We're one week removed from the late national signing period opening up, and the recruiting classes of the Ohio Valley Conference have come into better focus. The OVC is loaded with outstanding incoming high school prospects, and this conference will figure prominently into our national rankings next Wednesday.
[divider]MORE: Compare Any Two FCS Players or Any Two FCS Teams[divider]
2018 FCS RECRUITING: HERO Sports ranked the Top 25 recruits
2017 FCS RECRUITING: HERO Sports ranked the Top 250 recruits
2017 FCS RECRUITING: HERO Sports ranked the Top 50 teams
Here are a couple of things to know:
- HERO Sports will publish an FCS national Top 50 classes piece and a FCS Top 250 incoming freshmen piece on Feb. 21. Leading up to that, we'll be breaking down each conference — all 13 — from an "top individuals" standpoint.
- How did we come up with our ranking list below? Simple — it's subjective, but all recruiting rankings are that way. We combined 247Sports, Rivals, the players' offer lists and our own thoughts to come up with our version of the FCS recruiting rankings. We provide some of their other top offers in the charts. This is our third year doing this.
- We don't include junior college or 4-year school transfers in any of this work. This is strictly incoming high school graduates.
So below are the rankings for the Ohio Valley Conference.
QUICK THOUGHTS ON THE OVC: Unraveling this conference for a good solid ranking is brutally tough to do — sort of like unraveling a pot of spaghetti noodles. Jacksonville State has been the leader of this group for many years, and the Gamecocks were stellar in recruiting. Austin Peay used its incredible 2017 story to bring in an outstanding class also, while Murray State may be the true wildcard here for No. 1 honors in the league with 34 recruits and serious quality from top to bottom. And let's not forget what Eastern Kentucky pulled off. This is incredible haul for these four programs and really the entire league in general. The OVC is loaded in this class, and while we believe Jacksonville State won the mythical 2018 OVC recruiting competition, it truly wasn't by much. We'll put them in order with our national ranking on Wednesday, Feb. 21. (PS – Keep in mind, as mentioned higher up in this story, we do not include junior college or 4-year transfers in our recruiting assessment — the OVC does receive a slew of solid transfers each year.).
[divider]Swipe left to right on mobile devices to see "other offers":
THE OVC TOP 30
|RK||FCS SCHOOL||POS||PLAYER||HOMETOWN||HGT||WGT||OTHER OFFERS/NOTES|
|1||MURRAY STATE||DB||Davonta Wilson||Miami, FL||6'0"||185||Indiana, Kentucky, Miss. St – 10 offers|
|2||JACKSONVILLE STATE||CB||Cagan Campbell||Tuscaloosa, AL||5'10"||170||Marshall, Umass, Army, FAU – 17 offers|
|3||TENN.-MARTIN||DE||Nonte Davis||Columbia, TN||6'5"||260||Tulane, Old Dom. – 10 offers|
|4||AUSTIN PEAY||TE||Blake Watson||Maryville, TN||6'3"||220||Duke, UAB – 6 total offers|
|5||MURRAY STATE||WR||Jacob Bell||Vero Beach, FL||6'4"||170||Syracuse, Akron|
|6||JACKSONVILLE STATE||DE||Tacorrie Russell||Munford, AL||6'3"||230||Iowa State – 7 offers (5 FBS)|
|7||TENNESSEE STATE||OL||Cedric Banks||Baton Rouge, LA||6'2"||320||La-Monroe – 6 total offers|
|8||TENN.-MARTIN||QB||John Bachus||Pulaski, TN||6'2"||210||None – committed early|
|9||AUSTIN PEAY||WR||Arthur Brantley||Sarasota, FL||6'2"||165||Ga. Southern decommit, Eastern Mich.|
|10||AUSTIN PEAY||RB||Jalyn Shelton||Rossville, GA||5'11"||220||Navy decommitment|
|11||JACKSONVILLE STATE||WR||Ahmad Edwards||Alabaster, AL||6'2"||185||S. Alabama – 7 offers|
|12||TENNESSEE TECH||QB||Drew Martin||Franklin, TN||6'2"||190||Dayton – 5 offers|
|13||SEMO||RB||Zion Custis||Hampton, GA||5'7"||180||Alabama State|
|14||MURRAY STATE||QB||Garrett Bass||Woodstock, GA||6'2"||185||5 total offers|
|15||JACKSONVILLE STATE||OL||Cameron Hill||Montgomery, AL||6'3"||280||S. Alabama, Umass, Bowling Green|
|16||JACKSONVILLE STATE||WR||Cam McKinney||Birmingham, AL||6'3"||185||Ga Southern, Arkansas St – 9 offers|
|17||TENNESSEE STATE||OL||Noah Shattuck||Enterprise, AL||6'6"||295||Virginia – 6 total offers|
|18||EASTERN ILLINOIS||DB||Darius Waddell||Sherwood, AR||6'0"||165||6 offers|
|19||TENNESSEE STATE||OL||Anthony Williams||Missouri City, TX||6'2"||300||UCF – 5 total offers|
|20||EASTERN KENTUCKY||QB||D.J. Irons||Loganville, GA||6'4"||200||7 FCS offers|
|21||EASTERN KENTUCKY||DB||D.J. Mitchell||Knoxville, TN||5'9"||170||Navy, Army – 9 offers|
|22||AUSTIN PEAY||QB||LaDerrick Bell||Anniston, AL||6'2"||180||SoAlabama, Jville St., Central Ark.|
|23||TENNESSEE TECH||RB||Tai Carter||Spring Hill, TN||5'10"||180||Toledo, UTSA|
|24||TENNESSEE STATE||OL||Raymond Horton||Daytona Beach, FL||6'3"||325||FIU decommit – 3 FBS offers|
|25||SEMO||QB||Jacob Buie||Memphis, TN||6'5"||205||Eastern Illinois|
|26||AUSTIN PEAY||DE||Kwame Sutton||Blacksburg, SC||6'1"||235||Ga Southern – 9 total offers|
|27||AUSTIN PEAY||WR||Darius Nalls||Fayette, AL||6'2"||175||Jax State, UCA, KSU, Murray St.|
|28||EASTERN KENTUCKY||WR||Caleb Martin||Oak Ridge, TN||6'4"||190||8 FCS offers|
|29||TENNESSEE TECH||S||Brian Thompson||Nashville, TN||6'1"||180||Navy, Mercer, Ind St, Holy Cross, Citadel|
|30||AUSTIN PEAY||DT||Darius Shipp||Olive Branch, MS||6'1"||295||La-Monroe – 5 total offers|