Trotwood’s Raveion Hargrove makes a short gain. Trotwood-Madison defeated Toledo Central Catholic 36-0 in a D-III high school football state semifinal at Lima on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

FIRST LOOK: Top 7 area recruits in loaded 2018 class

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.

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