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."

75 Days to Kickoff: St. Ignatius

75 Days to Kickoff: St. Ignatius

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

School: St. Ignatius College Prep

Head coach: Matt Miller

Assistant coaches: Charlie Dowdl, Alex Carric, Dan Bunne, Mike Mille, David Hidalg, Michael Whela, Doug Bartlet, Bill Stritzel and Ben Wade

How they fared in 2018: 6-5 (3-1 CCL Red Conference). St. Ignatius made the Class 6A state playoff field and lost to Notre Dame in opening round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Lindblom
Sept. 6 @ Ridgewood
Sept. 13 @ Benet Academy
Sept. 20 @ Marmion Academy
Sept. 27 vs Loyola
Oct. 4 vs Joliet Catholic
Oct. 11 vs Marian Central Catholic
Oct. 18 @ Marian Catholic
Oct. 25 vs Fenwick

[MORE: 84 Days to Kickoff - Marmion Academy]

Biggest storyline: The schedule. Can the Wolfpack get back to the state playoffs? The upgraded/combined ESCC-CCL regular season schedule should be intriguing.

Names to watch this season: LB Declan Callahan (Sr.), OL/DL Mofolarin Walter-Johnson (Sr.), LB/DE Elijah Williams (Sr.)  

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolfpack graduated nine starters this past spring on the offensive side of the football. 

EDGY's Early Take: St. Ignatius has had a strong run of late, having made the IHSA state playoffs in the past four seasons. They won seven games in 2018, five via the shutout and they gave Loyola all they could handle. But the combination of the ESCC/CCL conferences has undoubtedly ramped up the Wolfpacks' schedule this fall. It features games with the likes of Benet, JCA, Loyola and Marian Central Catholic. If St. Ignatius can reload a bit (on offense in particular), they will have a good chance to compete for a fifth straight IHSA state playoff appearance. 
 

Two 2020 Top Chicagoland names make college choices

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Two 2020 Top Chicagoland names make college choices

Two top names from the Chicagoland Class of 2020 have given verbal commitments so far today.

Chicago Curie senior to be three star ranked offensive tackle Kevo Wesley (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) gave Vanderbilt his verbal commitment this evening while on his official visit this weekend. Wesley, who is holding 29 scholarship offers this summer recently narrowed down his list of favorite schools to both Boston College and Vanderbilt and made official visits to both schools.

Wesley, who didn't play any organized football until his sophomore season under Condors head coach Arthur Ray Jr., saw his transition from football novice to pledging to Vanderbilt and playing in the Southeastern Conference pay off today.

"Kevo just always had a tremendous level of focus," according to Curie head coach Arthur Ray Jr.. "He was a basketball kid who wanted to get better and worked hard. He never missed a workout or a training season  and he would always put in extra work. He always had the academic side taken care and Vanderbilt plays in the SEC plus they offer a great education and it's a great fit."

Wheaton Warrenville South senior K Jack Olsen (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) added a full scholarship offer from Michigan State a few weeks ago and tonight gave the Spartans his verbal commitment while on his official visit. Olsen, ranked as one of the top place kickers in the nation according to Chris Sailer Kicking pointed towards the overall fit for him at Michigan State as a main factor in his decision.

"I have visited Michigan State multiple times and I've always loved it there," Olsen said. "I have always wanted to play in the Big Ten growing up. I've looked into everything that Michigan State has to offer including taking an academics tour. I wanted to make sure I loved the schools for everything and not just the football side."