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Buzz Worthy: Five Midwest prospects that are heating up

Prospects are on the road and offers are flying out left and right. Here is a look at five prospects from the Midwest who have a lot of buzz heading into the spring.

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CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

Rayshaun Benny
Rayshaun Benny (Josh Helmholdt / Rivals)

Benny has been busy on the recruiting trail in recent weeks either landing major offers or setting up important visits as his recruitment continues to ramp up. The four-star offensive tackle from Oak Park, Mich., - the same school that produced five-star defensive tackle and Kentucky signee Justin Rogers in the 2020 class - visited Michigan in late January. He was expected to see Michigan State this past weekend and then next month the four-star is going to Clemson. It is a loaded offensive line class in the state of Michigan for the 2021 recruiting cycle and Benny is one of the best. Whether he picks one of the in-state programs, possibly heads to Kentucky like Rogers or chooses a national power like Clemson or others is still up for debate.

Farrell’s take: Benny is a tall offensive tackle with room to fill out and good athleticism. Kentucky should be in the mix because of Rogers, but he won’t choose a school because of that. He’s a far way from a decision it seems but it wouldn’t surprise me if he stayed in-state.

Dekel Crowdus
Dekel Crowdus (Nick Lucero/

Crowdus left Kentucky for Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy but now he's back at Lexington (Ky.) Frederick Douglass and in the last few days he just released his top 10. The four-star speedy receiver who's ranked second in the Kentucky state rankings named Baylor, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and South Carolina in his top group. Now back in the state, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops is going to try to do everything possible to keep him home and play for the Wildcats, but many other national programs are involved as well because Crowdus can be such an asset on offense.

Farrell's take: Crowdus is a talent and you can bet Kentucky and Louisville are happy he’s back home. He’s impressive with the ball in his hands after the catch and will fit in with any passing offense. Kentucky has been thought to be the program he is most comfortable with but he has a top 10 so he’s far from a decision. LSU could jump in here and he will visit Kentucky, Ohio State and Virginia Tech soon.

Thomas Fidone
Thomas Fidone (Nick Lucero/

Nebraska and Iowa are among the favorites for Fidone, who saw his ranking skyrocket after a strong showing at the National Combine in San Antonio, but a huge offer came this week that could change things up in his recruitment.

Ohio State already has one tight end commit in four-star Sam Hart but Fidone is one of the best tight ends nationally and having an offer from the Buckeyes could be a huge deal. Wisconsin is seriously involved as well and soon Fidone is expected to visit Notre Dame and Michigan. The Huskers feel like the team to beat, especially since Nebraska’s campus is only about an hour away for the Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central standout.

Farrell’s take: Fidone is a terrific prospect and could continue to shoot up the rankings. He’s perfect for an offense that will flex him out and allow for his athleticism to create mismatches but he will become a better in-line tight end and blocker as well. He has some big visits coming up and everyone thinks Nebraska and Iowa are the programs to beat, but watch out for some others to emerge this spring.

Corey Kiner
Corey Kiner (Nick Lucero/

The Cincinnati (Ohio) Roger Bacon four-star running back has nearly 30 offers but in recent days he’s narrowed his list to 10 programs to give everyone a better idea of the programs he’s most serious about moving forward. Cincinnati, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Texas A&M made the major cut and those will be the programs he’s focused on now.

Another piece of big news is that Kiner has booked his first official visit to Louisville in May as the Cardinals will have their shot to pull the four-star running back away from some powerhouse programs.

Farrell’s take: Will he stay close to home or will the lure of the SEC get him? That’s the big question. Kiner is a shorter back with a powerful build and reminds me a bit of a Mark Ingram-type. Ingram, if you remember, left the state of Michigan for Alabama. I’m not saying this will happen and he seems to have quite the really comfort level with Louisville and it’s clear to see why he’s got so much buzz right now.

Devonta Smith
Devonta Smith (

It has been a busy offseason for Smith, who continues to load up on offers, he’s taken some visits and on Friday the three-star cornerback said he’s going to announce his top schools soon. The Cincinnati (Ohio) La Salle standout is approaching 30 offers loading up with Wisconsin, Alabama, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame recently. In February, Smith visited Tennessee and he could be taking more trips soon, especially after he focuses in on his top list. Ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the Ohio state rankings, there are a lot of major offers already in for Smith but there’s one glaring omission: The Buckeyes have yet to offer the in-state standout who’s ranked as the state’s best cornerback.

Farrell’s take: Smith is a skinny but talented cornerback and if the Buckeyes offer, they would be hard to beat. But right now he’s wide open and visits will be the key. Alabama, Oregon and Notre Dame are all getting visits soon.