Preps Talk

Recruiting News and Notes: Ken Aguirre commits to WMU

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Recruiting News and Notes: Ken Aguirre commits to WMU

Ken Aguirre (DL), Joliet Catholic

The senior defensive linemen gave Western Michigan his verbal commitment over the weekend.

"I'm pretty excited about my choice," Aguirre said. "I knew for awhile that I wanted to go to Western Michigan but I waited a bit to decide. Looking back, I just always felt that I was wanted the most and recruited the hardest by WMU."

Aguirre (6-foot-2, 280 pounds) joins Evanston quarterback Matt Little, Proviso West athlete Rhashaun Epting and Neuqua Valley tight end Brett Borske in Western Michigan's 2016 recruiting class.

Matt Chmielewski (OG), Lockport

The senior guard (6-foot-4, 312 pounds) gave Southern Illinois University head coach Dale Lennon his verbal commitment this past weekend.

"I've been to SIU three-or-four different times now and I just feel very comfortable," Chmielewski said. "I enjoyed getting to know the coaches and some of the players. I also love the overall atmosphere in and around the football program. I also love the campus and the facilities at SIU and SIU just feels like the right place for me."

[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Power Rankings - Week 10]

Prince Walker (RB), Montini Catholic

Walker (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) is having a terrific junior season for the undefeated Broncos and has has made a few recent unofficial visits.

"I've been able to make a few college visits this fall. I went to games at Iowa, Indiana and also NIU," Walker said. "I had a good visit to Iowa and overall it went well. I also visited Indiana and I was able to talk to Leon (Thornton) and I really liked Indiana. Leon and I have been friends since my freshman year and he loves it at Indiana. I'll need to put the visits on hold for now. We start the state playoffs this week and you just never know when they will play the games until early in the week. It makes it hard to schedule and set up anything, plus my focus is strictly on my team first."

College News

Former Plainfield South standout linebacker Clifton Garrett, who transferred out of LSU, has been at JUCO power Arizona Western this season. Garrett, who is playing for former Joliet Junior College head coach Tom Minnick at Arizona Western, made an official visit to the University of Alabama-Birmingham over the weekend and gave them his verbal commitment.

UAB was originally set to disband its football program, but has since been reinstated football and will return for the 2017 season.

"They (UAB) are letting guys that are going to UAB to freeze their clock, basically," Garrett told Rivals.com Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. "I am thinking about enrolling in January, then I'll get that whole year off. I'll grind, get my academics right, get a chance to work on my Business major, take my internships and things like that. It's a huge help when you get a year off to work on academics."

61 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

61 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

NBCSportsChicago.com 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: Maine West

Head coach: Jason Kradman

Assistant coaches: Steve Piha (Def. Coordinator), Mike O'Brill (DB/ST Coordinator), Tony Manicke (LB/Head JV Coach), Dan Wilson (OL) Russ Swenson (TE) Ryan Willett (QB) Matt Boswell (DL) Trent Greco (WR) Kyle Prater (WR) Mike Smith (Head Frosh Coach) Joe Duszynski (Frosh Asst.) and DJ Frey (Frosh Asst.).

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (4-1 Central Suburban North Conference). Maine West made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Warriors lost to Benet Academy in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Mundelein

Sept. 1 @ Fenton

Sept. 7 vs Elk Grove

Sept. 14 @ Hersey

Sept. 21 vs Glenbrook North

Sept. 28 @ Maine East

Oct. 5 vs Vernon Hills

Oct. 12 vs Highland Park

Oct. 19 @ Deerfield

[MORE: 65 Days to Kickoff - Elmwood Park]

Biggest storyline: Will history repeat itself? Can the Warriors post back-to-back IHSA state playoff appearances? If so, it'd be a first for the Des Plaines high school.

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Jake Bellizzi, FB/LB Krystian Garbicz and WR/DB Ely Grimmer

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will need to replace standout TE Matt Kentgen (now at Butler). He was a multi-year starter and team leader last fall.  

EDGY's Early Take: Maine West, coached by Jason Kradman, has been one of the area's better success stories. Kradman took over the Warriors program in 2014 and guided the Warriors to their first state playoff appearance since 2002. With 13 returning starters back from a season ago (seven offense, six defense) and a program-wide boost in overall numbers and excitement, look for the Warriors to have a good shot at playoff football once again this October.

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

62 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln Park

NBCSportsChicago.com 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: Lincoln Park

Head coach: Vince DeFrancesco

Assistant coaches: Steve Karoff, Grant Magnuson, Tyler Clark, Brandon Randolph, Alex Green and Tom Dellota

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (7-0 Chicago Public League Chicago Big Shoulders Conference). Lincoln Park made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Lions lost to Alton in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ IWT Speer

Sept. 1 vs. Kenwood

Sept. 7 vs. Hubbard

Sept. 14 @ Phillips

Sept. 21 vs. Lane Tech

Sept. 28 vs. Taft

Oct. 5 vs. Westinghouse

Oct. 12 vs. Raby

Oct. 19 vs. Morgan Park

Biggest storyline: The Lions' new conference. Can Lincoln Park keep its winning ways when they start playing in the CPL/Illini Land of Lincoln this fall?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Dane Romberger and DB Jalen Jenkins

Biggest holes to fill: The Lions will need to reload on the offensive side of the football this summer with just three starters back this fall.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Vince DeFrancesco's Lions have been on a nice roll, getting to the IHSA state playoffs in each of his past three seasons (four straight for the school overall). However, the price for the Lions' success is extremely high. The CPL Illini Land of Lincoln is loaded. The schedule includes the likes of Kenwood, Hubbard, Phillips, Raby and Morgan Park...just to name a few. If the Lions can develop their less experienced offense this summer, all the better for them.