Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

Phillips Academy’s three star-ranked senior defensive tackle recruit Demerick Morris (6-foot-3, 284 pounds) decided to give Temple University and head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I just felt that it was time to make my decision," Morris said. "I looked at some other schools and considered a few others, but in the end the coaches at Temple just really always made me feel wanted and a part of the plan. I've known them for a long time now and I want to be a part of the Temple program, so I committed."

Morris, who had been on the Temple staff's recruiting radar screen since they were at NIU, selected the Owls over scholarship offers from a dozen schools this summer.

Miami (OH) head coach Chuck Martin and his staff have been working hard on ramping up their Chicagoland recruiting efforts for the Redhawks‘  2020 recruiting class. And they received two new commitments this past week from Montini Catholic: senior tight end Nate Muersch (6-foot-5, 210 pounds) and Benet Academy senior defensive linemen Jacob Snell (6-foot-3, 240 pounds).

"Some of the bigger schools that had been recruiting me really started to drag its feet and keep dragging things along with me," Muersch said. "It was a combination of me just tired of playing the recruiting game along with everything that Miami has to offer. The coaches at Miami, including tight ends coach Pat Welsh and head coach Chuck Martin, just really recruited me hard and they really got to know me better on and off the field. When I visited Miami they sat me down and showed me just how much they use the tight end in its offense. They showed me that they have a plan for me and that they really wanted me to be a part of the team. I also was really impressed with the facilities at Miami of Ohio and I was especially impressed with the overall academic strength of the school. Miami of Ohio definitely has a plan for me and I'm very, very excited about my decision."

With the addition of Nate Muersch and Jacob Snell, the Redhawks now have five verbal commitments from Illinois including Lincoln-Way East kicker Dominic Dzioban, Crystal Lake South offensive lineman Dominic Collado, and Granite City quarterback Freddy Edwards.

Barrington’s senior three star-ranked defensive end Lukas VanNess (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock skyrocket this summer after taking part in a handful of college satellite camps over the past few weeks. He is now holding an impressive 29 scholarship offers including recent offers from Minnesota, Kansas State and Illinois. VanNess will be camping this week at Iowa and is expected to begin focusing on his college options.

Yorkville senior safety Cale Reeder (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) gave South Dakota State his verbal commitment on Wednesday night.

"I have visited South Dakota State twice now and both times I really loved it there," according to Reeder. "SDSU really recruited me from very early on and they stayed with me and remained interested in me. I have a great relationship with the coaches at SDSU and they have just recruited me hard and made me feel like they have a plan for me. They are just really good people out at SDSU and they believe in me. SDSU offered and recruited me as a safety and they feel I'll be a great fit in the defense."

 

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 15: DePaul Prep

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 15: DePaul Prep

School: DePaul Prep

2018-19 record: 25-10 (12-3 Catholic League)

Postseason results: Placed third in Class 3A.

Players to watch: Lance Mosley is a double-figure scorer who returns on the perimeter for his senior season. Mosley is a capable perimeter shooter who is very experienced. The junior class, led by point guard TY Johnson and big man Brian Mathews has a chance to have a big season. Johnson was already a steady varsity presence as a sophomore last season.
 
Why they're in the power rankings: Head coach Tom Kleinschmidt has built a talented and winning program that can offset the loss of Perry Cowan, Raheem Anthony and Pavel Pantovic. The sophomore class won the Catholic League last season and the junior class is very talented as well. The Rams have a high ceiling this season -- even with a young roster.  

Did you know? Last season was the fourth time in program history DePaul Prep/Gordon Tech made it to state -- including the first time since 2000. The Rams also made it downstate in 1990 when Kleinschmidt was a star player. 

Five Chicagoland IHSA storylines to follow during the 2019-20 season

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NBC Sports Chicago

Five Chicagoland IHSA storylines to follow during the 2019-20 season

High school basketball season officially kicks off this week as practices begin all over the state of Illinois. 

While we still have two weeks until games tip, and a long time until the season finishes in March, there are plenty of intriguing local storylines to keep tabs on as the season begins. 

With that in mind, here are five major themes to think about as the season gets going. 

