Preps Talk

Preps Talk

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."

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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.