Best Of The Midwest Combine Preview

Ohio State linebacker David Perkins took home overall MVP honors two years ago at the Best of the Midwest Combine in the Indianapolis area, where he was one of 42 participants that went on to sign with a Division-I program

Ohio State CB commit Damon Webb will be back at the Best of the Midwest for a second-straight year.

Last year, it was Notre Dame five-star linebacker signee Jaylon Smith running consecutive 4.4 second 40-yard dashes, creating national buzz and spiking his stock into what made him the country’s No. 2 overall recruit in the 247Composite.

On President’s Day next Monday, position and overall MVP honors will be tough to come by as All-Pro Sports Performance has brought together a talented field of prospects from the Midwest area.

“Last year there was a lot of talent and it’s got progressively better each year,” All-Pro Sports Performance’s Greg Brookey said. “I probably turned away 200 people. At this point of the season and recruiting cycle, this is the strongest group coming in.”

247Sports will be on hand to cover this event. Here are a few of the storylines to keep an eye on.

Ohio State Flavor

There will definitely be a few Buckeyes shirts floating around with Ohio State 247Composite Top100 commits in cornerback Damon Webb and offensive guard Marcelys Jones being two of the marquee names highlighting the combine roster. Webb has been a camp and combine warrior going back to his freshman year and the Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech standout was one of the top performers at last year’s event.

Two of Jones’s teammates at Cleveland (Ohio) Glenville will arrive with Ohio State offers in tow. Marshon Lattimore is the top-ranked prospect headed in at No. 26 overall in the 247Composite, and the five-star playmaker also has scholarships from the likes of Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and West Virginia. Safety Erick Smith will also be one of the more highly recruited players out of the state of Ohio, and besides the Buckeyes has full-rides from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Michigan and West Virginia among others. Ohio State is the early team to beat for both.

Ohio State is also the leader for receiver/defensive back Lonnie Johnson. The Gary (Ind.) West Side senior-to-be also has scholarships from Illinois and Nebraska.

Dayton (OH) Beavercreek Airius Moore is one of his state's top LBs in 2014.

Two sophomores are receiving personal interest from the Buckeyes. Webb’s teammate at Cass Tech Michael Weber says he plans to visit Columbus soon. Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Syracuse have offered the future blue-chipper. Ohio State is also keeping close tabs on another Michigan sophomore in Saginaw (Mich.) Heritage receiver/cornerback Brian Cole. Michigan and Michigan State have already offered him as well.

Arriving With Offers In Hand

Last year’s linebacker group at Best of the Midwest included Smith, Georgia signee Tim Kimbrough, Iowa bound Reggie Spearman, Michigan State junior commit Deon Drake and his Detroit Cass Tech teammate William White.

This year’s crop is deeper.

White will be back in the Hoosier State, with offers from Cincinnati, Indiana and Toledo. Representing his home city will be four-star linebacker Brandon Lee of Indianapolis Lawrence Central. A state champion like White, Lee has offers from the likes of Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina State and Purdue. Dayton (Ohio) Beavercreek’s Airius Moore’s stock is on the rise. He arrives with offers from Cincinnati, Illinois and Indiana among others. Two other talented linebackers from Ohio expected to be on hand are Columbus (Ohio) Upper Arlington’s Chris Frey, who has offers from Syracuse, Akron, Northern Illinois and Toledo and Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne’s Dorian Hendrix, who has scholarships from several schools including Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Traveling down from Michigan with White is Detroit (Mich.) King’s 247Composite four-star Carl Fuller. Syracuse, Eastern Michigan and Toledo have each extended a full-ride.

Top247 quarterback and Wisconsin commit Chance Stewart is back after attending the event as an eighth grader. He’ll throw alongside class-of-2015 signal-caller Jayru Campbell, who has seen his two-straight state championships at Cass Tech turn into offers from Alabama and Notre Dame.

Two of the most touted players on the list are Top247 safety Darius West of Lima (Ohio) Central Catholic, and cornerback Alonzo Saxton of Columbus (Ohio) Bishop Hartley. West has seen offers come his way from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Penn State, Purdue and West Virginia, while Saxton is considering scholarships from Cincinnati, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Three other talented defensive backs arriving with scholarships are Donovan Clark of Fort Wayne (Ind.) South Side (Indiana), Jalen Embry of Detroit King (Toledo) and Timothy Cason II (Bowling Green and Toledo) of Clarkston (Mich.) High. Some think Embry has a chance to be as highly recruited as Webb when it’s all said and done.

In what is a deep year at the receiver position in Indianapolis, Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern’s Cameron Polk could be recognized as the best when it’s all said and done. Massachusetts has offered the under-the-radar speedy playmaker. Another coming to increase his stock is Bo Hines of national power Charlotte (N.C.) Christian School. Charlotte has offered the freakish athlete. Another exciting receiver on hand will be Detroit King’s Avonte Maddox. Toledo has offered the two-sport standout who is also a big-time baseball player. The top tight end expected is Westerville (Ohio) South’s Darryl Long, with Illinois, Indiana and Pittsburgh among the programs to have already offered.

Top247 2014 DB Darius West is one of the events more touted prospects.

One of the Midwest’s best in 2015 Joshua Alabi will be doing his thing in the trenches. The Detroit Cass Tech product has offers from Michigan and Michigan State. Indianapolis Lawrence Central two-way lineman Kevin Willis has a scholarship from Indiana and perhaps projects best as a center on the next level.

Indiana also has an offer out to Mineral Ridge (Ohio) High running back Devine Redding.

Ready To Bolster Their Stock

Skylar Lacy (Louisville), Desmond King (Iowa), Delano Hill (Michigan), Tyvel Jemison (Purdue) and Chase Dutra (Indiana) were among those last year to arrive without an offer and then went on to sign with BCS programs. Spearman, Max Staver (Florida) and Isaac Griffith (Indiana) went from mid-major recruits to BCS signees.

Who could see a big jump in the near future like those guys?

Gary (Ind.) West Side receiver Jon Vea’ Johnson, Delaware (Ohio) Buckeye Valley defensive tackle Logan Dziak, Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian center Kirk Barron, Fishers (Ind.) High offensive lineman Drew Broughton, Indianapolis (Ind.) Heritage Christian’s Ethan McKenzie, Indianapolis (Ind.) Decatur Central’s Lukayus McNeil, Indianapolis Cathedral receiver Terry McLaurin, South Bend (Ind.) Adams athlete Shaq Vann, East Chicago (Ind.) Central athlete Martayveus Carter, West Lafayette (Ind.) Junior-Senior High’s Maurice Woodard and St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall’s Tim Gordon are all receiving personal BCS interest.

The Next Big Names

Webb has gone from an up-and-comer to one of the big names at this event. A look at three in the 2015 class that could eventually do the same.

St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall sophomore defensive end/outside linebacker Jashon Cornell is indeed a future blue-chipper. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Cornell had 26 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and three forced fumbles during the fall. Notre Dame may be the early leader but many programs are showing early interest.

South Lake (Mich.) Saint Clair Shores sophomore offensive tackle Kyonta Stallworth could be very close to landing his first offer from UCLA. Michigan is also showing personal interest.

Westville (Ohio) South offensive tackle Rob Dowdy is a 6-foot-7, 240-pound sophomore hearing from a lot of the Big Ten conference.

One Thing To Note

Every year, names not mentioned before the event become names afterwards.

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