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."