Preps Talk

Recruiting news and notes: Where will Trevor Keegan end up?


Recruiting news and notes: Where will Trevor Keegan end up?

Crystal Lake South junior 4-star ranked offensive tackle Trevor Keegan (6-foot-6, 310 pounds) already has 16 scholarship offers along with several Power 5 schools setting its recruiting sights on Keegan this winter.

"More and more college coaches keep telling me and my coaches at school that they will be back into my school very soon," according to Keegan. "The two latest schools to show interest are Oklahoma and Florida State."

Keegan, who's early scholarship offers includes Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State and Minnesota is also looking hard at taking spring official visits. The Class of 2019 will be the first class allowed to take spring official visits per the revised NCAA football recruiting rule changes. 

'I'm looking to get out sometime soon and go see more schools in person," Keegan said. "I'm definitely looking into taking some spring official visits. I probably start to narrow everything down this spring or early summer. I want to take four official visits this spring and then save one more official visit for after my senior year."

West Aurora sophomore defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-32, 285 pounds) had an eye-opening performance at the recently held US Army All American Bowl underclassmen combine.

"They had a lot of good talent at the Army combine and it was good to go against some great players from all over the country," Warren said.  "I felt that I did pretty well in one on ones along with doing well in the L drill along with my vertical. I felt good about the numbers I put up. I already have a good amount of experience with camps and combines and that definitely paid off at the Army combine. I felt pretty comfortable and just went out and competed."

Warren is already holding early verbal scholarship offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Central Michigan, Iowa State and Syracuse.

Defending Class 5A state champion Phillips will be loaded with underclassmen talent returning from last season's state title team and one of the headliners will be Wildcats 3-star ranked tight end Jahleel Billingsley (6-foot-5, 227 pounds). Billingsley, who is already touting 11 early verbal scholarship offers in hoping to make some upcoming college campus visits this winter.

"I was supposed to go to the Army combine in San Antonio but I had to cancel at the last minute," Billingsley said. "I stay in touch with a lot of the schools who have offered me so far. I'm looking to get out to visit both Minnesota and Penn State sometime soon. I don't have any dates wet for those just yet."

Bolingbrook junior running back recruit Anthony Williams Jr. (6-foot-0, 195 pounds) is now holding eight scholarship offers so far this winter and continues to see his recruiting stock on the rise this winter.

"I have offers now from Western Michigan, NIU, Arkansas State, South Dakota State, Toledo, Bowling Green, Cincinnati and Central Michigan," Williams Jr. said. "I'm also in touch with several Big Ten schools and recruiting has been going well for me overall."

Willams Jr. has also draw recent recruiting attention from a handful of new schools.

"Rutgers, Illinois, Notre Dame and also Minnesota are some of the newer schools who seem to be contacting me the most. I've been getting contact now from a lot of schools. It's been pretty exciting."

The latest AP preps boys and girls basketball poll


The latest AP preps boys and girls basketball poll

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school basketball teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:


Class 4A

Others receiving votes: New Trier 13, Bloomington 12, Oak Park-River Forest 12, Normal West 10, Evanston 5, Fenwick 5, Lincoln Park 4, Maine South 3, Rockford Jefferson 3, Quincy 3, Loyola 1.

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Lincoln 7, St. Rita 4, Benton 3, Burlington Central 2, Murphysboro 2, Morton 1.

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Teutopolis 18, St. Joseph-Ogden 16, Bloomington Central Catholic 15, Corliss 14, Chicago Uplift 5, Trenton Wesclin 2, Deer Creek-Mackinaw 1, Quincy Notre Dame 1.

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: New Berlin 16, Cairo 10, Okawville 5, Bushnell (B-Prairie City) 5, Newark 4, Nokomis 2, Decatur Lutheran (LSA) 1, Cissna Park 1.


Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Springfield 9, Marist 8, Whitney Young 2, Bolingbrook 1, Bradley-Bourbonnais 1, Chatham Glenwood 1, Naperville Central 1, Normal West 1.

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Burlington Central 8, Bishop McNamara 4, Breese Central 3, Sycamore 1

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Chicago Marshall 15, Harvest Christian Academy 11, Williamsville 9, Tuscola 3, Nashville 3, Knoxville 1, Harlan 1, Hall 1, Auburn 1, Pana  1.

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Okawville 6, East Dubuque 6, Colfax Ridgeview 5.

Colleges now focusing on underclassmen in always-shifting recruiting calendar


Colleges now focusing on underclassmen in always-shifting recruiting calendar

Every year around this time college football recruiting comes out of its post-holiday hibernation, otherwise known as the dead period, and fires up again. The NCAA-mandated dead period came to an end Monday morning, and high schools across the state saw an influx of college coaches in their buildings on Tuesday.

Yet unlike other years, this recruiting period took on a new significance.

"College coaches at this time of the year are usually babysitting its verbally committed seniors and making sure that they are all set to sign in February," Phillips head coach Troy McAllister said. "Now with the early signing period in December, most of the FBS and FCS schools are all done recruiting the 2018 kids and are now going all in on underclassmen."

McAllister reported eight colleges — Dartmouth, Iowa State, Purdue, Penn State, Morgan State, Syracuse, South Dakota State and West Virginia — came though his school on Tuesday and saw more than a few Wildcat underclassmen land verbal scholarship offers.

"I had a junior (defensive back Fabian McCray), a sophomore (defensive back Ronald Pledger) and even a freshman (defensive tackle Dominick Bass) pick up scholarship offers yesterday," he said. "We are expecting more and more coaches to come into school this week. A few of the coaches came into check on the seniors but even they are starting to work on the next class. This has always been a busy time of the year with recruiting, but now college coaches want to move ahead and get after the younger kids earlier than ever."

"We've had several college coaches in school so far," Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow said. "And none of them have talked about any of the seniors. Zero. The game plan for them was to finish up the seniors in December and focus this month completely on the next class and that's exactly how it's gone."

Ivlow also feels that with the implementation of the early signing period, seniors now more than ever need to make a much quicker college decision or get left with far more limited college options.

"Kids who waited on the bigger level schools to offer them are still waiting, and it doesn't look promising. Kids are going to need to make a decision earlier and earlier otherwise they stand to lose out on some good college offers and options."