Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Northwestern 2016 in-state recruiting class review

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Edgy Tim's Northwestern 2016 in-state recruiting class review

EDGY's Wildcats grade: C

Northwestern wound up signing just two in-state players. While that's a disappointing number, you need to look a bit harder at Northwestern's needs in this class: offensive line, defensive line, linebacker and defensive back. The combination of a lack of academically qualified recruits, along with a weak overall in-state class might explain the Wildcats limited local recruits on National Signing Day.

[MORE PREPS: Edgy Tim's Fighting Illini 2016 in-state recruiting review]

Headliner of the in-state class?

Loyola Academy three-star tight end Eric Eshoo (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) will be a terrific fit in Northwestern's spread offense. Eshoo has great size, reach and length. I was also impressed with his ball skills, hands and speed this season. Eshoo has a chance to become a long-term starter for the Wildcats and could very well see playing time in 2016.

The one who got away?

Phillips three-star wide receiver Quayvon Skanes (5-foot-10, 170 pounds). Skanes was offered by the Wildcats in the summer and they seemed to have a real shot at him. Skanes surprised many when he decided to take an unofficial visit to UConn and eventually give the Huskies his verbal commitment. However, what most observers didn't realize is that Skanes had very little desire to stay close to home and distance actually was a positive for Skanes.

[MORE PREPS: 2016 National Signing Day - Recruiting tracker]

Final thoughts on Northwestern's recruiting efforts:  

I came away with the feeling that Northwestern should get a pass on this in-state class. The Wildcats have a lot going for them. Northwestern has recruited in-state very well and several local products are now cornerstone performers. Northwestern does a terrific job of identifying players early in the recruiting process. Northwestern also offers stability in head coach Pat Fitzgerald, along with a veteran group of assistant coaches. When Northwestern walks into local high schools they most likely already have a long-term relationship with the coaching staff. Stability in the staff brings a comfort level from high school coaches, parents and prospects, which in this era of recruiting, is very rare and invaluable. With the eventual addition of some much needed facilities plus, hopefully, more consistency in the win column, I see nothing but positives in the Northwestern recruiting game.

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

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: Rich Central

Head coach: Terrell Alexander

Assistant Coaches: Quincy Woods (OC), Vince Brown (OL), Art Schuldt (ST), Les Hampton (DB), Jerrell Bibbs (DB), Steve Henley (DC), Jeff Spikner (WR), Derrick Goard (LB) William Pass (DL) Chuch Robinson (Skills), Guy Smith (RB) and Shawn Mitchell (Skills)

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-1 Southland Conference). Rich Central made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Olympians defeated Marion then lost to Dunlap in second round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hillcrest

Sept. 1 vs Lemont

Sept. 7 @ Kaneland

Sept. 14 vs Rich South

Sept. 21 @ Crete-Monee

Sept. 28 vs Rich East

Oct. 5 vs Kankakee

Oct. 12 vs Bloom Township

Oct. 19 vs Christ the King

[MORE: 67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest]

Biggest storyline: The Olympians have reached the IHSA playoffs three consecutive seasons-- the first such streak in Rich Central history. Can they stay on a winning track and make a deeper playoff run this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR/S Mehki Miller (Miami of Ohio) and RB Sean Tyler (Western Michigan)

Biggest holes to fill: The Olympians will need to replace their entire starting offensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander has brought winning and stability to the Olympians football program.  The 2018 team has some firepower back in the aforementioned Miller and Tyler; however, the development of their underclassmen group this summer will determine just how far this team will go. The ingredients look to be there for another IHSA state playoff caliber team.

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

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: Hillcrest

Head coach: Morgan Weaver

Assistant coaches:  Mike Young, Kyran Weaver, Rob Hancock, Ryan Keen, Nicholas Schultz, Tramaine Weaver, Phillip Burkett and Langdon Mattox

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (5-1 South Suburban Blue Conference). Hillcrest made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Hawks defeated Peoria and Glenwood then lost to Dunlap in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Rich Central

Sept. 1 @ Rich South

Sept 7 @ Shepard

Sept. 14 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 21 vs Lemont

Sept. 28 @ Tinley Park

Oct. 5 @ T.F. South

Oct. 12 @ T.F. North

Oct. 19 vs Bremen

[MORE: 79 Days to Kickoff - Crete-Monee]

Biggest storyline: Consistency. After two straight postseason berths, can the Hawks reload and get back into the IHSA playoff field once again this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR Corey Crooms (Western Michigan) and DE Cam Mattox (NIU)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense); hoewever, they will need to reload on the offensive line and at linebacker. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Morgan Weaver was able to get the Hawks into the state playoffs in his first season. What can they do as an encore? Hillcrest has the potential to be a real threat in 5A. Keep an eye on a strong and experienced group of receivers and backs led by senior Corey Crooms (Western Michigan). They also boast a defense that features an experienced secondary and a ton of speed.