Preps Talk

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Nazareth Academy junior three star ranked defensive back Devin Blakley (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment earlier this week.

"Miami of Ohio is just a great fit for me so I decided to commit," Blakley said. "I've known for a while now that Miami was the place for me. I just didn't see any reason to keep waiting so I called up the coaches and committed."

Blakley, who had offers from the likes of Iowa State and Air Force long with multiple Mid American Conference schools is the second State of Illinois pledge for the Redhawks Class of 2019. Blakley joins Simeon QB Alante Brown who earlier this month gave Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. 

New Trier junior three star ranked athlete recruit Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has been looking harder at his multiple college offers and options. Olges, who has been playing baseball for the Trevians this spring will make two unofficial visits this weekend then will begin to narrow down his favorite schools.

"My plan is to go see Duke and Virginia this weekend and see how everything goes with those visits," according to Olges. "After that I'm either going to narrow things down to a top schools list or I might even make a decision. I just feel that I have some great offers right now and don't want to wait too long in making a decision. Playing the waiting game is a risk because kids are already starting to make decisions. I don't want to miss out and lose some great offers."

Stevenson junior inside linebacker recruit Maema Njongmeta (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers this spring including recent offers from both NIU and Toledo. Njongmeta was also able to head out east over his recent spring break and made a handful of college visits.

"I was able to go out to visit Princeton, Army and Penn over my spring break then we headed up to Canada to visit with some family," Njongmeta said. "All three visits I felt went very well and overall it was a fun trip. I thought it was very beneficial to see all three schools in person. Army has the whole military stigma but it was good to see the academy in person. It was great to see what West Point and academy life is all about in person and it was super cool. Every school brings something different to the table. I was able to definitely get a better feel for each school I visited."

Njongmeta has reached also out to someone very familiar with the recruiting process in former Stevenson and current Northwestern super back Cameron Green.

"We have a wonderful lady who works at our school who was able to get me in touch with Cameron Green. I knew of Cameron since I was in eight grade but didn't know him at all. He's a great guy and has been a big help for me. He's given me some good advice and is someone who's been through the process and knows what I'm going through with the recruiting process."

Urban Prep Bronzeville junior defensive back Jeremiah Webb (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) was able to add his first scholarship offer earlier this week from Northern Illinois University. 

"I'm still really excited (about adding his first offer from NIU) and my phone has been blowing up," Webb said. "I've been working hard for a long time now and it just feels good to add my first offer from NIU."

Webb has been eyeing the NIU Huskies program for some time now.

"I've been looking into NIU for a long time. They have a great, winning program and have been to multiple bowl games over the years. NIU is also close to home and I've been to NIU for a camp last summer and I also went to the NIU spring game. It's great to get my first offer from such a good program like NIU."

Webb has also drawn recruiting attention from Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Cornell and Holy Cross so far this spring. 

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 5

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

High School Lites Football Roundup Week 5

High School Lites is back with an action-packed Week 5 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Batavia (episode 5)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: South Elgin football

VIEWER'S CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Oswego East beats Plainfield South 29-0

WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Vinnie Panico

FRIDAY'S TOP 25 SCORES:

(1) Lincoln-Way East 38, Lincoln-Way Central 0

(2) Nazareth Academy 45, Benet Academy 7

(3) Batavia 41, Wheaton South 20

(4) Homewood-Flossmoor 28 Lincoln-Way West, 14

(5) Brother Rice 20 Providence Catholic, 0

Lake Zurich 23, (6) Stevenson 20

(7) Mount Carmel 28, Marmion Academy 7

(9) Simeon 48, Perspectives 13

(10) Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 6

(11) Loyola-Academy 21, St. Ignatius 14 (OT)

(12) Maine South 21, (16) Evanston 13

(13) Oswego 49. Plainfield East 0

(15) Richards 50, Shepard 14

(17) Phillips 49, Morgan Park 0

Conant 21, (18) Barrington 12

(19) Willowbrook 20, Hinsdale South 10

(20) Naperville Central 56, Metea Valley 13

(21) Bolingbrook 35, Bradley-Bourbonnais 13

(22) Montini 29, St. Rita 13

(24) New Trier 59, Niles West 0

(25) Hillcrest 27, Lemont 7

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Kenwood 46, Back of the Yards 6

