Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Quarterfinal Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Quarterfinal Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings as teams embark on the semifinal round of the IHSA playoffs.

1. Lincoln-Way East 12-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Homewood-Flossmoor, 26-7
This Week: @ Marist
EDGY's Take: The Griffins go two-for-two against H-F and make the 8A semifinal round for the third straight season.

2. Mount Carmel 12-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Phillips, 24-8
This Week: @ Willowbrook
EDGY's Take: Justin Lynch had 169 total yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Caravan will hit the road and take on Willowbrook this Saturday.

3. Nazareth Academy 12-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 38-24
This Week: @ Rolling Meadows
EDGY's Take: Michigan-bound quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for three touchdowns and the Roadrunners never looked back. They'll have an undefeated Rolling Meadows team to contend with next week.

4. Warren Township 12-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Bolingbrook, 18-6
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils have given up only 40 points on the season. And now, a rematch against Brother Rice-- the team that ended Warren's season in 2018.

5. Brother Rice 8-4 (19)
Last Week: Beat Minooka, 38-21
This Week: @ Warren Township
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders look like a new team in the postseason; sophomore QB Jack Lausch is a big part of the transformation. 

6. Marist 8-4 (18)
Last Week: Beat Loyola, 41-27
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks beat Loyola twice. In Wilmette. In one season. In less than a month. Wow.

7. Willowbrook 11-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Lake Zurich, 28-10
This Week: vs Mount Carmel
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get another All State-caliber performance on Saturday from QB Sam Tumilty; Warriors advance to the IHSA semis for the first time since 1975.

8. Rolling Meadows 12-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Wheaton South, 20-3
This Week: vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs continue to get a strong postseason from their defense while QB Cason Schiller has also been a major key on offense.

9. Prairie Ridge 11-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Cary-Grove, 14-13
This Week: @ Deerfield
EDGY's Take: The Wolves beat C-G handily in the regular season but had to hang on for dear life in this one.

10. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-2 (5)
Last Week: Lost to Lincoln Way East, 26-7
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Vikings and head coach Craig Buzea will have a nice core of underclassmen coming back in 2020. 

11. Loyola 8-4 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Marist, 41-27
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers started several key underclassmen this season on both sides of the football. They will be a force in 2020.

12. St. Rita 9-3 (16)
Last Week: Beat Hillcrest, 35-8
This Week: vs Boylan
EDGY's Take: Kaleb Brown had two touchdowns in the win. The Mustangs have rolled so far in 5A and get to host Rockford Boylan on Saturday.

13. Minooka 11-1 (7)
Last Week: Lost to Brother Rice, 38-21
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Indians will graduate 17 senior starters this spring but the numbers remain up in Minooka.

14. Bolingbrook 8-4 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Warren Township, 18-6
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Raiders also will look to reload a bit in 2020. Having two FBS-level underclassmen back in (S) Justin Walters and (LB) Tyler McLaurin is a good place to start. 

15. Glenbard West 10-1 (9)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers also welcome back some key underclassmen for 2020 including RB Jalen Moore.

16. Neuqua Valley 9-2 (10)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will need to reload in the offensive skills department for 2020 but the Wildcats always have talent in the program.

17. Batavia 9-3 (11)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 38-24
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs also will return some key names in 2020 led by WR Trey Urwiler and QB Kyle Oroni.
 
18. Hillcrest 10-2 (12)
Last Week: Lost to St. Rita, 35-8
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Hillcrest head coach Morgan Weaver has built the Hawks into a top South Suburban power and having RB Mar'Kiese Irving back for another year is huge.

19. Huntley 9-2 (19)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed

20. Maine South 7-3 (20)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed 

21. Phillips 9-2 (21)
Last Week: Lost to Mount Carmel, 24-8
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are a perennial contender. They will reload the roster again and be a force in the CPL and Class 7A in 2020.

22. Wheaton South 8-4 (22)
Last Week: Lost to Rolling Meadows, 20-3
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Tigers also will look to QB Parker Brown being back in 2020.
  
23. Deerfield 10-2 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Lake Forest, 21-20
This Week: vs Prairie Ridge
EDGY's Take: The Warriors beat Lake Forest and are in the IHSA semifinals for the first time since 1990. Is Steve Winiecki Coach of the Year?

24. Fremd 8-3 (24)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed

25. Notre Dame 8-3 (25)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed

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."