• Indiana

MIDWEST RECRUITING: Avon’s Nathaniel James headed to Washington State, Lawrence Central’s Daveren Rayner picks Northern Illinois

By: Matthew B. Mowery, April 23, 2019, 5:15 pm

The road to Cougartown goes through Avon, Indiana these days. At least, as of this past weekend it does.

Avon junior defensive tackle Nathaniel James committed to Washington State Saturday, deciding to depart Hoosierland for the Pac-12 when he graduates next June.

James (6-foot-1, 265 pounds) is considered a three-star prospect and chose the Cougars over Indiana University, where his big brother, teammate and four-star running back Sampson James is headed in just a few months. 

The younger James has phenomenal footwork, a mega motor and superb wrap-up ability. He posted 65 tackles, 11 hurries and five sacks in 2018 and helped lead the Avon Orioles to a sectional title. Sampson James, the No. 1 tailback recruit in the state’s senior class, was originally committed to Ohio State before changing gears and landing at IU late in the process.


Climbing the charts, heading north

Lawrence Central junior safety Daveren Rayner has been in RISE & GRIND mode this entire offseason so far, upping the ante on his recruiting profile in a major way with relentless tenacity in the weight room and on the showcase camp circuit. The rangy 6-foot-2, 190-pound Rayner committed to Northern Illinois last week after earning a fist full of MAC offers (NIU, Ball St., Miami of Ohio, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan) since the holidays. Last fall, he totaled 75 tackles, displaying quickness, intelligence and instinct in the secondary. Despite his commitment to NIU, don’t be shocked to see “Power 5” schools enter the picture soon. Can you say SUPERSONIC SLEEPER SPECIAL?


Offers on the table

Fast-rising Ben Davis sophomore ATH Daylan Carnell has nabbed a Nebraska offer and Avon Blue Chip sophomore offensive lineman Blake Fisher earned a Louisville offer. Carnell is said to be leaning towards Notre Dame in the early stages of his recruitment. Fisher is the top prospect in the state’s Class of 2021 and has almost two dozen offers right now — he’s visited Michigan, Notre Dame and Northwestern in the last month.