Toledo Coaches Hit the Ground Running on 2018 Class

Despite being over 51 weeks away from National Signing Day 2018, it's never too early to start looking at guys with Toledo offers and some that could be on the Rockets' radar. The 2018 class is loaded and Jason Candle and his staff are well aware of it.

Verbal Commitments

Committed to Toledo since November 16, 2016, Miami wide receiver Jordan Dillard is an early staple of the 2018 recruiting class for Jason Candle. At six-four, 170-pounds, Dillard is an elite wide receiver in the South. In fact, Dillard had interest from Alabama along with Florida International and Florida Atlantic before shutting it down so to speak thanks to the Rockets loyalty to him. The Rockets were the first to offer Dillard, which really stuck out to the Sunshine State wide out. We'll see if the Rockets can keep him onboard throughout the brutal recruiting cycle that is still in the early stages.

Fairburn, Georgia defensive end Josh Swilling is the second verbal commitment for the Rockets in the 2018 class according to Swilling committed back on November 2, 2016 and will provide size and strength along the defensive line if Toledo can hold on to him.

Notables Targets with Offers

St. Clair Shores, Mich. wide receiver Jerodd Vines is one that sticks out in the 2018 recruiting class. At six-foot, 185-pounds, Toledo was the first to offer him, though there are several other programs interested. Vines is an early three-star and tells us he is highly interested in the Rockets.

"I have high interest in Toledo, not only because they were my first offer but because they still show interest by sending me mail and checking up with my family."

Lakota West (Ohio) defensive lineman, Tyler Bentley is a prospect that has really blown up since his Toledo offer. In fact, the six-three, 285-pound defensive anchor has offers from KentuckyIowa State and Maryland, amongst several others. The in-state product still has extreme interest in the Rockets, despite his notable offer sheet. We'll keep our eye on Bentley as he continues to grow.

"I'm actually really interested in Toledo, I love the campus and coaches and I was on campus in October."

Johnstown, Pennsylvania defensive lineman Shamar Jones is from a state the Rockets love to target. The six-one, 255-pounder holds early offers from Bowling Green, Toledo, and Youngstown State but that list should continue to grow with solid camps this summer.

"I'm very interested in attending Toledo, I don't know much about the program, but I would be willing to get down there to find out about it. I've met Coach Candle and the defensive line coach, they are some pretty cool guys to be around."

Indianapolis Ben Davis High School product Johnny Adams is a superb runningback prospect in the 2018 class. Early offers from Toledo, Ball State, Bowling Green Central MichiganSyracuse and Western Michigan are creating a spotlight around the Indiana product. The five-eleven, 192-pound tailback is the complete back and tells us that he is "equally interested" in all schools that have offered him thus far.

"I'm a strong back, I can block, make that quick cut or run you over and I can catch. My character is the best thing about me. Off of the field, you can ask my coaches and they'll tell you that."

Miami Central High School defensive back, Jermaine McMillian only holds two offers thus far but Southern Mississippi and Toledo are the two programs who have recognized the talent of the Sunshine State product. The six-two, 185-pound cornerback has potential to play a high level of Division-I football. It'll be interesting to see what kind of offers come in for him. Toledo will be helped in McMillan's recruitment because he's close with former Miami product Desmond Phillips, who is current with the Rockets at wide receiver.

"I'm very interested in Toledo, they are the first college that has given me a chance to pursue my dream."

Divine Child High School quarterback Theo Day is a quarterback that Jason Candle and the Rockets recognized early in the 2018 class. However, the six-five, 200-pound gunslinger has early offers from Michigan StateKentuckyCentral MichiganAkron and Toledo so it may be difficult to pursuade Day into the Mid-American Conference when bigger programs are calling. Day threw for over 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns last season as a junior with just four interceptions and a 64-percent completion percentage.

"I'm very interested in Toledo because of the great coaching staff - they obviously know what they're doing with the success they've had on the field and they've always treated me like family."

While on the quarterback note, West Bloomfield High School (Mich.) quarterback Bryce Veasley has a tremendous frame and was on Toledo's campus in the late summer for a camp, where the Rocket coaching staff fell in love with him. The six-four, 210-pound gunslinger has offers from Central Michigan, Toledo and now Eastern Michigan but the Rockets really like his arm strength and his mobility along with the Division-I size. More offers are sure to come for Veasley, who has a build compared to that of Jameis Winston of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I'm very interested in Toledo, I love the coaches and they were the first team to recognize my talents."

Cincinnati product Blake Bacevich of St. Xavier High School is a prospect with great size and athletic ability on the defensive side of the ball. Not only that, but a 3.8 GPA makes him even more desirable to college programs. The six-four, 225-pounder has offers from Toledo, Ball StateBowling GreenEastern Michigan, and Ohio. The state champion is also hearing from the Cincinnati Bearcats, who could make a run at Bacevich before it's all said and done.

"On the field, I have a lot of speed coming off of the edge and great hand use with a high motor. I'm very interested in Toledo, they have had a lot of success in the Mid-American Conference recently and they really do care about academics there. I also really like the coaching staff."

Pearland, Texas linebacker Kelechi Anyalebechi is a prospect who hasn't heard from many programs other than Toledo, who has offered the Lone Star state product. The six-one, 240-pounder can play defensive line and linebacker, similar to current Toledo defensive end, Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, who came out of Texas as well.

"I'm interested in Toledo because I have researched it a lot and it is a very nice school, I really want my parents and I to visit."

