Xavier Peters (Scout)

Midwest Recruiting Notebook

Rankings changes, breaking down recent commitments, prospects to know and more in this week's notebook.

Recent Commitments

  The Michigan State Spartans added Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child quarterback Theo Day to their 2017 class. Day is a tall, athletic kid with good arm talent. He throws with good touch and did an excellent job of allowing his receivers to make plays on the ball last season. That was his first year as full-time starter, so he just needs to continue to develop in terms of reading coverages and processing, but he is a bright kid with all of the physical tools needed to succeed.

 Minnesota continues to build a good early class and defensive tackle Elijah Teague was another big early get. They have now gone into Michigan and picked up offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield, gone into Ohio and picked up quarterback Brennan Armstrong and now head into Chicago and come away with Teague, a prospect who had offers from Penn State, Tennessee, Illinois, Oklahoma and others. He is an athletic kid who can get off the ball and pursue plays from behind. Also a wrestler, he is a naturally strong kid who plays with good motor as well. 

 Another recent Chicago commit was quarterback Quincy Patterson, who made his verbal commitment to Virginia Tech. Patterson looks like a college defensive end and runs a little like one too. He is a very powerful, physical kid who is also very intelligent. He loves contact but is also a fairly nimble, elusive runner for a 6-foot-4, 232-pound kid. He has a strong arm and can get the ball downfield. We felt as though he made great strides as a passer between his sophomore and junior season and that trajectory bodes well for his Hokies future.

Toledo came into Chicago as well and received a commitment from Chicago Simeon athlete Jayshon Jackson, a high school quarterback who projects to slot in college. He has been excellent as a receiver at offseason camps, showing playmaking flair, quickness and reliable hands. In the Rockets' offense, he projects similarly to current slot/punt returner Corey Jones, who also is not the biggest guy, but is quick and elusive.

 Not many outside of Wisconsin may have heard of Will McDonald, but we really like this recent Iowa State commitment from Waukesha North. He is a long, lean basketball player with the athleticism and wingspan to play the LEO position for the Cyclones. Still fairly raw, he is going to fill in in college and really take off in our opinion. This was a kid who we wondered why no one had offered, then ISU got him on campus and got him committed.

 Speaking of a commitment which may be a little under the radar, Western Michigan got one from inside their home state, Essexville Garber's Ben Van Sumeren. He is a big (6-3, 225 pounds) kid with the ability to project to a lot of positions. He could be a big receiver or potentially an H-back type. He may even play defense. What we know for certain is that he is a big kid with good testing numbers who gives the Broncos some options.

Kentucky had several big visitors on campus over the weekend and one, defensive end Alex Reigelsperger, committed. At 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, he has a good frame and shows good motor on film. Beyond his physical abilities, he also will be an excellent recruiter for the class. On the field, he brings pass rush ability and a frame that can support more weight and strength. He has been productive against excellent competition in high school.

Rankings Changes (new 4-stars)

- We have added three new four-stars in the state of Ohio, Dayton Dunbar running back Tavion Thomas, Lakota West linebacker Xavier Peters and Cincinnati LaSalle tight end Josh Whyle. Thomas is a big, physical back who has added new offers recently from AlabamaOhio State and more. We were impressed with his fluidity for a big guy at Best of the Midwest as well as his blocking ability. That combined with good junior film has him making the move.


Peters is a long, lean kid but he will strike ball carriers with power. He has plenty of room to get bigger and stronger. He is a middle backer right now but moving outside and maybe even playing on the edge eventually are possibilities with his frame and skill set. TennesseeWisconsinOregonIndiana and South Carolina were among his recent offers. Ohio State, who he visits this weekend, could be next.


Whyle is a kid who makes some spectacular grabs on film. He has very natural pass catching abilities, but also shows some skills after the catch that bigger guys do not always have. He is also a physical, willing blocker who will only get better in that department as he fills in and gets stronger. But it is that natural ball tracking ability and catch radius which had us believing he was a four-star worthy weapon at the next level. IndianaAuburnRutgers and Purdue are among his more recent offers.


Names on the Rise

Here are a few kids who have been on the hot streak in terms of adding offers recently.

 - Watch out for Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier offensive lineman Wyatt Smock. We liked him at the Best of the Midwest, but still could not have predicted the offer rush which followed that camp. He has received offers from PurdueLouisville and Arkansas all in the last week and a half.


 - Carterville (Ill.) tight end Luke Ford continues to pile up offers. Oklahoma was the latest, but before that, GeorgiaWest VirginiaFlorida and others extended offers. It is early in his recruitment as he has been in basketball and unable to take many visits. Everything should ramp up this month when he hits the road. Several schools who have not offered continue to keep in contact and several of those programs, like Ohio State for one, could change his recruitment greatly if they offer.


 - Despite some dominant camp performances, the offer movement for Tyrone Sampson was slower than many expected. Those who saw him at the Best of the Midwest were surprised to learn that he had not Big Ten or SEC offers. That changed recently when Kentucky and Minnesota both offered. A true center, we saw this late emergence with other top Midwest centers of the past like J.C. Hassenauer and Drake Jackson, so we would bet Sampson is not done adding new offers. He visits Louisville this weekend.


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