Preps Talk

EDGY's recruiting news and notes: Maine South's Kokosiuoulis adds NIU offer

EDGY's recruiting news and notes: Maine South's Kokosiuoulis adds NIU offer

Maine South All-state running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) made a spring practice visit to NIU on Tuesday morning and wound up adding his first offer from the Huskies.

"(The offer from NIU) was a little bit of a surprise," Kokosioulis, a junior, said. "I really wasn't heavily talking to the coaches at NIU. I just heard from them recently, they invited me up to visit them and they offered."

Kokosioulis, who has also drawn recruiting interest this spring from Army, Indiana State, Colgate and Cornell, also came away impressed with NIU after his Tuesday visit.

"I went to NIU as a freshman for a football camp but outside of that camp this was my first visit as a recruit. I was at NIU early in the morning and watched a spring practice," he said. "I liked the way that they practiced and the facilities are really nice. The coaches at NIU were really nice. I'm just happy to finally get an offer. Now I can think more of what type of school I would like to go to instead of having no options."

Metea Valley sophomore quarterback Payton Thorne (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) made a recent visit to Western Michigan and came away with his first scholarship offer. Thorne, the son of North Central College head coach Jeff Thorne, discussed his first impressions from his visit to the school.

"I visited Western Michigan two weeks ago and it was a really good visit," he said. "WMU offered me a scholarship when I was on the visit. I love the staff at Western Michigan and they also have a nice campus and outstanding facilities. I've also known head coach Tim Lester my whole life, so getting this offer is pretty special."

Thorne has also drawn very early recruiting interest and has made unofficial visits to Minnesota and Penn State. 

De LaSalle junior defensive back Byron Perkins (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) was asked by the Purdue staff to make an unofficial visit on Monday and Perkins came away with his first Big Ten offer from the Boilermakers.

"It's hard to find words to describe the feeling of getting an offer from Purdue," Perkins said. "I visited Purdue two weeks ago and had a great visit. Then Purdue cornerbacks backs coach (Derrick Jackson) wanted me to come back to campus on Monday and that's when they offered me."

Perkins, who is also holding an offer from Louisiana Lafayette, has drawn increased recruiting looks from several schools. 

"I've been in contact with just about the entire Mid American Conference schools along with Iowa, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and also Louisville. Several of those coaches have said that they will be in school some time this spring."

Naperville North junior wide receiver Nick Calcagno (6-foot-3, 207 pounds) made a recent spring practice visit to Southern Illinois University and added his first offer from the Salukis.

"I went down to SIU on Saturday for a Junior Day," Calcagno said. "I spent a lot of time talking to SIU wide receivers coach Nick Williams before and after the scrimmage. I was able to take a full tour of the facilities and I was really surprised at how nice everything was at SIU. They have great facilities and a great stadium. I also really liked the campus and it feels great to get my first offer from SIU. I'm hoping to get back for another visit to SIU again soon."

Calcagno has drawn recruiting looks from Iowa State, Western Michigan North Dakota State, North Dakota and Western Illinois.

7 Days to Kickoff: Homewood-Flossmoor

7 Days to Kickoff: Homewood-Flossmoor

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Homewood-Flossmoor

Head coach: Craig Buzea

Assistant coaches: Tom Cicero, Zac Wells, Alexander Pratt, Terrance Terry, Josh Ling, Matt Ramos, Josh Forney, David James, Eric Schreiber Sr., Eric Schreiber Jr. and Bart Czachor

How they fared in 2018: 10-2 (6-1 Southwest Suburban Conference). H-F made the Class 8A state playoff field and defeated Fremd and Barrington. They advanced to the quarterfinal round where they lost to Marist.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs T.F. North

Sept. 6 @ Penn (IN)

Sept. 13 vs Andrew

Sept. 20 @ Lockport

Sept. 27 @ Lincoln-Way East

Oct. 4 vs Sandburg

Oct. 11 @ Lincoln-Way West

Oct. 18 vs Bolingbrook

Oct. 25 vs Lincoln-Way Central

Biggest storyline: The Vikings, who have won a minimum of 10 games in four of the past five seasons, are looking to make another deep run in Class 8A playoffs this fall.

Names to watch this season: OL Marcus Harper II (Sr., Oregon) OL/DL Michael Ford (Sr.) 

Biggest holes to fill: The Vikings welcome back 13 returning starters (seven offense, five defense). Program numbers and overall depth are seldom an issue at H-F, so addressing some of the open spots on the defensive shouldn’t be that big of a concern. 

EDGY's Early Take: H-F, under head coach Craig Buzea, has built the football program into one of the most consistent winners in Chicago’s south suburbs. Don't look for a downturn anytime soon. The Vikings will rely on senior three-year starting QB Dominick Jones. The offensive line has size and talent and includes Marcus Harper II (Oregon), senior OL/DL Michael Ford and senior OC Denzel Bryant. The defense has speed and the back seven on defense are a big strength. Everything is pointing upwards heading into the season for the Vikings. 

 

8 Days to Kickoff: Warren

8 Days to Kickoff: Warren

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant coaches: Jim Voutiritsas, Justin VanSchaick, Brandon Schild, Josh Williams, Tayler Erbach, Kurt Weinberg and Chris Caballero

How they fared in 2018: 10-2 (7-0 North Suburban Conference). Warren made the Class 8A state playoff field and defeated Neuqua Valley and Hinsdale Central. They advanced to the quarterfinal round where they lost to Brother Rice.

2019 segular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Barrington

Sept. 6 vs Glenbard North

Sept. 13 @ Waukegan

Sept. 20 @ Libertyville

Sept. 27 vs Lake Forest

Oct. 5 vs Zion-Benton

Oct. 11 @ Lake Zurich

Oct. 18 @ Stevenson

Oct. 25 vs Mundelein

[MORE: 19 Days to Kickoff: Barrington

Biggest storyline: The Blue Devils featured one of the state’s best defenses in 2018. It resulted in their best season since 1991. Can they maintain some of that momentum and advance deeper in the Class 8A playoffs come November?

Names to watch this season: DT Willis Singleton Jr. (Sr., Iowa State) and LB Juan Delacruz (Sr.) 

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils welcome back 10 returning starters (five offense, five defense). And while several of those 10 returnees are key playmakers, Coach McNulty and company will have to reload in the offensive skills department and in the defensive backfield.

EDGY's Early Take: Warren had a terrific season in 2018. Several big names are back for 2019. The Blue Devils defense was a strength last season—they shut out five opponents and kept three more to a touchdown or less. This year’s unit is led by senior DT Willis Singleton Jr. The offense will look to improve on last season’s numbers with junior QB Phil Hirt. He and senior ATH Christian Phillips will bring experience. If the Blue Devils can come close to the high-level of defense they played with last season –and if the offense can generate more points-- this team could be a big time factor in the Class 8A playoffs.