Preps Talk

Class of 2016: Top 50 high school football players in Illinois


Class of 2016: Top 50 high school football players in Illinois

Without question, the defensive line spot was the strength of this signing class as three of the top four spots are help by that position. Michigan State also cleaned up locally as the Spartans landed four Illinois names on the list, including the state's top ranked recruit in Hinsdale South's Josh King.

Illinois and head coach Bill Cubit didn't fare well in state as the Illini lost a handful of committed players including West Aurora's Drake Spears. However, Illinois did have four names in the Top 50 -- but no names in the Top 20.

[MORE: Recruiting - Swenson picks Oklahoma; Stallings flips to Indiana]

How about Northwestern and NIU? Overall, both schools fared well but both also had limited scholarships available. 

Three players remain uncommitted at this point. West Aurora safety Drake Spears Jr. and O'Fallon running back Kentrail Moran both became late decommitments in the Illinois signing class. Spears Jr. added a recent offer from Kansas while Moran made an official visit to Eastern Michigan. Morgan Park senior LB Sean Williams is a strong lean to Northern Iowa and is expected to ink with the Panthers on Wednesday. 

So how does the Class of 2016 shape up overall? What letter grade did I give the class in Illinois? Which schools are winners on Signing Day? Which five players that were not included in my Top 50 rankings could become surprises at the next level? More to come tomorrow.

