Preps Talk

Preps recruiting news and notes: Underclassmen fielding offers

houston-griffith-preps-recruiting-slide.png

Preps recruiting news and notes: Underclassmen fielding offers

Lincoln-Way East sophomore defensive end recruit Devin O'Rourke (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) added his first scholarship offer on Wednesday from Iowa State.

"I got a text from the Iowa State coaches earlier in the day," O'Rourke said. "Later in the afternoon, my head coach (Rob Zvonar) called me down to the office and had me call up the Iowa State coaches and that's when they offered me a scholarship."

O'Rourke is also starting to draw recruiting looks from Purdue and Northwestern so far this spring.

[RELATED - Western Michigan is going to need a bigger boat for Illinois recruits]

Bolingbrook junior three star ranked defensive end Izayah Green-May (6-foot-5, 205 pounds), whose latest offer comes from Mississippi State, has made it clear that he's more than willing to travel away from home to find his school of choice.

"No, travel won't be an issue for me," according to Green-May. "My mom and I have talked about it and she is totally supportive of any school I decide on. I'm open to anyone regardless of location." 

Green-May, who now is holding 18 scholarship offers, is also eyeing the early summer as his self-imposed time frame for making his final college choice.

Mount Carmel sophomore defensive back Houston Griffith (6-foot, 185 pounds) is having a highly-productive spring break so far this week. Griffith, the son of former Illinois standout running back and current Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith has now pulled in scholarship offers this week from Penn State and Purdue and holds a dozen offers in total.

Griffith has made visits this week to Notre Dame, Tennessee, Alabama, Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State and is considering a final stop at Iowa.

Look for Griffith to be one of the top-ranked recruits in the Midwest in the Class of 2018.

[MORE PREPS: Edgy Tim talks with NFL hopeful Dan Vitale]

Morgan Park junior outside linebacker recruit Jawon Denton (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) added his first scholarship offer late last week from Northern Illinois University.

"I went out to NIU to visit last week and that's when they offered me," Denton said. "It was my first ever trip to NIU and it's a great place. I really liked the indoor facility and it's just a really nice school. I was able to talk to the NIU coaches and they are pretty excited about me. They are recruiting me as an outside linebacker and I'm totally fine with playing outside linebacker in college."

Denton, who played defensive end and tight end in 2015 for the Mustangs, is also drawing interest from Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Ball State and Florida.

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

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: Rich Central

Head coach: Terrell Alexander

Assistant Coaches: Quincy Woods (OC), Vince Brown (OL), Art Schuldt (ST), Les Hampton (DB), Jerrell Bibbs (DB), Steve Henley (DC), Jeff Spikner (WR), Derrick Goard (LB) William Pass (DL) Chuch Robinson (Skills), Guy Smith (RB) and Shawn Mitchell (Skills)

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-1 Southland Conference). Rich Central made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Olympians defeated Marion then lost to Dunlap in second round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hillcrest

Sept. 1 vs Lemont

Sept. 7 @ Kaneland

Sept. 14 vs Rich South

Sept. 21 @ Crete-Monee

Sept. 28 vs Rich East

Oct. 5 vs Kankakee

Oct. 12 vs Bloom Township

Oct. 19 vs Christ the King

[MORE: 67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest]

Biggest storyline: The Olympians have reached the IHSA playoffs three consecutive seasons-- the first such streak in Rich Central history. Can they stay on a winning track and make a deeper playoff run this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR/S Mehki Miller (Miami of Ohio) and RB Sean Tyler (Western Michigan)

Biggest holes to fill: The Olympians will need to replace their entire starting offensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander has brought winning and stability to the Olympians football program.  The 2018 team has some firepower back in the aforementioned Miller and Tyler; however, the development of their underclassmen group this summer will determine just how far this team will go. The ingredients look to be there for another IHSA state playoff caliber team.

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest

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: Hillcrest

Head coach: Morgan Weaver

Assistant coaches:  Mike Young, Kyran Weaver, Rob Hancock, Ryan Keen, Nicholas Schultz, Tramaine Weaver, Phillip Burkett and Langdon Mattox

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (5-1 South Suburban Blue Conference). Hillcrest made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Hawks defeated Peoria and Glenwood then lost to Dunlap in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Rich Central

Sept. 1 @ Rich South

Sept 7 @ Shepard

Sept. 14 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 21 vs Lemont

Sept. 28 @ Tinley Park

Oct. 5 @ T.F. South

Oct. 12 @ T.F. North

Oct. 19 vs Bremen

[MORE: 79 Days to Kickoff - Crete-Monee]

Biggest storyline: Consistency. After two straight postseason berths, can the Hawks reload and get back into the IHSA playoff field once again this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR Corey Crooms (Western Michigan) and DE Cam Mattox (NIU)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense); hoewever, they will need to reload on the offensive line and at linebacker. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Morgan Weaver was able to get the Hawks into the state playoffs in his first season. What can they do as an encore? Hillcrest has the potential to be a real threat in 5A. Keep an eye on a strong and experienced group of receivers and backs led by senior Corey Crooms (Western Michigan). They also boast a defense that features an experienced secondary and a ton of speed.