Preps Talk

EDGY: Five names to watch in 2015

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EDGY: Five names to watch in 2015

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.

[MORE: EDGY's Top 5 sleeper teams in 2015]

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.

[RELATED: EDGY's Top 5 can't miss games in Chicagoland of 2015]

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.

94 Days to Kickoff: Kaneland

94 Days to Kickoff: Kaneland

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 July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Kaneland

Head coach: Pat Ryan

Assistant coaches: Mike Thorgesen, Ryan Gierke, John Pavlak, Drew Sterkel, Matt Smith, Zack Martinelli, Ryan Noel, Mike Lotz, Anthony Mastropieri, Trevor McKeown and Alec Aurelio

How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (3-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East Conference). The Knights made the Class 5A state playoff field. They defeated Lindblom, then lost to Sterling in second round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hinsdale South 

Aug. 31 vs Geneva 

Sept. 7 vs Rich Central 

Sept. 14 @ Sterling 

Sept. 21 vs DeKalb 

Sept. 28 @ Sycamore 

Oct. 5 @ Yorkville 

Oct. 12 vs Morris 

Oct. 19 vs Rochelle

[MORE: 95 Days to Kickoff - Waubonsie Valley]

Biggest storyline: Will the Knights leave their mark in the last season of the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference?

Names to watch this season: RB Jonathan Alstott and OL/DL Drew Hahn.
 
Biggest holes to fill: The Knights will need to reload in a few key spots, especially at QB and on the O-line; however, they bring back a nice core of 11 returning starters (five offense, six defense).

EDGY's Early Take: The Knights are still in search of a new conference to call home after the 2018 season. The Northern Illinois Big 12 is in its last season under its current form. This year's Knights have a chance to get back to the state playoff field. The schedule is very tough, but this team will challenge every single week come August. 

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

95 Days to Kickoff: Waubonsie Valley

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 July 30, we'll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Waubonsie Valley

Head coach: Paul Murphy

Assistant coaches: Ron Griffin, Tom Baumgarnter, Chris Genslinger, Brad Caldwell, Josh Cuttone, Noel Soto, Ryan Voitik, Duane Butts and Ken Anderson

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Waubonsie Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Oak Park-River Forest

Aug. 31 vs Libertyville

Sept 7 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept. 14 @ Edwardsville

Sept. 21 vs Naperville North

Sept. 28 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 5 vs Prairie Ridge

Oct. 12 @ Naperville Central

Oct. 19 @ Metea Valley

[MORE: 96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs]

Biggest storyline: It's all about the schedule. Can the Warriors survive a challenging lineup --which includes playing Neuqua Valley twice-- and make the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR Julian Cain and DL Avante Rogers

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will have several new faces on both the offensive and defensive lines in 2018. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's not often that veteran head coach Paul Murphy and his Warriors view the playoffs from home. But that's what happened last year. They were the first Waubonsie team since 2006 to do just that. Look for the Warriors to rely on a strong group of receivers to bounce back this fall. They also feature a good group of underclassmen ready to step up. Also, they will need to get used to life in the newly-realigned DuPage Valley Conference. The 2018 schedule includes two games against big district rival Neuqua Valley and a loaded non-conference slate which includes some heavy hitters.