With another decade of IHSA football now in the books, let's take a look at several names to consider when assembling the ‘Best of the Best’ from the recently-completed 10-year stretch (2010-2019).
Who are the top five IHSA quarterbacks of the decade? Well, the list of worthy signal callers seems to be endless. Hypthetically speaking, do you factor in just strictly high school production and overall winning/success of that player’s program? Or does that player’s post-high school success become a factor? Let the detailing begin. In no particular order…
Reilly O'Toole, Wheaton South’s Class of 2011 (Illinois): O'Toole led the Red Grange Tigers to back-to-back Class 7A state titles in 2009 and 2010 and was also a two-time All-State player for head coach Ron Muhitch. O'Toole went on to play for the University of Illinois.
Wes Lunt, Rochester’s Class of 2012 (Oklahoma State/Illinois): Lunt led the Rockets, coached by Derek Leonard, to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 2010 and 2011. He was the catalyst of what would become one of the greatest football runs in Illinois high school football history. Lunt, who started his college career at Oklahoma State, ended up transferring closer to home and finished his college career in Champaign.
Gabe Green, Sacred Heart-Griffin Class of 2015 (Southern Miss/St. Thomas): Green had quite a career for another Springfield-area powerhouse. Sacred Heart-Griffin, coached by Hall of Fame head coach Ken Leonard, was dominant with Green under center. He guided the Cyclones to back-to-back Class 5A football titles in 2013 and 2014. Green began his college career at Southern Miss and just wrapped up his college career this fall at D-2 power St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Samson Evans, Prairie Ridge’s Class of 2018 (Iowa): Evans, who is now listed as a running back on the Hawkeyes roster, led the Wolves to back-to-back Class 6A state titles in 2016 and 2017. Evans ran Prairie Ridge’s option offense for coach Chris Schremp and was a two-time All-State player along with being named the EDGYTIM/Rivals.com Illinois Player of the Year for the 2017 season.
J.J. McCarthy, Nazareth Academy’s Class of 2021 (Michigan commit): Yes…McCarthy is just a high school junior. But he has built up quite a resume in LaGrange Park. McCarthy has led the Roadrunners to the Class 7A state title in 2018 along with a second place finish in 2019. McCarthy, who has been verbally committed to Michigan since last spring, will have one more season to add to his already impressive list of high school accomplishments.
Tyler Hutchingson, Greenville’s Class of 2015: Huntchingson, who bypassed football to play college baseball at SIU-Edwardsville, is all over the IHSA record book. Hutchingson, who was a two time All-State quarterback for Greenville in 2013 and 2014, is the IHSA record setter for career completions (727) and career passing yardage (10,894 yards). His name is attached to several other IHSA passing records.
Tyler Macon, East St. Louis’ Class of 2021: Macon was named as the 2019 EDGYTIM/Rivals.com Player of the Year in Illinois. He also led the Flyers to the Class 6A state title this past fall 2019 while also quarterbacking this Metro East superpower to the 7A quarterfinal round his sophomore year. With a strong underclassmen supporting cast back in 2020, Tyler Macon will have a chance to, not only add to his impressive resume, but to take ESL back to state championship territory in November.