Preps

Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

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Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

John Ivlow could easily add traffic patrol officer to his resume. Or a navigator, perhaps. The Bolingbrook head football coach is very popular and in demand with college recruiters --especially this time of year-- just as much as any other coach in Chicagoland. Ivlow is also never shy about sharing his opinion when it comes to various high school football topics, and that includes recruiting.

But in regards to the upcoming --and inaugural-- NCAA football early signing period, which begins on Dec. 20, Ivlow is taking more of a patient approach.

"I'm a bit indifferent about it," Ivlow said. "It's still too early to tell what the impact will be and like a lot of coaches I'm watching it all pretty closely."

Ivlow has two seniors expected to eventually sign FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) scholarships: DT Dashaun Mallory and WR I'Shawn Stewart. He also has a half-dozen other seniors who will play at the FCS/D-2/NAIA level. He expects to see some potentially serious fallout after the early signing period ends on Dec. 23.

"I know of several FBS schools who are taking the approach that if a kid is not going to sign in December, then they aren't really committed and they will pull that scholarship offer," according to Ivlow. "I think the large majority of kids who are now verbally committed will sign in December just because they don't want to lose out. If kids who are now committed don't sign, they are taking a big risk. Waiting could hurt."

Ivlow's concerns are more with kids who are fringe FBS-level recruits who could turn down scholarship monies from FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) or D-2 level schools in search of spots that could open up after the December signing period at the FBS level.

"Some kids and parents think that the bigger schools will have a lot of spots open up. But I just don't see a lot of kids not signing at the FBS level. I would be surprised to see several kids not sign early and those kids who waited for that spot to open up could end up being hurt. In some cases that's a very expensive gamble and those kids and parents would leave a lot of scholarship money on the table."

One thing seems to be certain starting on Dec. 20: expect the recruiting clock to, once again, be pushed ahead to an even earlier start. 

"I can see the FBS schools using the January recruiting period to focus strictly on the 2019 class even harder than ever."

So will January become the new May? 

Stay tuned. 
 

High School Lites Podcast: DePaul Prep head coach Tom Kleinschmidt

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High School Lites Podcast: DePaul Prep head coach Tom Kleinschmidt

From his playing days at Gordon Tech and DePaul University-- and now as a coach at DePaul Prep, Tom Kleinschmidt has become a legend on the local basketball scene. His Rams were a force to be reckoned with in 1990, as he led Gordon Tech to the state championship game. Now, as a coach at his newly-renamed alma mater, he plans on taking the Rams to the same lofty heights. We catch up about the past, present and future of his mark on the Chicago basketball landscape. The panel also discuss the new @NBCSPreps Power Rankings, as several new teams are in the mix. They also break down the next High School Lites episode, which features several pivotal early-season conference games.

Recruiting news and notes: Glenbard West WR commits to Cincinnati

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Recruiting news and notes: Glenbard West WR commits to Cincinnati

Glenbard West senior three-star ranked wide receiver Alec Pierce (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) made a weekend official visit to the University of Cincinnati and on Monday night gave the Bearcats his verbal commitment. Pierce is also planning to sign a Letter of Intent on December 20th, the first day of the new early signing period.

"I had a great official visit to Cincinnati and I decided that I was ready to commit," Pierce said. "The visit really sold me on Cincinnati in several ways. I liked the school and the city, plus I also got along great with the coaches and the players. I really liked it all."

Pierce, who had scholarship offers from 16 different FBS and FCS level schools is part of a strong Chicagoland recruit haul for the Bearcats Class of 2018. Pierce joins Lyons Township three-star QB Ben Bryant, Chicago Mount Carmel two-star OL Jeremy Cooper and Simeon three-star wide receiver Jayshon Johnson. Pierce is also the 21st overall known verbal commitment for Cincinnati in the Class of 2018.

Oswego (IL) East senior two-star defensive back recruit Antwain Walker (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) made a weekend official visit to Northern Illinois University. Walker, who reopened his recruiting process after mutually agreeing to decommit from Illinois last week came away highly impressed with the NIU Huskies after his weekend visit.

"I just enjoyed hanging out with the players and the coaches along with the other recruits," Walker said. "I was really impressed with all of the people I met at NIU. The players and the coaches are just really good people with great personalities and it's impressive how tight the coaches are with the players. NIU also has a really good recruiting class and I already know a lot of those guys like Leon (Payne), Charles (Robinson), and Justin (Hall). They are all trying to get me to commit and they are also a really good bunch of guys."

Walker, who is on track to graduate from Oswego East later this month is also still hoping to make a college choice very soon.

"Western Michigan is still interested and so is Purdue. I don't have any other official visits set just yet. I'm just going to see how things go this week but I definitely have a lot more to think about after my NIU visit. I really had a great time."

Former Mount Carmel and current IMG Academy senior four-star offensive center recruit Verdis Brown (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) is planning to announce his college decision on Dec. 22 at Robert A. Black elementary school in Chicago. Brown, who has offers from multiple Power 5 schools made fall official visits to Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota and Missouri.

Lake Park junior offensive linemen Patrick Panasiuk (6-foot-3, 290 pounds) should be a very familiar name to those who follow football recruiting. Panasiuk, who is the younger brother of former Lake Park standouts and current Michigan State defensive linemen Mike Panasiuk and Jacub Panasiuk is also starting to draw increased recruiting interest this winter.

"I've stayed in touch with Michigan State along with Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ball State and Northern Illinois. Indiana," Patrick Panasiuk said. "Ball State and NIU made in school visits over the past few weeks. The feedback from the college coaches so far has been pretty positive. The coaches said they liked my junior tape and that they like how I play with a lot of aggressiveness."

So could Panasiuk, who played offensive tackle for the Lancers and head coach Chris Roll last season wind up playing on the defensive line along with his two older brothers?

"I played on the offensive line because my team needed me to play there. I'm totally open to play anywhere the coaches ask me to play and that includes the defensive line."