Fotis Kokosiuoulis

Edgy Tim's Preseason All-State Football Team

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Edgy Tim's Preseason All-State Football Team

With the kickoff of the 2017 IHSA football season upon us, it is time to take a look at my preseason All-State team. Here are the players to keep an eye on as the year unfolds: 

QB Quincy Patterson, Solorio (6-foot-3, 225 pounds): Va Tech commit. Elite 11 player is in line for a huge 2017 season.

RB Fotis Kokosioulis, Maine South (5-foot-8, 170 pounds): NIU commit. Runs with speed, quickness and power.

RB Geno Hess, Peoria (5-foot-9, 185 pounds): Southeast Missouri commit. Highly productive back in the Lions offense.

RB Jarrell Anderson, East St. Louis (5-foot-9, 180 pounds): Undecided. Huge threat is back again for the 7A state champs.

TE Luke Ford, Carterville (6-foot-7, 247 pounds): Undecided. Small school kid has Power 5 offers from across the country.

OL Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South (6-foot-5, 290 pounds): Undecided. Junior is already highly sought-after this fall. 

OL Jordyn Slaughter, Belleville Althoff (6-foot-6, 290 pounds): Illinois commit. Great work ethic and has an NFL-sized frame.

OL Jeff Jenkins, Prairie Ridge (6-foot-4, 275 pounds): Iowa commit. Big, strong and a very athletic leader for the Wolves.

OL Bryce Effner, Metea Valley (6-foot-5, 286 pounds): Penn State commit. One of the Midwest's top senior linemen.

OL Nick Marozas, Brother Rice (6-foot-5, 275 pounds): Indiana commit. CCL mauler also a leader on and off the field.

WR Micah Jones, Warren Township (6-foot-5, 205 pounds): Notre Dame commit. Has all the tools. An impressive kid as well.

WR Charles Robinson, Waubonsie Valley (6-foot-4, 220 pounds): NIU commit. Huge, recent steal for the Huskies 2018 class. 

ATH Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge (6-foot-1, 190 pounds): Iowa commit. Humble kid and a very impressive athlete.

K John Richardson, Brother Rice (5-foot-10, 170 pounds): NIU commit. Possesses one of the state's best legs.

KR/PR Justin Hall, Homewood-Flossmoor (5-foot-10, 180 pounds): NIU commit. Versatile multi-positional player. 

[MORE: CSN Preps Power Rankings: Prairie Ridge at #1]

DL Devin O'Rourke, Lincoln-Way East (6-foot-6, 230 pounds): Northwestern commit. Great length/size and huge upside.

DL Noah Shannon, Oswego (6-foot-2, 290 pounds): Iowa commit. Strong, quick and a very physical two-way starter.

DL Isaiah Lee, Nazareth Academy (6-foot-2, 280 pounds): Iowa State commit. Impressive non-stop grinder. 

DL Dashaun Mallory, Bolingbrook (6-foot-3, 272 pounds): Undecided. Quite simply, he just plays at a higher level.

DL Elijah Teague, Marist (6-foot-3, 292 pounds): Minnesota commit. Great mix of speed and power. He will fit in well at Minny.

LB Jack Sanborn, Lake Zurich (6-foot-2, 215 pounds): Wisconsin commit.  Two year All-State player. 

LB Jaylan Alexander, Hoffman Estates (6-foot-1, 225 pounds): Purdue commit. Leader for the Hawks also plays multi-positions.

DB Tyrik Henderson, Glenbard North (5-foot-10, 170 pounds): Minnesota commit. Hard-nosed player and a high level competitor.

DB Clayton Isbell, St. Charles East (6-foot-3, 200 pounds): Undecided. Talented athlete will play on both sides of the football this season.

DB Cameron Mitchell, Bolingbrook (5-foot-10, 175 pounds): Undecided. Class of 2019 standout is already drawing offers. 

DB Sebastian Castro, Richards (6-foot-1, 198 pounds): Undecided. Junior impact performer for one of the state's top programs.

P Caleb Griffin, Danville (6-foot-3, 185 pounds): Undecided. Exceptional leg strength can kick and punt equally well. 

ATH Joe Bonds, DeLaSalle (6-foot-3, 205 pounds): Western Michigan commit. Could play LB/DE at the college level. 

Recruiting News and Notes: Justin Hall commits to NIU

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Recruiting News and Notes: Justin Hall commits to NIU

Justin Hall (ATH), Homewood-Flossmoor

Northern Illinois University landed its ninth in-state verbal commitment when Homewood-Flossmoor senior athlete Justin Hall (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) decided to stay closer to home and commit to the Huskies.

"I just really interacted well with the coaches as well as the players at NIU," Hall said. "It's really a family feeling in the football program at NIU and I just always have felt comfortable there. I was looking to also stay closer to home and it all just came together for me at NIU. I can stay closer to home and play for a team that has had a lot of success. NIU also offers a good education and it just feels like the best fit for me so I committed."

Hall, who was recruited by NIU head coach Rod Carey as a defensive back, can also return kicks and punts and plans to contribute to the Huskies return teams. Hall joins his Homewood-Flossmoor teammate in defensive linemen Jeff Griffin, Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Decatur MacArthur wide receiver Amir Brummett, Phillips defensive tackle Queneil Morrison, Palatine outside linebacker Cortez Hogans, Simeon wide receiver Leon Payne, Rich Central athlete Jyran Mitchell and Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis in the NIU in-state Class of 2018. 

