners. He visited the Volunteers over the weekend.

He has additional offers from Ole Miss, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Purdue, Northwestern and more. Kirkland began his career at Park Tudor before transferring to Lawrence Central and made 113 tackles for the Bears last season. He projects as a true inside linebacker.

Hilliard Has a Top Ten
Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard, a top 50 national prospect and Scout's number one propect in Ohio, named his top ten this morning: Notre Dame, Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State, USC, Ohio State and Florida in no order.

Hilliard (6'1, 210) recently visited Michigan and Ohio State. He does not have any visit dates set in stone currently but is looking to get to several schools on his list in April.

Recent Commitments
- Iowa picked up Maroa-Forsyth (Ill.) linebacker Jack Hockaday on Saturday. A quick-footed linebacker with great instincts and feel for the game, we projected him as a WILL, but he says the Hawkeyes told him LEO and MIKE are also possibilities with his versatility. Full breakdown | Commitment Story

- The Hawkeyes also added in-state quarterback Ryan Boyle of Dowling Catholic on Wednesday. Boyle (6'2, 205) has been on the radar since his freshman season. He shows good pocket presence and ability to throw on the run. He's also a great leader who shows good command of the game. He is quarterback number three in the 2015 class for the Hawkeyes along with Jack Beneventi. Drew Cook is another in-state quarterback who is committed but may potentially project to another position. Iowa 2015 Commitment List

- Penn State, in a bit of a surprise, added Andrean (Ind.) linebacker Josh Barajas to their outstanding early class. A Scout 300 prospect, Barajas is a long 6-foot-3, 212-pound prospect who had an outstanding junior season. He is disciplined, shows great technique and has the athleticism to cover receivers in space but can also come forward and rush off the edge. He is Scout's top prospect in Indiana and his commitment has the Nittany Lions at number nationally in the early 2015 rankings. Full breakdown | Commitment Story

- Western Michigan added two commitments to their 2015 class: Gurnee (Ill.) Warren Township tight end Caleb Reams and Dearborn (Mich.) Fordson outside linebacker Abdallah Jaffal. Reams is an H-back type with excellent hands and ball skills. The Broncos may have to fight off BCS schools eventually to keep him. Jaffal is an athletic linebacker prospect who can run and cover. Western Michigan 2015 Commitment List

Weekend Visits

- Wisconsin hosted top targets Mike Weber, Joshua Alabi, Miles Boykin, Gabe Megginson and David Edwards. While none of the five committed, all spoke highly of their time in Madison. Weber, a running back from Detroit Cass Tech, has the Badgers in his top five along with Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee. He and his teammate Alabi came with several younger teammates and stayed two nights in Madison.

Alabi Likes Wisconsin Defense
Visit Helps Boykin's Badger Perception
Badger Run Game Impresses Weber
Edwards Talks Madison
Megginson Talks Badgers

- Michigan hosted several prospects including Cleveland St. Ignatius defensive end Dre'Mont Jones, who left Ann Arbor with an offer. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound four-star also visited Ohio State last week but already held an offer from the Buckeyes. He is also nearing more BCS offers. He spoke to Bill Greene about all of that and more in this update.

- After hosting Cass Tech's entire team on Thursday, Michigan State had key targets on campus for their scrimmage on Saturday. Decatur Central (Ind.) quarterback Tommy Stevens and Detroit (Mich.) King linebacker Tyriq Thompson are two juniors who came in with offers along with Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's freshman linebacker Josh Ross, who has an early offer. Ross and Thompson had been to campus before, but this was Stevens' first visit and he told Scout he had a great time and sees himself as a fit in the MSU offense.

- Cincinnati Winton Woods (Ohio) offensive tackle Noah Listermann visited Indiana and Cincinnati and says both schools are factors in his recruitment as he prepares to narrow his list down. He gave Dave Berk all the details in this premium update.

- Sacred Heart Griffin (Ill.) offensive tackle Quinn Oseland says he had a good visit to Ohio State. The Buckeyes have not yet offered the 6-foot-6, 300-pound prospect, but he did add offers from Cincinnati and Kentucky recently.

- Central Michigan, Ball State, Western Michgan and Eastern Michigan all had a number of prospects on campus. The Chippewas extended an offer to Batavia (Ill.) offensive lineman Jack Breshears while he was in Mount Pleasant. They also had key targets like tight end Austin Ervin in town. The Broncos, besides getting two commitments, also offered Grayslake North (Ill.) cornerback Titus Booker. The Eagles had over 100 prospects on campus. Their list included highly regarded tight end Daniel Crawford and one of their home-state's top sophomores, wide receiver Donnie Corley. Ball State's top prospects included Dearborn Fordson (Mich.) safety Jamil Sabbagh and Noblesville (Ind.) linebacker Donavan Lynch.

New Offers

2015 DT Brandon Tiassum - Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor: Miami (Fla.)

2016 LB Brendan Ferns - St. Clairsville (Ohio): Minnesota

2015 OT Quinn Oseland - Sacred Heart Griffin (Ill.): Cincinnati, Kentucky

2016 WR Keion Wakefield - Louisville (Ky.) Male: Cincinnati

2015 OG Jack Breshears - Batavia (Ill.): Central Michigan

2015 CB Titus Booker - Grayslake North (Ill.): Western Michigan

2015 DT Eric Whitehead - Lawrence Central (Ind.): Virginia Tech

2015 OT Adam Solomon - Bishop Chatard (Ind.): Kentucky

2015 OT Matt McCann - Bishop Chatard (Ind.): Kentucky

2015 TE C.J. Conrad - LaGrange Keystone (Ohio): Virginia Tech

2015 DE Dre'Mont Jones - Cleveland St. Ignatius (Ohio): Michigan

2016 OT Sean Foster - Mundelein Carmel (Ill.): Northern Illinois

2016 OT Liam Eichenberg - Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius: Notre Dame

Sleeper of the Week
Neuqua Valley (Ill.) junior offensive tackle Jon Bylak has the frame colleges look for at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds. He still must get stronger, but his tools are intriuging and I would expect this summer to be a big opportunity for him to add offers. Film

Underclassman of the Week

Greendale (Wisc.) sophomore linebacker Tristian Pipp is one who caught my eye on film. He was an All-Conference selection last Fall and has the frame to keep filling out (6'3, 210). He could easily be a 230-240 pound college linebacker. He shows good nose for the ball and solid athleicism. Film


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