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Midwest recruiting spotlight: Top uncommitted prospects

The stretch run to National Signing Day has begun with the first of three January official visit weekends in the books. With Feb. 1 looming, we shine the spotlight on a trio of wide receiver prospects from the Midwest with intense recruitments ongoing.

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Contenders: Illinois, Louisville, Miami, Oregon and Tennessee

The latest: Thomas just returned from his first official visit of the process to Louisville this past weekend. Top East St. Louis prospects traditionally start being active in their recruitments later in the process even with early offers, and that has been the course Thomas has followed. Back in mid-summer, Alabama was the favorite to land Thomas before Missouri rallied and became the team to beat heading into his senior season. By December, though, Thomas declared both teams out of the running and Illinois had moved into the lead position. In recent weeks, however, the Fighting Illini appear to be leaking oil as well, and this recruitment is setting up for an unpredictable finish. Miami will host Thomas the weekend of Jan. 20, with Illinois, Oregon and Tennessee still fighting for that Jan. 27 visit weekend.

Prediction: Illinois

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Contenders: Kentucky, Penn State, West Virginia, Wisconsin

The latest: Davis came out with a top five in the fall and took his first official visit of the process to Kentucky the weekend of Dec. 2. A planned official visit to Oregon for the weekend of Dec. 9 was cancelled, and it looks unlikely the Ducks will be among the primary contenders down the stretch. West Virginia hosted Davis on his second official visit of the process this past weekend, with Wisconsin likely to get the next official visit on Jan. 20. Penn State hosted Davis as an unofficial visitor for their home win against Ohio State back in October, but which school will receive the last official visit weekend, if any, remains to be seen. Springfield High head coach Maurice Douglass is a graduate of Kentucky and the Wildcats signed Davis’ friend and former teammate Kordell Looney in the 2016 class, so those connections position the Wildcats as the team to beat.

Prediction: Kentucky

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Contenders: Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame

The Latest: Martin’s recruiting process got off to a late start in comparison to other top recruits in this class, but it could be coming to an end very soon. The Iowa City native took his third of three expected official visits this past weekend to Michigan State. He officially visited both Iowa and Notre Dame in the month of December. Martin did not pick up his first Power Five scholarship offer until this past summer, but his offer list exploded from there and now features top teams from around the country. He proved his mettle at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this month, where he also revealed that this trio of schools had emerged as his likely finalists.

Prediction: Notre Dame

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