At this point last year, we knew Jaylon Smith was going to be the top guy in Indiana. Two years ago, we already had Jalin Marshall pegged as Ohio's best and Shane Morris in Michigan. We knew Ty Isaac and Laquon Treadwell would be battling it out for the top of Illinois and someone from Trinity was going to end up numero uno in Kentucky.
2014 doesn't look quite as easy, as there is heated competition at the top of most of the Midwestern states, but the 2013 class has a group of guys at the top that we've gotten to know quite well, as many were stars already as freshmen and sophomores.
The strongest positions? Offensive tackle, as you'd expect from the Midwestern states, but also wide receiver where Quick, Treadwell and Marshalll were all deemed five-star prospects.
Other storylines? How about the battles between Michigan and Ohio State, a rivalry that has been restored by Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer, and one that has certainly translated into recruiting. Michigan stepped into Ohio the year before and flipped Kyle Kalis over. The Buckeyes returned the favor this year with Gareon Conley, and the way 2014 and 2015 recruiting is already going, those schools will be clashing again.
As far as state by state breakdown, most states were right around their average Division-1 recruits. Ohio, as usual, had the most guys bring in D1 offers. Illinois was a little stronger at the top, but ended up with roughly the usual number. Next year, Illinois and Michigan appear to be up, where Ohio may be a little down, although we're a long way away.
In a year where Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler, two guys from Wisconsin went high in the draft, the Badger State deserves some love. The top prospect, A.J. Natter is off to Nebraska. A 6'6 kid who can run, he may be the next in a long line of great Cornhusker defenders. He lead a really great group of ends in that state this year. Chikwe Obasih and Alec James are both off to Wisconsin. We also think tight end Zach Poker will be a steal for Pittsburgh.
In Minnesota, it should come as no surprise that the top player is from Cretin Derham Hall, a talent laden program. Wide receiver James Onwualu, a Notre Dame commit, has size and run after the catch ability. The state also produced a couple of talented defensive backs in Malik Rucker, off to Iowa and Keelon Brookins, who flipped to Wisconsin.
The Iowa State Cyclones picked up the top player in their home state, four-star offensive tackle Jake Campos. He's a 6'7 kid we think will pack on the pounds and end up as a multi-year starter. Not to be outdone, the Hawkeyes landed the state's number two ranked prospect, tight end Jon Wisnieski.