Midwest Spotlight: Commits that should make an instant impact in 2024
As with any recruiting cycle, there are players all over the 2024 class that will make an immediate impact as freshmen. Today, Rivals.com national analyst Clint Cosgrove highlights a handful of prospects out of the Midwest that have the ability to make an immediate impact as true freshmen.
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The five-star Missouri native shocked the recruiting world when announcing his commitment to the in-state Tigers over longtime favorites Georgia and Oklahoma on Aug. 14. Nwaneri's recruitment will likely be contested until the very end, but the 6-foot-6, 265-pound defensive line recruit is capable of making an impact no matter where he lands come signing day.
An argument could be made that Nwaneri is the top prospect in the 2024 class and with that comes the expectation of being a day one contributor. The Lee's Summit (Mo.) North standout has a chance to become a Day 1 starter at Missouri and will be given every opportunity to be a household name sooner than later.
Williams has long been considered one of the top wide receiver recruits in the nation due to his developmental upside, plus frame and next level speed. If his early season performance is any indication of what to expect when he steps on campus at Notre Dame next season, we could very well be seeing a star in the making. The once long, lanky and raw recruit with unlimited upside has physically transformed his body over the past year, looks college ready right now and is ahead of schedule in terms of his development.
Mylan Graham, NiTareon Tuggle and Jeremiah McClellan would be other Midwest wide receiver candidates but will be going into less favorable depth chart situations. Nicholas Marsh would be the other receiver to consider, but his commitment to Michigan State could be up in the air. The reason I'm going with Williams as the lone receiver on this list is because even at No. 48 overall he may be underrated based on development and early season performance. With Chris Tyree moving on at season's end, I see Williams taking on a similar role to what we have seen from Jaden Greathouse early this season.
Coach Prime said he was bringing his own Louis Vuitton luggage to Boulder and with a talent deficit on the defensive line at Colorado, Davis-Swain will have every opportunity to be the type of impact player Deion Sanders promised. The West Bloomfield (Mich.) standout has proven to be a sack master for his team and with the size and athleticism to play immediately at the college level, there is no reason the four-star defensive end can't come out of the gates teeing off on quarterbacks early and often.
While Davis-Swain has a chance to be a special player in his own right, it is the opportunity in front of him that makes him an odds-on favorite to make an immediate impact. Not only does Colorado rank 86th in sacks, 85th in tackles for loss and 113th in scoring defense, the Buffaloes' defensive line is loaded with grad transfers leaving the door wide open for young and talented pass rushers like Davis-Swain to make a name for themselves early.
Dupree has firmly established himself as one of the top all-purpose backs in the country and is going to a Wisconsin program known for producing high-end running backs that contribute early in their career. Add in the fact that this isn't your parents' ground-and-pound running game, offensive coordinator Phil Longo's scheme spreads defenses horizontally giving a back with Dupree's skill-set more utility. This could be a match made in heaven.
Then comes the depth chart. Both Chez Mellusi and Braelon Allen are likely gone at season's end and there is little preventing a player with Dupree's skill-set from making a splash day one. I fully expect the four-star out of Chicago to make an impact as a runner, receiver and on special teams his freshman year.
Transfer quarterback Sam Hartman has been an absolute difference maker for the Irish but will be gone at season's end. Tyler Buchner was likely next in line, but he left for Alabama prior to the 2023 season and although Steve Angeli and Kenny Minchey look to have promising futures, I see no reason why Carr can't challenge for early playing time in South Bend.
Carr has the arm talent, pedigree and leadership abilities to be Notre Dame's quarterback of the future. Although you rarely see a true freshman quarterback step in with talented older players ahead of them on the depth chart, when you have a player of Carr's caliber waiting in the wings during the transfer portal era, coaches are often inclined to give them every opportunity to win the starting job.
Carr could very well be a couple years out from making a major impact, but should he arrive in South Bend ready to play big-time college ball, he could be a rare exception to the quarterback rule and become a star early on in his career.