Preps Talk

Preps Power Rankings adds two new teams this week

Preps Power Rankings adds two new teams this week

The Preps Power Rankings don't have a lot of changes this week since the high school season was slow after the holiday tournaments. Some teams had off while others only played one game. Many teams traveled out of state to play opponents from all over the country.

Although most of the rankings remain the same, a few teams fell to unranked opponents, so we see two new teams enter the mix this week.

1. Simeon (12-2, 3-0) (1) -- The Wolverines earned an impressive national victory against Memphis East, a team Simeon lost to in December. Conference games and national opponents have Simeon with a busy week ahead as they play Kenwood, Hyde Park and No. 1 national Montverde Academy. 

2. Orr (12-2, 4-0) (2) -- Another quality win for the Spartans as they beat St. Joseph by double-digits. Orr has a crazy week as they host Uplift and Whitney Young before playing Detroit English Village in Michigan. 

3. Curie (12-2, 3-0) (3) -- The Condors picked up two out-of-state wins over Missouri and Michigan opponents as Curie is starting off 2018 in a positive manner. Bogan and Kenwood loom on the conference schedule for the Condors this week. 

4. Niles North (13-0, 3-0) (4) -- Niles North had the week off as they try to stay undefeated. The Vikings take on a tough conference opponent in Maine South before hosting Deerfield. 

5. Whitney Young (13-4, 3-1) (5) -- Tough loss against Hamilton (TN) for the Dolphins as they traveled to Memphis. Whitney Young will get some Public League Red North-West games this week as they face Von Steuben and Orr. 

6. Morgan Park (10-6, 2-2) (6) -- The Mustangs lost to Chaminade (MO) over the weekend at an out-of-state shootout. Morgan Park has two conference battles this week against Hyde Park and Vocational.  

7. Oak Park-River Forest (10-2, 3-0) (7) -- Overtime win against York for OPRF this week as they start the year with a win. The Huskies have a conference matchup with Downers North before playing in the Wheaton Warrenville South tournament over the weekend.

8. Fenwick (12-4, 3-0) (8) -- The Friars won against De La Salle in conference play as they remain unbeaten in the Catholic League. Fenwick gets another strong opponent in conference play this week when they face St. Joseph. 

9. Bolingbrook (11-2, 2-0) (9) -- Needing overtime to take down Sandburg, Bolingbrook outlasted the Eagles for a conference win. The Raiders go on the road to face Stagg for another league game this week. 

10. Lincoln Park (11-4, 3-1) (11) -- The Lions had the week off as the jump back into Public League play during the week. North Lawndale will be a major test while Westinghouse is another tough game. 

11. Marian Catholic (11-2, 1-1) (12) -- Marian Catholic barely got past Rock Island for a solid win as the Spartans have won some tight games recently. This is a big week for Marian Catholic as they face Richards and Marist before heading to Iowa for a game at Dubuque (IA).

12. DePaul Prep (13-3, 2-0) (13) -- Huge win for DePaul Prep as they got revenge on St. Rita while also beating St. Francis. DePaul Prep faces Lindblom, Loyola Academy and Riverside-Brookfield during a busy week. 

13. Marist (15-1, 2-0) (15) -- Easy win over Harlan as Marist is already up to 15 wins on the season. Marist gets two games this week, including an ESCC battle with Marian Catholic that should be a good one. 

14. Evanston (12-3, 3-1) (16) -- The Wildkits picked up a double-figure win over Niles West in conference play this week. Evanston has one of its biggest games of the season against New Trier during the week. 

15. North Lawndale (11-2, 2-1) (17) -- North Lawndale had the week off as they get ready to restart Public League play this week. The Phoenix play Lincoln Park and Von Steuben this week. 

16. Uplift (9-5, 3-1) (18) -- The Titans had the week off as they prepare for a big conference games against Orr and Farragut. Uplift is still searching for a marquee Public League win this season. 

17. Loyola (13-2, 2-1) (19) -- After winning in Florida, the Ramblers earned wins over Mount Carmel and Lakes. Loyola has some tough games this week, including St. Viator, DePaul Prep and Mather.

18. Hillcrest (13-4, 5-0) (20) -- Solid week for Hillcrest as they picked up double-digit wins against Argo and John Glenn (MI). The Hawks will try to remain unbeaten in the South Suburban with games against Shepard and Oak Lawn this week.

19. St. Rita (9-8, 1-1) (10) -- The Mustangs fell at home to DePaul Prep as the Rams got revenge from the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic game. St. Rita travels to Pennsylvania next week for multiple games over the weekend.

20. Libertyville (8-5, 3-1) (21) -- Libertyville had the week off as they prepare to face Carmel and Mundelein during the week. Senior Drew Peterson remains in the thick of the Player of the Year race. 

21. Joliet Central (12-2, 5-0) (22) -- Blowout win for the Steelmen as they ran past Plainfield South. Joliet Central has two more Southwest Prairie games this week against Plainfield North and Oswego.

22. Brother Rice (11-6, 1-2) (24) -- Picking up a Catholic League win this week, Brother Rice held off St. Ignatius. This week, the Crusaders hit the road to face Mount Carmel in another conference clash. 

23. Batavia (13-3, 4-1) (25) -- Two wins for Batavia during the week, including a thrilling buzzer-beater to knock off St. Charles East. The Bulldogs get three games this week, including two games Saturday against South Elgin and host Rockford Jefferson.