Can a Chicagoland Class 4A team capture the state title? 

For the past two years, the IHSA Class 4A state title has gone back to the St. Louis metro area with Belleville West. 

Now that E.J. Liddell has left the Land of Lincoln for Ohio State, the Class 4A title should return back to the Chicagoland area this season. 

While teams like Whitney Young, Bloom, Curie, Simeon and Stevenson remain preseason favorites among area 4A teams, there is a glaring lack of out-of-area powerhouses in 4A this season.  

Belleville West remains tough and Collinsville is a threat. But many of the top schools from outside Chicago reside in a much tougher 3A group this season. 

It’ll be interesting to see which programs emerge in the 4A race and if the Chicagoland area gets more competition from out of the area this season. Right now it looks like the 4A title will be returning to our area this season unless something dramatically changes. 

Class 3A gets way more interesting this season

It took about a decade of four-class basketball for Class 3A to become a consistent force. There have been some years where the Class 3A field wasn’t particularly competitive or compelling. 

This season should be different. There’s a a fascinating crop of Class 3A teams all over the state. Morgan Park and Bogan remain the consistent 3A favorites from the Public League. 

They get plenty of local competition from a revamped Chicagoland presence in 3A. DePaul Prep, Hillcrest, Fenwick, Notre Dame, St. Viator and Oak Forest are just a handful of 3A teams who should make the area Power Rankings at some point this season. 

And the group of 3A teams outside of Chicago is tough as well. Defending champion East St. Louis is strong again. Rockford Boylan, the Peoria area (Manual and Notre Dame), Rock Island and Lincoln also have teams firmly in the 3A mix. 

Between the overall depth of teams and a better representation of good teams from around the state, 3A should turn into a very entertaining field this season. 

Will Orr win a fourth straight title in Class 2A?

The past three seasons have seen Orr completely dominate the Class 2A field. The Spartans cruised to three state titles without much competition. 

Although the Spartans have to replace multiple double-figure scorers from last season’s team they still look like the preseason favorite to claim another Class 2A title this season. 

Senior Demarius Splunge and transfer guard Reggie Strong should form a tough duo to stop at the 2A level. Orr has become one of the city’s best programs — regardless of class. 

If head coach Lou Adams can capture the 4th state title in a row then Orr will be included among the discussion of one of Illinois’ greatest programs. 

Can Class 1A maintain a presence in Chicagoland after Providence-St. Mel

The Class 1A playoff proceedings are generally an afterthought among this area because we generally lack a state title contender. 

Providence-St. Mel changed that last season by taking Class 1A by storm. The Knights proved they were not only the state’s best 1A team but they were one of the city’s best teams last season regardless of class. 

This season doesn’t feature a Class 1A juggernaut from the area but two intriguing teams stand out in Leo and Aurora Christian. 

The Lions have been a strong 2A presence the past few seasons as forward Kendale Anderson returns for his senior season. And Aurora Christian has one of the state’s premier sophomores in Jaden Schutt. 

So while Class 1A doesn’t have a local team the caliber of Providence-St. Mel last season, there are still some smaller schools to track during the season. 

Does Illinois produce a McDonald’s All-American?

An unprecedented drought has been happening in Illinois the past few seasons. The state hasn’t produced a McDonald’s All-American since Stevenson‘s Jalen Brunson in 2015.

What used to be an annual occurrence hasn’t happened in four classes. Illinois hasn’t produced elite-level high school players for the longest span in 45 years. 

The drought has a serious chance to end this season with not only one, but potentially two local Burger Boys. 

Whitney Young senior D.J. Steward is coming off of a monster summer that saw him commit to Duke and elevate in the national rankings. Following a stellar junior season, Morgan Park’s Adam Miller will look to follow that up with another massive year. 

Both Public League stars are right near the five-star national rankings cut off in the Class of 2020. Perhaps most importantly, both seniors should get opportunities to impress during the season as the Dolphins and Mustangs play in some big national showcase games. 

As long as Miller and Steward play at a high level, they should be firmly in the McDonald’s mix when they announce the final rosters in late January.