Brett Groves (OT), Cary-Grove

Cary-Grove senior offensive tackle Brett Groves (6-foot-5, 305 pounds) decided last week to end his recruiting process and give Southern Illinois head coach Nick Hill his verbal commitment.

"It was ready to make my decision so I called up coach Hill and gave SIU my verbal commitment," Groves aid. "I never had any set date to make my decision but with the start of practices I wanted to make my decision so I can focus on my team and my season."

Groves, who also was drawing recruiting looks from FBS schools such as Iowa State and NIU, decided he didn't want to pass up his opportunity at Southern Illinois.

"SIU just has a lot to offer. I really get a long great with the coach. Both coach Hill and coach (Trevor) Olson are good people and also very good coaches. I like the direction that the football program is headed. SIU also has a great looking campus and I just really like the surrounding area. SIU is a bit of a smaller school but still has that bigger school feel. I was also impressed with the facilities at SIU along with the academic support for athletes. I know that I'll get a good education at SIU. It's just the best for me."

Josh Shodipo (DB), Oswego

Oswego senior defensive back Josh Shodipo (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) also decided to make his college decision before the opening of team practice and give Western Illinois University his verbal commitment.

"My recent visit was a big reason why I decided to commit to WIU," Shodipo said. "WIU is a good school and I already know some people going to school there. I really like the coaches at WIU along with the players. I'm also a good fit into the WIU defense. They recruited me as a corner back but the coaches also feel I could also play some safety for them. The visit to WIU just made me feel really comfortable with the school along with the coaches and the team. WIU feels like home to me."

Jayleen Fitzpatrick (LB), Glenbard North

No one was as happy to see the official start of IHSA football practices last Monday than Glenbard North senior linebacker Jayleen Fitzpatrick (6-foot-0, 205 pounds). Fitzpatrick, who suffered an 2016 early season-ending injury, is back and 100 percent ready to go.

"I am so ready to go," Fitzpatrick said. "I'm like overly excited for the season. It's been a lot of work and rehab to get back but now I'm back."

Fitzpatrick, who will be one of the leaders for the Panthers defense this fall, will draw several college coaches attention and serious looks at his early senior year game video.

"This month I've been in touch with a lot of different schools and they all want to know when I was cleared and back with the team. I've been talking to some DII schools like Grand Valley State and the University of Indianapolis, plus some smaller schools like UW Whitewater. They all want to see some of my senior tape."

EDGY's recruiting news and notes: Maine South's Kokosiuoulis adds NIU offer

EDGY's recruiting news and notes: Maine South's Kokosiuoulis adds NIU offer

Maine South All-state running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) made a spring practice visit to NIU on Tuesday morning and wound up adding his first offer from the Huskies.

"(The offer from NIU) was a little bit of a surprise," Kokosioulis, a junior, said. "I really wasn't heavily talking to the coaches at NIU. I just heard from them recently, they invited me up to visit them and they offered."

Kokosioulis, who has also drawn recruiting interest this spring from Army, Indiana State, Colgate and Cornell, also came away impressed with NIU after his Tuesday visit.

"I went to NIU as a freshman for a football camp but outside of that camp this was my first visit as a recruit. I was at NIU early in the morning and watched a spring practice," he said. "I liked the way that they practiced and the facilities are really nice. The coaches at NIU were really nice. I'm just happy to finally get an offer. Now I can think more of what type of school I would like to go to instead of having no options."

Metea Valley sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) made a recent visit to Western Michigan and came away with his first scholarship offer. Thorne, the son of North Central College head coach Jeff Thorne, discussed his first impressions from his visit to the school.

"I visited Western Michigan two weeks ago and it was a really good visit," he said. "WMU offered me a scholarship when I was on the visit. I love the staff at Western Michigan and they also have a nice campus and outstanding facilities. I've also known head coach Tim Lester my whole life, so getting this offer is pretty special."

Thorne has also drawn very early recruiting interest and has made unofficial visits to Minnesota and Penn State. 

De LaSalle junior defensive back Byron Perkins (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) was asked by the Purdue staff to make an unofficial visit on Monday and Perkins came away with his first Big Ten offer from the Boilermakers.

"It's hard to find words to describe the feeling of getting an offer from Purdue," Perkins said. "I visited Purdue two weeks ago and had a great visit. Then Purdue cornerbacks backs coach (Derrick Jackson) wanted me to come back to campus on Monday and that's when they offered me."

Perkins, who is also holding an offer from Louisiana Lafayette, has drawn increased recruiting looks from several schools. 

"I've been in contact with just about the entire Mid American Conference schools along with Iowa, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and also Louisville. Several of those coaches have said that they will be in school some time this spring."

Naperville North junior wide receiver Nick Calcagno (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) made a recent spring practice visit to Southern Illinois University and added his first offer from the Salukis.

"I went down to SIU on Saturday for a Junior Day," Calcagno said. "I spent a lot of time talking to SIU wide receivers coach Nick Williams before and after the scrimmage. I was able to take a full tour of the facilities and I was really surprised at how nice everything was at SIU. They have great facilities and a great stadium. I also really liked the campus and it feels great to get my first offer from SIU. I'm hoping to get back for another visit to SIU again soon."

Calcagno has drawn recruiting looks from Iowa State, Western Michigan North Dakota State, North Dakota and Western Illinois.