Arkansas

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 23 Cary-Grove

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 23 Cary-Grove

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25., we unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.

School: Cary-Grove

Head coach: Brad Seaburg

Assistant coaches: Don Sutherland, Mike Walston, Dean Schlueter, Matt Ruhland, Matt Furlong, Mike Manning, Phil Raffaelli, Ryan Passaglia, Ryan Ludwig

How they fared in 2016: 10-2 (7-1 Fox Valley Conference), made the Class 6A state playoff field, defeated Wheeling and Grayslake North then lost to DeKalb in the quarterfinal round. 

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 24 Simeon]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 @ Prairie Ridge

Sept. 1 vs. McHenry

Sept. 9 @ Hampshire

Sept. 15 vs. Jacobs

Sept. 23 @ Huntley

Sept. 28 vs. Dundee-Crown

Oct. 5 vs. Crystal Lake South

Oct. 14 @ South Elgin

Oct. 20 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Trojans win the Fox Valley Conference in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior QB Quinn Priester, senior FB/DB Max Skol 

Biggest holes to fill: The Trojans will need to replace both the leadership and production loss with the graduation of FB/LB Tyler Pennington (Arkansas).

EDGY's early take: Cary Grove never takes a backseat to anyone, whether in the Fox Valley or in the state playoffs. Priester will run the Trojans option game and has plenty of talent, along with four returning starting offensive linemen. If Cary Grove can replace some key spots, especially on defense (seven returning starters graduated) this team could challenge for a state title in Class 6A in 2017.

Recruiting News and Notes: Ben Bryant commits to Cincinnati

Recruiting News and Notes: Ben Bryant commits to Cincinnati

Ben Bryant (QB), Lyons Township

Lyons Township senior three-star quarterback Ben Bryant (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), who originally gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment only to have the Badgers rescind his verbal scholarship offer, has given Cincinnati his verbal commitment.

"It was a much harder decision this time around compared to the first time I committed," Bryant said. "When I committed the first time (to Wisconsin) I had two offers. This time around I had a lot of options and some great offers, but Cincinnati is the best place for me."

Bryant is thrilled to have ended his recruiting process again and can now focus on his upcoming senior season while also putting to rest the entire ordeal with Wisconsin.

"I've put the whole Wisconsin deal behind me and I stand my statement that I sent out on my Twitter account and that's all I have to say. I had some great offers and options and it was a great problem to have. I can just focus now on my team this summer and having a great senior season."

Bryant joins Simeon wide receiver Jayshon Jackson and Mount Carmel senior offensive linemen Jeremy Cooper as part of the Bearcats Class of 2018. 

Jeff Griffin (DL), Homewood-Flossmoor

Northern Illinois continues to do well with filling out its Class of 2018. The Huskies added another Chicagoland piece when Homewood-Flossmoor senior defensive linemen Jeff Griffin (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) became the team's ninth in-state commitment and 14th overall pledge.

"I visited NIU (last Saturday) and that visit really sold me on NIU," Griffin said. "I always wanted to stay closer to home for school and once NIU stepped up and offered me it was a hard offer to turn down. After the visit on Saturday I was sold on NIU so I called up the coaches and committed."

Griffin is also hoping to help NIU add a few more pieces from Homewood-Flossmoor's talented senior class.

"I'm definitely already talking to Justin (Hall) and Mario (Wright II) about joining me at NIU."

Seniors' athlete Justin Hall and linebacker Mario Wright II have both listed Northern Illinois as one of their favorite schools this summer. 

[RELATED: Recruiting News and Notes - Jyran Mitchell commits to NIU]

Indiana State recruiting

Indiana State head coach Curt Mallory has been on fire when it comes to the Sycamores recruiting this summer. Mallory, who was a long-time assistant coach at various stops in Illinois, now has an amazing 24 verbal commitments — including two recent additions in Bishop McNamara safety Giavion Mason (6-foot-0, 190 pounds) and Lindblom wide receiver CJ Rutherford (6-foot-0. 170 pounds).

