Preps Talk

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

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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."

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.