Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Illinois State secures two local recruits

Recruiting News and Notes: Illinois State secures two local recruits

Josh Maize (DE), Deerfield

Deerfield senior three-star ranked defensive end Josh Maize (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) made his second official visit to UConn this past weekend.

"I had a great visit" Maize said. "Outside of the weather and some flight delays it was a terrific visit and experience for myself and my Mom and Dad at UConn."

Maize, who made his first official visit to Wyoming in November, has yet to set any additional official visits for now. 

"I don't have anything set up just yet," Maize said. "It's going to be hard for me to fit in visits. I'm playing in the Blue/Gray All Star game and also the Team USA game so that will take up two weekends in January. That leaves two open weekends in January and one of those weekends falls in the recruiting dead period. I'm considering some mid-week official visits so I'm going to sit down and sort everything out very soon."

Illinois State recruiting

Illinois State head coach Brock Spack was able to secure two impressive in-state verbal commitments earlier this week.

St. Patrick senior wide receiver Andrew Edgar (6-foot-0, 170 pounds) and Freeport outside linebacker/defensive end Zeke Vandenburgh (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) both have given the Redbirds verbal commitments.

"Once Illinois State offered me this morning (Tuesday) it didn't take me long to commit," Edgar said. "Illinois State has been my top school for a long time so it was just a matter of talking it over with my parents after they offered me. It feels great to have an offer and to commit to Illinois State and it's been a wild day."

Vandenburgh, who played outside linebacker for the Pretzels in 2016, was sold on the Redbirds when he made his recent official visit.

"Illinois State was just the best fit for me," Vandenburgh said. "I think I have the best chance at being successful at Illinois State. My official visit really showed me everything that Illinois State has to offer on and off the field so I committed."

[MORE: Why Prairie Ridge's Samson Evans is Edgy Tim's IHSA Football Player of the Year]

Samson Evans (QB), Prairie Ridge

Prairie Ridge junior quarterback Samson Evans (6-foot-1, 200 pounds) is now up to eight scholarship offers, including ones from Illinois and Iowa State. 

"They (scholarship offers) seem to just keep coming," Evans said. "It feels pretty amazing."

Evans now has scholarship offers from Army, Ball State, Central Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Iowa State, Northern Illinois and Syracuse.

Ball State recruiting

Ball State has also been busy in Illinois this week. The Cardinals extended early verbal scholarship offers to several Class of 2018 recruits, including Marist tight end TJ Ivy, Loyola Academy offensive tackle Charlie Gross, Fremd tight end/defensive end Will McCabe, Hinsdale Central tight end Matt Bjorson, Marist defensive lineman Gavin McCabe and Homewood-Flossmooor junior linebacker Mario Wright.

Keyon Blankenbaker (DB), Oak Park-River Forest

Oak Park-River Forest senior defensive back Keyon Blankenbaker (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) gave Wyoming his verbal commitment.

"I made an official visit to Wyoming a few weeks ago," Blankenbaker said. "I loved it on my visit and I pretty much knew after that visit I was ready to commit. I took some time just to give everything some thought and I called up the Wyoming coaches tonight (Tuesday) and committed."

Blankenbaker joins a growing list of Illinois commitments in the Class of 2017 for Wyoming which includes Belleville Althoff wide receiver CJ Coldon, Rochester wide receiver Avante Cox and Brother Rice running back Xazavian Valladay.

Former Illinois and Michigan assistant coach Kurt Mallory recruit the Illinois for the Cowboys and head coach Craig Bohl.

Edgy Tim: Which local names could get the call to the NFL?

Edgy Tim: Which local names could get the call to the NFL?

The 2019 NFL Draft is almost upon us. And despite the Bears not having a first or second round pick, there are a couple of names from the Land of Lincoln who could make waves this weekend-- including a few who could hear their name called in the early rounds. Here is a list of local players to pay attention to when the NFL Draft gets underway Thursday night: 

Julian Love, DB, Notre Dame (Nazareth Academy)

Love was a four star-ranked cornerback recruit by Rivals.com coming out of the La Grange Park school in the Class of 2016. He had over a dozen FBS scholarship offers while also being a two-time All-State player for the Roadrunners. He then gave Notre Dame his verbal commitment on Mar. 22, 2015. Love also looked hard at both Northwestern and Boston College before committing to the Fighting Irish. Love is ranked by several NFL scouting services as the state's consensus top overall pick in the 2019 draft. 

David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin (Downers Grove North)

Edwards was listed by Rivals.com as a 6-foot-6, 225 pound athlete in his prep football days. He played quarterback for the Trojans and head coach John Wander. Edwards gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment on June 14, 2015 as a potential tight end recruit, choosing the Badgers over several other Big Ten schools. In Madison, Edwards grew into a 6-foot-6, 308 pound offensive tackle and was a multi-year starter. He is being projected by several NFL scouting services as a low-second round to high-third round pick.

Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame (Providence Catholic)

Boykin, listed in high school as a 6-foot-3, 225 pound four star-ranked wide receiver by Rivals.com in the Class of 2015, gave Notre Dame his verbal commitment back on Dec. 14, 2014 after taking an official visit to the Sound Bend campus. Boykin, who held nearly 20 FBS scholarship offers is being projected by several NFL Scouting services as a high to mid-third round selection. Chicagoland fans may remember him as part of the High School Lites "Drive" series.

TJ Edwards, LB, Wisconsin (Lakes)

Edwards was listed in high school as a 6-foot-2, 215 pound three star-ranked outside linebacker in the Class of 2014. And he was versatile, assisting in a few other positions as a player for then-head coach Luke Mertens. Edwards, who was originally verbally committed to Western Michigan, switched his decision and gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment on Dec. 3, 2013. Edwards is being projected by several NFL Scouting services as a an early-to-mid-fourth round selection.  

Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri (East St. Louis)

Beckner Jr. was a 6-foot-4, 298 pound four star-ranked defensive tackle and the 36th best recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com in the Class of 2015. He gave Missouri his verbal commitment on Feb. 4, 2015 in a nationally-televised signing day press conference. Beckner Jr. selected Missouri after making official visits to Auburn, Florida State and Ohio State. He is being projected by several NFL scouting services as a mid-fourth round selection. 

Here are some additional names to keep an eye on during this weekend's NFL Draft:

QB Clayton Thorson - Northwestern (Wheaton North)
DE Chris Slayton - Syracuse (Crete-Monee)
OG Nick Allegretti - Illinois (Lincoln-Way East) 
OG Tanner Farmer - Nebraska (Highland)
K Austin Seibert - Oklahoma (Belleville West)
TE Daniel Helm - Duke (Glenwood)
WR Scotty Miller - Bowling Green (Barrington)
S Julian Hylton - Illinois/Southern Illinois (Lincoln-Way North)
LB Jerry Powe - Lafayette (Warren Township)
 

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

generic-footballs-0930.png
USA TODAY

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: LWE's Dzioban commits to Miami (OH)

Lincoln-Way East junior kicker Dominic Dzioban (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) added a recent scholarship offer from Miami of Ohio and has since given the Redhawks and head coach Chuck Martin his verbal commitment. 

"I just had a great visit on Saturday to Miami of Ohio and I was able to get every question I had about the school and the program answered on Saturday," Dzioban said. "When I was first offered by Miami (Ohio) I had no idea what they had to offer or what they are all about. Miami (Ohio) has a historic campus and they also offer an amazing education. It seems like every facility at Miami (Ohio) is brand new and Oxford is just a great small college town. Miami (Ohio) really offers everything I was looking for in a school and having a chance to go to Miami on a full scholarship is a huge opportunity I couldn't pass by at all."

Lake Forest sophomore linebacker Cal Uihlein (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) was able to add his first offer recently from the Wisconsin Badgers, and Uihlein also made a visit to the University of Wisconsin this past Saturday. 

"I had a great visit to Wisconsin on Saturday," Uihlein said. "It wasn't a usual recruiting type of visit, it was much more low key and I was able to just see everything behind the scenes including seeing the team scrimmage. I was able to get a good feel for the team and the coaches after the scrimmage. I was also able to talk with some of the coaches at Wisconsin including head coach Paul Chryst and linebacker coaches. Everyone at Wisconsin seems very excited about me and it was just good to get to know them a bit better. I was able to just basically see the stadium and I didn't get to see too much of the facilities or the campus. I'll definitely head back again to Wisconsin soon and see more of the school and the facilities and overall it was a great visit."

Warren Township junior three star ranked defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) was able to add an offer from the University of Illinois last Saturday while on a visit to watch the Fighting Illini's spring game. 

"I was hoping that an offer (from Illinois) was coming but I still had no idea," Singleton Jr. said. "I know that Illinois is on the rise and have added some really strong players from my recruiting class. My Dad also went to Illinois and just telling him over the phone that Illinois had offered me was an amazing felling and experience."

Singleton Jr. also said that "Illinois is definitely on the top of the spectrum. My recruitment is open, but there are definitely one of the top schools because of how they went about things with me on the visit."

Bolingbrook sophomore safety Justin Walters (6-foot-1, 170 pounds) has also seen more and more schools take notice of him this spring. Walters is currently holding six FBS level offers and growing by the day. 

"I have six scholarship offers now," Walters said. "I have offers from Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Army, Iowa, Iowa State and now Minnesota. Minnesota is my latest offer and they offered me a few weeks ago."

Walters has also been hitting the road and visiting a few schools this spring and plans to see even more soon.

"I've made visits already to Iowa and Iowa St and Wisconsin. I also visited Northwestern awhile ago. I'm also planning to visit Michigan State sometime this spring."