Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's 20th annual IHSA football All-State team

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Edgy Tim's 20th annual IHSA football All-State team

Below is the 20th annual EDGYTIM.com All-State team. All players have been selected from Classes 8A thru Class 5A. 

Offense

QB JJ McCarthy, Nazareth Academy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) - Only a sophomore, passed for 3,448 yards and 37 touchdowns in leading the Road Runners to the Class 7A state title. 

RB Jirehl Brock, Quincy (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) - Ran for 2,158 yards and 33 touchdowns in just 10 games in 2018. 

RB Keenan Hailey, Joliet Catholic (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) - Ran for 2,637 yards and 34 touchdowns in leading the Hilltoppers to the 5A state title. 

TE Jahleel Billingsley, Phillips (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) - Alabama commit. Just did it all (TE/DE/WR/QB) for the Wildcats in 2018 and is one of the state's best overall athletes. 

WR Jackson Ritter, Lincoln-Way East (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) - Was easily one of the biggest impact receivers from one of the state's most dominant teams in 2018. Averaged 19 yards per catch in 2018. 

WR Rashaan Palmer Jr., Simeon (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) - Was at times as dominant a receiver as anyone in the state of Illinois. Possesses a huge reach and length and exceptional overall physical tools and ball skills. 

OL Peter Skoronski, Maine South (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) - Only a junior, Skoronski, who already has multiple Power 5 scholarship offers was dominant on both sides of the football for the Hawks

OL Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) - The state's top ranked recruit in the Class of 2019 will announce his college choice on Dec 11. Helped led the Gators to the state playoffs in 2018. 

OL Addison West, Cary-Grove (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) - Western Michigan commit. Class 6A state champion who played on both sides of the line and keyed one of the state's best running attacks in 2018. 

OL Evan Kirts, Brother Rice (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) - Illinois commit. Has physically grown and developed into a strong offensive tackle this past season for the Crusaders. 

OL JJ Guedet, Washington (6-foot-8, 265 pounds) - Minnesota commit. Was a dominant two way starter on both sides of the football for the Panthers in 2018. 

KR/PR Michael Love, Nazareth Academy (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) - One of the state's best and most versatile players who was a huge key in the Road Runners 2018 Class 7A state title season. 

ATH Alante Brown, Simeon (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) - Michigan State commit. Brown has played quarterback, receiver and defensive back for the Wolverines and is also one of the state's most dangerous athletes in 2018. 

Defense

DL Zack Pelland, Warren Township (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) - Colgate commit. Was a team leader and captain for one of Chicagoland's top defenses in 2018. 

DL Demond Taylor, East St Louis (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) - NIU commit. Taylor is one of three players (Taylor, Jeff Thomas and Jerrell McDaniels) who have been a four-year varsity starter for the Flyers and head coach Darren Sunkett. 

DL Deion Harry, Crete Monee (6-foot-6, 257 pounds) - Harry was a key leader and defensive end for the Class 6A state runner up Warriors in 2018.

DL Cam Mattox, Hillcrest (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) - NIU commit. Speedy off the edge pass rusher who also can drop back into coverage. Was a big key for the Hawks and head coach Mo Weaver in 2018. 

LB Maema Njongmeta, Stevenson (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) - Wisconsin commit. Njongmeta has all the tools to develop into a big time defender at Wisconsin. Has great speed and physical tools.

LB Jackson Bruscianelli, Montini Catholic (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) - A multi-year starter and tackling machine (148 total tackles in 2018) for the Class 5A state runner up Broncos. 

LB Michael Jansey Jr, Batavia (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) - Northwestern commit. Was simply one of the top overall defenders and athletes in the Dukane Conference and in Class 7A in 2018. 

DB Sebastian Castro, Oak Lawn Richards (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) - Iowa commit. Castro has been one of the best and most versatile athletes in the state of Illinois over the past few seasons. 

DB Tyler Nubin, St. Charles North (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) - Minnesota commit. Another versatile and high level athlete who played QB/WR/RB/S for the Class 7A state runner up North Stars in 2018. 

DB Jake Gonzales, Loyola Academy (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) - Penn commit. Gonzalez has been the quarterback of the Ramblers defense for the past few seasons. Was the leading tackler for the Class 8A state champion Ramblers this fall. 

DB Sam Tumilty, Willowbrook (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) - Just a junior, Tumilty was a key high level two way starter who just never left the field for the Warriors and head coach Nick Hildreth in 2018. 

K/P Jack Olsen, Wheaton Warrenville South (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) - A junior, Olsen set a new IHSA state record with hitting 8 field goals this season. Possesses one of the top legs in the Class of 2020. 

Former coach at LaSalle-Peru, Joliet West takes head coaching job at UIC

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USA Today

Former coach at LaSalle-Peru, Joliet West takes head coaching job at UIC

UIC hired its next head coach this week as Luke Yaklich returns home to Illinois to take over the Flames.

There's a lot to like about the 43-year-old Yaklich when it comes to this hire for UIC. A native of Illinois who spent time here as a high school coach at LaSalle-Peru and Joliet West, Yaklich's basketball journey makes him the perfect candidate for UIC at this particular point in time.

