If you thought National Signing Day was fun this year, wait until 2018.
The Miami Valley is loaded with big-time prospects, and they are spread throughout the area from Fairfield in the south to the heart of Montgomery County and on into Springfield — not to mention Mercer County.
Here’s a look at the top five 2018 recruits* in the area and others already getting a lot of attention from major colleges:
Jackson Carman, offensive tackle, Fairfield.
- A five-star prospect, Carman is the No. 1 offensive lineman in the country for next year.
- Notable offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Michigan State, USC, Florida State.
L’Christian “Blue” Smith, wide receiver Wayne.
- At 6-6, 205, the versatile Smith is the No. 3 player in the state and ranked 101st nationally. He is also an outstanding basketball player.
- Notable offers: Ohio State, Michigan State, Alabama, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State.
Leonard Taylor, tight end/defensive end, Springfield.
- A former Michigan commit, Taylor is a versatile athlete rated No. 147 nationally and No. 5 in the state.
- Notable offers: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Michigan State, Louisville, Iowa, Cincinnati, Michigan, Kentucky.
Joseph Scates, wide receiver, Dunbar.
- The No. 25 receiver in the country, Scates is Ohio's sixth-best prospect overall and 155th nationally.
- Notable offers: He has commited to Michigan State.
John Dirksen, offensive tackle, Marion Local.
- Ohio's 12th-best prospect at this point in time, Dirksen is the No. 287 player in the country and 24th at his position.
- Notable offers: Notre Dame, Northwestern, Michigan State, Kentucky, Iowa State.
Antwuan Johnson, linebacker, Dunbar.
- Ranked 10th in the state according to 247 Sports.
Notable offers: Michigan, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kentucky, Bowling Green.
Alex Reigelsperger, defensive end, Wayne.
- Ranked 17th in the state according to 247 sports
Notable Offers: Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Duke. Interest from Ohio State.
Others players to watch: Malik Vann, Fairfield defensive end; Cameron Hoelscher, Springfield linebacker; Raveion Hargrove, Trotwood-Madison running back; Tavion Thomas, Dunbar running back; Meechie Harris, Xenia wide receiver.
*Rankings via 247sports.