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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: The Baby Baller Report — IHSAA Pigskin Prospects In ’23, ’24 Catching Fire

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, February 20, 2021, 6:45 pm

The IHSAA Football Recruiting Underclassmen Watch List — February 2021

1 Drayk Bowen (Andrean 6-2, 215 Soph. LB) — The No. 1 recruit on defense in the state’s Class of ’23, Bowen scooped an offer from Notre Dame last weekend, followed by one from Purdue. He recorded 80 tackles and five sacks in 2020. Indiana offered him back in November. Power, size, speed, swagger and intelligence equals the total package as a prospect.

2 Aycen “Tank” Stevens (Decatur Central 6-4, 200 Soph. QB/LB/TE) — Maybe the most versatile prospect right now in Hoosierland’s Class of ’23, Stevens can line up all over the field and do equal damage at every spot. Indiana recently offered, as did Marshall and Purdue. On defense last fall, he logged 60 tackles and four sacks. In spot duty at quarterback, he threw six touchdowns. He takes the reins full time under center at Decatur Central in 2021. His brother is DC alum Tommy Stevens (Penn State-Mississippi State), currently quarterbacking in the NFL for the Carolina Panthers.

3 Joshua Mickens (Lawrence Central 6-5, 235 Soph. DE) — After a 60-tackle sophomore campaign, Mickens is beginning to pick up serious traction on his recruiting. He snared offers from Indiana, Michigan State, Iowa State and Purdue in the last few weeks. Fantastic upside, raw potential with a high motor and tons of coachability.

4 Jaron Tibbs (Indianapolis Cathedral 6-3, 185 Fr. WR) — Prototype home run threat in the passing game, has all the tools for greatness. Looked mighty good last season for the 5A state champs, snatching 30 grabs for 500 yards in his first year on the prep gridiron. Tibbs is a two-sport sensation, showing off his stuff as a hooper this winter by contributing in the backcourt (6 ppg., 3 rpg.) for a veteran Fighting Irish basketball squad (18-2). Big Ten, SEC, ACC and the Midwest Mid-Majors are all keeping tabs on Tibbs’ progress this offseason.

5 Jo’Ziah Edmond (Warren Central 6-0, 170 Fr. WR) — Approach with caution, ‘cause this kid is about to blow up on the recruiting scene and in the high school pigskin ranks of the IHSAA in the next three years. Edmond is elusive in the open field and unafraid to go across the middle to make the tough catch. Several MAC programs are said to be on the verge of offering after Edmond’s primetime performance at a showcase camp in Indianapolis earlier in February.