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Midwest Spotlight: Five 2023 prospects to watch

Miles McVay
Miles McVay (Nick Lucero/

Prospects in the class of 2023 are getting a late start with the elimination of the spring evaluation period and cancellation of off-season camps, but some are starting to emerge with their freshman years coming to an end. Here are five from the Midwest region who are soon-to-be household names in college football recruiting.

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The most heavily-recruited class of 2023 prospect in the Midwest so far is in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale. Howard landed his first scholarship offer last fall from Arizona State, and has since seen his list expand to include 29 Power Five programs. Listed as a tight end, Howard has plenty of athleticism and could end up at another position, like defensive end, depending on his physical growth and development. His father, Willie Howard, was a second round pick out of Stanford in the 2001 NFL Draft and is now the head coach at Cooper High School.

Markway landed his first scholarship offer when he was still in the 8th grade from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. It would take almost a full year for Markway’s second offer to come through, but in the last month those floodgates have opened and his offer list now stands at 14 programs. I saw Markway in a game early last fall, and what you first notice is how smooth he runs his routes and his natural athleticism. His father played for Hayden Fry at Iowa and his cousin, Kyle Markway, just signed with the New York Giants in April, so the tight end bloodlines are strong.

When I first met Miles, it was the winter of his 8th grade year and he was already 6-foot-5 and over 300 pounds. We see a lot of big, young men coming up, but what was unique about Miles is that he already had developed his man strength. It usually takes big linemen some time before they figure out how to deploy their size and strength on opposing defenders, but McVay has quickly climbed the learning curve and started at tackle on a state championship team as a freshman. Despite the early attention and success, McVay’s lone offer thus far has come from Bethune-Cookman.

Wichita does not produce a lot of talent, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. The city has produced nine four and five-star prospects since 2002, including 2009’s No. 1 overall Bryce Brown. The class of 2023 sees another future star emerging in Randle. The nephew of former NFL running back Joseph Randle, the 2023 standout burst onto the scene as a freshman, averaging more than 10 yards per carry. Randle landed his first offers on May 1 from Kansas State and Iowa. He has since added four more, including one from the Kansas Jayhawks, where his father played running back from 2003-2005.

Last summer I was covering a three-way football scrimmage in Central Ohio and one of the most physically impressive kids on the Pickerington Central sideline was on crutches. After inquiring about who he was I was informed he had not even started high school yet. Styles, who goes by the nickname “Sonny,” is an impressive two-sport star in the 2023 class and the younger brother of four-star Notre Dame 2021 commit Lorenzo Styles Jr. Pickerington Central had planned to play the younger Styles at strong safety, but he is still growing and likely ends up at linebacker or defensive end in college. That injury, which came on the basketball court last summer, caused Styles to miss his freshman football season, but he already holds an offer from Indiana.