Preps Talk

Prep football: Scholarship updates, news and notes

footballs.png
USA TODAY

Prep football: Scholarship updates, news and notes

Oswego junior offensive tackle recruit Otto Hess (6-foot-7, 285 pounds) has continued to add more scholarship offers at a steady rate despite this being the recruiting "dead" period. Hess has added recent offers from Western Michigan, SIU and Virginia and recaps his latest recruiting news and more here.

"Recruiting has just been very exciting for me lately," Hess said. "I'm just beyond excited about all of the attention and scholarship offers. "

Hess discusses his thoughts from adding his first Power 5 offer on Wednesday from the University of Virginia.

"It's really exciting to get an offer from Virginia. I mean Coach Bronco Mendenhall is a great coach who did some amazing things for BYU and is now doing the same things at Virginia. Virginia is one of the top public universities in the nation and honestly the offer pretty much came out of nowhere. The Virginia coaches had been staying in contact with my head coach (Brian Cooney) and they talked to some of my teachers at school and also requested my transcripts. I was asked to call the offensive line coach Garrett Tujague and we had a good talk for about a half hour and that's when I got the offer from Virginia. I've never seen Virginia in person so I'm going to get out and visit them this spring for sure. It's just exciting to add my first Power 5 offer from Virginia and it's great to see more and more bigger schools showing more interest in me."

Look for Hess to have a very busy spring travel itinerary beginning March 1st.

"I'm set to visit Iowa on March 1st, Ohio University on March 7th and then I'm also visiting Miami of Ohio on March 9th. I also want to get out to visit Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan along with Virginia. I'm also set to visit Kansas State on April 10th for a spring visit. I've been able to already visit both NIU and Miami of Ohio."

Marist junior three-star ranked offensive tackle recruit Pat Coogan (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) has remained one of the most sought after names in the Midwest this winter. Coogan, who has added recent scholarship offers from Virginia, Arizona, Purdue and Missouri. Coogan, who now is holding 20 FBS scholarship offers this winter also discussed his recent visit to Michigan State. 

"I had an awesome visit to Michigan State," Coogan said. "I just really liked it at Michigan State and I was able to get to learn more about the school and the football program."

"I ended up driving myself out to Michigan State and I'm really glad I made the visit. I really liked the coaching staff and everyone made me feel very welcome. The coaches at Michigan State also have a great personality and it also was good to just get to know them better. I was also impressed with the facilities at Michigan State and everything was well planned out and maintained. I was also able to visit and talk with an academics advisor on my visit, but the visit was mainly football related this time. The coaches at Michigan State made me feel like a priority while I was there and overall I just really enjoyed my visit."

Does Coogan have any additional upcoming visits planned?.

"I'm definitely planning to get out and visit more schools," Coogan said. "I'm looking to visit Michigan on March 1st along with getting out to visit Stanford on March 6th and 7th. I'm also planning to visit Ohio State on March 28th."

Loyola Academy junior offensive center recruit Josh Kreutz (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock rise this winter including adding his first recent Big Ten scholarship offer from the University of Illinois. Kreutz — the son of former Chicago Bears All Pro center Olin Kreutz — recaps his latest offers and recruiting news here.

"It was really cool to get my first Big Ten offer from Illinois," Kreutz said. "It was exciting to get the offer and it was a really nice surprise. I was pulled out of class and we called the Illinois coaches and that's when they offered me."

Kreutz is now holding four early scholarship offers so far this winter.

"I also have scholarship offers from NIU, Ball State and Central Michigan along with Illinois. Iowa has also been showing some interest in me and they recently invited me to come out for a visit. We had several college coaches in our school last month and a lot of those coaches watched our team workouts."

Kreutz also made a recent visit to Northern Illinois University.

"I visited NIU on like the last day you could visit schools in January. The visit to NIU was pretty cool and I really liked the indoor facility at NIU along with getting to meet with the coaches. NIU is very interested in me and they want me to stay in touch with them and come back for another visit this spring."

Does Kreutz have any additional college visits planned?

"I don't have any dates just yet but I'm looking at getting down to Illinois for a visit," he said. "I also want to get out to visit Iowa as well."

Prairie Ridge junior outside linebacker recruit Carter Evans (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers at a steady rate, and Evans now has 10 early scholarship offers this winter. 

"I added a few recent offers from Wyoming, Syracuse and Western Michigan," Evans said. "I also was finally 100 percent cleared from rehab last Wednesday so it just feels good to get back to working out and training with no restrictions."

Evans discussed adding his latest scholarship offer from the Syracuse Orangemen.

"Syracuse was in school back in January and they went back and re-watched my junior year video. Two weeks after they made an in school visit they contacted me and offered a scholarship. Getting the offer from Syracuse was definitely a nice surprise. They are recruiting me as tight end and I'm totally fine with playing tight end in college."

Evans also has remained on several Big Ten schools recruiting list this winter.

"I'm still getting interest and staying in touch with schools like Northwestern, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Iowa. They are also telling me that they will be back in school this spring to watch me work out in person, Because of my injury last season, a lot of those Big Ten schools didn't get to see me workout this winter."

Evans is also hoping to get out to make some college visits this spring.

"I'm still checking the dates but I'm hoping to get out to visit schools starting in March. I'm looking to get out to visit schools like NIU, Syracuse, Western Michigan plus a few other schools. I'm hoping to see as many schools in person as possible."

