Preps Talk

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: Minnesota fallout

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Edgy's recruiting news and notes: Minnesota fallout

Phillips senior three star ranked Amir Watts (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) added an in-season scholarship offer from Minnesota and was excited at the time about the Gophers.

Yet with the sudden resignation of head coach Jerry Kill due to health issues, Watts' stance on the Gophers may have changed.

"They (Minnesota) informed me Coach left and that was about it," Watts said. "I am trying to see how it plays out for now."

Watts has an official visit set to Syracuse for December 11 and is still considering taking all five allotted official visits.

"Rutgers has me set for a visit on January 22." Watts is also considering Minnesota, Kansas and Pitt for his remaining official visit.

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Carmel senior four-star ranked offensive tackle Sean Foster (6-foot-8, 285 pounds) has been committed to Minnesota since last April. So now where does Foster stand with his pledge to the Gophers post-Kill resignation?

"I'm still fully committed to the Gophers," Foster said. "I just love the coaching staff, the school and the fan base at Minnesota."

Oswego senior three star ranked quarterback Steven Frank (6-foot-4, 216 pounds) added an offer last last week from Northern Illinois University. Frank, who checked out a recent game in DeKalb with his Oswego teammate and NIU commit OL Austin Warner, talked about adding his latest offer from the Huskies.

"NIU has always had interest in me and it's exciting to get an offer from them," Frank said. "I really like the offense that NIU runs. NIU has been one of the top teams in the MAC for a long time. I also love the schedule NIU plays every year. They played Ohio State this year and they always play great teams. NIU is also really close to home and that's a positive for my family. I'm pretty interested in NIU."

Frank is focused on the Panthers' Class 8A state playoff run right now but plans to take a few official visits after the season.

"We play Huntley this week so that's my focus. I'm looking at setting up a few official visits after the season. I'm thinking about taking a visit to Florida Atlantic and now also Northern Illinois."

Oak Park-River Forest (9-1) is having a terrific season, and the Huskies defense has two names who have been seeing increased recruiting attention this season.

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OPRF senior outside linebacker Allen Stallings (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) has offers so far from Eastern Illinois, Indiana State along with a handful of Division II schools, while several bigger schools have remained is steady contact this season.

"NIU, Michigan State, Iowa State, Indiana have all stayed in touch, " Stallings said. "They all seem interested and some of those schools are starting to talk about me making official visits."

OPRF senior inside linebacker Jahmari Moore (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) also has offers from Indiana State, and much like Stallings is drawing plenty of looks.

"I'm still talking to a lot of coaches. Illinois, NIU, Iowa State, WIU plus North Dakota State, Grand Valley State and some other D-II schools are all in touch. Wyoming and Indiana have offered me official visits and they also want me to stay in touch and they call me each week."

Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout

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USA TODAY

Rolling Meadows' Max Christie on the verge of national breakout

EMERSON, Ga. -- Rolling Meadows rising sophomore guard Max Christie is having a strong spring and summer on the grassroots circuit as he's emerged as one of the area's newest breakout stars.
 
At 6-foot-5 with an ability to play both on and off the ball, Christie is a versatile perimeter player who can be either a big point guard or a smooth wing. Even though he's only finished one year of high school, Christie already has earned some major college scholarship offers as Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Loyola, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin have all been involved. Playing up an age group with the Illinois Wolves U16 team, Christie is starting to generate a lot of buzz among college coaches and national scouts.
 
"I think I've played well. I've been growing. I have a huge target on my back. So I'm just confident and humble and playing my game," Christie said. "College coaches are coming in everywhere, but I'm just playing my game and not worrying about them. I'm just having fun."
 
Christie is coming off of a positive freshman season at Rolling Meadows in which he had some big games as a freshman while playing on varsity. Although Christie is still very skinny and trying to add strength, he has started to adjust to opponents trying to play physical against him. As he starts to get older, Christie is adjusting to how certain opponents will handle him.
 
"On the court, it's physical. So I have to get used to that. I have encouraging teammates so that's good for me. But everybody is double-teaming me and face-guarding me, so I just have to use screens and everything," Christie said.
 
"I've been in the weight room working. The strength is there. I'm always using it against other teams. I just have to get used to it. I feel like [the physicality] is not as much of a factor as I get stronger."
 
Christie will be one of the marked men in the area this season as he'll draw a lot of attention at Rolling Meadows. He has the potential to be an all-area player. With multiple high-major scholarship offers and national recruiting profiles, Christie is just trying to maintain his focus on staying a versatile player. Playing both on and off the ball, Christie is trying to improve the consistency on his perimeter jumper while also trying to grow his basketball IQ.
 
"Both of them are fine. Off the ball, I like to set screens and get teammates open. I like to get open. On the ball, I like to create, passes, all that stuff," Christie said. "So I'm just trying to make plays, get my teammates open, set better screens."
 
"Leadership is something I need to work on, so it's something I need to accept for this season. So, since I've built this reputation, I'm trying to be more of a leader and encourage. Just being a better teammate."
 
Christie averaged 18 points, eight rebounds and 2.9 assists per game as a freshman at Rolling Meadows, as he has the ability to put up monster numbers as a sophomore. Underclass players don't typically compete for awards in the Chicagoland area, but Christie is a potentially special talent at the high school level as he attempts to ascend into a national-level recruit. 

37 Days to Kickoff: Schaumburg

37 Days to Kickoff: Schaumburg

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: Schaumburg

Head coach: Mark Stilling

Assistant coaches: Anthony Belmont, Fran Cassidy, Adam Strauch, Nick Torresso, Nick Anselmo, Juwaan Richard, Leo Clark, Joe Kowalski, Chris Rafah, Jake Hughes, Justin Teschner and John Fidler

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (2-3 Mid-Suburban West Conference). Schaumburg made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to Lake Zurich in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ St. Charles North
Sept. 1 @ Wheeling
Sept. 7 @ Niles North
Sept. 14 vs Highland Park
Sept. 21 vs Hoffman Estates
Sept. 28 vs Conant
Oct. 5 @ Palatine
Oct. 12 vs Barrington
Oct. 19 @ Fremd

Biggest storyline: After three seasons of hovering around the .500 mark, are the Saxons ready to make a strong run to win the Mid-Suburban West in 2018?

Names to watch this season: WR/DB Heze Trotter and RB Mike Digiola

Biggest holes to fill: The Saxons will need to replace four starting offensive linemen lost to graduation from last season.

EDGY's Early Take: The Saxons will welcome back several returning starters (especially in the offensive skills department) from last year's state playoff team (five offense, seven defense) and could very well be the conference's most experienced team this fall. If the Saxons can find some answers up front on the offensive line they have a very good shot at getting back to the 8A state playoffs along with challenging for a conference title this season.