Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Isaiah Robertson names his Top 6 schools


Recruiting News and Notes: Isaiah Robertson names his Top 6 schools

Ivory Kelly-Martin (RB), Oswego East

The junior three-star running back gave the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment earlier this week. Kelly-Martin (5-foot-11, 195 pounds), who was an All-State performer last season and helped lead Nazareth Academy to the Class 6A title, talked about why he decided to pledge to the Hawkeyes.

"I just felt that Iowa was the best choice for me," Kelly-Martin said. "I connected really well with the coaches at Iowa, including head coach Kirk Ferentz and running backs coach Chris White. Iowa has an experienced staff and they know how to win. Iowa also has some of the best facilities I've ever seen. I'm just very excited to be a part of the Hawkeye family."

So why commit this early?

"I just felt very comfortable with the coaches at Iowa and the school is just a great fit for me," Kelly-Martin said. "The recruiting process is exciting but it can also be very stressful. I always knew I wanted to commit early and Iowa was just too good of an opportunity for me to pass up."

Olalere Oladipo (DE), Huntley

The junior three-star defensive end was getting ready to narrow down his list of favorite schools until Penn State came in and offered him a scholarship.

"I was thinking about naming a top schools list but then Penn State offered," Oladipo said. "It just seems that I need to hold off for now on naming any favorites. I don't want to shut the door on schools right now especially with the spring evaluation period coming."

[MORE PREPS: Oswego East's Ivory Kelly-Martin pledges to Iowa]

Oladipo (6-foot-4, 235 pounds), who has 16 scholarship offers this spring, played defensive tackle for the Red Raiders last season. Oladipo is being recruited as a defensive end, and several Power 5 schools plan to watch him workout once the spring evaluation period begins on April 15.

"Schools that have been interested but who haven't offered me just yet want to see me work out at defensive end," Oladipo said. "I played defensive tackle last season so I don't have any real tape playing end. College coaches want to see if I can make the adjustment from defensive tackle to defensive end. That seems to be one of the reasons some schools are waiting to offer me."

Isaiah Robertson (ATH), Neuqua Valley

Robertson (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) recently announced his Top 6 schools (Illinois, Penn State, Notre Dame, Iowa, Wisconsin and Vanderbilt) on Twitter.

Does Robertson have a time frame in mind for making his verbal commitment? "The beginning to middle of the summer," Robertson said.

[MORE PREPS: Maine South OL Kevin Jarvis commits to Michigan State]

Isaac Hawn (OT), St. Charles North 

Hawn (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) might be one of the state's most traveled recruits in the Class of 2017. Hawn, who has made several dozen unofficial campus visits so far this offseason, discussed the value in hitting the recruiting trail hard.

"It's no mystery that coaches want you to show interest in their program and that's a part of getting out to make visits." Hawn said. "It's also a great way to just get a better feel for each school and each football program. Miami of Ohio is a prime example for why I'm happy I decided to make a visit to see them in person. I honestly didn't know too much about Miami of Ohio but I decided to visit them. I saw the school up close and talked to the coaches in person and I was really impressed with Miami of Ohio. It's a school that I'll definitely consider hard and if I didn't make that visit, I would have most likely not have looked at them as hard."

So when will Hawn, who has 14 scholarship offers, make a verbal commitment?

"I would like to make my college choice before the start of the season," Hawn said. "We have a lot of guys coming back this season and we have a chance to have a great year. I want my focus to be on my team first and I don't want anything to distract me once the season begins."

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

Playoff drama highlights a busy week on High School Lites

High School Lites had a busy show as it was the final week of the regular season for IHSA boys basketball Class 3A and 4A. The Class 1A and 2A playoffs also tipped in boys basketball as the show has some thrilling regional titles that were decided in the final minute. And finally, the girls basketball Class 1A and 2A state semifinals were played on Friday as the state's top teams played in Bloomington.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Richards wrestler Mia Palumbo

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Simeon boys basketball


Marshall shocks Leo in Class 2A regional final

Aurora Christian runs past Harvert Christian for 1A regional title

Buzzer-beater lifts Monticello over Gibson City for regional title

Jacobs goes unbeaten in Fox Valley with win over Dundee-Crown

West Aurora gets by rival East Aurora

Yorkville completes season sweep of DeKalb

Lemont escapes past T.F. North

Marshall needs OT to get past Teutopolis in girls 2A semifinals

Harlan takes down Eureka in 2A semifinals

Stockton runs by Okaw Valley in 1A

Schlarman races by Lebanon

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.