Edgy Tim's recruiting News and Notes

generic_preps_football_slide_2.png
USA Today

Edgy Tim's recruiting News and Notes

Marist junior three-star ranked offensive tackle Pat Coogan (6-foot-5, 295 pounds) added an offer from Notre Dame last week. Since then, Coogan has picked up new offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma and LSU all within a week's time frame. 

"It feels amazing," Coogan said. "I never could have imagined I would get offers from three out of four CFB playoff teams. It's been a wild week."

Coogan admitted that the offer from Notre Dame is special. 

"It's a big one for sure," Coogan said. "It's an offer I wanted for a long time now. I've been a Notre Dame fan my whole life, and when they offered me, it was a surreal moment."

Batavia (IL) junior inside linebacker recruit Matt "Mojo" Weerts (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) added his latest scholarship offer on Monday from the University of Arizona. 

"I'm really excited and pumped about getting an offer from Arizona," Weerts said. "Coach (Evan) DeVan from Arizona recruited my brother when he was coaching at Ball State, so I know him already, and Arizona is a great school and program."

"I know that Arizona plays in the PAC 12 conference, which is one of the top conferences in the nation. I also know that Arizona offers great academics, and I'm just proud to add an offer from the Wildcats. I have family that lives in Phoenix, and I'm hoping that I'll get a chance to visit Arizona later this spring or this summer."

Fremd junior offensive guard recruit Jack Walsh (6-foot-3, 290 pounds) had a good week, too. 

"It was great to get all of those offers over the past week," Walsh said. "I was able to add offers from Missouri State, Illinois State, SIU, EIU and also South Dakota, plus Southeast Missouri State."

Walsh has also drawn increased recruiting attention from several schools.

"Besides the schools who have offered me, I've also been in contact with the coaches from NIU, Ball State, Purdue, Wyoming and also Kent State. The coaches want me to stay in touch with them, and, hopefully, we will be able to get out to make some college visits sometime soon."

Hersey junior offensive guard recruit Ryan Gudaitis (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) recently added his first two scholarship offers when both Illinois State and Southern Illinois decided to extend him a scholarship offer.

"I was able to add my first two offers from Illinois State and Southern Illinois," Gudaitis said. "I was hoping that I would eventually draw some scholarship offers but getting them this early is really a nice surprise."

Gudaitis, who is a three sport athlete at Hersey (football, basketball and baseball), has also seen more recruiting interest early this spring. 

"I've also been hearing from several other schools, including South Dakota, NIU, North Dakota, EIU, plus some of the Minnesota D2 schools like Winona State and Minnesota Duluth. I was able to make a junior day visit to NIU back in February, and that went well, but it was my only visit for now. I was also planning to visit ISU later this spring, but that's been cancelled."

Coronavirus Impact: How schools are handling football recruiting

ncaa_logo_1920.jpg
USA Today

Coronavirus Impact: How schools are handling football recruiting

While the coronavirus pandemic has shut down nearly everything sports related, college football recruiting hasn't stopped despite the current NCAA Dead Period, which is currently in place until April 15.

The Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level was actually in a recruiting quiet period up until March 13 when the NCAA decided to switch back to the dead period in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The NCAA Dead Period then eliminated any on-campus or off-campus in-person contact with prospective student-athletes.

So why is football recruiting still ongoing despite being in an NCAA mandated dead period? 

The NCAA Dead Period does permit phone calls and electronic communication between coaches and eligible recruits.  In fact, you could argue that recruiting has seen a bigger boost over the past few weeks with several schools extending more college scholarship offers at this early point of the recruiting calendar.

Why? 

I was able to speak with a dozen different college coaches over the past weekend regarding the impact of the coronavirus. Nearly every college coach I spoke with agreed that the upcoming Spring Evaluation Period, which is set by the NCAA to start on April 15 and end on May 31, will be eliminated by the NCAA because of the ongoing pandemic. The Spring Evaluation Period allows for colleges to have in school evaluation visits along with being allowed to host recruits for both unofficial and official visits. 

With the possibilities of the NCAA eliminating the Spring Evaluation Period, college coaches will be losing an important contact period for seeing potential recruits work out in person and it also gives high school players one less chance to be seen in person by college coaches. 

Without the very real possibility of not having any in-person evaluations this spring, many college coaches have spent this recruiting dead period more focused on its scouting and film study. Several colleges are now extending more early scholarship offers during this dead period than ever before, hoping to at least attract interest and eventually a verbal commitment from the players at the top of its recruiting board. These early offers are also coming from several different levels of college football, including several of the State of Illinois FCS level programs (Illinois State/SIU/EIU/WIU) who have been very active over the past few weeks. 

The summer NCAA Football Quiet Period, which is set to begin on June 1, is one of the busiest times of the year. The summer one day camp circuit features a handful of weeks of on-campus college football camps and is also in potential jeopardy according to the coaches I spoke with.

Those same coaches said that the college one day camps each year draw hundreds of kids in from all over the Midwest, and in some cases draw kids and parents traveling from across the country. The severity of the coronavirus and its severity is much different in spots all over the country, and it will take some time before it truly begins to loosen its grip across the country. The timing of the summer quiet period could potentially be pushed back, but again, that begins to threaten the college football schedules including when schools are allowed to assemble and have team practice. 

So in the meantime? College football recruiting — along with the rest of the world — will continue to operate in uncharted waters as many sit at home and wait for this pandemic to wind down.