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Midwest Spotlight: Best two-team recruiting battles

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Zach Harrison
Zach Harrison (Brandon Brown)

There are recruitments in the final weeks prior to the Early Signing Period coming down to two teams, and there are others that have two clear top contenders. We take a look at a mix of those situations for Midwest prospects in the 2019 and 2020 classes.

MORE: Big Ten Early Signing Period predictions | Farrell's Three-Point Stance


This is technically still a three-team race with Penn State also involved, but as I stated in my mailbag column last week, the Nittany Lions are the clear third choice right now. Official visits to all three schools were taken in the early period in anticipation of a summer commitment, but summer came and went without a decision being rendered.

Harrison is circling back to all three schools this fall for their top games. Michigan is feeling confident after a successful visit for its Oct. 13 home contest against Wisconsin, and his relationship with recruiter Al Washington is strong. The Wolverines are the choice if Harrison decides he wants to go away for school. But, if staying close to home is OK with Harrison then Ohio State has a lot going for it, including likely getting his last unofficial visit for the Nov. 24 weekend.



The next couple prospects are from the class of 2020, and it should be noted they have more than a year before they can sign letters of intent. A lot can happen in a year’s time, and neither has a declared top two. However, the recruiting of Rogers has two very clear early top schools right now, and those are Georgia and Ohio State.

Officially, Rogers listed a top 13 last June and he has taken visits to places such as LSU, Michigan and Texas this season, but anyone with knowledge of this recruitment placing bets on where Rogers ends up is picking either Georgia or Ohio State. He spent several weekends last spring at Ohio State and has a brother-like bond with Buckeye offensive lineman Josh Alabi. Several visits were made over the summer to Georgia, though, and the Bulldogs resonated very strongly with the Detroit-area prospect.



Henry has recently made unofficial visits to Michigan and Michigan State for games, but I have been hearing for some time that this recruitment is likely to come down to Clemson and Ohio State. Dabo Swinney and Co. really made Henry feel at home during a visit to campus last spring, and even the uniqueness of the campus compared to Henry’s home in Cincinnati resonated with the 2020 four-star. The Tigers are a legit threat to an Ohio State program that started this recruitment with an early lead.

The Buckeyes are usually strong contenders with top, in-state prospects because so many kids in the state grow up dreaming of wearing scarlet and gray. That was the case with Henry, and the interest is furthered by a good relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson.


INDIANA VS. PURDUE: Cameron Williams

Officially, there is a top five for Williams that also includes Arizona, Cincinnati and Kentucky, but from my vantage point this looks like an in-state battle for the four-star from northwest Indiana. An official visit to Indiana has been scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 7 and one to Purdue is expected to be set soon. Williams would like to schedule official visits with at least a couple of his remaining top schools, but is not sure whether he will be able to get all five in before signing in the December period.

Other schools jumping into this recruitment late – Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and others have been in contact this fall – could shake things up. Williams is having a tremendous senior season and more offers could be on their way, but as it stands right now this looks like a battle for the Old Oaken Bucket being played out in recruiting.