Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Jirehl Brock inching closer to making college decision


Recruiting News and Notes: Jirehl Brock inching closer to making college decision

Batavia’s three-star ranked senior inside linebacker Luke Weerts (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) made his college decision and gave FCS national champion North Dakota State his verbal commitment. 

"It was time to make my decision and it's been North Dakota State for me for awhile now," Weerts said. "I looked at a lot of different schools and we did our homework on a lot of different schools. Everyone has facilities and nice campuses and they all offer a good education. Yet North Dakota State just always has felt like home and I have a great comfort level there. That's why I decided to commit to them today."

Weerts, who had narrowed his list of favorite schools to NDSU, Kansas State and Cincinnati, also chose an FCS-level school over several FBS level offers, which might be a surprise to many except to Weerts.

"I've been asked about that already a few times why I included North Dakota State in my top schools list," he said. "North Dakota State is a big deal. They sell out the Fargodome for every game. North Dakota State might not be the size of the other two schools but they still have a lot to offer. North Dakota State reminds me a lot of Batavia and like our school football is a big deal at North Dakota State."

Elsewhere, Nazareth Academy senior athlete recruit Jermaine Baker (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) gave Yale his verbal commitment. Baker, who played wide receiver and safety for the Road Runners in 2017, discussed why he chose non-athletic scholarship Yale over several FCS level athletic scholarship offers. 

"Yale was the first school to offer me and it showed that the believed in me," Baker said. "Yale recruited me to play it's viper position which is a great fit for me. Yale also offers some amazing benefits like the job opportunities and internships along with the prestige of the school. That was very important to me and my family because there is life after football which a lot of athletes fail to realize."

Quincy’s four-star ranked senior running back Jirehl Brock (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) is inching closer to making a final college decision. Brock, who made his first official visit recently to Northwestern, also has more upcoming official visits set. 

"I'll be visiting Minnesota this coming weekend," Brock said. "I'm going to visit Iowa State on June 18th and then Iowa on June 22nd. Those are the only official visits I plan to take."

Brock also discussed what stood out on his official visit to Northwestern.

"The coaching staff is wonderful (at Northwestern)," he said. "Coach Lou (Louis Ayeni) and I have known each other for a while now and he is a great guy. I got along with the players at Northwestern and it was cool to hang out with the team. Obviously the new indoor facility they have is just unreal and Evanston is just beautiful."

Brock also has a time frame in mind for making his college choice.

"I'm going to make my college decision after I make my official visits," he said. "I'm gonna take some time to think and gather my thoughts but it will definitely be before the start of the season."

Phillips three-star ranked senior wide receiver Fabian McCray (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) recently announced his top seven favorite schools list and also filled us in on what's next in his recruiting process. 

"I named my top seven schools," McCray said. "It includes — in no order — Illinois, Rutgers, Minnesota, Kentucky, Yale, Purdue and Iowa State. I'm looking at taking some official visits very soon. I plan to end up using all five of my official visits. I haven't set any official visits dates just yet but I plan to get that done soon. I've been able to see schools like Illinois and Iowa State already so I'm looking to get out to make official visits to those other schools farther away from home like Yale, Minnesota and Rutgers. I still could take official visits those schools closer to home but I'm still sorting it all out now."

Power Rankings: #7 - Glenbard West

Power Rankings: #7 - Glenbard West 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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Glenbard West

Head coach: Chad Hetlet

Assistant coaches: John Sigmund, Jon Schweighardt, Joe Kish, Chris Van Dyke, Rick Heckman, Mike Hofland and Tad Keely

How they fared in 2017: 9-2 (6-0 West Suburban Silver Conference). Glenbard West made the 8A state playoff field, defeated Bloom Township and then lost to Oswego in second round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Maine South

Aug. 31 @ Proviso East

Sept. 8 vs Addison Trail

Sept. 14 @ York

Sept. 22 vs Downers Grove North

Sept. 29 vs Lyons Township

Oct. 5 @ Hinsdale Central

Oct. 13 vs Oak Park-River Forest

Oct. 19 @ Proviso West

Biggest storyline: Can the Hilltoppers get their swagger back in 2018?

Names to watch this season: RB Tyquan Cox and DE Mark Winters

Biggest holes to fill: The Hilltoppers will be a bit green on the offensive side of the football. Only three starters return from a season ago. 

EDGY's Early Take: Whenever Glenbard West head coach Chad Hetlet welcomes back experience on defense, expect the Hilltoppers to be strong. As mentioned, West’s offense will be a bit inexperienced. But senior RB Tyquan Cox is back from a strong junior season. He is a big play threat with every carry. The defense brings back seven returning starters from a season ago; they were a unit that improved greatly as the season wore on last season. Senior DE Mark Winters is a name to watch along with four returning starting linebackers in the fold from a season ago. If the offense can develop sooner rather than later, expect Glenbard West to again challenge for a state title in 2018. 

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central

Power Rankings: #8 - Naperville Central 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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Naperville Central

Head coach: Mike Stein

Assistant Coaches: Mike Ulreich: (DC/Inside LB), Tim Boecker (DB) Marc Anderson (DB), Adam Pucylowski (Outside LB), Eric Novak (DL), Pat Watson (OC/OL), Phil Allen (OL), Ryan Clifford (TE/H-backs), Adam Freed (RB), Chad Bradley (QB), Josh McLeod (WR) and Kofi Hughes (WR)

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (7-1 DuPage Valley Conference). Naperville Central made the 8A state playoff field and defeated West Aurora and Homewood-Flossmoor. In the quarterfinal round, they lost to Maine South. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Hinsdale Central

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way East

Sept. 7 vs Naperville North

Sept. 14 @ St. Matthews (Trinity) Kentucky

Sept. 21 @ Metea Valley

Sept. 28 vs Naperville North at NCC

Oct. 5 vs Neuqua Valley

Oct. 12 vs Waubonsie Valley

Oct. 19 @ Cary-Grove

[MORE: 12 Days to Kickoff - Hinsdale Central]

Biggest storyline: The schedule. Can the Redhawks survive a grueling regular season slate and go deep in the Class 8A playoffs?

Names to watch this season: QB Payton Thorne (Western Michigan) and OG Luke Hallstrom (Air Force)

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will need to reload upfront on both the offensive and defensive line this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Welcome to the new-look DuPage Valley, Naperville Central fans. The Redhawks will face a stiff test for all nine weeks of the regular season. It includes back-to-back games against fellow Class 8A state title contenders right out of the gate: Hinsdale Central and Lincoln-Way East. But Naperville Central features one of the state's top quarterbacks in senior Payton Thorne. He has capable targets in senior WR Cade McDonald and senior TE Jared Suchevits. As for the defense, they'll feature senior DB Jack Jopes along with senior LB Matt Oliver. A major plus to help Central's cause: they always have a deep roster and strong overall program numbers year in and year out.