Western Kentucky

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor

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. Starting Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Homewood-Flossmoor

Head coach: Craig Buzea

How they fared in 2016: 10-1 (7-0 Southwest Suburban Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Evanston then lost to Glenbard West in second-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 10 Palatine]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Michigan City, Indiana

Sept. 1 @ South Durham, North Carolina

Sept. 8 @ Stagg

Sept. 15 vs. Bolingbrook

Sept. 22 @ Lincoln-Way West

Sept. 28 vs. Lincoln-Way East

Oct. 6 vs. Bradley

Oct. 13 @ Andrew

Oct. 20 @ Sandburg

Biggest storyline: Can the Vikings get deep into the Class 8A state playoffs in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior RB/DB Justin Hall (NIU), senior DL Jeff Griffin (NIU), senior LB Mario Wright II (Western Kentucky)

Biggest holes to fill: The Vikings will need to fill some important spots including the quarterback position this fall.

EDGY's early take: If any program can reload each year it's the Vikings under Buzea. The Vikings will look towards Hall, who can see action at any number of positions including returner. Griffin moved over from the offensive line, while Wright II is another name to watch along with junior defensive back Wynston Russell, a top Class of 2019 player who transferred in from De La Salle. Homewood-Flossmoor has the overall numbers, talent and depth to once again be a real threat in Class 8A this season.

Recruiting News and Notes: Tremayne Lee commits to SIU

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RIVALS

Recruiting News and Notes: Tremayne Lee commits to SIU

DeShon Gavin (DB), Providence Catholic

Providence Catholic senior defensive back DeShon Gavin (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) made an unofficial visit to Western Illinois University on Sunday and gave the Leathernecks his verbal commitment.

"WIU had a recruit visit day on Sunday," Gavin said. "I had a great visit and I just felt very comfortable and at home at WIU so I committed to them on Sunday. I was able to take a tour of the campus and also see the facilities at WIU and the visit on Sunday was just a very fun experience. I liked WIU before the visit and after the visit it really did feel like home. I just felt really comfortable with the coaches and the other recruits."

Tremayne Lee (RB), Sacred Heart-Griffin

Sacred Heart-Griffin senior All-State running back Tremayne Lee (5-foot-9, 160 pounds) made an unofficial visit to Southern Illinois University on Sunday and gave Salukis head coach Nick Hill his verbal commitment.

"It just feels great to be committed to SIU," Lee said. "I went down to SIU on Sunday for a visit with my family and I just fell in love with the school and so did my parents."

Lee, who ran for 2,168 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2016, discussed why he decided to pledge to SIU.

"It was really everything about SIU," Lee said. "They have a great looking campus and I was able to see a lot and learn a lot more about SIU on my visit today. SIU has a great coaching staff and I was able to talk to all of the coaches including head coach Nick Hill.

"SIU also offers a great education and they also offer a lot of academic support for the players and all the athletes at SIU. SIU also has amazing facilities. I was also able to sit and talk to some of the players at SIU and they filled me in on the school and the team."

[MORE: Recruiting News and Notes - Christian Perez commits to Navy]

Mario Wright II (LB), Homewood-Flossmoor

Homewood-Flossmoor senior linebacker Mario Wright II (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) made an unofficial visit to Northern Illinois University on Saturday. Wright II, who holds multiple FBS scholarship offers, made the NIU visit with a few Vikings teammates including senior defensive tackle and NIU pledge Jeff Griffin and senior athlete Justin Hall (5-foot-10, 180 pounds), who holds an offer from the Huskies.

"I went out to NIU on Saturday along with a few guys on the team," Wright II said. "I was at NIU for the one day camp earlier but I wanted to get a chance to see more of the campus and just learn more about NIU."

Wright II, who is planning to make one more unofficial visit this weekend to Western Kentucky, will make his college choice after his upcoming trip.

Could NIU potentially add both Wright II and Hall to its already impressive Class of 2018? 

"It's something that we've talked a lot about," Wright II said. "I just want to look at Western Kentucky then sit back and look at all of my options. We'd love to play on the same team in college but each of us also have to make the best decision each and decide what's best for us individually."

Verdis Brown (OG), IMG Academy

Former Mount Carmel and current IMG Academy four-star ranked offensive guard Verdis Brown (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) decided to end his recruiting process and gave Florida State his verbal commitment. 

"It's a family there and I have a great relationship with the entire staff," Brown recently told Warchant.com's Michael Langston. "So my interest was pretty high (in Florida State)."

Recruiting News and Notes: I'Shawn Stewart continues to draw interest

Recruiting News and Notes: I'Shawn Stewart continues to draw interest

I'Shawn Stewart (WR), Bolingbrook

Bolingbrook junior three-star ranked wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) thought he would have been committed by now, but still remains uncommitted.

"I'm still waiting," Stewart said. "We've had 24 different college coaches in school so far. My plan is to see how the spring evaluation period goes for me and I'm also planning to go to a few college camps. I'm planning to camp at both Wisconsin and Michigan State this summer. Penn State has also been showing more interest. They came into school not too long ago and they are suppose to be back in this Friday to watch a team workout. I might also camp at Penn State this summer but I haven't set anything up yet. "

Stewart has scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Miami (OH), Nevada, NIU, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Jaylan Alexander (ILB), Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates junior inside linebacker Jaylan Alexander (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) has added several scholarship offers and increased recruiting attention this spring. 

"Recruiting has been good," Alexander said. "I have some nice offers so far and we have been seeing a lot of college coaches in school over the past few weeks. I have offers so far from NIU, Western Kentucky, Illinois State, Eastern Michigan, Western Illinois, Central Michigan and Bowling Green. I've been in touch quite a bit with Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota and those schools seem like they could be pretty close to offering."

[RELATED: Oswego's Noah Shannon becomes latest Illinois player to commit to Minnesota]

Sam Barkalow (TE), Forreston

Keep an eye out on Class 1A state champion Sam Barkalow (6-foot-6, 220 pounds). Barkalow, a three-sport athlete who was a key two-way starter for the Cardinals last season, has seen increased recruiting interest this spring. 

"My recruiting has been going well," Barkalow said. "I've been in touch with some of the Ivy League schools, along with some of the FCS schools in the Dakotas, plus some DII schools. Harvard, North Dakota State, Northern Michigan have been in school already, along with some smaller level colleges. The coaches all want me to come out and camp with them this summer."

Denver Warren (DT), West Aurora

West Aurora freshman defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) has been highly impressive on the camp circuit, and he recently added his first two BCS offers from Iowa State and Central Michigan.

"It's awesome to add two offers already," Warren said. "I spoke with the coaches at Iowa State on last week, and then about a half hour later I also talked to Central Michigan and they also extended me an offer. I'm just really excited and so is my family."

Warren, who played last fall at Aurora Christian before transferring to West Aurora, was more than a bit surprised to add two early scholarship offers.

"When I added the first offer from Iowa State I was still a little in shock," Warren said. "Then when Central Michigan offered me it really hit me that I was picking up scholarship offers already. It's a great feeling to add those offers and it's also great motivation. Getting those offers just makes me want to work harder and to keep proving myself."