With the 2015 IHSA football season nearly upon us, here are five names to watch heading into the season. These are players who might not be on most radar screens in the IHSA circles, but each of them could become huge factors this upcoming season:
Senior QB Dakota Turner (6-foot-3, 220 pounds), Simeon
Turner, who is the son of former Mount Carmel/Nebraska and NFL wide receiver Nate Turner, will be asked to guide an offense that features a ton of speed and talent along with a huge offensive line. Look for the Wolverines (ranked as the No. 4 team in the @CSNPreps Preseason Power Rankings) to establish their running game this season. That said, Turner will be asked to step up and provide a downfield vertical threat. He has shown this past offseason to have a strong, very accurate arm.
Senior WR Jack Sorenson (6-foot-1, 185 pounds), Stevenson
Sorenson, who is verbally committed to Miami (OH) as a wide receiver, will move over to quarterback for the defending 8A state champion Patriots. While Stevenson needs to replace several key starters from its title team, including standout QB Willie Bourbon (Northwestern/baseball), don't lose sight of Sorenson. He has played quarterback in nearly every year since youth football and will provide the Patriots offense a very dangerous dual threat option at quarterback.
Senior WR/DB Jeremy Fejedelem (5-foot-10, 190 pounds), Lemont
Jeremy is the younger brother of Illinois senior DB Clayton Fejedelem, who started his college career at St. Xavier (NAIA) then walked on at Illinois and earned a scholarship. Jeremy Fejedelem isn't the biggest kid on the field, yet you'll be hard pressed to find another player who goes harder or hits harder going (seemingly) 100 mph at all times. If Lemont and second year head coach Bret Kooi ends up making another deep state playoff run this fall, look towards a big impact being made (and felt) from this senior WR/DB.
Junior QB Tim Brenneisen (6-foot-3, 170 pounds), Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
The back-to-back defending state champion Cyclones will move up to 6A this fall. If SHG continues to make another trip to DeKalb in late November, look toward first year varsity starting QB Tim Brenneisen to play a huge role. Brenneisen, whose older brother Bobby led SHG to 28 straight wins and back-to-back state titles in 2005 and 2006, will be asked to run one of the state's most explosive offenses.
Senior WR Derek Kumerow (6-foot-3, 185 pounds) South Elgin
You would hope that being the son of former Oak Park-River Forest/Ohio State and NFL linebacker Eric Kumerow — or the younger brother of former Wisconsin-Whitewater All American and current Cincinnati Bengals hopeful WR Jake Kumerow — that some colleges would have taken notice of South Elgin wide receiver Derek Kumerow? He has the size, tools and potential to become a very productive player at the next level. Kumerow is one of several players to watch this season for South Elgin.