Being familiar with the area as a former high school coach and assistant coach at Illinois State will certainly help with recruiting and other facets of the job. But it's Yaklich's ability to take UIC to the next level defensively that makes him the perfect hire.

Yaklich turned into a star assistant coach over the past four seasons. He was often utilized as a defensive coordinator at his various stops. Going from Illinois State, to Michigan, to Texas over the past four seasons, Yaklich was responsible for four consecutive top-25 defenses, according to KenPom.

Although Steve McClain won at least 16 games in each of the past four seasons, the Flames could never reach their ultimate goal of the NCAA tournament. UIC hasn't reached March Madness since 2004. The past four seasons, UIC's best defensive team was only No. 107 in the country. 

McClain's teams had plenty of scoring pop and talent. Getting crucial stops could be difficult for the Flames.

While it may take some time for UIC to jump into the nation's top 50 in defensive efficiency, Yaklich has a successful defensive track record at the mid- and high-major levels.

Illinois State's dominant defense in 2016-17 was No. 19 in the country as the Redbirds just missed the NCAA tournament. Yaklich was then hired away to Michigan. In Ann Arbor, Yaklich helped an offensive-minded program under John Beilein become elite defensively.

The Wolverines advanced to the national title game and Sweet 16 in Yaklich's two seasons. Michigan had the No. 3 defense and No. 2 defense, respectively. 

At Texas, the Longhorns maintained the No. 24 defense in the country this season despite a talent drain that saw freshman center Jaxson Hayes leave for the NBA Draft to be picked in the top ten by the New Orleans Pelicans. 

UIC will need to figure out some other areas if they are to make it back to the NCAA tournament. Yaklich will need to hire a staff familiar with the local recruiting landscape. A sound offensive mind or two wouldn't hurt either.

But the defensive pedigree and player development track record has been there for Yaklich at multiple stops over the past four seasons. Now with a chance to run his own program, Yaklich is an exciting hire for UIC during an offseason in which college basketball's coach carousel isn't seeing a lot of movement. 

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

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USA Today

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

Oak Park-River Forest junior three star-ranked ATH Jaden McGill (6-foot-0. 185 pounds) added an offer last week from one of his team schools when Michigan State extended him a scholarship offer. 

"The offer from them (Michigan State) means a lot," McGill said. "When I was younger they were a school that me and my friends would always dream about playing for."

McGill was set to make a spring  visit to Michigan State before the Coronavirus pandemic struck and is hoping to make up that planned visit later this spring or early this summer. 

McGill is now holding scholarship offers from Michigan State, Kansas State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Ball State, Buffalo, Toledo and Kent State.

Oswego junior three star-ranked offensive tackle Otto Hess (6-foot-7, 285 pounds) was able to add his latest offer earlier this week from Arizona. 

"The offer from Arizona is great," Hess said. "It was pretty much unexpected but great since I've always wanted to play and go to school out West."

Hess, who also added an offer from the University of Illinois on Tuesday night, discussed his thoughts from adding an offer from the Arizona Wildcats. 

"I know that Arizona has a great business school. Coach (Kevin) Sumlin has accomplished some great things in his career. I had some limited contact with Arizona but it hasn't been a crazy amount of attention that made me feel like an offer was coming right away."

Marist sophomore offensive tackle recruit Danny "Deuce" McGuire (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer on Tuesday from Michigan State. 

"I was surprised to get an offer from Michigan State," McGuire said. "I have had a few Michigan State coaches following me on Twitter for a week or so but it wasn't anything out of the ordinary."

McGuire, who is now holding early scholarship offers from Michigan State along with Illinois and Western Michigan is well aware of the Spartans program. 

"Michigan State is one of the top programs in the Big 10 conference. They also send a lot of offensive linemen to the NFL and they have a lot of new coaches from Colorado."

McGuire is now waiting and hoping to make college visits later this spring or early this summer, depending upon when the Corona virus pandemic comes to an end. 

"I'm just hoping that this all gets resolved soon and we can get back to school and hopefully I'll get a chance to visit some colleges in person again soon."

Ottawa Marquette junior tight end recruit Victor Mullen (6-foot-6, 235 pounds) is a name on the rise this early spring. Mullen, who is holding early scholarship offers from Iowa State, Central Florida, Louisville, Appalachian State and Central Michigan has been trying to stay busy during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

"It's been boring so far,"Mullen said. "I have a workout program I got from my trainer and I'm working out along with just watching TV. We started online classes and it's been going well so far."

Mullen has also remained in contact with several college coaches during the NCAA mandated dead period.

"I've stayed in touch with all of the schools who have offered me like Iowa State, Louisville, Appalachian State, Central Michigan and Central Florida. I was planning to make spring visits to Miami of Ohio, Illinois, Toledo and Bowling Green but those have all been canceled. I'm hoping to get back to visit those schools later this spring but for now who knows. I've made visits already to Iowa State, Louisville, Appalachian State, Central Michigan plus Toledo and Iowa."