Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Fabian McCray verbally commits to Illinois


Recruiting News and Notes: Fabian McCray verbally commits to Illinois

Chicago (Ill.) Phillips senior three-star ranked wide receiver recruit Fabian McCray (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) decided to give the University of Illinois his verbal commitment. 

"I just felt like I was ready so I committed (to Illinois)," McCray said. "I just know that Illinois is where I want to be."

McCray, who also looked hard at Minnesota, discussed why he decided upon the in-state Fighting Illini.

"I just felt that Illinois was the right place for me," he said. "I've built up a solid relationship with the coaches and the players at Illinois. I feel that Illinois overall is the best place for me and the place where I want to be."

McCray is now the eighth known verbal commitment in the Fighting Illini's Class of 2019. McCray is also the fourth known in-state pledge joining his Phillips teammate senior DB Joseph Thompson, Montini Catholic senior RB Nick Fedanzo plus Bloomington senior tight end Griffin Moore. 

West Aurora junior four-star ranked defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) decided to give the Michigan Wolverines his verbal commitment after making a recent unofficial campus visit in Ann Arbor.

"Michigan just felt like home to me," Warren said. "Both my mom and I really felt at home when we visited Michigan. Michigan is a place where I can go in and work hard and get a great education and a great college experience."

Warren, who was holding nearly 20 scholarship offers this summer, won't be able to sign a Letter of Intent until December of 2019 at the earliest. So why commit so early?

"People talk all the time about when I know I've found the right school that I would know it," he said. "I definitely know it and feel it and I just wanted to make my decision. Michigan just feels like the right place for me and it's the best overall fit for me. Why wait to make a decision when I already know I want to go to Michigan."

Bolingbrook senior three-star ranked running back recruit Anthony Williams Jr. (6-foot-0, 195 pounds) gave Michigan State his verbal commitment earlier this week. 

"I'm really excited about my commitment," Williams Jr. said. "I've liked Michigan State for a long time now. It just feels good to make it public and I'm very happy to commit to Michigan State."

Williams Jr., who also looked hard at Boston College, pointed towards the overall fit for him on and off the field at Michigan State as a big factor in his decision.

"I really like the Michigan State offense and I just feel that I can be a really good fit in that offense. I also get along great with the coaches at Michigan State and they also have a great tradition. Michigan State also has great facilities and I also liked the campus quite a bit. I just feel like I can succeed at Michigan State on and off the field. It's a great fit for me."

It didn't take Chicago (IL) Simeon senior two-star ranked athlete recruit Alante Brown (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) very long to accept his latest scholarship offer and commit to Michigan State. 

"Michigan State has always been my dream school since I was a little kid," Brown said. "I was actually born in East Lansing and I moved away from Michigan when I was like three days old. Once Michigan State offered me I knew what I wanted to commit to Green and White."

Brown, recruited by the Spartans as a wide receiver, was originally committed to Miami of Ohio but was asked to decommit from the Redhawks when Brown decided to attend a few nearby college satellite camps. 

"I wasn't too worried when Miami of Ohio asked me to decommit because I knew that I had a few good camps and I was able to add some really good offers right away from schools like Missouri, Minnesota and eventually Michigan State."

40 Days to Kickoff: De La Salle

40 Days to Kickoff: De La Salle 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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: De La Salle

Head coach: Mike Boehm

Assistant coaches: Bill Green, John Grubisich, Jim Brinkley, Nick Henton, Rich Blake, Bob Garrett and Terrence Young

How they fared in 2018: 8-5 (2-2 CCL Green Conference). De La Salle failed to make the IHSA state football playoff field, but entered the Chicago Catholic League playoffs and defeated St. Joseph, St. Ignatius and St. Laurence. They lost to St. Rita in the CCL championship. 

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Niles West 

Sept. 6 vs Kenwood 

Sept. 13 vs Marmion Academy 

Sept. 20 vs Benet Academy 

Sept. 27 vs St. Joseph 

Oct. 4 @ Nazareth Academy 

Oct. 11 @ Mount Carmel 

Oct. 18 @ Montini

Oct. 25 vs St. Laurence

[MORE: 68 Days to Kickoff - St. Laurence

Biggest storyline: A tale of two conferences. How will the Meteors fare in the newly-realigned CCL/ESCC Orange conference in 2019? 

Names to watch this season: TE Matt Byrne (Sr.) and RB/WR/DB Jason Moore (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Meteors will need to reload at several positions, especially on offense with just two starters back from last year's squad. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Meteors are now in the same league with the likes of St. Laurence, Nazareth Academy and Benet Academy. De La Salle has a handful of key names back this season, but several new faces will need to step up and provide production. De La Salle will also need to come out and take care of business in August and September, as the regular season slate is stacked with traditional power programs from Week 5 thru 9. Five straight home games to start the season should provide a nice boost.

41 Days to Kickoff: Wilmington

41 Days to Kickoff: Wilmington 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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Wilmington

Head coach: Jeff Reents

Assistant coaches: Barry Southall, Rob Murphy, Chad Farrell, Robert Bolser, Drew Tyler, Mark Langusch, Mike Bushnell, Andy Peterson and Mike Lenton

How they fared in 2018: 6-4 (2-2 Interstate Eight ‘Small’ Conference). Wilmington made the Class 3A IHSA state football playoff field and lost to Monmouth-Roseville in opening round action. 

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Evergreen Park
Sept. 6 vs. Oak Lawn
Sept. 13 @ Streator
Sept. 20 vs Manteno
Sept. 27 @ Lisle
Oct. 4 vs Herscher
Oct. 11 vs Reed-Custer
Oct. 18 @ Coal City
Oct. 25 vs Peotone

Biggest storyline: The Wildcats have made the playoffs 23 seasons in a row. Can they keep up their winning ways in a new conference (Illinois Central Eight) in 2019?

Names to watch this season: OL Hunter Doherty (Sr.) and RB/LB Jake Rodawold (Sr).

Biggest holes to fill: The Wildcats bring back a ton of experience with 14 returning starters but the overall numbers and depth can always be improved upon this summer. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Wildcats and head coach Jeff Reents had a rare early exit from the state playoffs in 2018. Look for this year’s team to rely on a more experienced lineup on both sides of the football. The new Illinois Central Eight conference home is a very familiar collection of teams that Wilmington has competed with for several years, so expect them to fare just fine here.