Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's top five Illinois high school quarterbacks for the Class of 2021

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's top five Illinois high school quarterbacks for the Class of 2021

The upcoming high school football season should have some quality talent under center. Here are my top five quarterbacks within Illinois for the Class of 2021. 

1. J.J. McCarthy - Nazareth Academy, 6-foot-2 195 pounds (Michigan): McCarthy has added more weight and muscle this offseason and is on track to become one of the best quarterbacks to ever hail from the Land of Lincoln.

2. Athan Kaliakmanis - Antioch, 6-foot-4, 195 pounds (Minnesota): Kaliakmanis saw his 2019 junior season cut short to injury. He is a terrific all-around athlete who is primed for a huge senior season.

3. Tyler Macon - East St. Louis, 6-foot-0, 185 pounds (Missouri): Macon was the state's MVP in 2019 as he lead the Flyers to a 14-0 record and a 6A state title. Missouri lands another top-notch name from the Metro East region. 

4. Justin Lynch - Mount Carmel, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds (Temple): It’s very likely that Lynch will remind you of his older brother/head coach Jordan Lynch: a tough, hard-nosed dual-threat quarterback. The sky is the limit for Justin.

5. Ethan Hampton - Aurora Christian, 6-foot-3 185 pounds (NIU): Hampton has been a highly productive player for the Eagles. He has an excellent arm, touch and accuracy while also serving as a threat running the football. 

On The Rise?

Michael Brescia - Hinsdale Central, 6-foot-3 195 pounds: Brescia has the size, look and overall physical tools to develop into a FBS-level signal caller. 

Tommy Rittenhouse - Wheaton St. Francis, 6-foot-0 180 pounds: Rittenhouse is an electric playmaker who was on a serious roll in 2019 before suffering an injury.

Anthony Sayles - Niles Notre Dame, 6-foot-3  200 pounds: Sayles is also a standout in basketball for the Dons. He could play a few different positions in college.

Ty Michael - O'Fallon, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds: Michael gets bigger, stronger and better every time I see him in person.

Reed Braundmeier - Breese Mater Dei, 6-foot-3, 190 pounds: Downstate signalcaller is a big, strong and accurate passer who crushes the all-important eyeball test.

EDGY Tim: Four top Illinois recruits announce where they'll play in 2021

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AP

EDGY Tim: Four top Illinois recruits announce where they'll play in 2021

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, college football recruiting has been on fire over the past few weeks.

So far this weekend, four ranked names in Chicagoland’s Class of 2021 gave verbal commitments. 

University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh added another local name to the Wolverines’ upcoming ‘21 recruiting class. Bolingbrook’s three-star ranked OLB, Tyler McLaurin (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), gave the Wolverines his verbal commitment on Saturday. McLaurin, who narrowed down his final list of schools to Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Nebraska, pointed to Michigan’s strong academics in his field of study (computer sciences), along with playing for a consistent Top 25 nationally-ranked football program. McLaurin is the 13th known verbal commitment for Michigan in the Class of 2021 and joins Nazareth Academy's four-star ranked QB, J.J. McCarthy, in heading to Ann Arbor from the State of Illinois. According to Rivals.com's Team Recruiting Rankings, Michigan currently has the sixth best recruiting class in the nation. 

On Saturday afternoon, Hillcrest's three-star ranked running back, Markiese Irving (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), gave Minnesota his verbal commitment. Irving, a multi-sport athlete for the Hawks, kept his recruiting process close to the vest but selected the Gophers after landing several offers from the likes of Illinois, Iowa and Michigan State. Irving is the 16th verbal commitment in the Gophers' Class of 2021, which is currently ranked by Rivals.com as the seventh best recruiting class in the nation. Irving is one of several Illinois natives already committed to head coach PJ Fleck. He joins Antioch QB Athan Kaliakmanis, his brother WR Dino Kaliakmanis, Providence Catholic TE Jameson Geers and Naperville Central's Sam Jackson as Gopher recruits from the Land of Lincoln.

On Sunday, Chicago Mount Carmel's three-star ranked safety, Ben Perry (6-foot-3, 190 pounds), gave Louisville his verbal commitment in a live announcement on Instagram. Perry, whose list of top schools included Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern, reportedly narrowed down his list to either Louisville or Minnesota. 

Also on Sunday, Brother Rice's three-star ranked running back, Willie Shaw III (5-foot-11, 186 pounds), gave the University of Toledo his verbal commitment. Shaw III’s decision came down to three schools: the Rockets, Illinois and Nebraska. Shaw cited a strong bond and connection with Toledo staff as the main factor in his selection.

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

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USA Today

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

Ottawa Marquette three-star ranked tight end Vic Mullen (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) earlier this week gave Louisville his verbal commitment. Mullen, who chose Louisville over scholarship offers from the likes of Syracuse, Iowa State and Central Florida, told CardinalSports.com's Dave Lackford why he decided upon the Cardinals. 

"Every time I've been to Louisville it feels like a second home," Mullen said. "It just felt like Louisvville is the place I need to be. I like the coaches at Louisville and  they just treat you right and Louisville is just the best fit."

Mullen was also able to make three separate unofficial visits to Louisville over the past year, which Mullen admitted played a big role in his decision. Recruits have not been allowed to make any on-campus visits since the NCAA enacted the current Dead Period on March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Marengo (Ill.) junior defensive end recruit Jonah Pace (6-foot-5, 235 pounds) decided to give Central Michigan his verbal commitment last night. 

"I feel great about my decision to commit to Central Michigan," Pace said. "Central Michigan is just a very solid program and the coaches at CMU have built a great foundation. I just felt ready and I wanted to be a part of something great they are building there."

Pace, who also considered several offers from FCS level schools in the end pointed towards several key factors in favor of the CMU Chippewas.

"I looked hard at all of the schools who offered me," he said. "Illinois State, Fordham and North Dakota really caught my attention and they are great teams and schools. In the end the combination of playing at the FBS level along with everything that Central Michigan has to offer was too hard for me to pass up. My family is totally on board with my decision and they are really happy and excited for me."

Mount Carmel junior three-star ranked safety recruit Benjamin Perry (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) recently named his Top 7 favorite schools listing that includes Cincinnati, Illinois, Iowa State. Louisville, Michigan State and Northwestern. On Wednesday night Perry announced via his Instagram account that he will make his college decision announcement on Sunday at 1 pm. While Perry has been quiet for the most part on any leanings, I'm looking at either Louisville, Minnesota or Michigan State as potential landing spots for Perry. 

Bolingbrook junior three-star ranked outside linebacker recruit Tyler McLaurin also named his Top 5 favorite schools list earlier this week and it includes Michigan, Iowa State, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Nebraska. McLaurin, who said earlier this month he was planning to announce his college choice on July 7, could end up pushing up that decision date due to a recent rush in verbal commitments. Several top ranked names have made recent verbal commitments nationally and in many cases recruits have pointed to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty of how long it could continue. McLaurin has made unofficial visits to all four schools except Texas Tech.