Preps Talk

Chicago-area preps players likely to be taken in NFL Draft

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Chicago-area preps players likely to be taken in NFL Draft

With the NFL Draft just hours away, here are some former local high school players to watch with a chance of being selected this weekend:

OG Laken Tomlinson, Lane Tech/Duke (6-foot-3, 323 pounds): One of the best stories in the NFL Draft. Tomlinson was a three star-ranked recruit in the Class of 2010 per Rivals.com. His mother came to Chicago from Jamaica. Tomlinson had multiple offers and decided to pledge to Duke in part because of the strong medical program. His long-term goal at Lane Tech was to become a doctor. NFL Draft projection: Round 2

RB Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest/Indiana (5-foot-11, 206 pounds): Coleman has been an impact runner since his prep days at Oak Forest playing for head coach Brian McDonough. Ranked in the Class of 2012 as a three star recruit by Rivals.com, Coleman made official visits to Indiana and Michigan State before pledging to the Hoosiers. NFL Draft projection: Round 2-3

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TE James O’Shaugnessy, Naperville North/Illinois State (6-foot-4, 245 pounds): O’Shaugnessy had just one offer coming out of high school — and it was from the folks in Normal. O’Shaugnessy was another physical late bloomer who became a very impressive tight end for the Redbirds. NFL Draft projection: Round 4-5

DE Louis Trinca-Pasat, Lane Tech/Iowa (6-foot-1, 290 pounds): Trinca-Pasat, alongside his then-teammate Laken Tomlinson, provided quite a one-two punch on the Indians’ offensive and defensive lines. Trinca-Pasat had nearly double digit offers at Lane Tech and made just one official visit to Iowa. NFL Draft projection: Round 5

WR Titus Davis, Wheaton Warrenville South/Central Michigan (6-foot-1, 196 pounds): Davis was a big time sleeper out of Wheaton South. He had just two offers and made official visits to Central Michigan and Toledo before pledging to the Chippewas. Even at the high school level, Davis had all the physical tools to be a strong receiver. NFL Draft projection: Round 5-6

WR DaVaris Daniels, Vernon Hills/Notre Dame (6-foot-1, 201 pounds): Daniels, the son of former Chicago Bears defensive end Phillip Daniels, was a four star-ranked receiver according to Rivals.com. He was also the No. 2 ranked prospect in Illinois in the Class of 2011 per Rivals.com and was just outside the Top 20 of best receivers in the nation. NFL Draft projection: Round 6-7

OC Andy Gallik, Brother Rice/Boston College (6-foot-2, 306 pounds): Gallik, who was a three star-ranked linemen per Rivals.com, became a long-term starter for Boston College and had a very successful run for the Eagles. Gallik was a two-year All State player for the Crusaders and then-head coach Steve Nye. NFL Draft projection: Round 5-6

WR Jake Kumerow, South Elgin/UW Whitewater (6-foot-5, 195 pounds): Kumerow is the son of former Oak Park-River Forest/Ohio State standout Eric Kumerow, who started in college as a quarterback before becoming a defensive linemen for the Buckeyes. Jake Kumerow was an impact player for Division III powerhouse – and national champion - UW Whitewater. Physically speaking, Kumerow was considered a late bloomer and took a preferred walk-on spot at Illinois before transferring to Whitewater. NFL Draft projection: Round 7

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WR Evan Spencer, Vernon Hills/Ohio State (6-foot-2, 208 pounds): Spencer, the son of former Chicago Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer, was a three star-ranked receiver in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals.com. NFL Draft projection: Round 7/FA

TE Matt LaCosse, Naperville North/Illinois (6-foot-6, 250 pounds): LaCosse was ranked as a three star athlete recruit according to Rivals.com. He made official visits to both Illinois and Purdue before pledging to the Fighting Illini. LaCosse played quarterback for Naperville North under head coach Sean Drendel. NFL Draft Projection: Round 7/FA

OT Fabbians Ebbele, Simeon/Arizona (6-foot-8, 315 pounds): Ebbele was also a three star-ranked recruit according to Rivals.com. Ebbele was simply one of the biggest high school offensive linemen I've seen on the field in over 20 years of scouting and evaluating. NFL Draft Projection: Round 7/FA

Note: Draft projections courtesy of NFL.com.

IHSA moves football, boys soccer and girls volleyball to Spring 2021

IHSA moves football, boys soccer and girls volleyball to Spring 2021

February football will not just be limited to the Super Bowl. It’ll be coming to many Illinois high school football fields in 2021.

The IHSA Board announced Wednesday that the 2020-2021 sports calendar will be significantly altered, with football, boys soccer and girls volleyball moving to the Spring 2021 season, in conjunction with Governor J.B. Pritzker's guidelines on COVID-19 safety protocol.

