Luke Ford

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: 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: Luke Ford commits to Arkansas

Recruiting News and Notes: Luke Ford commits to Arkansas

Luke Ford (TE), Carterville

Carterville High School three-star ranked junior tight end Luke Ford (6-foot-7, 250 pounds) ended his recruiting process on Monday. Ford, who was drawing national recruiting interest and scholarship offers this winter, made an unofficial visit to Arkansas this past weekend and gave Razorbacks head coach Bret Bielema his verbal commitment.

"I'm pumped right now, if you can't tell," Ford told HogSports.com's Danny Ford on Monday. "I am pumped. This is awesome, I'm so excited. I'm happy to shut down the recruitment and just focus on school and sports now. I'm committed. I loved everything about Arkansas that I saw. I just don't know what to say, I'm pumped."

Gavin McCabe (DT), Marist

Marist junior three-star ranked defensive tackle recruit Gavin McCabe (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) has 24 scholarship offers this winter and remains on multiple recruiting radars.

"I have 24 offers so far," McCabe said. "It's been fun but in all honesty it's also been sort of crazy."

McCabe will remain busy this spring by making multiple unofficial visits.

"I've been able to visit Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State and Miami (OH) so far and I also went to games at Michigan State, Kansas State and Iowa State," McCabe said. "I'm looking to make a trip out East soon and visit schools such as Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Virginia and North Carolina. I also want to head down South and see Arkansas and Kansas. I know that I'll also head back to visit schools like Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Iowa and Wisconsin. I also want to get all of these visits in by the end of spring recruiting."

Samson Evans (ATH), Prairie Ridge

While Prairie Ridge three-star ranked athlete Samson Evans (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) was hoping to have a handful of scholarship offers at this stage of his recruiting process, he admits to being pleasantly surprised by his success on the recruiting trail so far this winter.

"I have 11 offers now and I had no idea I would have so many offers at this point a year ago," Evans said. "I also just didn't expect to have as many quality offers as I have right now. I was hoping to maybe build up to some bigger Power 5 offers so it's been a great surprise."

Evans also shared his gameplan in regards to his recruiting process.

"I have a top schools list in my head but I won't be releasing any top schools list," Evans said. "I would like to be done with recruiting before the start of the season. I might decide then or I might decide at the end of spring or maybe even earlier. It all just depends when I feel ready and comfortable in making my decision. Once I'm 100 percent comfortable with a school then I'll make my choice."

Does Evans get any recruiting pitches from teammate and good friend Jeff Jenkins, who recently committed to Iowa?

"Jeff and I have lunch together every day and he makes sure to let me know where he stands with Iowa and that he wants me to commit to them," Evans said. "It's not over the top all the time, but he always seems to be wearing Hawkeyes gear a lot when ever we hang out."

Dashaun Mallory (DT), Bolingbrook

Bolingbrook junior defensive tackle Dashaun Mallory (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) is starting to see his recruiting stock take off over the past month. Mallory, who has early offers so far from Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Iowa State, NIU, Toledo and Wyoming, also made a recent visit to Michigan State.

"I was able to visit Michigan State a few weeks ago and it was awesome," Mallory said. "I really enjoyed myself at Michigan State and it was an amazing experience. The coaches at Michigan State said they love my game and want to get me back on campus. They want me to keep working hard and also stay in touch."

Mallory has also been in touch this month with coaches from Arkansas, Penn State, Michigan, Louisville, Kansas State, North Dakota State and Western Michigan.