Preps Talk

Edgy Tim’s Top Five IHSA running backs of the decade

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim’s Top Five IHSA running backs of the decade

We took a look at the top quarterbacks of the decade on Monday . Now let's take a look the best of the best from the backfield.

Who are the top five running backs of the decade (2010-2019)? Same debate parameters as with the quarterback position: Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let the debate begin:

Justin Jackson, Glenbard North’s Class of 2014 (Northwestern): He was given the nickname “Superman” for his superhuman performances for the Panthers over an impressive high school career. Jackson, who just wrapped up his second season playing running back for the Los Angeles Chargers, ran for 6,531 yards career rushing yards in Carol Stream under head coach Ryan Wilkens. 

Ty Isaac, Joliet Catholic’s Class of 2013 (USC/Michigan): Isaac posted one of the most memorable individual performances this decade. It was in the 2011 Class 5A state title game where he carried the ball 26 times for 515 yards in a 70-45 loss to Montini. He was also one of the most sought-after running backs for colleges. Isaac signed with USC, then transferred and wrapped up his college playing career at Michigan in what ended an injury plagued college football career. 

Sam Brodner, Glenbard West’s Class of 2016 (Wisconsin): Brodner was a key in leading Glenbard West to a 2015 Class 7A state title. For two straight seasons, he rushed for over 1,900 yards: 1,958 yards and 28 rushing touchdowns in 2014 then followed that up with 1,917 yards and 47 total touchdowns in 2015. He was a workhorse for the Hilltoppers and head coach Chad Hetlet. Brodner was also a two time All-State selection in 2014 and 2015.

James Robinson, Rockford Lutheran’s Class of 2016 (Illinois State): Robinson was a four-year varsity starter for head coach Bruce Bazsali and is the current IHSA record holder for career rushing yards (9,045 yards) and career rushing touchdowns (158) . Robinson also just wrapped up a very impressive college career at Illinois State and is being considered as one of the top FCS-level names to watch in the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Jacardi Wright, Decatur St. Teresa’s Class of 2019  (Kansas State): Wright, who was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and head coach Mark Ramsey, amassed 8,821 career rushing yards along with 133 rushing touchdowns. Both marks are second on the all-time IHSA rushing leadershop. Wright also played on both sides of the football in all four varsity seasons. 

Next in? 

Jonathon Ward, Bishop McNamara’s Class of 2016 (Central Michigan)

Kendrick Foster, Peoria’s Class of 2013 (Illinois)

Ty Gavin, Notre Dame Class of 2019 (Winona State)

Jordan Rowell, IC Catholic Prep’s Class of 2017 (NIU/Maine)

Fotis Kokosioulis, Maine South’s Class of 2018 (NIU/Fordham)

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?             

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school basketball followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one girls basketball game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Thursday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on Friday night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.

This week, the IHSA 3A girls basketball playoffs kick off. Teams begin their quest to reach Redbird Arena. We will attend one of the following 3A regional championships Thursday night:

Little Village 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Simeon, St. Ignatius, Kenwood and Riverside-Brookfield

Crystal Lake South 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Grayslake Central, Deerfield, St. Viator and Resurrection

Hampshire 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Sycamore, Burlington Central, Montini and Boylan Catholic

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Thursday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 3 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.

Some changes in latest NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings

Some changes in latest NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings

The NBC Sports Chicago Preps Power Rankings saw some changes this week with many teams closing out conference play.

The final week of the regular season for Class 3A and 4A will see some top-25 matchups in conference title games as we'll still have plenty of shifts during the week before the IHSA state playoffs.

1. Bloom (25-5, 14-1) (1) -- Two more double-digit wins for the Blazing Trojans in takedowns of Rich East and Rich Central. Bloom closes Southland play against Rich South before the Class 4A playoffs. 

2. Thornton (27-1, 14-1) (2) -- The Wildcats won by double digits over Thornridge in Southland play. Two road games for Thornton during the week against St. Laurence and Thornwood. 

3. Simeon (22-8, 8-2) (3) -- The city champions are off until the Class 4A state playoffs. The No. 2 seed in the Lyons Sectional, the Wolverines open Tuesday, March 3 at Lane against Juarez. 

4. Curie (25-2, 8-0) (4) -- The Condors earned another strong win over Oak Forest. The win gets Curie some confidence heading into another tough non-conference road test at Notre Dame later this week.

5. Morgan Park (19-9, 6-2) (5) -- Off this week and next, the Mustangs are the No. 1 seed in the Thornridge Sectional in Class 3A. Morgan Park opens the IHSA state playoffs on Tuesday, March 3. 

