football Edit

Midwest Spotlight: Biggest questions before new rankings release

Logan Lee
Logan Lee (Nick Lucero/

The Rivals Analyst Team starts the process of updating the Rivals rankings of the 2019 and 2020 classes following a busy spring evaluation period that included, among other events, 13 Rivals 3 Stripe Camps. Today we look at some of the biggest questions to answer in the Midwest going into those meetings.

MORE HELMHOLDT: What we learned from GVSU Best of the Midwest camp

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

CLASS OF 2020: Top 100 players



Prospects in line for sizable ratings moves range from the well-known and already highly-rated, to lesser known players who are just starting to gain momentum. There will be prospects whose ratings slide as well, though the bulk of those cases will be a single tick down in their Rivals Rating.

We mentioned Iowa tight end commit Logan Lee following the Chicago Rivals 3 Stripe Camp as a prospect whose stock was on the rise, and he’s expected to see a nice, positive move after his MVP performance. Nebraska linebacker Nick Henrich was a prospect we did not see film on before releasing the post-junior season update of the rankings, so that film gets a fresh look for this update and you should expect movement in his rating. Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz and LSU commit Anthony Bradford were already in the Rivals250, but the progression they have shown this spring have their stocks on the rise as well.


Rashawn Williams
Rashawn Williams (Nick Lucero/

Another variation of this question is, has any prospect in the Midwest’s 2020 class proved worthy of a five-star designation yet? There were four prospects who earned 6.0 Rivals Ratings in the initial Rivals100 release for the 2020 class back in March, and they were Cincinnati offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., Detroit wide receiver Rashawn Williams, and Oak Park, Mich., teammates Justin Rogers and Enzo Jennings. Another 10 prospects from the region were listed in that first Rivals100 as 5.9 Rivals Rated prospects.

We did not see Johnson Jr., since that Rivals100 was released, so his rating will remain unchanged. However, we did see the other three at events this spring. We will discuss if any are deserving of the five-star bump right now, but my initial assessment going into rankings meetings are it’s probably too early to make that move with any of the in-region prospects.

As for who is No. 1 in the region, though, I expect that conversation to center on the prospects currently rated 6.0 and do not see anyone from outside that group making a compelling case in this update.


Dwan Mathis
Dwan Mathis (Nick Lucero/

There are some interesting battles for position superiority in the Midwest with the 2019 class. At offensive tackle you have a trio of prospects in Wisconsin commit Logan Brown, Notre Dame commit Quinn Carroll and Devontae Dobbs, who are all ranked among the top six at the position and top 33 nationally. With Dobbs out after shoulder surgery and Brown and Carroll largely absent on the spring camp circuit, though, the debate over who is the region’s best offensive tackle will have to wait for a future update.

A debate that has heated up, however, is at quarterback, where a trio of players hold four-star ratings. TCU commit Max Duggan did not attend a Rivals 3 Stripe Camp and I did not see him anywhere else this spring, so there probably is no new evaluations to update his rating. Wisconsin commit Graham Mertz and Michigan State commit Dwan Mathis did go head-to-head at the Columbus Rivals Camp, however, with Mertz just edging out Mathis for MVP honors.

One camp does not a full evaluation make, however. Ratings measure who a player will be in college, while the MVP honor goes to the player who had the best performance just on that day. That being said, we got a great, fresh look at both Big Ten-bound quarterbacks, and who emerges as the top-ranked guy in the region at the position will certainly be discussed.


We are never afraid to rate prospects before their recruitments take off, especially when we have seen them on multiple occasions. Blanchard, Okla., wide receiver Jamie Nance had zero offers when we made him a three-star prospect in the last rankings update. We had only seen Nance on film, but that film showed us Power Five potential. A month later he tore up the Dallas Rivals 3 Stripe Camp, landed his first offer a few days later and two months later is nearing 20 total offers.

This year we had a recurring file after each Rivals 3 Stripe Camp of prospects now on the radar. These are guys who do not have the offer sheets of their more well-known peers, but proved they are deserving of stronger looks.

For some, like Nance, those offer waves have hit. But others are still waiting until coaches see them in summer camps or on senior film. Several Midwest prospects who appeared in those articles are being rated for the first time, even before their offer waves have hit. Michigan defensive tackle Dorian Wesley, Tulsa offensive guard Chester Baah and Canadian defensive tackle Kail Dava are among those who are being rated for the first time in this update, and still wait on those big offers to hit.


Peny Boone
Peny Boone (Nick Lucero/

The first 14 four-stars from the Midwest in 2020 came out in the initial release of the Rivals100 for the class in March. With the post-spring update, though, we are looking across the region and adding many more prospects to that mix.

Ratings early on are going to be conservative because we have much more limited material to evaluate from compared with prospects in the 2019 class, and these individuals are barely halfway through their high school careers. But, several prospects have already shown enough to merit that elite, four-star rating right off the bat.

Among those who have already been rated, and will be ranked within their position and the country when rankings meetings start in the coming weeks, are Lawrence, Kan., offensive tackle Turner Corcoran, Detroit running back Peny Boone, St. Louis defensive end Kevon Billingsley, and Minneapolis teammates Jalen Suggs and Terry Lockett, who combine with linebacker Kaden Johnson to give Minnehaha Academy three four-stars to start off the 2020 class.