Three-Point Stance: Midwest risers, decommitments, 2025 players to watch
National recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove weighs in on three topics: Recent Midwest commits who could outplay their rankings, the possibility of a high number of decommitments and four-star candidates in the 2025 class.
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1. Recent Midwest commits who could outplay their rankings.
1. OL Chris Terek - Wisconsin. Terek has a respectable 5.7 three-star ranking, but when you turn on the film you see a player with four-star potential written all over him. Terek went from an under-the-radar prospect with notable upside prior to the spring evaluation period and finished spring as a bona fide stud with close to 30 offers. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound offensive lineman has a chance to be special at the next level and his combination of nastiness, elite frame and athleticism should give him a chance to contribute early for a Wisconsin team known for churning out NFL-caliber offensive lineman.
2. DE Will Heldt - Purdue. Purdue landed a potential stud when Heldt announced his pledge to the Boilermakers on June 25. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound defensive end had a respectable offer list with nine of his 16 scholarships coming from Power Five programs, but even with that level of recruitment Heldt never saw any of the traditional recruiting powers throw their hat in the ring for his services. Heldt has great length, a massive frame and plenty of room for growth when he gets to the college level. I had one Power Five coach tell me that he believed Heldt was the region's most undervalued and under-recruited player when comparing his upside as a player to his offer list. Heldt has the potential to be a dominant player in the Big Ten once he reaches his maximum potential.
3. APB Dylan Edwards - Kansas State. Edwards is a human highlight reel waiting to happen and was a huge recruiting win for Kansas State when it managed to beat Oklahoma, Nebraska and others for his pledge on Jun 23. While Edwards' 5.7 three-star ranking is nothing to shake your head at, I feel as though he has been held back from four-star status due to his smaller stature as opposed to his ability as a football player. Edwards is dynamic with the ball in his hands, will be a difference maker in the return game and is a threat to score with every touch he gets. Look for the Kansas State coaches to get the ball in his hands early and often during his career. You can also expect to hear plenty of comparisons to former Kansas State great Darren Sproles once Edwards' playmaking ability is put on display during his first fall in Manhattan.
2. Will there be a record number of decommitments leading up to signing day?
The combination of spring official visits, prospects coming out of a COVID year where they were not allowed to take visits and recruits trying to lock in spots prior to their senior football season has turned early summer into a mini signing day. This brings a number of questions to mind, with the biggest being how many of these early commitments will stick through signing day? This may be speculation on my part - and I don't fault players for committing earlier than normal after witnessing their older teammates lacking options during the COVID recruiting cycle - but I do question how many of these commitments are merely placeholders for players just to guarantee themselves a Division I scholarship.
So much will change between now and signing day for the 2023 class. There will be coaching changes, some schools will vastly underperform expectations while others will exceed expectations. Due to the emphasis on spring official visits many players have not experienced a game day at the school to which they are committed. Another recent trend that will lead to players flipping is the number of high-upside recruits committing to Group of Five schools prior to their senior year, when they traditionally held off in hopes of receiving that coveted Power Five offer during their senior seasons. Just as the national powers will likely flip players committed to mid-tier Power Five schools as we approach December, the same will likely happed when early Group of Five commits are presented with Power Five opportunities during their senior seasons. Both of these scenarios are bound to happen and will likely lead to a domino effect of decommitments across college football. December could get crazy, to say the least.
3. Four-star candidates for our initial top 100 in the 2025 class.
We will be releasing our initial group of 2025 four-star recruits in the coming months.
Here are seven of at least 25 Midwest candidates that will likely make the cut.
1. QB Ryan Montgomery. Montgomery is the younger brother of 2023 Ohio State commit Luke Montgomery and has a chance to be a special player. He is already one of the most sought-after players in his class with double-digit Power Five offers, including the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame.
2. DB Tre Poteat. Poteat is the son of former NFL player and current Wisconsin defensive backs coach Hank Poteat. The skilled cornerback has great size and has already landed a number of Power Five offers.
3. APB Jamarion Parker. Parker burst on the scene for St. Louis (Mo.) Cardinal Ritter this season and has an incredible offer list to go along with his lofty play.
4. ATH Isaiah Mozee. Mozee appears to be the next great player out of Lee's Summit North, Mo. The dynamic athlete recruit already has double-digit Power Five offers and could end up being one of the highest-recruited players in his class.
5. DB Sael Reyes. Reyes is the brother of Texas A&M All-American defensive back Antonio Johnson, who is projected as a high-round draft pick. Reyes is already making a name for himself on the recruiting scene, and Texas A&M is just one of the Power Five schools to recently offer.
6. ATH Iose Epenesa. Epenesa is the younger brother of former Iowa standout and current Buffalo Bills defensive end AJ Epenesa. The Edwardsville, Ill., standout has a chance to replicate his brothers success and a number of big-name programs have already offered.
7. QB Bryce Underwood. Underwood is a dynamic quarterback who is just as capable of making defenses pay with his feet as he is with his arm. As a freshman he led Belleville, Mich., to a state championship while throwing for over 2,800 yards and 39 TDs. The 2025 phenom already sits with double-digit Power Five offers, including many of the nation's traditional powers.