Edgy Tim

Recruiting news and notes: Glenbard West WR commits to Cincinnati


Recruiting news and notes: Glenbard West WR commits to Cincinnati

Glenbard West senior three-star ranked wide receiver Alec Pierce (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) made a weekend official visit to the University of Cincinnati and on Monday night gave the Bearcats his verbal commitment. Pierce is also planning to sign a Letter of Intent on December 20th, the first day of the new early signing period.

"I had a great official visit to Cincinnati and I decided that I was ready to commit," Pierce said. "The visit really sold me on Cincinnati in several ways. I liked the school and the city, plus I also got along great with the coaches and the players. I really liked it all."

Pierce, who had scholarship offers from 16 different FBS and FCS level schools is part of a strong Chicagoland recruit haul for the Bearcats Class of 2018. Pierce joins Lyons Township three-star QB Ben Bryant, Chicago Mount Carmel two-star OL Jeremy Cooper and Simeon three-star wide receiver Jayshon Johnson. Pierce is also the 21st overall known verbal commitment for Cincinnati in the Class of 2018.

Oswego (IL) East senior two-star defensive back recruit Antwain Walker (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) made a weekend official visit to Northern Illinois University. Walker, who reopened his recruiting process after mutually agreeing to decommit from Illinois last week came away highly impressed with the NIU Huskies after his weekend visit.

"I just enjoyed hanging out with the players and the coaches along with the other recruits," Walker said. "I was really impressed with all of the people I met at NIU. The players and the coaches are just really good people with great personalities and it's impressive how tight the coaches are with the players. NIU also has a really good recruiting class and I already know a lot of those guys like Leon (Payne), Charles (Robinson), and Justin (Hall). They are all trying to get me to commit and they are also a really good bunch of guys."

Walker, who is on track to graduate from Oswego East later this month is also still hoping to make a college choice very soon.

"Western Michigan is still interested and so is Purdue. I don't have any other official visits set just yet. I'm just going to see how things go this week but I definitely have a lot more to think about after my NIU visit. I really had a great time."

Former Mount Carmel and current IMG Academy senior four-star offensive center recruit Verdis Brown (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) is planning to announce his college decision on Dec. 22 at Robert A. Black elementary school in Chicago. Brown, who has offers from multiple Power 5 schools made fall official visits to Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

Lake Park junior offensive linemen Patrick Panasiuk (6-foot-3, 290 pounds) should be a very familiar name to those who follow football recruiting. Panasiuk, who is the younger brother of former Lake Park standouts and current Michigan State defensive linemen Mike Panasiuk and Jacub Panasiuk is also starting to draw increased recruiting interest this winter.

"I've stayed in touch with Michigan State along with Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ball State and Northern Illinois. Indiana," Patrick Panasiuk said. "Ball State and NIU made in school visits over the past few weeks. The feedback from the college coaches so far has been pretty positive. The coaches said they liked my junior tape and that they like how I play with a lot of aggressiveness."

So could Panasiuk, who played offensive tackle for the Lancers and head coach Chris Roll last season wind up playing on the defensive line along with his two older brothers?

"I played on the offensive line because my team needed me to play there. I'm totally open to play anywhere the coaches ask me to play and that includes the defensive line."

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: GBN's Tyrik Henderson decommits from Minnesota


Edgy's recruiting news and notes: GBN's Tyrik Henderson decommits from Minnesota

Peoria senior three-star offensive linemen Marques Cox (6-foot-5, 280 pounds) made a weekend official visit to Northern Illinois and gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment before leaving campus. 

"I went to my official visit to NIU over the weekend and it just felt like home," Cox said. "I just came away really impressed with everything that NIU has to offer. After the official visit I knew that I wanted to play for the Huskies so I committed."

Cox, who also had interest and offers from Iowa State, Cincinnati along with multiple rival Mid American Conference schools is now the 22nd known verbal commitment in the NIU Class of 2018 as well as the 13th known in-state verbal commitment for NIU.