6. Bogan (25-3, 8-1) (6) -- The Bengals stayed sharp with big wins over Longwood and Bowman (IN). Bogan has the week off as they prepare for the Class 3A playoffs. 

7. Evanston (25-4, 9-1) (7) -- The Wildkits fell to Kenwood but rallied with a strong home win over No. 14 Glenbrook South. Evanston faces Maine East in CSL crossover play this week. 

8. Homewood-Flossmoor (23-3, 7-0) (8) -- The Vikings held off Sandburg to maintain a lead in the SouthWest Suburban Blue. Huge week ahead for H-F as they try to sweep Bolingbrook with a road win that would win them the conference outright. 

9. Whitney Young (18-9, 8-1) (9) -- Off until the Class 4A playoffs, the Dolphins are the No. 3 seed in the Lyons Sectional. The Dolphins open on Tuesday March 3 on the road against Proviso West. 

10. Notre Dame (26-4, 8-1) (10) -- The Dons closed out ESCC play with a win over Carmel to stay tied atop the league lead. Notre Dame had an interesting week with a home game against No. 4 Curie and a game against Senn. 

11. Marian Catholic (22-7, 8-1) (11) -- A win over Joliet Catholic kept the Spartans tied with Notre Dame at 8-1 in the ESCC. The Spartans face Richards in a solid non-conference test before the playoffs begin.

12. Stevenson (24-4, 12-1) (12) -- Three wins for the Patriots during a solid week that included wins over Warren, Waukegan and Benet. Stevenson will host Lake Forest this week, a team they lost to before in the regular season.

13. Loyola (26-4, 14-1) (20) -- Winning the Catholic League by two full games after wins over DePaul Prep and Fenwick, the Ramblers had the best week of any team in the area. Loyola has a final home tuneup against Bulls before the state playoffs begin.

14. Glenbrook South (26-4, 9-1) (13) -- The Titans fell in heartbreaking fashion on the road at Evanston to share the CSL South title with them. Glenbrook South takes on Niles North in the CSL title game on Wednesday night. 

15. Bolingbrook (25-5, 6-1) (15) -- Getting past Lockport and Sandburg, the Raiders put themselves in position to stay with Homewood-Flossmoor in the SouthWest Suburban Blue. The two play again in Bolingbrook this week. 

16. Joliet West (24-4, 15-0) (17) -- The Tigers are close to perfection in the Southwest Prairie after a win over Plainfield South. Joliet West plays two more games against Plainfield Central and Lincoln-Way West. 

17. Mundelein (26-4, 11-2) (18) -- Three wins for Mundelein this week in taking down Libertyville, Lake Zurich and Moline. The Mustangs finish out North Suburban play against Warren this week.

18. DePaul Prep (22-5, 12-3) (14) -- After a two-game stretch with losses to Fenwick and Loyola, the Rams responded with an impressive blowout win over St. Ignatius to close out the Catholic League. The Rams face Mather this week in a final game before the playoffs.  

19. Fenwick (23-7, 12-3) (19) -- The Friars fell to Loyola as they fell short of the Catholic League title. Fenwick will go on the road to face Taft during the final week of the season.

20. Oak Forest (25-2, 12-0) (16) -- Falling to Curie for only their second loss of the season, the Bengals schedule is ramping up before the playoffs. This week finds the Bengals facing Andrew and Hillcrest in another major test.

21.Orr (17-7, 7-2) (21) -- The three-time defending Class 2A champions were off this week. The No. 1 seed in the Marshall Sectional, the Spartans will be favorites to win another title this March.

22. York (27-3, 11-1) (22) -- The Dukes claimed two more wins along with the West Suburban Silver title by a full three games. York plays in the West Suburban title game on Wednesday against Hinsdale South at Addison Trail. 

23. Niles North (25-4, 10-0) (23) -- The Vikings ran past Maine East to go undefeated in the Central Suburban North. Niles North gets a strong test this week when they face No. 14 Glenbrook South in the CSL title game. 

24. Cary-Grove (27-3, 16-1) (24) -- Strong week for Cary-Grove with a double-digit win over Schaumburg and another solid win over Jacobs. The Fox Valley champions play Prairie Ridge in their final conference game before the Class 4A state playoffs. 

25. Hillcrest (20-8, 11-1) (NR) -- Back in the Power Rankings, the Hawks won against Romeoville and a buzzer-beating win over T.F. North. The Hawks have a huge road test at Oak Forest on Friday night for the top of the South Suburban Blue.