Five rankings storylines to follow in the Midwest

The national team at Rivals recently updated the state rankings around the country. Midwest national recruiting analyst Greg Smith has five thoughts on the movers and shakers in his region for the 2025 recruiting cycle.

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Jeff Douglas, Inside ND Sports

There are states in the Midwest that are always go-tos for college coaches. For example, Missouri is a state every program in the country recruits. But a sleeper state has emerged this cycle: Kansas.

The state features two of the best tight ends in the country with four-stars Linkon Cure and Da’Saahn Brame. Offensive tackle Andrew Babalola, weakside defensive end Jayden Woods, defensive tackle Julian Marks and outside linebacker London Merritt are all four-stars. Each has a case to be rated higher as we move along in the cycle. It’s a great year in the Sunflower State.

MORE: Complete 2025 state of Kansas rankings



Nick Lucero/

Every year Missouri is loaded with talent. This year is no exception but an interesting trend is emerging in the state. The top three prospects are all wide receivers. Corey Simms is No. 1 in the state and ranks No. 119 in the Rivals250. Isaiah Mozee ranks second in the state and is not far behind in the overall rankings at No. 140. Dejerrian Miller checks in at No. 170 nationally.

There have been no shortage of top-end wideouts to come from the state recently. Texas signee Ryan Wingo and Oregon signee Jeremiah McClellan were in the 2024 class.

Expect all three of Simms, Mozee and Miller to sign with major Power Five programs this cycle.

MORE: Complete 2025 state of Missouri rankings



There must be something in the water in Illinois that is helping to produce defensive linemen. Last cycle the state produced a pair of five-stars with Justin Scott and Marquise Lightfoot. Both took their talents to Miami.

This cycle, Nathaniel Marshall, Christopher Burgess Jr. and Iose Epenesa all have five-star potential. Jaylen Williams, Joseph Reiff, Gabe Kaminski and Jason Dowell are all four-star prospects.

If your program needs defensive linemen you should be stopping in Illinois.

MORE: Complete 2025 state of Illinois rankings



Jon McNamara/

There are several players in Ohio who made moves in this rankings update. Ohio State offensive tackle commit Carter Lowe is now a five-star prospect. But he’s not the only one who added stars to his name.

Running back Bo Jackson is now a four-star, in the top 100 of the Rivals250 and is the top-ranked running back in the Midwest. Running back Kentrell Rinehart, defensive back Cody Haddad and outside linebacker Grant Beerman were a few other players bumped to four-star status. It’s a good year for talent in Ohio for the 2025 cycle.

MORE: Complete 2025 state of Ohio rankings


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