Preps Talk

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon lineman backs off Illinois commitment

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NBC Sports Chicago

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon lineman backs off Illinois commitment

Simeon’s three star-ranked junior offensive guard Marcus Harper II (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) gave Illinois his verbal commitment last month, but earlier this week backed off that commitment and has reopened his recruiting process.

"I think my decision to decommit from Illinois definitely surprised a lot of people," Harper II said. "I just felt that I made my decision too early and I want to see what some other schools have to offer. I wanted to be honest with the coaches at Illinois and let them know upfront that I wasn't ready be set on my college choice. That's why I decommitted."

Harper II has also seen his recruiting stock pick up quickly after announcing his decision.

"We've been seeing a lot of college coaches in school," he said. "We've seen the coaches in school from Michigan State, Cincinnati and Iowa State along with several other schools. Duke was also in school not too long ago and they have really picked things up. Oregon offered me already and I've been talking with them a lot since my decision. I'm also now in touch with the coaches from Arizona State, Florida Atlantic and also Cal."

Look for Harper II to make all five allowed official visits. He is hoping to schedule an official visit later this spring to Oregon.

Lake Forest four star-ranked DE Rylie Mills (6-foot-5, 270 pounds) made his third official visit to Ohio State last weekend. Mills, who originally planned to take five official visits decided earlier this week that he's done taking official visits and will soon make a college decision.

"I'm also done taking official visits," Mills said. "I'm now going to take a few weeks to think everything over and then I'm going to make my college decision."

Mills is down to a top three schools list that includes Notre Dame, Wisconsin and Ohio State. He has made official visits to all three schools over the last month.

Brother Rice junior safety Giacomo Iraci (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) gave Western Michigan his verbal commitment on Tuesday evening via his Twitter account. Iraci, who was a starter last season on the Crusaders’ Class 8A state title runner up team had scholarship offers and recruiting attention from several Mid-American Conference schools along with some Big 10 programs this spring.

Hillcrest sophomore running back Mar'Kiese Irving (5-foot-10, 178 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock soar this week. Irving has added offers this past week from Illinois, Duke and Cincinnati. He is now holding 10 offers and that amount figures to grow.

"I just didn't think it would blow up like this," according to Irving. "My head coach (Mo Weaver) told me that a lot of colleges would come into school this spring and offer me scholarships, but I still didn't see it coming."

 

Mar'Kiese Irvin has scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Louisville, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Central Michigan, Illinois State and Kent State.

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

73 Days To Kickoff: Fenwick

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Fenwick

Head coach: Gene Nudo

Assistant coaches: Dick Eufrasio, Titcus Pettigrew, Tim Rooney, Brien Rooney, Craig Schneider, Joe Bauers, Mike Herman and Joe Hajek

How they fared in 2018: 3-6 (2-2 Chicago Catholic League/Green Conference). Fenwick failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Curie
Sept. 6 vs Dunbar
Sept. 13 @ Nazareth Academy
Sept. 20 @ Joliet Catholic
Sept. 27 vs. Marist
Oct. 4 vs Marmion Academy
Oct. 11 vs. St. Patrick
Oct. 18 @ Leo  
Oct. 25 @ St. Ignatius

[MORE: 75 Days to Kickoff - St. Ignatius]

Biggest storyline: The new conference. Can the Friars bounce back from last season while playing a new and challenging league?

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Sean Carpenter (Sr.) QB Kaden Cobb (Soph.) and WR Bryce Legan (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Friars welcome back several starters from last fall but will also need to find six new replacements on the defensive side of the football.

EDGY's Early Take: Fenwick struggled last season. The Friars played several underclassmen starters and they're hoping that experience will pay off come August. The new CCL/ESCC mega conference also brings new challenges. It includes a tough path in the middle of the season with games at Nazareth, at Joliet Catholic and then at home vs. Marist. If the Friars can get out of the gate quickly, they have a good shot at earning a state playoff spot in 2019. 

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

74 Days To Kickoff: Metea Valley

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Metea Valley 

Head coach: John Parpet Jr.

Assistant coaches: Defensive coordinator - Erik Kramer, Asst. coach - Russ Lorenz, Asst. coach - Albert Zika, Asst. coach - Evan Goodman

How they fared in 2018: 1-8 (0-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Metea Valley failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs. Wheaton Warrenville South
Sept. 6 @ Lake Park 
Sept. 13 @ Belleville East
Sept. 20 @ Naperville Central
Sept. 27 vs. De Kalb
Oct. 4 @ Naperville North
Oct. 11 vs. Neuqua Valley
Oct. 18 @ Waubonsie Valley  
Oct. 25 vs. Neuqua Valley

[MORE: 93 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Mustangs get off to a good start under first year head coach John Parpet Jr.?

Names to watch this season: TE/DE Austin Frederick (Sr.) and TE/LB John Belskis (Sr.) 

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs will need to replace seven graduated starters on the defensive side of the football for the 2019 season.

EDGY's Early Take: Metea Valley and first year head coach John Parpet Jr. will look to get the Mustangs program on the winning side of the slate after posting back-to-back 1-8 seasons. They will rely on an experienced core of senior multi-year starters. If the underclassmen group can develop sooner rather than later, this program has the potential for a breakout. The regular season schedule in the DuPage Valley conference is always stacked; they need to get off to a good early start.