Preps Talk

Recruiting news and notes: Phillips' Jahleel Billingsley with over a dozen offers

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Recruiting news and notes: Phillips' Jahleel Billingsley with over a dozen offers

Phillips head coach Troy McAllister once again will have a stable loaded with talent for the 2018 season, and the Wildcats junior tight end Jahleel Billingsley (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) is very quickly becoming one of the most sought after names in the Midwest this winter.

"It's been a pretty good last few weeks for me," Billingsley said. "I added recent offers from West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa and Florida."

Billingsley, who sits now with nearly 20 FBS level scholarship offers at least for now isn't in any hurry to make an early verbal commitment.

"I'm not really focused on a decision. I'm sure I'll eventually decide on a landing spot but that will be down the line. I definitely want to have a decision done before the start of my senior season so I can stay focused on my team and our season."

New Trier 2019 defensive end/tight end recruit Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) also has seen his recruiting stock soar over the past month or so.

"I have nine offers now and they definitely came in pretty quick," Olges said. "My head coach (Brian Doll) said it best, and that is no one wants you until someone wants you. Once I added that first offer it seemed like everyone took notice."

Olges recapped his latest offers along with his growing list of schools showing more interest this winter.

"My latest offer is from Cornell," he said. "I have offers now from Western Michigan, Cornell, Illinois, Purdue, Indiana, Toledo, Iowa State, NIU and Dartmouth. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz made an in-school visit in January. Iowa seems really interested. Northwestern is also in touch and they are looking at me as more of a defensive tackle. Vanderbilt was interested but my recruiting coach (Jeff Genyk) at Vanderbilt is now at Northwestern so I hope to hear from them again. I'm also in touch with Rutgers, Cincinnati and Duke."

Olges, who made a recent campus visit to Illinois and came away very impressed with head coach Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini coaching staff, is hoping to make visits soon to Northwestern and Duke.

Nazareth Academy junior safety Jermaine Baker (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) is just one of several Roadrunners who is drawing steady recruiting attention this winter and recently added four new scholarship offers.

"My recruiting has been going well lately for sure," Baker said. "I visited Illinois State on Saturday for a Junior Day visit and they offered me. I have offers now from Illinois State, Yale, Cornell and also South Dakota State."

Baker, who visited Illinois State last weekend and walked away with an offer is also focused on his team and getting ready for his 2018 senior season.

"Our weight room routine has been pretty much the same in a lot of ways," Baker said. "This year it's different and it's much more intense. Everyone on this team is so hungry to get back to state and finish the job. We missed winning a state title by seven seconds and that theme has stayed with everyone this winter."

Joliet Catholic Academy junior offensive tackle recruit Dave Monnot III (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) has been able to add recent scholarship offers and is seeing more and more schools take notice.

"I have offers from NIU, Western Michigan and Toledo," Monnot III said. "I visited Illinois State this past weekend and I've also been in touch with Illinois, Minnesota and Central Michigan."

Monnot III is also hoping to continue making the rounds to visit more schools this winter and spring and is eyeing his next stops to see Illinois, Western Michigan and Toledo.

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves will need to replace their entire starting defensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves. 

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Lincoln-Way West

Head coach: Dave Ernst

Assistant Coaches: Luke Lokanc, Larry Lokanc, Mike Villa, Eric DoornKaat, George Czart, Bob Lombardi, Sean Lucas, Rob Glielmi, Steve Bauer and Al McKellar

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (6-1 Southwest Suburban Conference), Lincoln-Way West made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Knights defeated Jacobs and Alton and then lost to Batavia in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. Racine Case (Wisc.)

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way Central

Sept. 7 vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais

Sept. 14 vs. Thornridge

Sept. 21 @ Homewood-Flossmoor

Sept. 28 @ Sandburg

Oct. 5 vs. Thornton Township

Oct. 12 @ Stagg

Oct. 19 @ Andrew

Biggest storyline: Can the Warriors get back to the 7A playoffs and make a deeper run this season?

Names to watch this season: OL Martin Bender and RB Caleb Marconi

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors welcome back 10 returning starters but just three are back on the defensive side of the football. In particular, they will need to replace their entire starting secondary from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Ernst has guided the Warriors to the IHSA playoffs in each the past six seasons. If West can reload a bit on the defensive side of the football they have a good chance of getting to the postseason again this fall. The good news is that the offense brings back four starting offensive linemen along with bruising RB Marconi. Look for the running game to pace the offense. It should be a big strength this fall.