Preps Talk

Barrington DE Lukas VanNess and Lemont senior WR Anthony Sambucci give verbal commits

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Barrington DE Lukas VanNess and Lemont senior WR Anthony Sambucci give verbal commits

Barrington senior three star ranked defensive end Lukas VanNess (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) wrapped up a wild last few months of his recruiting process and today gave the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment. 

"After a great official visit weekend at Iowa meeting with the entire staff incoming recruits and current players it became apparent that Iowa was the right fit and decision for me," VanNess said. "Iowa offers such a family atmosphere that it just can't be created anywhere else."

VanNess, who was offered a scholarship last week by the Iowa Hawkeye coaches didn't see his recruiting stock really begin to talk off until three weeks ago. VanNess, who had some FCS and limited lower D1 offers at the time attended and performed well at the Lindenwood Megacamp in early June. Immediately after that camp VanNess was able to come away with multiple offers from the likes of Illinois, Kansas, NIU, Wyoming and his recruiting stock took off since that camp and grew to an impressive 31 offers before pledging to the Hawkeyes today.

VanNess is also the Hawkeyes 18th known verbal commitment in the Class of 2020 and the fifth known State of Illinois pledge for Iowa. VanNess joins Decatur MacArthur S AJ Lawson who earlier this weekend also committed to the Hawkeyes along with Richards RB Leshon Williams, Byron OL Tyler Elsbury plus Lena Winslow DT Isaiah Bruce as State of Illinois pledges for Iowa. 

Lemont senior WR Anthony Sambucci (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) added an offer from Western Michigan last week and made a return visit to Western Michigan this weekend and on Sunday gave the Broncos and head coach Tim Lester his verbal commitment. 

"The offer and the opportunity from Western Michigan was just too good for me to pass up," Sambucci said. "I visited again this weekend and after getting to learn more about the coaches and the team I knew I was ready to commit to Western Michigan."

Sanbucci is the 12th known verbal commitment for Western Michigan in the Class of 2020 and the third State of Illinois pledge. Sambucci joins Phillips S Ronald Pledger along with Brother Rice S Giacomo Irace as Land of Lincoln pledges for WMU.

43 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

43 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

NBCSportsChicago.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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Shepard

Head coach: John Rone

Assistant coaches: Vincent Holmes, Andy Schindel, Chris Lewis, Justin Harris and Mark Thomas

How they fared in 2018: 8-3 (5-1 South Suburban Red Conference). Shepard made the Class 6A IHSA state football playoff field, defeated Springfield and then lost to Normal West in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Leyden
Sept. 6 vs St Francis
Sept. 13 @ Reavis
Sept. 20 @ Evergreen Park
Sept. 27 @ Eisenhower
Oct. 4 vs Oak Lawn
Oct. 11 @ Lemont
Oct. 18 vs Richards
Oct. 25 vs Argo

Biggest storyline: Coach Rone’s first season was a success. Can the Astros make another state playoff run in 2019?

Names to watch this season: LB Matthew Hightower (Sr.), WR/DB Jalen Smith (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros welcome back six returning starters back on defense, but they will feature nearly an entire starting offense with very limited experience.

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach John Rone was able to get the Astros into the  playoffs in his first season in charge of the Shepard program. It was also the fourth straight playoff appearance for the school. The Astros always have plenty on hand in the skills department. But the defense may need to carry a talented —but younger— offense. If the pieces can gel, they can challenge for another IHSA state playoff appearance.

44 Days to Kickoff: Mundelein

44 Days to Kickoff: Mundelein

NBCSportsChicago.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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Mundelein

Head coach: Vince DeFrancesco

Assistant coaches: Alex Adams, Dave Whitson, Ken Mooney, John Cowhey, Steve Nolte, Brett Wilhelm, Mike Vukovics, Craig Stocker, Stephen Douglas, Alex Miramontes, Cody Gokan, Joe Lendino and Thomas McArthur

How they fared in 2018: 2-7 (1-6 North Suburban Conference). Mundelein failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Maine West

Sept. 6 @ Grayslake Central

Sept. 13 vs Lake Forest

Sept. 20 vs Waukegan

Sept. 27 @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 4 @ Stevenson

Oct. 11 @ Libertyville

Oct. 18 @ Lake Zurich

Oct. 25 @ Warren Township

Biggest storyline: In addition to Coach DeFrancesco bringing his program-building acumen to the northern suburbs, can the Mustangs win on the road? Their last five regular season games of the year are all away from Mundelein.

Names to watch this season: QB Isaac Wellman (Sr.) and OLB Alex Wing (Jr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs welcome back 10 returning starters (three offense, seven defense) but will need to replace their entire starting offensive line group from a season ago. 

EDGY's Early Take: First-year head coach Vince DeFrancesco comes over from Lincoln Park and is looking to get the Mustangs on the winning track. DeFrancesco will take on a daunting schedule; however, this program will play with a ton of energy which has been already evident at various team events and 7-on-7’s this summer.