There may not be a “Juice” Williams in this group, but there’s still some talent with guys like Jack Ramsey (Chicago (Ill.) Simeon, Jason Kafka (Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita) and Kane Keirnan (Glenbard (Ill.) West). There are a few 2009 prospects that are capable of stealing the show including Charlie Goro (Maine (Ill.) South, Matt Tarpley (Wayzata, Minn.) and Jordan Luallen (Center Grove, Ind.). Ramsey, an Illinois commit may also work out at cornerback or wide receiver to display his versatility.
Walther Lutheran (Ill.) running back Daniel Green is as impressive of a back as you’ll find in the state. Green holds an offer from Cincinnati and is hungry for more. Bolingbrook’s Eric Smith is another standout who holds an offer from Iowa State. There will be other players trying to put their name on the map like Anton Wilkins (Neuqua Valley), Tyler Thomas (Jackson, Mich.), Desmin Ward (Milwaukee (Wisc.) Hamilton and Justin Spaulding (Milton, Wisc.). Keep an eye on class of 2009 prospect Richard Samuels of Rickover Naval Academy.
Wide Receiver/Tight end
Michigan’s top wide receiver Fred Smith (Detroit (Mich.) Southeastern) is as good as it gets in the state. Smith recently picked up an offer from Ohio State. Huron wide receiver Daryl Gooden will also be on hand to represent Michigan, as will Crockett standout Valtorrey Showers. Showers picked up his first offer, right after our Cincinnati combine from Central Michigan. With all the talent in Michigan at wide receiver Elias Kos of Holland Christian doesn’t get a lot of press, but that may change. The top wide receiver in Missouri will also be at the combine Wes Kemp (St. Louis (Mo.) DeSmet Jesuit). Kemp has a pile of offers and could earn a lot more very soon. Russell Ellington (Homewood-Flossmoor, Ill.) may be the best kept secret in the state. After Saturday, he might not be a secret anymore. Jordan Freelander from (Portland Central Catholic) will make the trip clear from Oregon to compete. Plainfield tight end Nelson Hurst may put himself on the map in a big way with a solid performance.
This may be the best group from top to bottom that we have had all year along the offensive line. There is a ton of talent from Illinois that will be at the College of DuPage including Graham Pocic (Lemont), Chuck Porcelli (Montini Catholic), Jeff Radek (Neuqua Valley), Marc Damisch (Buffalo Grove), Neal Deiters (York). Michigan will also be well represented by Donald Mathis (Crockett Tech), Mohamed Moukdad (Fordson), Rocko Khoury (Traverse City), Brent Kryder (Linden). Wisconsin will also have some big boys in the trenches including Tony Lyght (Fennimore), Logan Allemand (Tremper), Ryan Casey and Sam Reed (Evansville). Minnesota will be represented by recent Gopher commit Roszell Gayden (Robbinsdale Cooper). Tim Farley (Lancaster (Pa.) Manheim Township) picked up his first offer this week from Army. Ryan Sedlacek will make the trip from Connecticut. The Staples High star is looking for his breakout performance. We’ll get our first look at Kyle Magnuson from (Concord, Ind.). We will also have our first player from Canada attending a Scout.com Combine and that is massive lineman Pawlo Hyzka from (Western Commercial (Toronto) Canada).
The defensive line will have a tall order ahead of them trying to stop these talented offensive linemen. Notre Dame commit Darius Fleming (St. Rita) will give them a run for their money off the edge. (Montini Catholic) standout Garrett Goebel is as good as anyone in the country and he is looking too prove it on the grand stage. Dan Giordano (Lincoln-Way East) is looking to increase his offer sheet. Michigan will have one of the combines top pass rushers in Shelton Gaines (Crockett Tech). Lucas Davis (Evansville, Wisc.) will give the big offensive linemen a run for their money. Mike Johns (Oak Forest, Ill.) will be out to make a lasting impression. Ohio will be represented by T.J. White of (Troy). Keep an eye out for 2009 prospect Joshua Forney (Marian Catholic, Ill.)
Recent Illinois pledge Nate Palmer (Chicago (Ill.) Simeon) headlines a talented group of backers. Others who will make their presence known are Chad Sprayberry (Oak Forest, Ill.), Nick Clancy (Joliet, Ill.), Dex Jones (Montini Catholic, Ill), Gordon Kickels (Lemont, Ill.), Spencer Merritt (Waubonsie Valley, Ill.). All of the above mentioned in-state backers all hold offers. They are joined by Jayme Comer (Brownsburg, Ind.) who picked up his first offer recently. Luke Kelly (Turpin, Ohio) who also picked up his first offer recently. Nick Heuser (St. Xavier) and Bo Eggers (DuPont Manual) will be making the trip from Kentucky. Tyrell Rosemeyer (Fennimore) and Damon Campbell (Milwaukee Lutheran) are two players from Wisconsin to keep an eye on.
The Midwest is lacking at depth and the numbers are down in almost every state in the region. Troy Tidwell is a solid player from (Detroit (Mich.) Southwestern). Missouri’s Robert Steeples (DeSmet Jesuit) recently picked up an offer from Missouri and is looking for more. Manny Jaurez (Marmion Academy, Ill.) is one of the states top athletes. Vince Beachum (Addison Trail, Ill.) is on the rise. Storm Timson (Licking Heights, Ohio) is a class of 2009 prospect that will pass anyone’s look test.