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March 18, 2011

Midwest prospects seek first offer

The Midwest is seeing a talent surge in the class of 2012, and schools from each of the six BCS Conferences appear to be increasing their presence in the region. Despite the increased attention in the region, there are still talented prospects awaiting their first offer. Here is a look at ten currently unoffered prospects who should be signing with BCS schools next February.

Midwest prospects looking for offers
V'Angelo Bentley, cornerback
Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
Glenville is loaded with defensive back talent once again in 2012, but only De'van Bogard lists an offer at this stage of the process. The 5-10, 170-pound Bentley has primarily been playing offense during his career with the Tarblooders, moving up to varsity midway through his sophomore season and splitting carries with Toledo-bound back Robert Walton as a junior. Bentley showed he could hang with the nation's best cornerbacks in San Antonio this past January, picking up second-team all-combine honors at the U.S. Army Junior Combine.

Coy Brown, running back
Wakarusa (Ind.) Northwood
The 6-0, 205-pound Brown rushed for over 1,200 yards and scored 13 touchdowns as a junior. He played fullback when Northwood ran the Veer offense and tailback when they went to an I-formation. Brown also doubled as a linebacker on defense, but will likely play running back in college. Last summer, Brown had several impressive summer camp outings at places like Notre Dame, Kentucky and Indiana. He feels Indiana may be close to offering, and he will make a trip over to Bloomington for a junior day on March 26.

Trae Clark, defensive tackle
Cincinnati (Ohio) Colerain
The 6-4, 320-pound Clark is everything coaches want at the defensive tackle position from a numbers standpoint, and he earned second team all-conference honors for his play as a junior showing that his game had respect from opposing coaches. He is a big, run-stuffing defender who will take up space in the middle of the line. Those types are always in high demand, so it is surprising Clark has not received an offer at this stage of the process. If he does not have the offers he wants before summer, he plans to showcase his skills at college camps.

Sean Draper, cornerback
Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville
A consistent producer of Division I talent, Glenville prospects have no problem with exposure to college coaches. The issue the 6-0, 177-pound Draper faces is that he made a major position switch in the middle of his junior season and has little game film to show college coaches. Draper was primarily an offensive player coming into last fall, but was advised he could be a standout cornerback if he tried that position. By January he was playing the position well enough to earn first team all-combine honors at the U.S. Army Junior Combine.

Jonathan Harden, defensive tackle
Harden highlights
St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall
Were Harden three inches taller he would probably hold a dozen or more offers at this stage of the process. As it is, the 6-0, 300-pound prospect has to fight questions about his height whenever college coaches come calling. On film, Harden appears to play with something to prove, and he collected 15 tackles for loss among his 68 total tackles as a junior. Harden plans to be very active on the spring combine and summer camp scene, easing coaches concerns about his height and proving he can be every bit effective as taller defensive tackles.

Lamontiez Ivy, quarterback
Ivy highlights
East St. Louis (Ill.)
A dual-threat quarterback, Ivy has great size (6-3, 225 pounds), athleticism and speed. He displays the arm strength and pocket presence to develop into an effective distributor of the football as well. What Ivy does not have is a scholarship offer. Apparently there are questions about whether he is closer to 6-0 or 6-3, but coaches will be able to see that for themselves when they are in the school during the Spring Evaluation Period. If height is the only question mark remaining, then he should be able to answer those questions starting next month.

Jack Lynn, outside linebacker
Lake Zurich (Ill.)
The 6-3, 205-pound Lynn helped lead Lake Zurich to the Class 7A state championship game as a junior, and has had impressive performances at winter combines. Lynn has a great frame for the outside linebacker position, he runs well and is athletic, but the video quality on his first highlight film was poor and did not give college coaches a chance to adequately evaluate his abilities. He has recently sent out a higher quality film, and that could help generate his first offer.

Hunter Matt, outside linebacker
Matt highlights
Wyandotte (Mich.) Roosevelt
Matt has added 30 pounds since last summer, and now measures 6-2 and 217 pounds. That is sure to elevate his stock in the eyes of college coaches when they start making the rounds during the spring evaluation period. At the U.S. Army Junior Combine in January, Matt showed his weight gain has not hampered his athleticism or speed. He was arguably the best linebacker in coverage against the nation's top running backs. Matt has great technique and instincts at the linebacker position, and possesses an exceptional work ethic.

Efe Scott-Emuakpor, wide receiver
Scott-Emuakpor highlights
East Lansing (Mich.)
The 6-5, 180-pound Scott-Emuakpor caught 64 passes for 774 yards as a sophomore, but then spent the next eight months playing basketball. He is a talented wing prospect on the hardcourt, but Scott-Emuakpor's potential in football is higher and once he devotes himself full-time to that sport he has a chance to be an elite wide receiver prospect. Scott-Emuakpor's athleticism is exceptional for a big wide receiver and he is a natural pass catcher. He has received interest from the top football programs across the country, but none have pulled the trigger on an offer yet.

Scott Taylor, offensive guard
Taylor highlights
Marian (Ill.) Central Catholic
The 6-4, 270-pound Taylor has seen his stock rise steadily in recent weeks and he hopes that translates into a scholarship offer in the near future. He received positive vibes from the Wisconsin coaching staff during a junior day visit to Madison in late February and is also hearing from the likes of Wyoming, Western Michigan and Western Kentucky. Marian Central Catholic was the school that produced recent first round draft pick Bryan Bulaga and current Notre Dame starting nose guard Sean Cwynar, so they know how to develop linemen.

Others to watch for:
Shane Barron, ATH - Flint (Mich.) Carmen-Ainsworth; Adam Cole, DT - Pickerington (Ohio) Central; Perez Ford, DE - Romeoville, Ill.; Ronzell Mills-Foster, S - Cincinnati (Ohio) Anderson; Tyler Goble, LB - Plymouth (Mich.); Mario Jones, OL - Chicago (Ill.) Hubbard; Sam Lee, OL - Blue Earth (Minn.) Area High; Roger Lewis, WR - Pickerington (Ohio) Central; Marshall Peterson, WR - Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne; Jason Spriggs, TE - Elkhart (Ind.) Concord Community

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