Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Preseason All-State Football Team

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Edgy Tim's Preseason All-State Football Team

With the kickoff of the 2017 IHSA football season upon us, it is time to take a look at my preseason All-State team. Here are the players to keep an eye on as the year unfolds: 

QB Quincy Patterson, Solorio (6-foot-3, 225 pounds): Va Tech commit. Elite 11 player is in line for a huge 2017 season.

RB Fotis Kokosioulis, Maine South (5-foot-8, 170 pounds): NIU commit. Runs with speed, quickness and power.

RB Geno Hess, Peoria (5-foot-9, 185 pounds): Southeast Missouri commit. Highly productive back in the Lions offense.

RB Jarrell Anderson, East St. Louis (5-foot-9, 180 pounds): Undecided. Huge threat is back again for the 7A state champs.

TE Luke Ford, Carterville (6-foot-7, 247 pounds): Undecided. Small school kid has Power 5 offers from across the country.

OL Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South (6-foot-5, 290 pounds): Undecided. Junior is already highly sought-after this fall. 

OL Jordyn Slaughter, Belleville Althoff (6-foot-6, 290 pounds): Illinois commit. Great work ethic and has an NFL-sized frame.

OL Jeff Jenkins, Prairie Ridge (6-foot-4, 275 pounds): Iowa commit. Big, strong and a very athletic leader for the Wolves.

OL Bryce Effner, Metea Valley (6-foot-5, 286 pounds): Penn State commit. One of the Midwest's top senior linemen.

OL Nick Marozas, Brother Rice (6-foot-5, 275 pounds): Indiana commit. CCL mauler also a leader on and off the field.

WR Micah Jones, Warren Township (6-foot-5, 205 pounds): Notre Dame commit. Has all the tools. An impressive kid as well.

WR Charles Robinson, Waubonsie Valley (6-foot-4, 220 pounds): NIU commit. Huge, recent steal for the Huskies 2018 class. 

ATH Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge (6-foot-1, 190 pounds): Iowa commit. Humble kid and a very impressive athlete.

K John Richardson, Brother Rice (5-foot-10, 170 pounds): NIU commit. Possesses one of the state's best legs.

KR/PR Justin Hall, Homewood-Flossmoor (5-foot-10, 180 pounds): NIU commit. Versatile multi-positional player. 

[MORE: CSN Preps Power Rankings: Prairie Ridge at #1]

DL Devin O'Rourke, Lincoln-Way East (6-foot-6, 230 pounds): Northwestern commit. Great length/size and huge upside.

DL Noah Shannon, Oswego (6-foot-2, 290 pounds): Iowa commit. Strong, quick and a very physical two-way starter.

DL Isaiah Lee, Nazareth Academy (6-foot-2, 280 pounds): Iowa State commit. Impressive non-stop grinder. 

DL Dashaun Mallory, Bolingbrook (6-foot-3, 272 pounds): Undecided. Quite simply, he just plays at a higher level.

DL Elijah Teague, Marist (6-foot-3, 292 pounds): Minnesota commit. Great mix of speed and power. He will fit in well at Minny.

LB Jack Sanborn, Lake Zurich (6-foot-2, 215 pounds): Wisconsin commit.  Two year All-State player. 

LB Jaylan Alexander, Hoffman Estates (6-foot-1, 225 pounds): Purdue commit. Leader for the Hawks also plays multi-positions.

DB Tyrik Henderson, Glenbard North (5-foot-10, 170 pounds): Minnesota commit. Hard-nosed player and a high level competitor.

DB Clayton Isbell, St. Charles East (6-foot-3, 200 pounds): Undecided. Talented athlete will play on both sides of the football this season.

DB Cameron Mitchell, Bolingbrook (5-foot-10, 175 pounds): Undecided. Class of 2019 standout is already drawing offers. 

DB Sebastian Castro, Richards (6-foot-1, 198 pounds): Undecided. Junior impact performer for one of the state's top programs.

P Caleb Griffin, Danville (6-foot-3, 185 pounds): Undecided. Exceptional leg strength can kick and punt equally well. 

ATH Joe Bonds, DeLaSalle (6-foot-3, 205 pounds): Western Michigan commit. Could play LB/DE at the college level. 

Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

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Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the NBC Sports Chicago (@NBCSPreps) crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. The show also live streams at NBCSportsChicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week, we're profiling teams who are jostling for position near the top of their respective conference. Speaking of battling, did we mention three of the team mascots in this week's poll are named "Warriors?" Which game should we attend Friday night?

Bloom at Rich Central, 6:30 p.m.

Crystal Lake South at McHenry, 7:00 p.m.

Maine West at Deerfield, 7:30 p.m.

Poll opens Monday at 12:00 p.m. and closes Thursday at 4 p.m. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.

1-on-1 with East St. Louis safety Antonio Johnson

1-on-1 with East St. Louis safety Antonio Johnson

While many top Chicagoland underclassmen took part in the third annual EDGYTIM MLK Underclassmen Showcase powered by EFT Football Academy last week, several others from outside the area participated and made waves of their own. Athletes from Central and Southern Illinois made statements, while others from a dozen states and Canada turned heads as well. 

East St. Louis sophomore safety Antonio Johnson (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) was one of several Flyers who made a very positive impression and made the most of his experience. 

Johnson, who started at wide receiver and safety for the Flyers (10-2 in 2017), is already appearing on several college radar screens. Johnson remains one of several underclassmen to watch for head coach Darren Sunkett over the next few years. 

I caught up with East St. Louis sophomore safety prospect Antonio AJ Johnson at the showcase and discussed his winter plans, his recruiting and why he made the nearly-300 mile trek in the dead of winter to compete at this event.