So why the Sycamores?

Rutherford pointed towards the strength of the coaching staff as a big factor in his decision.

"I really love the coaching staff at Indiana State," Rutherford said. "Coach Mallory brought in a staff that has a lot of experience and several of his coaches worked with him when he was at Michigan. The coaches made us feel comfortable and at home at Indiana State and I'm just excited to be a part of helping the football program win."

Recruiting News

Who are the Top 5 uncommitted players remaining in the Class of 2018?

Carterville tight end Luke Ford (6-foot-7, 245 pounds) has offers from literally every Power 5 school in the nation. Ford originally committed to Arkansas.

Oswego DT Noah Shannon (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) was committed to Minnesota but reopened his recruiting process. Shannon has shown heavy interest in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas.

Bolingbrook DT Dashaun Mallory (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) added a camp offer from Michigan State, and has a Top 3 list of the Spartans, along with Iowa State and Toledo. 

Waubonsie Valley tight end Charles Robinson (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) listed Iowa State, Minnesota and Mississippi State as his Top 3 favorite schools.

Bolingbrook wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) camped earlier this summer with Wisconsin and also made a recent visit to Syracuse. 

Recruiting News and Notes: Marist's TJ Ivy inching closer to college decision

Recruiting News and Notes: Marist's TJ Ivy inching closer to college decision

JJ McCarthy (QB), Nazareth Academy

Nazareth Academy quarterback JJ McCarthy added his first scholarship offer late last week from the Iowa State Cyclones after putting on an impressive showing at the North Central College satellite camp which had the entire Cyclones staff in attendance. While landing a scholarship after a college camp is common, it's not very common when an incoming high school freshman adds an offer.

McCarthy (5-foot-11, 150 pounds) whose 8th grade Hudl highlight video is approaching 3,400 views was, in all honesty, one of the top overall quarterbacks I observed at the NCC satellite camp. McCarthy has also been impressive on the 7-on-7 circuit this offseason for Midwest Boom. McCarthy, despite his abilities and potential, has yet to step on a high school football field. Drawing such an early offer from the Iowa State is proof positive that the recruiting process is drawing attention, and eventual offers at an alarmingly earlier and earlier rate.

TJ Ivy (TE), Marist

Marist three-star ranked senior tight end TJ Ivy (6-foot-5, 220 pounds) is down to his Top 4 schools and seems to be getting closer to making a college decision.

"I'm still down to my Top 4 schools (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and West Virginia," Ivy said. "I'm planning to get out to make some campus visits next month and then I'll make my college decision."

Ivy has made several visits to Illinois, Indiana and Iowa, but has yet to see West Virginia.

"I've never been to West Virginia," Ivy said. "I'm looking forward to visiting them in person next month. I just want to see how I fit in with West Virginia, see the campus and the surrounding area and just get a better feel for them."

[RELATED: Hoffman Estates linebacker pledges to Purdue]

Phil Saleh (OL), OPRF

Oak Park-River Forest senior offensive linemen Phil Saleh (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) is a two-sport athlete (football/basketball) whose football recruiting stock has climbed this summer.

"I have offers now from Ball State, Indiana State, Western Illinois, Eastern Illinois and Fordham," Selah said. "I went to the Northwestern camp and I'm not sure where else I will camp this summer. I'm juggling both my team football camp and basketball camp. NIU has been pushing me pretty hard to come and camp with them this summer so I might end up at NIU for a camp."

Noah Shannon (DT), Oswego

Oswego senior three-star ranked defensive tackle Noah Shannon (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) has been busy since decommitting from Minnesota last month. Shannon camped with the Gophers at the North Central College satellite camp last week which featured several Minnesota coaches, including head coach PJ Fleck. Shannon also has more camps and visits planned.

"I'm heading out to NIU on Wednesday for a camp that will have Penn State, Arkansas and other schools," Shannon said. "I'm pretty sure I'm done with camps after NIU. I also want to get out to visit Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas later this summer."