24. Naperville Central (11-2, 4-1) (NR) -- With only 10 wins all of last season, the Redhawks are now up to 11 this season as this balanced group is playing with a lot of confidence. Winning the DeKalb Holiday Tournament and knocking off previously-ranked Wheaton Warrenville South has been an impressive stretch. 

25. Jacobs (12-2, 4-0) (NR) -- The Golden Eagles enter the top 25 after a great stretch that includes winning their own Hinkle Holiday Classic. Not only is Jacobs running through the Fox Valley but they have double-digit wins over solid Mid-Suburban teams like Palatine and Barrington.

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio


Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Nazareth Academy junior three star ranked defensive back Devin Blakley (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment earlier this week.

"Miami of Ohio is just a great fit for me so I decided to commit," Blakley said. "I've known for a while now that Miami was the place for me. I just didn't see any reason to keep waiting so I called up the coaches and committed."

Blakley, who had offers from the likes of Iowa State and Air Force long with multiple Mid American Conference schools is the second State of Illinois pledge for the Redhawks Class of 2019. Blakley joins Simeon QB Alante Brown who earlier this month gave Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. 

New Trier junior three star ranked athlete recruit Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has been looking harder at his multiple college offers and options. Olges, who has been playing baseball for the Trevians this spring will make two unofficial visits this weekend then will begin to narrow down his favorite schools.

"My plan is to go see Duke and Virginia this weekend and see how everything goes with those visits," according to Olges. "After that I'm either going to narrow things down to a top schools list or I might even make a decision. I just feel that I have some great offers right now and don't want to wait too long in making a decision. Playing the waiting game is a risk because kids are already starting to make decisions. I don't want to miss out and lose some great offers."

Stevenson junior inside linebacker recruit Maema Njongmeta (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers this spring including recent offers from both NIU and Toledo. Njongmeta was also able to head out east over his recent spring break and made a handful of college visits.

"I was able to go out to visit Princeton, Army and Penn over my spring break then we headed up to Canada to visit with some family," Njongmeta said. "All three visits I felt went very well and overall it was a fun trip. I thought it was very beneficial to see all three schools in person. Army has the whole military stigma but it was good to see the academy in person. It was great to see what West Point and academy life is all about in person and it was super cool. Every school brings something different to the table. I was able to definitely get a better feel for each school I visited."

Njongmeta has reached also out to someone very familiar with the recruiting process in former Stevenson and current Northwestern super back Cameron Green.

"We have a wonderful lady who works at our school who was able to get me in touch with Cameron Green. I knew of Cameron since I was in eight grade but didn't know him at all. He's a great guy and has been a big help for me. He's given me some good advice and is someone who's been through the process and knows what I'm going through with the recruiting process."

Urban Prep Bronzeville junior defensive back Jeremiah Webb (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) was able to add his first scholarship offer earlier this week from Northern Illinois University. 

"I'm still really excited (about adding his first offer from NIU) and my phone has been blowing up," Webb said. "I've been working hard for a long time now and it just feels good to add my first offer from NIU."

Webb has been eyeing the NIU Huskies program for some time now.

"I've been looking into NIU for a long time. They have a great, winning program and have been to multiple bowl games over the years. NIU is also close to home and I've been to NIU for a camp last summer and I also went to the NIU spring game. It's great to get my first offer from such a good program like NIU."

Webb has also drawn recruiting attention from Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Cornell and Holy Cross so far this spring. 

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio


Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Simeon junior quarterback Alante Brown (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) earlier this week decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. Brown, who narrowed down his Top 4 schools to the Redhawks along with NIU, Western Michigan and Toledo pointed towards a few key reasons he gave Miami of Ohio his commitment.

"I was able to see everything that Miami has to offer," Brown said. "They offer a great education and very strong overall academics. The football program is heading in the right direction plus they already have a younger team. I'm hoping to help bring in even more kids in my class and I've already started to work on a few guys from here about Miami."

West Aurora sophomore defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) has been one of the top recruit names to watch in the Class of 202 in Illinois. Warren, who has scholarship offers from the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa State made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I had a good visit to Illinois," according to Warren. "They have a great overall energy and I just liked it. Illinois also has a strong brotherhood between the players and the coaches. The coaching staff at Illinois is pretty amazing. It was my first time ever at Illinois and I liked the facilities and the stadium. Illinois is also pretty close to home. I just came away impressed with the bond between the players and the coaches at Illinois."

Warren is also planning to transfer at the end of the spring semester to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

"It's a great opportunity and I want to go and get better and take my game to the highest level. My Mom and I have looked really hard at everything and I made my final decision and talked to my coaches about it. I'm going to visit IMG Academy on May 10th and 11th and I'll go back to register for school on July 14th."

St. Charles North junior three-star ranked defensive back Tyler Nubin (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) made a verbal commitment to Minnesota Thursday morning.

"I had a really good visit to Minnesota," Nubin said. "I spent the day with Coach (PJ) Fleck and the defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae. Their coaching staff is just unbelievable and the facilities are top notch."

Nubin held 16 scholarship offers this spring, including six offers from the Big Ten conference.  

Momence junior three-star ranked athlete Jason Bargy (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has drawn nine Power 5 scholarship offers so far this spring and made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I wanted to see the tempo and how the coaches get after the players," Bargy told Orange and's Doug Buschon. "How the guys interact with each other. "

Bargy, who doesn't plan to announce any Top schools list is planning to make a college decision "over the next few months."