Preps Talk

Edgy Tim Tale of the Tape: St. Charles East vs. Palatine

Edgy Tim Tale of the Tape: St. Charles East vs. Palatine

Matchup: No. 6 St. Charles East (11-0) at No. 3 Palatine (11-0), Saturday, 5 p.m.

Where to watch: Live broadcast on CSN and a live stream available on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports app

Overview: This Class 8A quarterfinal showdown on Saturday evening is shaping up to be a tight battle between two very strong teams. St. Charles East head coach William Farquhar has a team that took its lumps in 2015. But the Saints now have experience. Their biggest wins came in Weeks 4 and 5, beating rival St. Charles North, 28-21, then defending Upstate 8 River champion Batavia, 28-7. Palatine, led by head coach Rick Splitt, was expected to make a deep run this season after leading the Pirates to the Class 8A semifinal round in 2015, a 24-22 loss to eventual state champion Loyola Academy. The Pirates suffered a huge loss in their opening-round, 34-0 win over Niles Notre Dame, as senior quarterback Zach Oles was lost for the remainder of the playoffs with a shoulder injury. The Pirates have carried on behind a strong running game and defense. Junior backup quarterback D.J. Angelaccio played well in last week's 20-17 win over Lyons Township.

When St. Charles East has the football: The Saints want to run the football early and often with their power-option game. Senior quarterback Zach Mitchell has been a key for the Saints. He is a true threat with his reads in the option along with his running and passing ability. The Saints also have a nice group of skill position players including junior wide receiver Nick Garlisch, sophomore athlete Clayton Isbell and sophomore running back Justin Jett. East features a very good offensive line and senior offensive/defensive lineman Max Schumann is a name to watch on both sides of the football.

When Palatine has the football: The Pirates will also get it started with a shotgun run/pass read option offense. Palatine has a strong group of offensive skills that allow them to spread the wealth — and the football — with both the run and the pass. Angelaccio takes over for the injured Oles. The Pirates will also look towards senior running back Joshua Turner for yards. They also boast a big and physical group of receivers including juniors Jack Orlando and Johnny O'Shea along with senior Cornelius Cortland.

Key matchups to watch: The Palatine defense against the St. Charles East running game. The Saints won't try to fool anyone on offense. They want to establish their triple-option game and control time of possession. The Pirates defense has been a real strength all season long, and they have terrific overall team speed. The more possessions the Palatine defense can give back to the offense, the better.

Impact player for St. Charles East: Mitchell. Quite simply, he brings a lot to the table in the Saints offense. He has good patience, makes good reads in the option game, and he’s an overall strong runner and passer. East’s offense has several options and weapons — and it all starts with Mitchell on every play.

Impact player for Palatine: Angelaccio. It can't be easy being pushed into this position after serving as a backup to Oles, but that's exactly the position Angelaccio finds himself in this week. If Angelaccio can just relax and get the ball into the hands of the multiple threats surrounding him in the Pirates offense, his team should be fine.

So who wins? Palatine 17, St. Charles East 14 (OT). This should be a close, tight game that could come down to the last possession.

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

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USA TODAY

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

Lincoln-Way East junior kicker Dominic Dzioban (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) added a recent scholarship offer from Miami of Ohio and has since given the Redhawks and head coach Chuck Martin his verbal commitment. 

"I just had a great visit on Saturday to Miami of Ohio and I was able to get every question I had about the school and the program answered on Saturday," Dzioban said. "When I was first offered by Miami (Ohio) I had no idea what they had to offer or what they are all about. Miami (Ohio) has a historic campus and they also offer an amazing education. It seems like every facility at Miami (Ohio) is brand new and Oxford is just a great small college town. Miami (Ohio) really offers everything I was looking for in a school and having a chance to go to Miami on a full scholarship is a huge opportunity I couldn't pass by at all."

Lake Forest sophomore linebacker Cal Uihlein (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) was able to add his first offer recently from the Wisconsin Badgers, and Uihlein also made a visit to the University of Wisconsin this past Saturday. 

"I had a great visit to Wisconsin on Saturday," Uihlein said. "It wasn't a usual recruiting type of visit, it was much more low key and I was able to just see everything behind the scenes including seeing the team scrimmage. I was able to get a good feel for the team and the coaches after the scrimmage. I was also able to talk with some of the coaches at Wisconsin including head coach Paul Chryst and linebacker coaches. Everyone at Wisconsin seems very excited about me and it was just good to get to know them a bit better. I was able to just basically see the stadium and I didn't get to see too much of the facilities or the campus. I'll definitely head back again to Wisconsin soon and see more of the school and the facilities and overall it was a great visit."

Warren Township junior three star ranked defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer from the University of Illinois last Saturday while on a visit to watch the Fighting Illini's spring game. 

"I was hoping that an offer (from Illinois) was coming but I still had no idea," Singleton Jr. said. "I know that Illinois is on the rise and have added some really strong players from my recruiting class. My Dad also went to Illinois and just telling him over the phone that Illinois had offered me was an amazing felling and experience."

Singleton Jr. also said that "Illinois is definitely on the top of the spectrum. My recruitment is open, but there are definitely one of the top schools because of how they went about things with me on the visit."

Bolingbrook sophomore safety Justin Walters (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) has also seen more and more schools take notice of him this spring. Walters is currently holding six FBS level offers and growing by the day. 

"I have six scholarship offers now," Walters said. "I have offers from Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Army, Iowa, Iowa State and now Minnesota. Minnesota is my latest offer and they offered me a few weeks ago."

Walters has also been hitting the road and visiting a few schools this spring and plans to see even more soon.

"I've made visits already to Iowa and Iowa St and Wisconsin. I also visited Northwestern awhile ago. I'm also planning to visit Michigan State sometime this spring."

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

It didn't take Wheaton North junior outside linebacker Xander Mueller (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) long to give the Northwestern coaching staff his verbal commitment today. Mueller — whose older brother (junior linebacker Erik Mueller) is already on the Wildcats roster — attended the Wildcats final spring practice today. He picked up a scholarship offer and then gave head coach Pat Fitzgerald his verbal commitment on the spot. 

"I didn't expect it (adding a Northwestern offer) and I was very surprised," Mueller said. "Northwestern is the place for me because of the incredible academics, the location, having my brother already on the team and the amazing coaching staff and football program. I'm super happy."

Mueller is the second in-state name for the Wildcats and the seventh known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2020. Mueller joins Lake Zurich tight end Hunter Welcing (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) as the Wildcats in state commitments so far in the 2020 class. 

Mueller was also the Wildcats second overall verbal commitment today as Groveport (Ohio) Madison three star ranked offensive guard TeRah Edwards (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) also committed to the Wildcats after today's final spring practice.