Preps Talk

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

EDGY's Northwestern Wildcats grade: C

The Wildcats Class of 2017 was again a bit light on in-state commitments, which was also the same case in 2016. Northwestern signed two scholarship players, along with adding three preferred walk-ons. The Wildcats were also able to add some real quality with its in-state recruiting class, but the overall lower number of in-state scholarship players hurts the overall grade. 

Headliner of the in-state class?

Glenbard North three-star ranked wide receiver Jace James (6-foot-0, 182 pounds) was a standout two-way player for the Panthers over the past few seasons in Carol Stream. James played receiver, safety, kick returner and was simply an impact player in all phases. James has terrific strength and hands, runs very good routes and has more than required speed. James has a chance to develop into a longer term contributor for Northwestern and will be a nice addition to an always strong Wildcats receiver rotation.

[RELATED: Illinois in-state recruiting class recap]

The one who got away?

Loyola Academy three-star ranked tight end Jake Marwede (6-foot-5, 240 pounds). Marwede, who last year told Rivals.com that he grew up a Wildcats fan, was one of two in-state tight ends that Northwestern offered. In the end, Marwede pledged to Duke and the Wildcats missed out on one of the state's most versatile athletes and top players.

Final thoughts on the Wildcats recruiting efforts:

I would love to see Northwestern ink a dozen in-state kids each class. Yet, the reality is that Northwestern recruits nationally and in a year like 2017 they needed to go out of state pretty heavily. Overall, I like the kids who signed scholarship papers on Wednesday and I equally like the three preferred walk-ons, including UHigh kicker/punter Luke Otto.

Northwestern's football program is just at a good place these days. The Wildcats are winning in more ways than not. The new lakefront athletic complex will be another huge selling point. Add in the overall stability of Pat Fitzgerald and staff, exceptional academics and the positives for Northwestern still remain high in Evanston. While the in-state numbers haven't been as strong as they could be for Northwestern, those overall in-state recruit numbers haven't waned because of a lack of effort.

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings after seven weeks of football.

1. Lincoln-Way East 7-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Lockport, 45-7
This Week: @ Sandburg
EDGY's Take: The Griffins continue to roll along. Will they face another serious challenges the remainder of the regular season?

2. Mount Carmel 7-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat De La Salle, 28-21
This Week: @ St. Viator
EDGY's Take: The last few wins for the Caravan haven't been pretty, but a win is a win. 

3. Nazareth Academy 6-1 (3)
Last Week: Beat Marist, 39-29
This Week: @ Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners bounced back from a 14-0 deficit to beat Marist on Friday night. When the J.J. McCarthy to Tyler Morris connection is on, look out.

4. Loyola Academy 5-2 (4)
Last Week: Beat Benet Academy, 46-14
This Week: @ Marian Central Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers offense has started to make some noise while the defense remains a big strength. 
 
5. Warren Township 7-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Lake Zurich, 24-3
This Week: @ Stevenson
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils hold Lake Zurich to a field goal while RB Derrick McLaughlin carries the load on offense for The Township.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 6-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way West,  35-0
This Week: vs Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Vikings offensive line, running game and speed on defense should play well in 8A this postseason.

7. Glenbard West 7-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Lyons, 42-0
This Week: vs Hinsdale Central
EDGY's Take: This Saturday's game against Hinsdale Central will be the most anticipated regular season game in quite a while on the shores of Lake Ellyn.

8. Notre Dame 7-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Leo, 40-8
This Week: vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Dons' defense has been a strength all season. They get their biggest test on Friday as the Roadrunners come calling.

9. Hinsdale Central 7-0 (10)
Last Week: Beat Proviso West, 49-6
This Week: @ Glenbard West
EDGY's Take: Can the Red Devils win on the road on Saturday at Glenbard West? 

10. Bolingbrook 6-1 (11)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 34-13
This Week: @ Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Raiders' triple-option run game and athletic defense could combine to make some big moments this postseason.
 
11. Neuqua Valley 6-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Metea Valley, 43-21
This Week: @ Naperville North
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are now aiming to win out the remainder of the regular season. Can they earn a high seed in Class 8A?
  
12. Hersey 7-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Buffalo Grove, 42-14
This Week: vs Elk Grove
EDGY's Take: The Huskies will need to beat Elk Grove this week before locking in on a huge Week 9 showdown vs. Rolling Meadows.

13. Minooka 7-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 19-10
This Week: vs West Aurora
EDGY's Take: The Indians' defense has been rock-solid all season long. They limited a tough Yorkville offense. 

14. Oswego 7-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Oswego East, 14-3
This Week: @ Yorkville
EDGY's Take: The Panthers keep their winning streak alive (15-0) over district rival Oswego East. 

15. Maine South 5-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Glenbrook South, 40-10
This Week: vs Glenbrook North
EDGY's Take: The Hawks are getting healthy at the right time of the year. 

16. St. Charles East 6-1 (22)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 30-29
This Week: vs Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: The Saints post back-to-back wins over St. Charles North and Batavia. Impressive. 

17. Batavia 5-2 (7)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles East, 30-29
This Week: @ St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs now need to get back on track. Another DuKane rival looms in St. Charles North.

18. Hillcrest 6-1 (18)
Last Week: Beat Tinley Park, 41-0
This Week: @ Lemont
EDGY's Take: The Hawks will get a huge test on the road this Friday at Lemont.

19. Willowbrook 6-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat York, 35-21
This Week: @ Morton
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got off to a quick 14-0 lead against York and never looked back. 

20. Huntley 6-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Hampshire, 56-0
This Week: vs Burlington Central
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders are also rolling and are playing for a high seed in Class 8A.

21. Montini Catholic 5-2 (21)
Last Week: Beat St. Joseph, 2-0 (forfeit)
This Week: vs De La Salle
EDGY's Take: Will the forfeit win last week be a blessing for the Broncos?

22. Fremd 5-2 (25)
Last Week: Beat Barrington, 14-0
This Week: @ Conant
EDGY's Take: The Vikings' defense has been a strength all season; the run game pounded out enough yards in the win over Barrington.

23. Crete-Monee 7-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 44-12
This Week: vs Bloom 
EDGY's Take: The Warriors are also in line for a top seed in the postseason.

24. Andrew 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way Central, 33-21
This Week: vs Lockport
EDGY's Take: The T-Bolts enter the Top 25 aiming for a high seed in the postseason; however, they shouldn't overlook the Porters.

25. Cary-Grove 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Jacobs, 16-6
This Week: vs Prairie Ridge
EDGY's Take: The annual grudge match against rival Prairie Ridge should be a good one Friday night.

High School Lites Roundup Week 7

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Roundup Week 7

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 7 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.

Drive: Phillips Episode 7

Windy City Legends: Zak & Sarah Kustok

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Lisle Lions Girls Volleyball Team

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Julian Schurr

Eisenhower 19, Evergreen Park 18

Oswego 14, Oswego East 3

(14) Minooka 19, Yorkville 10

(22) St. Charles East 30, (7) Batavia 29

Phillips 52, Lane Tech 0 

Warren 24, Lake Zurich 3

(19) Willowbrook 35, York 21

Nazareth Academy 39, Marist 29

Rolling Meadows 35, Prospect 14

Sullivan 18, Kennedy 13

Whitney Young 15, Von Steuben 14