Glenbard North three-star cornerback Tyrik Henderson (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) is back on the recruiting market after deciding last weekend to decommit from the University of Minnesota.

Henderson told Rivals.com Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt that, "We still have all due respect for Minnesota and the coaching staff. The recruits there are still like my brothers, but this was something we both decided would be best for me and them going forward. They will definitely still be an option for me. They’re just trying to see how this senior year goes grade-wise.”

Henderson is already hearing from several schools including Indiana, Purdue, Nebraska, Illinois and North Carolina. Henderson is also expected to forgo the early singing period starting on December 20th and will instead sign a Letter of Intent on February 7th after taking some additional official visits.

Oswego East two-star senior cornerback Antwain Walker (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) is also back on the recruiting market after decommitting from the University of Illinois last week. Walker conformed that the decommitment was under mutual agreement between Walker and the Fighting Illini staff. Walker is also expected to make some official visits before making a college decision and has already been in contact with several Mid American Conference schools including Northern Illinois University and Western Michigan.

Bolingbrook three-star wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) has started to sort out his college options and has some official visits planned.

"I'm looking at taking an official visit to Toledo probably this weekend," Stewart said. "I'm also planning to make an official visit to New Mexico and I'm setting that up now. I'm also looking at visiting Western Michigan in a couple of weeks. Cincinnati is also in the mix quite a bit. I hear from a handful of other schools but Cincinnati has shown the most interest."

Early signing period brings new drama/challenges


Early signing period brings new drama/challenges

Are you ready for Signing Day? Already?

Members of the Class of 2018 will have their first opportunity to early sign a National Letter of Intent from Dec. 20-22 as the NCAA has allowed a first-ever early signing period in football.

What can we expect in a few weeks for all D-1 level recruits, college teams and the recruiting merry go round?

1. Expect a lot of the top names in Illinois and the Midwest to sign on the first day. Illinois (and the upper-Midwest in general) has always been the land of the early verbal commitment. Now, those same early decision makers can end the recruiting process before the holiday season. When looking at the EDGYTIM.com Class of 2018 Top 70 preseason recruit rankings, I expect no more than a dozen of those names to go unsigned in that early LOI period. And out of those names, at least half will not sign because of academic issues.

2. The upper Midwest schools love this new early signing period—and expect them to be very active. Major college programs here in Illinois and also in the surrounding states will undoubtedly benefit the most by an early signing day. Why? Kids in these recruiting areas, unlike the south, have traditionally wrapped up recruiting well before the traditional National Letter of Intent Signing Day (held the first Wednesday every February). The sooner colleges can fill their recruiting class the sooner its recruits are effectively "off the market" by the binding LOI. Also, having potential signees make official visits to less tropical locales (think Champaign, Evanston and DeKalb) in mid-to-late January isn't exactly a recruiting advantage for Midwest-based colleges. 

3. Expect even more drama starting on Dec. 23. Once the smoke clears from the early signing period, the athletes who have not yet signed will start an even-more serious round of heavy recruiting in January. The dash to the next signing day period (Feb. 7) has the potential top be even more drama-filled for many of the top names than in years past. The state's top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2018 is Carterville four star-ranked tight end Luke Ford (6-foot-7, 250 pounds), who is also the top-ranked tight end in the nation according to Rivals.com. Ford, whose top three schools include Alabama, Auburn and Georgia, is planning to announce his college decision on Jan. 6 at the US Army All American Bowl game. Once the early signing period is completed — and if any other college doesn't sign a tight end or two as they expected — I fully expect even more schools to make a harder push to land Ford.

4. Recruits need to sign at their own risk. The bottom line is once a recruit signs the National Letter of Intent, regardless of any potential future coaching changes, once you are signed — you are signed. The biggest complaint about the early signing period is that once the NLOI is signed, it's a done deal regardless of any potential staff shakeups. I fully expect kids to sign to a school that will have a coaching change in some capacity. And I also fully expect to hear even more outcry from parents, recruits and high school coaches.