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Midwest Spotlight: Toughest 2024 rankings questions

CJ Carr
CJ Carr (Nick Lucero/

The next major rankings update is on the horizon for the 2024 class, and big decisions are left to be made regarding the top prospects in the region. Here are the five toughest questions we will face in the Midwest.

FIVE TOUGHEST RANKINGS QUESTIONS: Mid-South Region | West | East | Southeast


MORE 2024: Recruiting Rumor Mill | Position-by-position in 2024

BREAKING DOWN THE 2023 CLASS: Pac-12 | Big 12 | SEC | ACC | Big Ten

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer portal player ranking | Transfer portal team ranking | Transfer Tracker | Message board | Team ranking FAQs

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals100


Will there be any more five-stars?

Ian Moore
Ian Moore (Nick Lucero/

Justin Scott and Ryan Wingo are currently the only five-star recruits from the Midwest, but there are a number of incredibly talented players behind them who should eventually be awarded a coveted fifth star. While I am confident it will eventually happen there is still some debate on whether it will happen during this rankings release.

Brandon Davis-Swain, Notre Dame commit CJ Carr, Ohio State commit Ian Moore are all inside of the top 32 and would be the obvious candidates for a rankings bump. Others who could make big moves following strong junior evaluations are Notre Dame commit Cam Williams, Williams Nwaneri, Bryce West, Marquise Lightfoot and Mylan Graham.

I can pretty much guarantee that one or more of the named players will end up with an extra star next to their name by the time our final rankings for the 2024 class are released.


How should we sort out the talented WR group?

Jeremiah McClellan
Jeremiah McClellan (Nick Lucero/

The Midwest crop of 2024 receivers is absolutely loaded and likely the strongest we have seen from the region in some time. Five-star Ryan Wingo is a good bet to remain at the top, but after Wingo the rankings order gets tricky due to the diverse skill-sets within the group. Much of the debate comes down to personal preference at the position.

There are big-bodied receivers such as Nicholas Marsh, fluid route runners who catch every ball that comes their way such as I'Marion Stewart and Mylan Graham, tall guys who can stretch the field such as Cam Williams and guys who are a combination of all the skill-sets such as Jeremiah McClellan.

The duo of receivers from Bellevue, Neb., Dae'Vonn Hall and Isaiah McMorris – along with Illinois natives Luke Williams and Kyan Berry-Johnson – are also guys who are steadily rising.

Each of these receivers made their case for being ranked ahead of the others, and it will be extremely interesting to see how the rankings team sees the group shaking out.


Will a Midwest recruit debut as a four-star?

Jalen Todd
Jalen Todd (

The first rankings update following the junior season of a recruiting class is one of my favorites because of the number of recruits who emerge during their junior seasons and the amount of development we see from others during this period. This is also a time when we see a number of recruits go from having no stars to – in some cases – four-stars, and the Midwest has numerous candidates.

There are a number of Midwest names who have seen both their development and recruitment skyrocket since the previous 2024 rankings release, but three recruits in particular stand out as having a legitimate chance to debut as four-stars here.

Jalen Todd, a defensive back from Michigan, is one that immediately comes to mind after a recent evaluation at the Rising Stars Top 250 underclassmen camp. The other two are defensive line recruits from Missouri: Tionne Gray and Kellen Lindstrom. Gray has all of the tools to potentially be a five-star, and Lindstrom's combination of length and twitch makes him downright lethal as a pass rusher. Both have seen their recruitment blow up in the past month and could see their stars match their recruiting trajectory very soon.


After five-stars Justin Scott and Ryan Wingo, who is the best player in the region?

Williams Nwaneri
Williams Nwaneri

There are many variables when answering this question, and although I don't always agree with the reasoning behind it, the next player up will likely be the one with the most upside at a position of high NFL Draft value. Quarterbacks, offensive tackles, pass rushers and receivers become the most likely candidates as a result.

Currently, the No. 3 player from the region is quarterback CJ Carr, who continues to impress and plays the position of highest value, making him a likely candidate to retain his spot. There are some others at value positions who could potentially push for his spot, however. Defensive end Williams Nwaneri is a special player with five-star potential and I expect him to make a major upward move in this rankings release.

Ohio State offensive tackle commit Ian Moore, Brandon Davis-Swain, Cam Williams and Mylan Graham have all made their case for the third spot as well. Additional players who are less likely to take the spot due to their position are defensive back Bryce West and running back Jordan Marshall who are both talented enough to be considered for that third spot.


Who is the best running back in the region?

Aneyas Williams
Aneyas Williams

The Midwest is typically associated with elite linemen and linebackers. While that still remains the case, the region's 2024 running back class is similar to that of the 2023 class in terms of being better than we have come to expect.

All-purpose backs Aneyas Williams and Darrion Dupree have dynamic skill-sets, can hurt the opposition as runners, receivers or return men and will bring a tremendous amount of value to a college offense. Then you have the more traditional backs such as Jordan Marshall and Corey Smith, who can inflict more than enough damage via their elite ability as ball carriers out of the backfield.

Williams currently carries the top running back spot as the nation's No. 106 player overall, and he is trailed closely by Smith, who is currently slotted in the No. 112 spot. The way this group performed as a whole during the past year has been special to watch. Any of these guys could end up being worthy of the top running back spot.