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.

IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll


IHSA Preps Boys Basketball AP Poll

Here are the boys prep basketball polls with rank, team, first-place votes, record and total points.

Class 4A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Curie (5) 25-2 50 1
2. Chicago Heights (Bloom Twp.) 26-6 45 2
3.  Harvey Thornton 28-1 40 3
4.  Simeon 22-8 35 4
5. Homewood-Flossmoor 23-3 29 7
6. Collinsville 26-4 20 6
7. Whitney-Young 18-9 16 9
8.  Evanston 25-4 15 5
9.  O'Fallon 23-6 8 8

Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights)




Others receiving votes: Bolingbrook  6. Joliet West 2. Stevenson 1. Loyola 1.

Class 3A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Niles Notre Dame (2) 26-4 65 T1
2. Peoria Notre Dame (4) 26-1 64 T1
3. Morgan Park (1) 20-8 55 3
4. Bogan 25-3 47 4
5. (tie) Galesburg 27-4 47 6
6. Lincoln 28-2 31 8
7.  Kankakee 23-4 24 9
8.  (tie) Oak Forest 25-2 24 5
9. DePaul College Prep 22-5






Rock Island 20-8


Others receiving votes: East St. Louis 4. Rockford Boylan 2. Carbondale 1. Centralia  1. Geneseo 1

Class 2A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Orr (7) 17-7 77 1
2.  Normal University 24-7 66 3
3. (tie) Breese Mater Dei (1) 25-5 64 2
4. Pinckyneyville 27-3 61 4
5.  Kewanee 27-4 50 6
6. Fairfield 27-4 37 7
7. Rockridge 25-5



8.  Pleasant Plains 27-4 19 5
9. Nashville 25-6 14 9
10. Bismark-Henning 30-0 12 10

Others receiving votes: Riverton 10. Crane 3. Dunbar 2. Corliss 1. Sterling Newman 1

Class 1A

No. Team W-L Pts Prv
1. Indian Creek (4) 30-0 66 1
2. Roanoke Benson (1) 30-1 56 3
3.  Winchester-West Central (1) 28-3 49 4
4.  Moweaqua Central A&M (1) 26-3 48 2
5. Effingham St. Anthony 26-3 46 5
6. Yorkville Christian 22-10 36 7
7.  Payson Seymour 27-2 35 6
8. Goreville 27-2 17 8
9.  Leo 30-2 17 T9

East Dubuque








Others receiving votes: Aurora Christian 3. Jacksonville Routt 1

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?             

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school basketball followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one girls basketball game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Thursday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on Friday night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.

This week, the IHSA 3A girls basketball playoffs kick off. Teams begin their quest to reach Redbird Arena. We will attend one of the following 3A regional championships Thursday night:

Little Village 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Simeon, St. Ignatius, Kenwood and Riverside-Brookfield

Crystal Lake South 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Grayslake Central, Deerfield, St. Viator and Resurrection

Hampshire 3A Sectional Final, 7:00 p.m.

Teams: Sycamore, Burlington Central, Montini and Boylan Catholic

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Thursday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 3 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.