1. Josh King (DE), Hinsdale South -- Michigan State

2. Mike Panasiuk (DT), Lake Park -- Michigan State

3. Erik Swenson (OT), Downers Grove South -- Oklahoma

4. Naquan Jones (DT), Evanston -- Michigan State

5. Tuf Borland (LB), Bolingbrook -- Ohio State

6. Julian Love (ATH), Nazareth Academy -- Notre Dame

7. Amir Watts (DT), Phillips -- Pittsburgh

8. Bryan Brokop (OG), Lincoln-Way West -- Nebraska

9. Sean Foster (OT), Carmel -- Iowa State

10. Emmanuel Rugamba (WR/DB), Naperville Central -- Iowa

11. Albert Okwuegbunam (TE), Sacred Heart Griffin -- Missouri

12. Desmond Bland (OL), Homewood-Flossmoor -- Arizona Western JC

13. Kenney Lyke (DB), Fremd -- Michigan State

14. Noah Turner (TE), Carmel -- North Carolina

15. Daniel Joseph (DE), Lake Forest Academy -- Penn State

16. Royce Newman (OL), Nashville -- Ole Miss

17. Sam Brodner (RB), Glenbard West -- Wisconsin

18. Nick Niemann (LB), Sycamore -- Iowa

19. Drake Spears (DB), West Aurora -- Undecided

20. Eric Eshoo (TE), Loyola -- Northwestern

21. Riley Lees (ATH), Libertyville --Northwestern

22. Thomas Schaffer (DE), Lake Forest Academy -- Stanford

23. Juwuane Parchman (ATH), Auburn -- Illinois

24. Kendric Pryor (WR), Homewood-Flossmoor -- Wisconsin

25. Matt Little (QB), Evanston -- Western Michigan

26. Barrington Wade (RB), Niles North -- Iowa

27. Kentrail Moran (RB), O'Fallon -- Undecided

28. Justin Witt (OL), Lincoln-Way West -- North Carolina State

29. Trevour Simms (OL), East St. Louis -- Missouri

30. Amani Jones (LB), Phillips -- Iowa

31. Romeo McKnight (DE), Crystal Lake Central -- Iowa

32. Quayvon Skanes (WR), Phillips -- UConn

33. Liam O'Sullivan (OL), Maine South -- Syracuse

34. Steven Frank (QB), Oswego -- Florida Atlantic

35. Travion Banks (DB), Evanston -- Miami of Ohio

36. Kurt Gavin (OL), Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois

37. Stanley Green (DB), East St. Louis -- Illinois

38. Tucker McCann (K), O'Fallon -- Oklahoma

39. Matt Allen (OL), Hinsdale Central -- Michigan State

40. Brett Borske (TE), Neuqua Valley -- Western Michigan

41. Austin Warner (OL), Oswego -- Northern Illinois

42. Jonathon Ward (RB), Bishop McNamara -- Central Michigan

43. Ben Leroy (DT), Loyola -- Northern Illinois

44. Ben Kimpler (DE), Libertyville -- Miami of Ohio

45. Ken Aguirre (DT), Joliet Catholic -- Western Michigan

46. Jahmari Moore (LB), Oak Park-River Forest -- Wyoming

47. Joshua Black(DE), Harlem -- Syracuse

48. Doug Kramer Jr. (OL), Hinsdale Central -- Illinois (greyshirt)

49. Sean Williams (LB), Morgan Park -- Undecided

50. Desmond Chapple (DE), Edwardsville -- Northern Iowa

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

Boys Basketball Playoffs begin on busy week of High School Lites

High School Lites is down to the final week of the regular season in local high school hoops as the Class 3A and 4A schools finish up conference play. The boys basketball playoffs have also started as the Class 1A and Class 2A regional championships will be played on Friday night.

The girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals will also be featured. You can catch all of those games on NBC Sports Chicago on Friday beginning at 11 a.m. with the 1A semifinals. High School Lites will air Friday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago

East Aurora at No. 11 West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- These two rivals meet for the 225th time. The Blackhawks (20-4, 9-0) won the first matchup by 22 points as they try to finish the season on a 12-game winning streak. 

Jacobs at Dundee-Crown, 7:00 p.m. -- Fox Valley rivals match up as Jacobs tries to go unbeaten in the conference. The Eagles (23-3, 15-0) has been playing very well as they've won 20 of 21 games heading into this one -- including an earlier win against Dundee-Crown. The Chargers (14-11, 10-4) has won seven consecutive games since dropping to the Golden Eagles as they're second in the Fox Valley heading into this one. 

Yorkville at DeKalb, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East play in this one. DeKalb (16-11, 11-1) has already clinched a share of the conference title as the team's only league loss has come against Yorkville. The Foxes (17-8, 10-2) knocked off DeKalb at their place on Feb. 3 as they try to win again to get a piece of the division title. 

T.F. North at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the better teams in the South Suburban Blue battle on the eve of the playoffs. Lemont (17-8, 9-3) has picked up three straight wins entering this one. T.F. North (11-9, 9-3) is trying to build some momentum after recent close losses to Hillcrest and T.F. South.

Carmel at No. 10 Benet, 7:30 p.m. -- The ESCC closes out its season with this one. Benet (22-4, 7-1) is coming off a nice road win at Marian Catholic earlier this week. Carmel (17-10, 4-4) knocked off Joliet Catholic during the week as they've been a dangerous team in the ESCC. 

Class 2A Boys Basketball Regional Championships

Leo vs. Marshall, 6 p.m. -- The Lions are the favorites but the Commandos are the host of this regional title game. Leo (20-5, 8-0) has a 13-game winning streak as they won the Catholic League White. Marshall (8-17, 4-5) struggled in the win column but they were a competitive 4-5 in a very deep Public League Red-South. 

Uplift vs. Northridge, 7 p.m. -- This should be an interesting battle as Uplift is playing on the road at Northridge. Uplift (17-9, 6-3) has played an extremely competitive schedule that includes a recent close loss to No. 1 Simeon as Kansas commit Markese Jacobs and senior forward Toraze Dobbs are one of the best combinations in the Class 2A field. Northridge (22-5, 12-0) went unbeaten in the Independent School League this season as they're riding a 13-game winning streak.

Class 1A Boys Basketball Regional Championships 

Aurora Christian vs. Harvest Christian, 7 p.m. -- These two teams play for the third time this season in what should be an interesting regional title game. Aurora Christian (23-1, 10-0) is the host as they only lost to Winnebago this season. The Eagles beat Harvest Christian twice in a six-day span in December. Harvest Christian (18-8, 8-2) finished third in the Northeastern Athletic as they played the second game within two points. 

