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Midwest Spotlight: Five who deserve more attention

Damon Ollison
Damon Ollison

The loss of many off-season camps has kept many prospects under-the-radar who otherwise would have emerged in the last few months. Further uncertainty around the upcoming high school football season means some may continue to be overlooked. Here are five prospects from the Midwest region who deserve more recognition than they are currently receiving.

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When college coaches are able to hit the recruiting trail again, Belleville High will be one of the first stops for many and then Caldwell’s offer list will take off. For the time being, however, he is a prospect that is not getting the buzz his skill set suggests. That is certainly a product of no camps, but another reason is that Caldwell was primarily a receiver prospect coming out of sophomore season and a move to defensive back this offseason has boosted his stock. Iowa State and Kentucky did offer when Caldwell was a freshman, but no Power Five offers have come since. Again, though, expect that to change this fall.

Clark is a prospect coming into his junior season completely off the radar. He does not have much film to speak of, but I had a chance to see the Detroit-area defensive tackle at a Sound Mind Sound Body event in June and expect him to announce himself in a big way as a junior. Clark was squatting 500 pounds as a freshman, and tested very well in both the broad jump and pro-agility shuttle when I saw him this summer. His powerful, compact frame combined with an explosive first step makes Clark difficult to contend with for opposing offensive linemen.

Mid-American programs that offered Hawk early hope his name continues to stay under-the-radar this fall, but that is unlikely to happen. Playing opposite five-star Jack Sawyer meant the spotlight was not often on Hawk, however, after seeing the rising senior at a camp in July it is apparent he plans to demand more attention as a senior. There are no Power Five programs currently on his offer list, but Hawk’s size/athleticism combination is Power Five caliber and I fully expect him to start commanding that level of attention as a senior.

McNeal has finally started to see his list grow after coming in to 2020 without any scholarship offers, but the majority of those offers have come in from FCS programs. The Chicagoland linebacker is one we have been watching for several years, and I am confident he will play above that level in college. He is a true middle linebacker and many of the best to ever play that position were in McNeal’s size range and had his physicality, mentality and football IQ. None of his physical measurables jump off the page, but he is solid across the board and will be a tackling machine at the college level.

Ollison has collected seven scholarship offers, but only one of those has come through in the past year. When I spoke with him earlier this summer Ollison told me he was focused on just Michigan and Wisconsin, but both of those programs already have several linebacker commitments and would likely need to move pieces around to fit the Ohio ‘backer into this class. Ollison is a little undersized, but he is still a great fit in the traditional WILL role. He is quick, rangy, athletic, always around the football and knows how to finish a tackle. There are Power Five programs out there who could benefit from adding Ollison to their class.