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.

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

Head coach: Bob Padjen

Assistant coaches: Trent Jensen, Jesse Kikkert, Jonathan Hill, Doug Smith, Mike Tisza, Rob Shell and Tim Russell

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (3-3 South Suburban Blue Conference), T.F. South made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Rebels lost to Danville in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Thornwood

Sept. 1 vs Julian

Sept. 7 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 14 @ TF North

Sept. 21 vs Bremen

Sept. 28 @ Reavis

Oct. 5 vs Hillcrest

Oct. 12 @ Lemont

Oct. 19 @ Tinley Park

[MORE: 86 Days to Kickoff - Reavis]

Biggest storyline: T.F. South has advanced to the playoffs 20 times in the past 24 seasons. Can the Rebels get back to the IHSA state playoff field and make more noise this fall?

Names to watch this season: QB Kamron Clayton LB Michael Smith

Biggest holes to fill: The Rebels will need to replace seven starters on each side of the football this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: T.F. South head coach Bob Padjen was able to keep the Rebels on a winning path in his first season as Rebels head coach after several years serving in an assistant role. South always has talent. If the underclassmen can step up this summer, look for the Rebels to challenge for the top half of the South Suburban Blue conference race. 

Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State


Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State

Homewood-Flossmoor’s senior three star-ranked defensive back Wynston Russell (5-foot-10, 160 pounds) announced his verbal commitment to Oregon State via his Twitter account.

"I really like the coaches at Oregon State a lot and they played a big role in my decision," Russell said. "Coach Tibs (Tim Tibesar) and head coach (Jonathon) Smith along with the rest of the coaches at Oregon State are a newer staff and they are going to win a lot of games at Oregon State. On my official visit I was able to learn more about the great academic support system in place. The academic support that is offered at Oregon State is great and they also work hard on career planning and placement."

"Everyone on the official visit really bonded last weekend, and the guys already on the team also made us feel like part of the team already. The guys on the team are great guy. I also really liked the campus life at Oregon State. You have plenty of things to do but you can also focus on academics and you don't have a ton of distractions. I just felt very comfortable at Oregon State and that was another big part of my decision. I just felt like I fit in there."

Russell was holding multiple scholarship offers and also considered Wisconsin, Western Michigan and Toledo before giving the Beavers his commitment. 

Chicago Mount Carmel senior offensive guard recruit Marcelo Mendiola (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) impress the University of Cincinnati coaches at a recently-held North Central College satellite camp. A few weeks later Mendiola added a Bearcat offer, visited the campus and then gave Cincinnati his verbal commitment.

"It's (Cincinnati) just a great fit for myself and my family," Mendiola said. "We talked it over and I just have a lot in common with the coaches and the philosophy in the football program at Cincinnati. I looked hard at things like the overall depth chart and I'll have a chance to come in and earn early playing time."

Joliet Catholic senior offensive tackle Dave Monnot III (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) decided to give Purdue his verbal commitment after adding a camp offer from the Boilermakers. Monnot III camped at Purdue last Monday, added a Boilermakers offer last Thursday and immediately gave the Purdue staff his verbal commitment.

"One of the big things that sold me on (Purdue) was the coaching staff," Monnot III said. "I love the way Coach (Dale) Williams coaches. He's an Ohio guy and he's going to hold me accountable if I mess up, and that's something I look for in a coach. The final factor was the players (at Purdue). I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the players while I was there, but at my gym here at home, Rudy's, Evan Panfil used to go there, so I had his number. I gave him a call and asked him about his experience there and he sold me."

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin senior three star-ranked offensive tackle Nick Broeker (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) decided earlier this week to give Ole Miss his verbal commitment. Broeker, who was holding 18 scholarship offers this summer pointed towards his connection to Ole Miss as one of his reasons on giving the Rebels his commitment.

"Ole Miss just has so much to offer," according to Broeker. "It's a great fit for me in so many ways. They play in the best conference in the nation in the SEC West. My goal has always been to play at the highest possible level in college and you can't find a higher level of college football than the SEC. Ole Miss offers a good education plus I just feel at home. Ole Miss offered and recruited me as an offensive tackle. I looked at several schools and in the end I found myself comparing everyone else to Ole Miss. My family is also really excited about Ole Miss and they also really loved it.