Class 1A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Okaw Valley vs. Stockton, 11 a.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Okaw Valley (29-5) is making its first state appearance after winning its first regional title in school history. Stockton (31-2) finished under .500 last season (13-15) and had an amazing turnaround that includes a current 15-game winning streak. 

Lebanon vs. Schlarman, 12:45 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- These two teams have combined for two losses this season as this should be a good one. Lebanon (31-1) just won its first sectional title in school history as they've now moved on to state. Schlarman (31-1) is led by junior Anaya Peoples, a Notre Dame commit and five-star prospect in the Class of 2019. 

Class 2A Girls Basketball State Semifinals

Harlan vs. Eureka, 5:30 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two red-hot teams play in the first semifinal in Class 2A. Harlan (25-6) is riding a 12-game winning streak as this is its first appearance at state for girls basketball. Eureka (28-3) has a 19-game winning streak as they make their first state appearance since 1988.

Marshall vs. Teutopolis, 7:15 p.m., NBC Sports Chicago -- Two storied programs in the state match up in this one. Marshall (20-7) will be making its 21st state appearance as head coach Dorothy Gaters is one of the most storied coaches in Illinois. Teutopolis is making its 17th appearance at state as the Lady Shoes (28-6) seek their first title since 1995. 

Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down


Check out the AP boys basketball polls as regular season winds down

Here is the latest AP boys basketball polls. The girls basketball polls are done with the playoffs underway in all four classes.

Class 4A

School                                 W-L       Pts   Prv

1. Simeon (9)                      25-3      90    1

2. Belleville West                23-2      75    3

3. Curie                                22-3      74     2

4. Danville                           23-2      67      4

5. Whitney Young               22-7     52     T5

6. Normal West                   21-6     28     T5

7. Quincy                              19-4      21     T10

8. Bloomington                   18-7      15     8

9. Evanston                          20-5      14     7

10. New Trier                       22-3       12     NR

Others receiving votes: Moline 11, Niles North 10, Lisle (Benet Academy) 10, St. Viator 5, Naperville North 4, Maine South 2, Rockford Jefferson 1.

Class 3A

School                                            W-L          Pts    Prv

1. Morgan Park (7)                       18-9         88     2

2. Springfield Southeast (2)        22-3         82     1

3. Marian Catholic                        20-4         67     4

4. Hillcrest                                      21-5         57     5

(tie) Springfield Lanphier             22-3         57     3

6. Alton Marquette                       28-0         44      6

7. Centralia                                    21-4          32      7

8. DePaul College Prep                20-6          31      8

9. Champaign Central                  17-7          13      10

10. Decatur MacArthur                 18-8         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 6, Burlington Central 6, Bogan 3.

Class 2A

School                                       W-L          Pts     Prv

1. Orr (11)                                 23-4         110     1

2. Warsaw West Hancock      22-2         83       3

3. Pinckneyville                       25-3         76       T4

4. Winnebago                          24-2         75       2

5. Monticello                            22-1         69       6

6. Leo                                        19-5         65       T4

7. Bloomington Central Catholic       21-6         42   8

8. Effingham St. Anthony                    25-3         23   7

9. Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley               24-3         12   NR

10. Trenton Wesclin                             24-4         9     NR

Others receiving votes: Eldorado 7, Corliss 6, St. Joseph-Ogden 6, Bureau Valley 5, Uplift 5 Teutopolis 4, Williamsville 3, Quincy Notre Dame 2, Farmington  2, Casey-Westfield 1

Class 1A

School                                      W-L          Pts      Prv

1. Aurora Christian (9)            22-1        108      1

2. DePue (1)                              24-2        85        2

3. East Dubuque (1)                26-3        80        4

4. Annawan                              25-3        75        5

5. Payson Seymour                 26-2        68        3

6. Sterling Newman                 23-4       57        6

7. Colfax Ridgeview                  24-4       48        7

8. New Berlin                             25-3       33        8

9. Cairo                                       21-5       22        9

10. Nokomis                              21-7         9        NR

Others receiving votes: Newark 8, Quest Academy 5, Milford 4, Cissna Park 2. Okawville 1.