Preps Talk

48 Days to Kickoff: Aurora Central Catholic

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48 Days to Kickoff: Aurora Central Catholic

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: Aurora Central Catholic

Head coach: Luke Brauweiler

Assistant coaches: Dave Schuster, Chris Bonifas, Rob Stazak, Kent Brauweiler, Dave Williams, Adam Blake, Javi Salinas, Brandon Christensen, Antoine Robertson, Joe Scianna, Dan Lee

How they fared in 2016: 9-2 (4-1 Metro Suburban Red Conference), made the Class 4A state playoffs, defeated Wheaton Academy then lost to Phillips.

[RELATED: 49 Days to Kickoff - TF South]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – vs. Aurora Christian

Sept. 1 – @ St. Francis

Sept. 8 – @ Glenbard South

Sept. 15 - vs. Riverside-Brookfield

Sept. 22 - vs. Guerin Prep

Sept. 29 – vs. Walther Christian Academy

Oct. 6 - @ Ridgewood

Oct. 13 - @ Chicago Christian

Oct. 21- vs. Elmwood Park

Biggest storyline: Can the Chargers get back to the state playoffs under Brauweiler?

Names to watch this season: senior RB Ryan Cerza, senior RB/LB Jeff Albert

Biggest holes to fill: The Chargers will need to find an answer at quarterback with the graduation loss of quarterback Johnny Belskis.

EDGY's early take: The Chargers needed to hire a new head coach this past winter after Hall of Fame coach John Belskis stepped down. Brauweiler inherits an experienced Chargers team featuring 11 returning starters (seven offense, four defense). If the Chargers can develop a bit of depth this summer, they have a good chance of getting back to the state playoffs in 2017.

Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa

It didn't take very long for Oak Lawn Richards three star ranked junior RB LeShon Williams (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) to give the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment. Williams, who added a scholarship offer from Iowa yesterday decided this afternoon to commit to the Hawkeyes and announced his college decision via his Twitter account. 

"For me it was really all about the tradition and the culture (at Iowa)," according to Williams. "It's always been a dram of mine to play in the Big 10 conference, so why not play for Iowa and get to play again with one of my old teammates."

Williams, who is holding 16 scholarship offers this spring will join former Richards quarterback/safety Sebastian Castro who is part of the Class of 2019 for the Hawkeyes. Williams is now the 10th known verbal commitment in the Iowa Class of 2020 and is also the third known State of Illinois pledge for Iowa. Williams joins Byron three star ranked OL Tyler Elsbury along with Lena-Winslow three star ranked defensive end Isaiah Bruce as Land of Lincoln commitments. 

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

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NBC Sports Chicago

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

Nazareth Academy sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), who had an All State season in 2018 leading the Roadrunners to the Class 7A state title decided to give the Michigan Wolverines his verbal commitment today while making a return unofficial visit to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus.

“I have a list of all the things I need to check off before I make my decision,” McCarthy told Rivals.com's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. “It’s a literal piece of paper I have at home, and Michigan checked every single one of those boxes.”

Among the various factors for McCarthy in deciding upon Michigan included location, academics along with preparing him for the next level of football.

“With all the NFL ties Michigan has, especially quarterback-wise with coach (Jim) Harbaugh and coach (Ben) McDaniels, it’s really a no-brainer for me,” McCarthy said. “When I hear ‘Michigan,’ I think of Tom Brady. He’s the greatest of all time and he’s an alum… at my position too.”

McCarthy, who was already holding over 30 verbal scholarship offers including offers from multiple Power 5 programs is the second known verbal commitment in the Michigan Wolverines Class of 2021 joining Stevenson Sterling Heights (Mich.) ranked offensive tackle Giovanni El Hadi.

McCarthy is now the fourth known verbal commitment from the state of Illinois Class of 2021, joining Antioch sophomore QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and his brother Dino Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and Naperville Central sophomore QB/ATH Sam Jackson (Minnesota).