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Five local players on Lemming's Top 100

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Five local players on Lemming's Top 100

Five Chicago area products are listed among the Top 100 players in the nation in the class of 2014, according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. But none of them ranks among the top 75, an indication that this year's juniors rank a step behind the class of 2013.

The five are Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett (76), Bolingbrook cornerback Parrker Westphal (86), Marist tight end Nic Weishar (94), De La Salle offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (96) and Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan (100).

It is interesting to note that Westphal, while consistently rated among the top five prospects in Illinois in the class of 2014, was named to the Joliet Herald-News' All-Area second defensive team. To date, he has accumulated 14 scholarship offers.

"At this time, I have interviewed in person one-third of the nation's top prospects and watched film on about 80 percent of the nation's top 2,000 prospects," Lemming said, explaining how he annually travels from coast-to-coast to make his evaluations.

"This top 100 will be changed in a couple of months after I have seen all of the nation's top prospects in person. So far, 19 players have earned five stars with more coming."

Garrett has nine scholarship offers -- from Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and Ole Miss.

Weishar, the nation's No. 2 tight end according to Lemming, has 12 offers -- from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Boston College.

As a sophomore, Weishar caught 73 passes for 1,149 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a junior, the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder caught 89 for 1,034 yards and five touchdowns. He has a 5.37 grade-point average on a 5.0 scale.

He was the only one of the five players who made Lemming's Top 100 to earn a spot on the Chicago Sun-Times' 24-member All-Area squad.

Westphal, a standout on Bolingbrook's Class 8A state championship team in 2011, has offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Purdue, Ole Miss and Cincinnati.

Jones has accumulated more offers (15) than any other local prospect -- Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Toledo, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Morgan, the defensive standout on Crete-Monee's unbeaten 2012 Class 6A state championship team, is a rapidly rising star. He has offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Purdue, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

"I don't base my evaluations on the number of scholarship offers a player receives. And I don't take into account what a player does or doesn't do at a combine," Lemming said. "I think it is more important to judge a player's skills on the basis of his performance, in person or on film. And I like to interview each player to get a sense of his passion and love for the game."

Other juniors in the city and suburbs who are attracting considerable interest from colleges and could earn a spot in the top 100 before the end of the 2013 season are Glenbard North running backdefensive back Justin Jackson, Richards running backathlete Tommy Mister, Mount Carmel defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr., Stevenson defensive back Matt Morrissey and Hinsdale Central center Brian Allen.

Nation's Top 100 In Class of 2014

(According to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network)

No. Name, Hometown Pos. Ht. Wt.

