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Three key summer surprises in the Midwest

Justin Scott
Justin Scott (

This recruiting cycle has seen no shortage of surprises, and those surprises have not subsided as the summer begins to wind down. From commitments to intriguing classes and Northwestern's hazing scandal, recruiting in the Midwest has continued to see surprises develop this fall.

MORE MIDWEST: Nebraska-Wisconsin recruiting battle heating up | Big Ten West sleeper commitments | Superlatives for the Midwest's top WRs


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Justin Scott’s commitment to Ohio State

The Buckeyes are used to landing five-star prospects so that is not what made this one of the surprises of the summer. The surprise was in the timing of the commitment. Scott took June official visits to Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State and Miami. Notre Dame was heavily involved as well but the Irish had not received its official visit yet. Even without that official visit many (myself included) thought Notre Dame would eventually win out. Even with Michigan making a strong push during his official visit in Ann Arbor.

It was an enormous win for coach Ryan Day to get Scott into the fold. Getting the win off the field over Michigan made it that much sweeter. The early July surprise also could set off a nice run of commitments for the Buckeyes. They have since landed four-star Arizona defensive back Miles Lockhart. The team is also in contention for Dylan Stewart, Eddrick Houston and Aaron Scott.



Purdue tracking for top-25 class

Marcos Davila
Marcos Davila (Nick Lucero/

There has been a lot of talk in the Midwest about first-year head coaches Luke Fickell (Wisconsin) and Matt Rhule (Nebraska). But someone else is quietly doing good work on the recruiting trail.

Purdue’s Ryan Walters has the Boilermakers in contention for a top-25 recruiting class, which would be their first since the program's 2004 class finished No. 20. The Boilermakers next highest team ranking was No. 26 in 2019.

There are a trio of four-star prospects in the class right now. Quarterback Marcos Davila was a great pickup out of Texas for Walters. Wide receiver Keonde Henry and Ohio athlete Koy Beasley are the other four-stars in the class. The class also features high upside players such as defensive back William “Speedy” Nettles and offensive lineman Max Parrot. It’s a good group slated to join the program that Walters hopes to keep building on.



Stunning developments at Northwestern

Pat Fitzgerald
Pat Fitzgerald (© Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports)

There are several things that are just unbelievable about the Northwestern hazing scandal. How we even found out about the alleged incidents kicks things off. The Daily Northwestern is the student newspaper at one of the best journalism schools in America. It broke the story that has resulted in iconic coach Pat Fitzgerald being fired.

The reports of what took place with the hazing ranges from bizarre to downright disgusting. Naked bear crawling and QB-center exchanges, and slingshotting the hazing victims across the floor using exercise bands were just a small portion of what is being alleged. Many of the hazing rituals were sexual in nature. The Daily Northwestern outline them in detail.

Now of course Fitzgerald says he was not aware of the alleged incidents but most people find that very hard to believe. That part of the story is still ongoing. Fitzgerald has hired a high-powered attorney to recoup what is believed to be $42 million left on his deal. The school fired him “with cause.”

On the field this situation is a total mess. The Wildcats have suffered decommitments and more are surely coming. There have been a couple transfers so far. We’ll see if there is a big run of transfers as the dust starts to settle in Evanston.

Good luck to whoever takes over this program after the season full-time.