Boys and girls golf, girls tennis, boys and girls cross country and girls swimming and diving will play this fall. The season gets underway Aug. 10.

The winter sports schedule, which begins Nov. 16 and runs to Feb. 13, includes boys and girls basketball, wrestling, boys swimming and diving, competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, boys and girls bowling and girls gymnastics. Contests can begin on Nov. 30.

In spring season, which begins Feb. 15, football, boys soccer, girls volleyball, girls badminton, boys gymnastics and boys and girls water polo. Contests begin Mar. 1

The summer sports season, which starts May 3 and goes to June 26, includes baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, girls soccer, boys volleyball, boys and girls lacrosse and boys tennis. Contests begin May 17.

“I applaud our Board of Directors for choosing a model that allows every student-athlete the opportunity for a modified season,” IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said in a statement. “This plan, like nearly every aspect of our current lives, remains fluid. Changes may come, and if they do, we will be agile while putting safety and students first.”

Pritzker announced a series of restrictions on high school sports, travel clubs, park district leagues and other adult recreational sports programs earlier this afternoon.

The guidelines, which go into effect on Aug. 15, will place sports into three risk levels: low, medium and high based on the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during practices and game competition.

Lower-risk sports include badminton, baseball (if players can be at least six feet apart in dugouts or in bleachers; otherwise considered medium-risk), bass fishing (if room on boat permits social distancing), bowling, cross country (if teams are limited), golf, gymnastics, softball (same rules as baseball), swimming and diving (single lanes/single diving, no relays; otherwise it’s medium-risk), tennis and track and field (if delayed starts, every other lane and cleaning of equipment between usage otherwise medium-rosh).

Medium-risk sports include basketball, flag football/7-on-7 football, soccer, volleyball, water polo and wheelchair basketball.

High-risk sports include competitive cheerleading, competitive dance, football, hockey, lacrosse and wrestling.

In tandem with those guidelines, the measures also dictate four additional levels by which these sports can be played based on current public health statue, with level 1 allowing only no-contact outdoor practices and level 2 allowing intra-team scrimmages (but not competitive play). In level 3, intra-conference and intra-league play is allowed, with the possibility of state championship games for low-risk sports. Level 4 is with the least amount of restrictions, where inter-conference and interstate competition can occur, along with the other state championship games.

Lower risk sports are currently allowed to play in the first three levels, medium-risk sports are allowed to play in the first two levels and the high-risk sports are first-level only.

The 2019-20 IHSA calendar was thrust into uncertainty back on March 12 when the 1A and 2A boys basketball state finals were called off, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It was soon followed by the cancellation of the 3A and 4A boys hoops and the rest of the IHSA spring sports calendar.

Max Christie selects Michigan State over Duke, several Big Ten schools

Max Christie selects Michigan State over Duke, several Big Ten schools

Sparty Nation got another reason to flex. And it may have Coach K seeing green.

Max Christie, a five-star shooting guard (Rivals) and the top Illinois player in the Class of 2021, is headed to play for Michigan State and legendary head coach Tom Izzo. The Rolling Meadows High School product made his decision Tuesday in an interview with Fox’s Andy Katz.

“It just felt like it was a place that I was needed and a place I wanted to go to,” Christie said. “I think Coach Izzo and his staff and all my teammates there can push me to be the person I want to be, not just on, but off the court.”

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Christie selected Michigan State —his only official visit— over, namely, Coach Mike Krzyzewski and Duke. Also on his list of potential choices were Villanova, Virginia, Purdue, Ohio State, Northwestern, Illinois and several others. While Christie is excited for Izzo to help improve his game, he also prides himself on his versatility and making an immediate impact.

“I think I can be a great facilitator and a great scorer,” Christie said. “I feel like I can do anything that Coach Izzo or the players need be to do if that means rebounding, pushing the ball, setting up an offense or coming off screens, I feel like I am versatile enough of anything that is asked of me.”

The 6-foot-6 Christie may get another boost on the court a few years down the line, as Class of 2022 phenom Emoni Bates, the top player in the current junior class, committed to play for MSU on June 30. All of this assumes Bates keeps his commitment to East Lansing and doesn’t hop the NBA. Christie remains steadfast in his committed to Michigan State and is not exploring any G-League options at the moment.

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Christie has grabbed headlines in Chicagoland since his freshman year. He has tallied a 50-point game and a triple double and had several clutch moments during his junior season. He is coming off the first 20-win campaign at ‘Meadows in nearly 30 years.

And there’s more Christie magic in the pipeline. Cameron, his younger brother, is one of the quickly-rising sophomores in the area.