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Midwest Spotlight: Toughest final 2019 ranking decisions

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

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Logan Brown
Logan Brown

ALL-AMERICAN BOWL COVERAGE: Winners and losers | Stock reports | Gorney Awards

The majority of 2019 prospects at the FBS level have already signed their letters of intent, but football continued to be played after last month's postseason update of the Rivals250 and Rivals100. Next week the final 2019 class rankings will be released, and several big questions in the Midwest region are set to be answered.

FIFTH STAR FOR LOGAN BROWN?

One of the biggest questions from a Midwest standpoint heading into the All-American Bowl in San Antonio last week was about offensive tackle Logan Brown and his case for five-star status. The Kentwood, Mich., product has resided just outside of five-star territory since the first rankings of the 2019 class, and after multiple in-person game evaluations over the last couple seasons we felt his rating was accurate.

The All-American Bowl, however, was a different scenario for the future Wisconsin Badger, and would pit him against the best defensive linemen for an entire week. Brown found his way to opposite areas of the stock report during the week, landing in the “Stock Up” section after Thursday’s practice, and the “Stock Down” section after Saturday’s game. Whether Brown rises to a five-star or stays at a four-star will be an interesting discussion for our rankings meetings this week.

FINAL CASES MADE FOR FOUR-STAR BUMPS

Although moving from a 5.7 to a 5.8 Rivals Rating is just a one increment bump, it takes on more significance because it also involves a jump to four-stars. Several Midwest prospects sitting on the cusp of four-star status were taking part in winter all-star games, looking to make their final cases for four-star status.

St. Louis (Mo.) Trinity Catholic linebacker Shammond Cooper, an Illinois commit, made his case at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, while Nebraska signee Bryce Benhart and Iowa signee Jestin Jacobs were performing in San Antonio at the All-American Bowl. Additionally, Oklahoma State tight end Grayson Boomer and Oklahoma running back signee Marcus Major did not have senior film out before our last rankings update, but have since had that film reviewed.

RIVALS250 TO RIVALS100?

Marcus Washington
Marcus Washington

Texas signee Marcus Washington did not make a lot of noise during the week of Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, but exploded for seven catches, 89 yards and two touchdowns to earn game MVP honors. Washington, who hails from St. Louis, currently ranks No. 145 in the Rivals250, and could get some Rivals100 consideration in the final rankings update.

Two more Midwest prospects in the Rivals250 who impressed in Orlando were Ohio State wide receiver signee Jameson Williams, also from St. Louis, and Michigan in-state defensive tackle signee Mazi Smith. Williams comes into the final rankings update ranked No. 182, while Smith is No. 174.

LATE SENIOR SEASON FILM EVALUATIONS

The timing of the postseason update of the Rivals.com rankings meant that some prospects across the country were still playing out the postseason and/or had not released their senior film. The majority of those prospects we did not get to evaluate for the previous rankings update have since had that senior season film evaluated and a few showed the improvement that will garner consideration for a rankings bump.

At the outside linebacker position, Iowa signee Jack Campbell and Notre Dame signee Jack Kiser both looked impressive in late senior season film evaluation. On the offensive line Michigan State signee Nick Samac and Purdue signee Cam Craig likewise showed good progression over previous evaluations, as did Missouri defensive end signee Arvell Ferguson. Each of those prospects is rated three-stars, but could see their rankings climb at their positions and within their respective states.