1. Leonard Fournette, New Orleans, La. RB 6-1 225
2. Raekwon McMillan, Hinesville, Ga. LB 6-3 240
3. Tony Brown, Beaumont, Tex. DB 6-1 185
4. Marlon Humphrey, Hoover, Ala. DB 6-0 170
5. Jabril Peppers, Paramus, N.J. DB 6-0 190
6. Quin Blanding, Virginia Beach, Va. DB 6-2 200
7. Cameron Robinson, West Monroe, La. OL 6-6 300
8. Kain Daub, Jacksonville, Fla. LB 6-3 200
9. Gerald Willis, New Orleans, La. DL 6-3 265
10. Andrew Brown, Chesapeake, Va. DL 6-4 290
11. Hoza Scott, La Porte, Tex. LB 6-2 205
12. Da'Shawn Hand, Woodbridge, Va. DL 6-4 260
13. Drake Harris, Grand Rapids, Mich. WR 6-4 180
14. Kevin Crosby, Bamberg, S.C. LB 6-1 225
15. Deondre Clark, Oklahoma City, Okla. DL 6-5 235
16. Tre Williams, Mobile, Ala. LB 6-2 220
17. Bo Scarbrough, Tuscaloosa, Ala. RB 6-2 220
18. Braden Smith, Olathe, Kan. OL 6-6 275
19. Sony Michel, Plantation, Fla. RB 5-11 185
20. Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow, Okla. RB 5-11 210
21. Orlando Brown, Duluth, Ga. OL 6-9 360
22. Todd Kelly, Knoxville, Tenn. DB 6-1 190
23. Damian Prince, Forestville, Md. OL 6-7 310
24. Tyler Luatua, La Mirada, Calif. ATH 6-4 230
25. DeShaun Watson, Gainesville, Ga. QB 6-4 200
26. Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte, N.C. TE 6-5 240
27. Denzel Ware, Crestview, Fla. DL 6-2 220
28. Khairi Clark, Hollywood, Fla. DL 6-3 310
29. Jerrod Heard, Denton, Tex. QB 6-2 180
30. Nathan Starks, Las Vegas, Nev. RB 5-11 200
31. Nick Watkins, Dallas, Tex. DB 6-1 180
32. Jordan Poland, La Jolla, Calif. OL 6-8 330
33. Vincent Jackson, Tampa, Fla. LB 6-2 230
34. Mason Cole, Tarpon Springs, Fla. OL 6-5 280
35. Speedy Noil, New Orleans, La. WR 5-10 180
36. Andrew Williams, McDonough, Ga. DL 6-4 250
37. Justice Hansen, Edmond, Okla. QB 6-4 200
38. Edward Paris, Mansfield, Tex. DB 6-2 190
39. Racean Thomas, Oxford, Ala. RB 5-11 190
40. Michiah Quick, Fresno, Calif. DB 6-0 170
41. Nick Harvey, Lancaster, Tex. DB 5-11 180
42. Kyle Allen, Scottsdale, Ariz. QB 6-2 200
43. Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland, Ohio DB 5-11 180
44. Donnell Stanley, Latta, S.C. OL 6-3 305
45. Demarcus Christmas, Bradenton, Fla. DL 6-3 280
46. Dalvin Cook, Miami, Fla. RB 5-11 195
47. Jalen Tabor, Washington, D.C. DB 6-0 180
48. Bryson Allen-Williams, Ellenwood, Ga. DE 6-3 235
49. Cameron Hampton, Dallas, Tex. LB 6-2 210
50. Andy Bauer, St. Louis, Mo. OL 6-5 300
51. Laurence Jones, Monroe, La. LB 6-2 215
52. Malik McDowell, Detroit, Mich. DL 6-6 290
53. Cameron Denson, Tucson, Ariz. WR 6-1 175
54. E.J. Moss, Ashville, Ala. LB 6-4 220
55. Thaddeus Snodgrass, Springfield, Ohio WR 6-1 185
56. Demetrius Knox, Fort Worth, Tex. OL 6-5 300
57. Mark Andrews, Scottsdale, Ariz. WR 6-6 225
58. Steven Parker, Jenks, Okla. DB 6-2 185
59. Montae Nicholson, Monroeville, Pa. DB 6-3 200
60. Jay Hayes, Brooklyn, N.Y. OL 6-5 270
61. Josh Malone, Gallatin, Tenn. WR 6-3 188
62. Ronnie Clark, Calera, Ala. DB 6-3 212
63. Keller Chyrst, Palo Alto, Calif. QB 6-3 210
64. K.C. McDermott, Wellington, Fla. OL 6-6 285
65. Casey Tucker, Chandler, Ariz. OL 6-5 270
66. Caleb Henderson, Alexandria, Va. QB 6-4 215
67. Shaun Dion Hamilton, Montgomery, Ala. LB 6-2 225
68. David Cornell, Jones, Okla. QB 6-5 220
69. Will Grier, Davidson, N.C. QB 6-3 180
70. Nifae Lealao, Sacramento, Calif. DE 6-5 270
71, Jonathan Hilliman, Jersey City, N.J. RB 6-0 205
72. Artavis Scott, Tarpon Springs, Fla. WR 5-11 180
73. Lorenzo Fetherston, Greensboro, N.C. DE 6-7 215
74. Mike Ferns, St. Clairsville, Ohio LB 6-3 235
75. Roderick Johnson, Florissant, Mo. OL 6-6 320
76. Clifton Garrett, Plainfield South, Ill. LB 6-2 220
77. Adoree Jackson, Gardena, Calif. DB 5-9 170
78. Travonte Valentine, Palm Bay, Fla. DL 6-3 280
79. Jalen Hurd, Hendersonville, Tenn. RB 6-3 210
80. Bentley Spain, Charlotte, N.C. OL 6-5 285
81. Demarre Kitt, Tyrone, Ga. WR 6-1 200
82. Alex Bars, Nashville, Tenn. OL 6-6 275
83. Johnathan Lloyd, Graham, N.C. ATH 5-11 175
84. Ross Pierschbacher, Cedar Falls, Iowa OL 6-4 275
85. Josh Frazier, Springdale, Ark. DL 6-4 330
86. Parrker Westphal, Bolingbrook, Ill. DB 6-1 185
87. Dante Booker, Akron, Ohio LB 6-3 212
88. Solomon Thomas, Coppell, Tex. DL 6-3 265
89. Budda Baker, Bellevue, Wash. DB 5-10 175
90. Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City, Utah DL 6-3 284
91. Jamoral Graham, Decatur, Miss. ATH 5-11 175
92. Andrew Trumbetti, Demarest, N.J. DL 6-5 250
93. Melvin Keihn, Baltimore, Md. LB 6-2 220
94. Nic Weishar, Chicago (Marist), Ill. TE 6-5 215
95. Bijhon Jackson, El Dorado, Ark. DL 6-2 320
96. Jamarco Jones, Chicago (De La Salle), Ill. OL 6-5 285
97. Jalyn Holmes, Norfolk, Va. DL 6-5 230
98. Jacory Washington, Westlake, La. TE 6-5 215
99. Derrell Scott, Havelock, N.C. RB 5-11 175
100. Nyles Morgan, Crete-Monee, Ill. LB 6-2 220

