Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Christian Perez transfers to East St. Louis

Recruiting News and Notes: Christian Perez transfers to East St. Louis

Bryce Effner (OT), Metea Valley

Metea Valley junior offensive tackle Bryce Effner (6-foot-5, 275 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock rise this winter. Effner has scholarship offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Toledo. Effner is also drawing attention from several other schools.

"I've been starting to hear from new schools such as Michigan State, Colorado State and North Dakota State," Effner said. "North Carolina just invited me to a Junior Day and Syracuse also just requested my academic information. I'm also looking at visiting Penn State, Duke and possibly Iowa State and LSU later this spring."

Christian Perez (QB), East St. Louis

Defending Class 7A state champion East St. Louis added a new student in the building when former O'Fallon junior quarterback Christian Perez (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) transferred in last week. Perez, who is considered one of the top quarterbacks in Illinois in the Class of 2018, explained why he made the move.

"My dad moved back to East St. Louis," Perez said. "It's a chance to spend more time with my dad. It's something that I'm really excited about. I have family already in the community and I'm just thankful and excited to start my first day at East St. Louis."

Perez, who was a two-year starter for O'Fallon, has drawn recruiting looks and interest from several Big Ten and Mid American Conference schools.

Jaylan Alexander (OLB), Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates junior outside linebacker Jaylan Alexander (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) was able to add two recent scholarship offers from Northern Illinois and Illinois State. Alexander made a recent Junior Day event visit to Northern Illinois and came away impressed with the Huskies.

"I've been to NIU a few times before and I went to a game last season so I was already pretty familiar with NIU," Alexander said. "The NIU coaches had been in touch and really seemed excited about me and wanted to make sure I came out to visit. I like what NIU has to offer. They have a nice school and they also have been a winning program over the years. NIU offered me as a linebacker but they also like me as an athlete. They feel I can be a pretty versatile player for them."

 Alexander has also drawn steady recruiting interest this winter from Central Michigan, Miami (OH), Wyoming and South Dakota.

Marquis Burks (DE), Curie

Curie junior defensive end Marquis Burks (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) has the look, physical tools and upside to become a highly sought after recruit in the Class of 2018. Burks, who is playing linebacker this winter for the HeroH travel 7-on7- squad, already has one early offer and lots of interested college programs.

"I still have an offer from Toledo," Burks said. "Besides Toledo, I'm also in touch with UCLA, NIU, Central Michigan, Missouri, Bowling Green, Pitt and Minnesota. Those schools and some smaller schools are all showing interest. They all love my junior tape and want me to stay in touch."

Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa


Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa

It didn't take very long for Oak Lawn Richards three star ranked junior RB LeShon Williams (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) to give the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment. Williams, who added a scholarship offer from Iowa yesterday decided this afternoon to commit to the Hawkeyes and announced his college decision via his Twitter account. 

"For me it was really all about the tradition and the culture (at Iowa)," according to Williams. "It's always been a dram of mine to play in the Big 10 conference, so why not play for Iowa and get to play again with one of my old teammates."

Williams, who is holding 16 scholarship offers this spring will join former Richards quarterback/safety Sebastian Castro who is part of the Class of 2019 for the Hawkeyes. Williams is now the 10th known verbal commitment in the Iowa Class of 2020 and is also the third known State of Illinois pledge for Iowa. Williams joins Byron three star ranked OL Tyler Elsbury along with Lena-Winslow three star ranked defensive end Isaiah Bruce as Land of Lincoln commitments. 

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

NBC Sports Chicago

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

Nazareth Academy sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), who had an All State season in 2018 leading the Roadrunners to the Class 7A state title decided to give the Michigan Wolverines his verbal commitment today while making a return unofficial visit to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus.

“I have a list of all the things I need to check off before I make my decision,” McCarthy told's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. “It’s a literal piece of paper I have at home, and Michigan checked every single one of those boxes.”

Among the various factors for McCarthy in deciding upon Michigan included location, academics along with preparing him for the next level of football.

“With all the NFL ties Michigan has, especially quarterback-wise with coach (Jim) Harbaugh and coach (Ben) McDaniels, it’s really a no-brainer for me,” McCarthy said. “When I hear ‘Michigan,’ I think of Tom Brady. He’s the greatest of all time and he’s an alum… at my position too.”

McCarthy, who was already holding over 30 verbal scholarship offers including offers from multiple Power 5 programs is the second known verbal commitment in the Michigan Wolverines Class of 2021 joining Stevenson Sterling Heights (Mich.) ranked offensive tackle Giovanni El Hadi.

McCarthy is now the fourth known verbal commitment from the state of Illinois Class of 2021, joining Antioch sophomore QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and his brother Dino Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and Naperville Central sophomore QB/ATH Sam Jackson (Minnesota).