Another busy week in football recruiting for area high school football players kicked off with the No. 1-ranked receiver in the state announcing his decision.
Springfield receiver Anthony Brown verbally committed to Kentucky on July 16, making him the eighth senior in the area to give a pledge to a Power 5 conference team.
A four-star prospect who earned honorable mention All-Ohio last season as he and the Wildcats won the GWOC and advanced to the Division I state championship game, Brown led the conference with 822 yards receiving.
He averaged 14.2 yards per catch with seven touchdowns and was the top-rated local player not committed for most of the summer.
Kentucky is set to sign at least one player from the area for the fourth time in the last five years, and Brown told 247Sports the number of Ohioans on the Big Blue roster was a factor in his decision.
“It’s a big impact,” Brown said. “The connections are already gonna be there since we’re all from the same spot.”
In 2019, coach Mark Stoops signed Moses Douglass and Isaiah Gibson from Springfield. The following year, the Wildcats snagged Fairfield running back Jutahn McClain, who was the top-rated prospect in the area in the class of 2020.
Last year, Alex Afari of Lakota West signed with UK.
The other local Power 5 commits from the class of 2023 so far are Wayne offensive lineman Joshua Padilla (Ohio State), Lakota West safety Malik Hartford (Ohio State), Lakota East offensive lineman Austin Siereveld (Ohio State), Northmont linebacker Nigel Glover (Northwestern), Fairfield running back Jordan Jackson (West Virginia) and defensive back Josiah Jackson (West Virginia) and Lakota West cornerback Joshua Fussell (Northwestern).
Ben Minich appears destined to join that group.
The Lakota West four-star defensive back revealed Wednesday his latest offer is from Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish join more than 20 teams who have offered Minich, who became the top-rated uncommitted player in Ohio after Brown announced his decision.
The 5-11, 185-pound Minich is No. 6 in the state per 247Sports Composite rankings picked up offers from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Stanford and Cincinnati in June.
“It’s been a great summer,” Minich told our content partner, WCPO in Cincinnati. “We came up short last year so we really put in the work this summer, this winter. We were in the weight room. We’ve been working really hard and I think it’s going to pay off in the end.”
He caught 16 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns last season, when he was also credited with 49 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Also of note in the past week:
- Centerville senior Emmanuel Deng is down to four schools. The 6-2 cornerback announced he is still considering Princeton, Penn, Ohio University and Army. He had 26 tackles last season and is among three Elks to have reported at least one Division I FBS offer so far. Running back Emable Wakilongo has committed to Bowling Green while linebacker Joseph Jean-Louis has nearly a dozen offers, including from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Toledo and Miami University. Deng also plays basketball for the Elks and averaged 4.0 points and 2.6 rebounds last season.
- Quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer, who has transferred to Springfield after starring at Arcanum, reported his first Division I offer this week. It came from Dayton and followed offers from Division II Tiffin and Ashland.
- Aside from the Power 5 commits, another 10 area players have announced verbal commitments to FBS schools, including Wakilongo and a trio headed to Cincinnati: Badin multi-sport standout Braedyn Moore, Miamisburg tight end Jackson McGohan and Wayne offensive lineman Evan Tengesdahl. Northmont receiver Javien Brownlee is going to Kent State, Stebbins receiver Adrian Norton is headed to Akron and Fairfield linebacker Ray Coney is going to Army. Springboro lineman Matthew Appel has committed to Navy, Wayne receiver R.J. Mukes is pledged to Ball State and Springfield linebacker Javian Norman is Eastern Michigan-bound.
- The top-rated uncommitted players in the area are both from Miamisburg. Running back Christian Davis is a three-star prospect who has reported offers from more than a dozen schools, including Tennessee, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Offensive lineman A.J. Salley also has more than a dozen offers, including Kentucky, Iowa State, Miami (Fla.), Cincinnati and Oregon.