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

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Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks look to bounce back against Panthers

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Florida Panthers Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

(Reminder: Use #AskEdzo on social media and your questions may be answered by Eddie Olczyk, who will be in studio along with Adam Burish, Brian Campbell and Pat Boyle).

1. Another fast start coming?

The Blackhawks had one of their best starts of the season Wednesday in Tampa Bay, and the numbers favor Chicago to dictate the pace of play early again.

The Panthers are tied with the Buffalo Sabres for the fewest goals scored in the first period (13), and have taken a lead into the second period only four times (3-1-0) in 21 games. They are 2-7-1 in the 10 games they've trailed after the opening frame.

The Blackhawks, on the other hand, are tied for fourth when it comes to first-period goals (22) — albeit, five of them came on Opening Night against Pittsburgh — but they are just 4-2-2 in eight games when leading after one period. In fact, they took a 2-0 lead into the second in their most recent game against the Lightning and lost in overtime 3-2.

So while a fast start could certainly be in the cards, the finish must also be there.

2. Take advantage on special teams.

The Panthers are one of two teams ranked among the bottom six in both power play percentage (26th at 16.0) and penalty kill percentage (30th at 73.2).

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks are coming in hot in both areas. They're 6-for-17 (35.3 percent) on the man advantage in their last four games, and own the fourth-best penalty kill unit (84.8 percent).

This is the area to exploit for the Blackhawks going into the matchup, and it could decide the game.

3. Feed Lance Bouma!

In his seventh season, Bouma has faced every NHL team at least five times in his career, with the exception of Vegas (pointless in one game this season).

Bouma is not known for his offensive prowess (72 points in 325 career games), but it's a different story when he plays Florida.

In six career games against the Panthers, Bouma has one goal, six assists and a career-high plus-8 rating. That one goal also happens to be one of his six career game winners.

Florida is the only team Bouma is averaging at least a point-per-game against for his career, so you know what that means: Feed No. 17!

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

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AP

Is Steve Kerr trolling the Bulls?

With Kevin Durant (ankle) and Draymond Green (rest) out, the Golden State Warriors had two starting forward positions open for Friday's game against the Bulls.

One of the two starters replacing them? Jordan Bell. Does his name ring one, too?

Selected by the Bulls with the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Bell was eventually traded to the Warriors in exchange for cash considerations.

The Oregon product hasn't played much this season for the defending champs, averaging just 3.2 points and 8.3 minutes in 12 games, but he will make his first career start against ... his "former" team. Coincidence?

Warriors coach Steve Kerr (jokingly) explains why he's giving the 22-year-old rookie the nod in the lineup.

Prior to the game, Bell also had this to say about his trade:

Buckle up, Bulls fans. Lauri Markkanen vs. Jordan Bell Part II is coming your way too.