Notre Dame 45, Marian Central Catholic 6

Warren 24, Lake Forest 10

Curie 13, Hubbard 6

SATURDAY'S TOP 25 GAMES

Dundee-Crown at (8) Cary-Grove

Downers Grove North at (14) Glenbard West 

York at (23) Hinsdale Central 

High School Lites Preview: Week Five

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NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites Preview: Week Five

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras across Chicagoland covering the biggest high school football on the Week Five edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can Notre Dame keep rolling and beat Marian Central Catholic in ESCC play? Can Benet Academy slow Nazareth's high flying offense? Can Wheaton South detour Batavia's drive to the DuKane Conference title? Will Maine South remain the kings of the Central Suburban South or will Evanston have other ideas? And which side of the bitter rivalry are you on...the (Lincoln-Way) East side or the (Lincoln-Way) Central side?

All games are Friday unless otherwise noted. Numbers in parantheses reflect the latest @NBCSPreps Power Rankings.

Thursday: Curie vs Hubbard at Gately Stadium, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: First-year head coach Arthur Ray Jr. was able to get his Condors (1-3) in the win column with a victory over Taft last week. Curie has played a very difficult non-conference slate. They will feature senior big back AJ Sanya and QB Damarius Johns. As for Hubbard and veteran head coach Elton Harris, they boast a standout, two-way lineman in senior D-1 recruit Kenny Givens. Keep an eye on senior WR/DB Montrell Edmonds as well. Can the Hubbard defense slow down AJ Sanya and the Condors? Can Curie prevent Hubbard from breaking open big plays? 

EDGY's Pick: Curie 22 Hubbard 20

Kenwood at Back of the Yards, 4:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Both Kenwood (4-0, 1-0) and Back of the Yards (4-0, 1-0) are looking to get a leg up in the CPL Illini Prairie State conference race with a win this week. Coach Sinque Turner of Kenwood will rely on several key names including senior WR/DB Mark Aitken (NIU). As for Back of the Yards, head coach Sheamus Murphy features a loaded roster. Keep an eye out on OL/DL Kevin Pacheco. Can Back of the Yards slow down Kenwood's speed and big play potential?

EDGY's Pick: Kenwood 27 Back of the Yards 12

Lincoln-Way Central at (1) Lincoln-Way East, 7:00 p.m.


EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (4-0, 2-0) has been piling up the points (178) so far this season. Coach Rob Zvonar has the Griffins offense clicking; they're led by Illinois State commit QB Jack Baltz. The first team offense hasn't played a full four quarters yet in 2018. East's defense is also a strength. Don't be surprised if LB Gus Christensen and junior DE Adrian Wilson make some plays. Lincoln-Way Central (3-1, 3-0), under head coach Jeremy Cordell, will look to establish the running game. They'll get the football into the hands of RB Conner McWilliams and RB Justin Ellis as much as possible. Can Central's offense run the football against the East's defense?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 37 Lincoln-Way Central 21

Marian Central Catholic at Notre Dame, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Marian Central Catholic (3-1, 1-1), coached by Mike Maloney, has been getting a big season so far from QB Patsy Ricciardi and RB Luke Rogers. The Hurricanes defense will be tested this week. Notre Dame (3-1, 1-1), under veteran coach in Mike Hennessey, has some weapons on offense led by senior RB Ty Gavin and sophomore QB Anthony Sales. Whose defense comes ready to play for four quarters this Friday? 

EDGY's Pick: Notre Dame 28 Marian Central Catholic 21

Benet at (2) Nazareth, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Benet Academy (3-1, 1-1) is coming off a loss last week to Notre Dame. The Redwings will go back to work on Friday with a major task: trying to slow down one of the state's most explosive offenses in Nazareth Academy (4-0, 2-0). Benet's offense is anchored by junior QB Colin Gillespie and a strong running game with RB Ben Hickey. Their defense is also a strength. Watch for senior DL Jack Benish to make some plays. As for the Roadrunners, head coach Tim Racki has gotten a big year so far from sophomore QB JJ McCarthy. Nazareth also hase a couple of big time playmakers in the likes of senior WR Michael Love and senior WR/DB Diamond Evans. The defense has experience. Keep an eye on senior linemen Cameron Leach and Nathan Lugo. Can the Benet defense limit Nazareth's big play ability?

