Preps Talk

Recruiting news and notes: More offers on the way for Jones?


Recruiting news and notes: More offers on the way for Jones?

Mount Carmel junior quarterback Anthony Thompson (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) added his first scholarship offer on Monday night from Northern Illinois. Thompson, who NIU watched in person throw at a Caravan morning workout, spoke about landing his first offer from the Huskies.

"It's pretty exciting," he said. "I've been a fan of NIU since my freshman year when Jordan Lynch, who went to my school was playing for them. I like how NIU uses its quarterback in the offense. The quarterback is asked to do a lot with both the pass and the run along with making a ton of quick reads. I've been to NIU a few times already and I really feel comfortable with the coaches and the school."

Bishop McNamara junior running back Jonathon Ward (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) landed an early scholarship offer and verbally pledged to the Central Michigan Chippewas last Friday. Ward, who rushed for 1,710 yards and 28 touchdowns last fall, had recruiting interest from the likes of Buffalo, Illinois, Illinois State, Iowa, Michigan State, North Dakota, North Dakota State and Purdue.

Evanston junior four-star ranked defensive tackle Naquan Jones (6-foot-4, 286 pounds) has 17 scholarship offers so far this spring and a few more could be on the way.

"I've been speaking a lot with Miami (Fla.) and also Ole Miss," Jones said. "They both are pretty interested and those could both turn into offers soon."

Jones, who is planning to visit Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin soon, is still trying to sort out his list of early favorites.

"I still don't have a list of favorites," he said. "I'm still trying to just sort all of this recruiting out and I'm also trying to decide when to make a decision."

[RELATED: Tuf Borland headed to Ohio State]

Lake Park junior three star ranked defensive tackle Mike Panasiuk (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) is also in high demand this spring. Panasiuk, who checked out the Ohio State spring game last Saturday and added his latest offer from the Wisconsin Badgers, isn't in a hurry to make an early college choice for now.

"It seems like several coaches are planning to visit me this spring," Panasiuk said. "Also several schools seem more and more interested that haven't offered me yet. Schools like Oregon, North Carolina and Michigan State all plan to visit me in school and they all want me to stay in touch. A lot of the feedback is positive and I want to make sure some of those schools have a chance to evaluate me. I have some schools in mind as far as favorites but I don't have a set list yet. I'm getting a better idea of some favorites but new offers could change all of that, so we'll see how the spring goes for me."

Naperville Central junior three star ranked wide receiver Emmanuel Rugamba (6-foot-1, 175 pounds) has already begun to draw a crowd of college coaches since the spring recruiting evaluation period began.

"The coaches from Northwestern have been in school along with Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Western Michigan and NIU so far this week. I know that UConn is planning to be in school on Wednesday and Boston College is also supposed to be here soon."

[MORE: Illinois lands Phillips LB Amani Jones]

Rugamba, who visited Indiana for the third time last Saturday, also doesn't seem to be in any rush for now to make an early college choice.

"I might camp at a few schools this summer who haven't offered me a scholarship yet. I'm considering camping at Missouri and Vanderbilt and I'm also set to go to the Irish Invasion camp with Notre Dame. I really don't have any time frame. Once I find a school I'm 100 percent comfortable with then I'll commit. It could be in two weeks or two months or even longer. I'm not in any rush for now."

Two local Division III football programs will host one-day camps this summer, and those camps will also feature a few big time college football coaches. Lake Forest College and head coach Jim Cantazaro will host its one day camp at Willowbrook High School on June 13th and Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and some of his staff will be working this camp. More details on the Lake Forest College camp can be found here, along with online registration information.

Also North Central College head coach Jeff Thorne and staff will host it's football camp on June 15 and the camp will also be instructed by Penn State head coach James Franklin and staff along with coaches from Bowling Green and Illinois State. Details can be found at here, under athletic camps.

High School Lites basketbal roundup: Week 7


High School Lites basketbal roundup: Week 7

Check out our high school hoops highlights from some of the best games around the state, and be sure to follow @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest scores, highlights, and analysis

Windy City Legends: Candace Parker

Athlete of the Week: Lake Park West's Darrione Rodgers

Team of the Week: Saint Viator hockey

Highlights: Sandburg 63, Stagg 56

Highlights: Marist 57, St. Rita 46

Highlights: Benet 55, St. Charles East 44

Highlights: Morton 67, Leyden 55

Highlights: Sycamore 53, Kaneland 47

Mid-week Mixtape:  Thornton 55, Homewood-Flossmoor 43

Highlights: Buffalo Grove 80, Rolling Meadows 70

Highlights: Senn 73, Amundsen 67

Highlights: Clark 74, Crane 57

Highlights: Whitney Young 80, North Lawndale 41

Highlights Bolingbrook 79, Lincoln-Way East 66

Edgy Tim’s Team of the Decade: Kickers


Edgy Tim’s Team of the Decade: Kickers

You may not picture Illinois as a hotbed for kickers. But we have been fortunate to witness so many that have done well on the prep level.

This is our final position in the “Team of the Decade” series (2010-2019). This position should produce more debate: Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let the debate begin.

Jake Elliott, Lyons Township’s Class of 2013 (Memphis): Elliott, who had never played football until his junior season at L-T, made the most of his limited time on the field. He was named an All-State kicker his senior season. Elliott ended up signing with Memphis and was a four-year starting kicker for the Tigers. Elliott was a fifth-round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft and was then signed off their practice squad by the Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott has remained the Eagles kicker since the 2017 season.

Austin Seibert, Belleville West’s Class of 2015 (Oklahoma): Seibert was ranked as one of the nation's best prep kickers in the Class of 2015. He ended up signing with the Oklahoma Sooners after drawing multiple scholarship offers. Seibert had an impressive career kicking for the Sooners and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He made 25 of 29 field goal attempts and 30 of 35 extra points this past season.

Tucker McCann, O'Fallon’s Class of 2016 (Missouri): McCann was a nationally sought-after kicker in the Class of 2016 and signed with Missouri after considering offers from Alabama and Illinois. McCann is also listed in several IHSA kicking records including career field goals made (28), field goals made in a season (12), field goals made in a game (four) and still holds the state record for the longest field goal made in a game (60 yards). McCann also made at least one field goal over 50 yards in all three years he kicked at the varsity level for the Panthers.

Jack Olsen, Wheaton Warrenville South’s Class of 2020 (Michigan State): Olsen, who graduated early this fall and is already enrolled at Michigan State, was a four-year letterman for the Tigers and head coach Ron Muhitch. He was named as an All-State kicker in 2018 and 2019 by EDGYTIM/ During his time at WWS, he set new IHSA records for the most field goals made in a game (eight) along with the most field goals made in a single season (22).

Dominic Dzioban, Lincoln-Way East’s Class of 2020 (Miami OH): Dzioban, otherwise known as “The Dominator,” was 18-of-20 on field goals and 50-of-51 on extra points last season. Dzioban's kickoff and punting game was a major weapon for the Griffins, who won the Class 8A state title this past fall. Dzioban also earned All-State honors as a senior and owns the school record for most field goals made (37) and is the school's all-time leading scorer (340 points). He possesses 50 yard-plus field goal range and was one of the best two-way kickers in the Land of Lincoln over the past several seasons.

Next in?

Ron Colucci, Naperville North’s Class of 2012 (Central Michigan/Iowa)

Kai Kroeger, Lake Forest: Class of 2020 (South Carolina)

Caleb Griffin, Danville’s Class of 2018 (Illinois)

Josh Pollack, Highland Park’s Class of 2014 (Arizona)

John Richardson, Brother Rice’s Class of 2018 (Northern Illinois)