Top Midwest commitments to close out June
The last week of June has seen some exceptional commitment activity in the Midwest, even amid a month that has already experienced an unusually high number of prospects making their college selections. Here is a look at five big commitments in the region to close out the month.
EVALUATION: The most important position on the offensive line is left tackle, and if you were to draw up the ideal prospect for that position he would look a lot like Johnson. From height and frame to athleticism, Johnson has the right tools for the position. He played his sophomore year at 260 pounds and had some trouble with strength, but that is not surprising or particularly concerning. He is reportedly up 20 pounds and we are excited to see how that translates to his game in the fall.
IMPACT: The No. 1 class of 2020 prospect in the Midwest is already off the board. Johnson is the highest-ranked four-star in the first, ranked Rivals100 for the class and is a strong candidate for five-stars once we get a chance to see his development during junior season. While Urban Meyer and Ohio State have cleaned up across the country, they have surprisingly swung and missed on a few of the top prospects in their own state recently. Securing Johnson this early will quiet those critics.
EVALUATION: When Dobbs arrived on the national recruiting scene as a freshman he had the body of a defensive end, but was able to dominate against bigger, older and stronger defensive linemen while lining up at offensive tackle. In the years since Dobbs has added the weight and looks more like an offensive lineman, but has not lost the athleticism or fundamentals. One of the few questions about his game will be how he returns from off-season shoulder surgery.
IMPACT: No team in the Midwest, and probably the country, finished out the final week of June hotter than Michigan State. That certainly was not how it looked like the week would go, however, after the Spartans lost Rivals100 quarterback commitment Dwan Mathis on Sunday. The antidote came the very next day, however, with Dobbs’ commitment, and that sparked a wave of commitments that saw five more prospects join the 2019 class before the week was over.
EVALUATION: This was one of those films where you immediately lean closer to the screen as soon as the first clip rolls by. The younger brother of Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg, Tommy is a different athlete built for a different position. At 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds he could play on the outside in college, but we love him as a run-stopping middle linebacker who also is very adept in space and always around the football.
IMPACT: Boston College is getting really good at recruiting the Midwest. This is the Eagles' fifth commitment in the 2019 class from the states of Michigan and Ohio. They’re not just picking up leftovers other regional schools did not want, and Eichenberg is a strong testament to that. Ohioans still ask how the home-state Buckeyes let Luke Kuechly slip away to Boston College. They very well may be asking the same of Eichenberg in a few years.
EVALUATION: The first line of Jamie Nance’s scouting report from now until he retires is going to be about his speed … and it should. His personal best in the 100 meters this season was under 10.5 seconds, and most importantly for football that speed translates to the field. He combines that with sharp route-running and a soft pair of hands. Currently at 160 pounds, Nance will always need to be mindful of staying in the weight room so defensive backs do not mitigate his speed by bullying him at the line of scrimmage and bumping him off his route.
IMPACT: Nance rolled into the Dallas Rivals 3 Stripe Camp with a three-star rating, but no scholarship offers. After standing out in a position group that also featured Rivals100 prospects Theo Wease and Trejan Bridges, the offer wave hit. In less than three months Nance secured 20 scholarship offers from the likes of Ole Miss to Notre Dame to TCU. He had planned to announce in August, but a June visit to Lincoln clinched the deal for Nebraska.
EVALUATION: Fletcher has the prototypical height and frame for the defensive end position. Physically he looks like a future pro and he has athleticism refined on the basketball court, but at this stage of his development the whole is lesser than the sum of its parts. His ceiling is high and if he can make big strides in development over the next few years he has a chance to be an outstanding defensive lineman.
IMPACT: The “Flintstones” was the nickname given to three Flint, Mich., natives – Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and Charlie Bell – who led Michigan State basketball to the 2000 national title. Now another Flint native is looking to bring a football title to East Lansing. Fletcher spurned offers from top national programs such as Alabama, Georgia and Nebraska, as well as another home-state school in Michigan, to pursue that goal at Michigan State.
EVALUATION: Major is on the cusp of four-star status and that move has been debated among our staff already. The physical tools are certainly there. We measured him at 5-foot-11, 199 pounds at the Rivals 3 Stripe Camp in Dallas and he gets high marks in speed and explosiveness. The remaining questions before he gets that bump, though, are ones that can only be addressed on the football field this fall. He is a great talent with outstanding physical attributes, and now we want to see him become more dynamic when he has the football in his hands.
IMPACT: The surprise here is that it took Major this long to commit. Right when he received his Oklahoma offer in January the home-state Sooners became the team to beat in this recruitment. National powers such as Alabama, Michigan, Texas and USC all took their shot here, but when it came down to it, Major was not going to say no to the Sooners. Oklahoma already had the No. 1 ranked quarterback in the 2019 class, the best wide receiver class of any program and now it has its running back.
EVALUATION: Carter’s listed size of 6-foot-3 and 275 pounds suggest a three-technique defensive tackle spot would be his best fit at the college level, but the possibility for him to move around the defensive front and be a versatile component is evidenced by his play. Carter is on the plus side of the athleticism column for the defensive tackle role, but he does not give anything away from a strength standpoint either.
IMPACT: This is the first commitment Duke has received from the state of Ohio since it landed another Columbus-area defensive lineman in Ben Frye back in the 2017 class. The academic reputation at Duke certainly helped the Blue Devils here. Carter is genuine when he says he takes “great pride” in his academics, and after he clicked with the campus and coaches during a February visit, this commitment became possible.
MORE: Duke 2019 commitments