Five-eight, 160-pound Trotwood-Madison High School product, Raveion Hargrove is guy to keep an eye on. The Rockets got a decent look at Hargrove when his high school came to the Glass City to stomp on the Central Catholic Irish in the OHSAA State Playoffs. Hargrove is lightning-quick out of the backfield and has great hands as well. Currently, he holds offers from Bowling GreenAkronBall StateOhioAkron and of course, Toledo. Hargrove had an incredible junior campaign with nearly 1,700 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, making him a decent candidate for Mr. Football in the state of Ohio.

"Toledo is a great university and they have an amazing football program. Every time I'm up there, it feels like a home away from home. The up-tempo spread offense is what interests me most. I can see myself making plays for the Rockets in the near future!"

One of the biggest defensive targets for the Rockets in the 2018 class, at least in our eyes, is Dublin-Coffman (Ohio) High School linebacker, Jeslord Boateng. The six-two, 205-pounder has played at an extremely high level for an outstanding high school program in the state of Ohio. The Rockets offered months ago to add another offer to an impressive list containing: LouisvilleIowa StateMiami (OH)Bowling GreenBall State and Toledo. Boateng recorded 56 tackles, ten for a loss in 2016 as a junior.

"I'm very interested in Toledo because of the winning culture. They've shown interest for a while."

Chicago De La Salle Institute outside linebacker, Joseph Bonds is a name that continues to grow in the 2018 class. The six-three, 215-pound linebacker holds offers from Central MichiganMiami (OH)Iowa StateBowling GreenBall State and Toledo. Bonds is a quick and athletic linebacker who can run a 4.6 to 4.5 40-yard dash and can make plays by blitzing or in coverage.

"Toledo has a great football program, with going 6-2 in conference and 9-4 overall, they're really good. The coaches know what they're doing and are always energetic, I love that about them!"

Lima Senior High School (Ohio) product Keaton Upshaw continues to rise on boards in the 2018 class. The six-six, 215-pound athlete has played wide receiver, tight end, defensive end and linebacker for the Spartans, who are a solid program in the OHSAA. Early offers from PittsburghBowling Green and Toledo have set the potential for Upshaw's recruitment as he continues to hear from bigger programs. Upshaw has been to Toledo's campus twice already and really enjoys it.

"I have a lot of interest in Toledo so far because the staff really shows me a lot of love and I really like the atmosphere and their offense. They do a lot of things that I like and I could come and play early for them!"

DaShon Bussell of Fort Wayne Bishop Luers High School in Indiana has a lot of potential at the wide receiver position. Bussell holds several offers from Ball StateBowling GreenCentral MichiganMiami (OH)Western Michigan and Toledo. At six-two, 175-pounds, Bussell does a great job at high-pointing balls and getting to the apex. We'll keep you posted.

"They have a great program and an offense that I would fit into perfectly."

Another runningback prospect to watch out for is Ladamian Webb of Opelika, Alabama. Webb is one of the best kept secrets in the entire nation and continues to gain offers by the hour. In fact, Webb has gained four offers in the past two days after Toledo and several others offered. Right now, Iowa StateTroy Trojans, IndianaBowling GreenMiddle Tennessee StateUAB, and Toledo have offered and that's likely to grow within the coming weeks. Webb is a five-eight, 180-pound back who actually won Alabama's Mr. Football award by rushing for 3,236 yards and 56 total touchdowns, 47 on the ground. Yeah, he's someone to watch out for.

"I mean it's great to have received an offer from Toledo but I don't know much about them yet, I haven't planned a visit there yet but I will go on one someday."

Tyler Long of Springfield, Ohio is a locally-grown prospect who possesses outstanding size at about six-five and 270-pounds. After Toledo was offer number one, Bowling Green and Central Michigan came through with offers as well. Long, one of the elite offensive linemen in Northwest Ohio, really likes the Rockets and is constantly on campus. After Toledo landed in-city offensive lineman, Mitch Berg in the 2017 class, maybe they can land Long in the 2018 class as one of the big anchors of the class.

"The Toledo offer means the world to me, that my hometown university believes that I can contribute to their program."

A big name in the Miami area right now is defensive back Divaad Wilson. The Miami Northwestern High School product has gained several offers in the past few weeks including one from Toledo to go along with LouisvilleRutgersSouth FloridaSyracuseUCFVanderbilt, and West Virginia. The six-foot, 183-pound cornerback could certainly see more offers come in but Toledo is helped by Wilson's relationship with Toledo wide receiver, Desmond Phillips who previously played high school football in Miami. Wilson could be gaining too much exposure to bigger programs, however.

Names to Watch

Sean Blue of Toledo Central Catholic is a guy who doesn't yet have a Toledo offer and there's a chance he won't have one for a few months (if they offer at all), but Jason Candle wants to keep the best players in the city of Toledo and he fits that mold. Blue holds offers from CincinnatiBall StateOhio and Miami (OH). We'll see if the Rockets follow suit.

Dillon, South Carolina quarterback Brayden Hawkins currently holds zero offers but has interest from big programs such as South CarolinaWake Forest, and Duke. Not to mention, Hawkins was on Toledo's campus last summer for a camp as he flew up. The six-two, 205-pound gunslinger has a live arm and could be a name to watch, even though Toledo isn't currently calling.

We'll keep you posted as more names come in. Toledo Scout is your premiere source for all Toledo Football recruiting and team news and insight.

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