EDGY's Pick: Nazareth 31 Benet 21

Wheaton Warrenville South at (3) Batavia, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Veteran head coach Ron Muhitch has his Wheaton Warrenville South Tigers (4-0, 2-0) playing well and clicking in all three phases. They will look to establish the run with junior RB Jake Arthurs and QB Noah Henkel. WR Jack Olson is also a top-notch kicker/punter. On defense, the Tigers have allowed just 17 points this season. Batavia (4-0, 2-0) also wants to run the football. Keep an eye out for RB Art Taylor and the play-action passing game. That area of their offense has improved each week under QB Jack Meyers. Batavia's defense features two D-1 names in senior LB Luke Weerts (North Dakota State) and OLB Michael Jansey Jr. (Northwestern). Can the Tigers run the football against the Batavia defense? Can the Batavia offense keep the Wheaton South defense on their heels?

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 27 Wheaton South 17

Warren at Lake Forest, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lake Forest (2-2, 2-0) struggled a bit early out of the gates but has now won two straight North Suburban conference games, including a big win last week over Lake Zurich. The Scouts have a potent offense led by QB James Swartout and senior WR Ryan Cekay (Colgate). Junior DL Rylie Mills is already a nationally sought-after recruit in the Class of 2020. Warren Township (3-1, 2-0) lost their season opener to Barrington but has since put together three straight wins. On offense, the Blue Devils will get the football into the hands of RB Martin Walker Jr.  Warren's defensive line is a strength behind senior Zach Pelland and junior DT Willis Singleton, Jr. Can the Lake Forest offense move the football against the Blue Devils defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Warren Township 28 Lake Forest 27

(12) Maine South at (16) Evanston, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Maine South (3-1) and head coach Dave Inserra opens Central Suburban South conference play after a strong non-conference showing, including last week's win over Conant. Senior QB Cole Dow has been making more and more progress after filling in for injured starting QB Bobby Inserra. Also, take note of senior RB/LB Jimmy Bartell and junior D-1 recruit OL/DL Peter Skoronski. Evanston (4-0) has been on a roll. They raised a lot of eyebrows in last week's surprise 32-12 win over Barrington. Wildkits head coach Mike Burzawa has weapons on offense including senior QB Ben Tarpey and junior RB Quadre Nicholson. The defense has played well, allowing just 58 points in four weeks. Can Evanston's defense keep Maine South's offense in check? Will Hawks starting QB Bobby Inserra come back this week? Can the Maine South defense slow down the Kits' explosive offense?

EDGY's Pick: Maine South 35 Evanston 28

(5) Brother Rice at Providence, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Brother Rice (4-0, 1-0) is coming off a big 35-3 win over Loyola. The Crusaders have already doubled their win total from a season ago. They've received a big start to the season from senior QB John Bean. He's truly a dual threat in the Rice offense; their line play is also a strength. Providence Catholic (4-0, 1-0), under head coach Mark Coglianese, is off to a strong start as well this fall. The offense has been able to run the football behind a big and physical line, led by junior Jake Renfro. The Celtics have two quality running backs in senior Brenden Martus and freshman Aaron Vaughn. Can the Providence offense run the ball against the Crusader 'D? 

EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 28 Providence Catholic 14

Viewers' Choice Game 

Oswego East at Plainfield South, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Plainfield South (4-0, 4-0) is off to a terrific start this season. Head coach Bill Bicker and the Cougars will rely on a punishing ground game, led by senior RB/QB Cody Dieball. They boast a very fast/athletic defense which has allowed just 20 points so far this season. Oswego East (4-0, 4-0) has been rolling along. The Wolves, coached by Tyson LeBlanc, have talent this fall including senior WR/DB Justin Clark and a defense that's allowed just six points so far this season. But the schedule ramps up big time starting on Friday with Plainfield South. Can the Cougars run the football, move the chains and match speed against speed with Oswego East? Can the Wolves take away the Plainfield South option game and break some big plays against the Cougars defense?  

EDGY's Pick: Oswego East 14 Plainfield South 13