Preps Talk

Recruiting Notes: Jeff Thomas breaks out in Under Armour All-America Game

Recruiting Notes: Jeff Thomas breaks out in Under Armour All-America Game

Jeff Thomas (WR), East St. Louis

East St. Louis senior four-star ranked wide receiver Jeff Thomas (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) had a breakout performance in last Saturday's Under Armour All-America game. Thomas, who caught three passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, which included two jaw-dropping touchdown receptions (44 yards and 79 yards).

Thomas, who remains uncommitted, also has a chance in his list of favorite schools.

"Illinois is still my leader," Thomas told Rivals.com after the Under Armour All-America game. "I'm going to take an official visit there this month."

Thomas has set official visits so far to Louisville (Jan. 14) and Miami (Jan. 21), and is also considering visits to Illinois, Oregon and Tennessee.

Clay Czyzynski (QB), New Trier

New Trier senior quarterback Clay Czyzynski (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) received a late offer from Army earlier this week and gave them his verbal commitment.

"Army had remained in touch and interested for awhile," Czyzynski said. "They wanted to wait on my updated test score before they offered me. I received a message to call my recruiting coach at Army (Tucker Waugh) a few days ago. I called coach Waugh and Army offered me and I committed to them right away."

[MORE PREPS: Peoria lineman Kendrick Green commits to Lovie Smith and Illinois]

Micah Jones (WR), Warren Township

Warren Township four-star ranked junior wide receiver Micah Jones (6-foot-5, 200 pounds) has several early verbal scholarship offers. Expect Jones to advance his recruiting process this month.

"I'm planning to make some overnight unofficial visits this sometime this month," Jones said. "I'm looking to make visits to Notre Dame, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ole Miss. I still need to set things up but that's my plan for now. I'm looking at making a decision in late March or sometime in April."

Jones has been on several recruiting radar screens since his freshman year at Warren Township and currently has 14 scholarship offers, along with serious interest from most Power 5 programs.

Josh Maize (DE), Deerfield

Deerfield senior three-star ranked defensive end Josh Maize (6-foot-4, 240 pounds) was considered to be leaning toward UConn after making a Dec. 9 official visit, but the Huskies have since fired head coach Bob Diaco. UConn replaced Diaco with Randy Edsell, and Maize had a New Years Eve talk with the new coach of the Huskies.

"I was able to talk to Randy Edsall on New Years Eve," Maize said. "We had a good talk and I was able to get a feel for him and how he likes to coach. I feel really good about coach Edsall and feel good about our conversation.

"I have just one weekend open to make an official visit (Jan. 20) so I'm being very selective in setting up any official visit for that weekend. I'm going to take part in the Blue Gray All Star Game on Jan. 12 then I'll be at the Team USA game on Jan. 23. I'll make a decision after I take one last official visit."

65 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

65 Days to Kickoff: Elmwood Park

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: Elmwood Park

Head coach: Dylan Mack

Assistant coaches: Gabe Ostrander, Tim Eberhard, Mario Fiorito, Chad Nardi, Joe Kraft and Dwayne French

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (4-1 Metro Suburban Red Conference), Elmwood Park made the Class 4A state football playoff field. The Tigers lost to Genoa-Kingston in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs St. Joseph

Sept. 1 vs Foreman

Sept. 7 vs Ridgewood

Sept. 14 @ St. Edward

Sept. 21 @ Fenton

Sept. 28 vs Leo

Oct. 5 @ Guerin Prep

Oct. 12 vs Chicago Christian

Oct. 19 vs Bishop McNamara

[MORE: 82 Days to Kickoff - Ridgewood]

Biggest storyline: An encore performance. Can the Tigers make back-to-back playoff appearances this season?

Names to watch this season: FB/DE Luciano Martino and WR/DB Kris Diallo

Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers will need to replace eight graduated starters on defense this fall.

EDGY's Early Take: Elmwood Park head coach Dylan Mack is looking to keep the winning momentum found last season going into 2018. The Tigers will rely on an experienced offense with eight returning starters back in the fold and if the defense can gel sooner rather than later, look for Elmwood Park to once again challenge for another state playoff bid this fall. 

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

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: Rich Central

Head coach: Terrell Alexander

Assistant Coaches: Quincy Woods (OC), Vince Brown (OL), Art Schuldt (ST), Les Hampton (DB), Jerrell Bibbs (DB), Steve Henley (DC), Jeff Spikner (WR), Derrick Goard (LB) William Pass (DL) Chuch Robinson (Skills), Guy Smith (RB) and Shawn Mitchell (Skills)

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-1 Southland Conference). Rich Central made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Olympians defeated Marion then lost to Dunlap in second round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hillcrest

Sept. 1 vs Lemont

Sept. 7 @ Kaneland

Sept. 14 vs Rich South

Sept. 21 @ Crete-Monee

Sept. 28 vs Rich East

Oct. 5 vs Kankakee

Oct. 12 vs Bloom Township

Oct. 19 vs Christ the King

[MORE: 67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest]

Biggest storyline: The Olympians have reached the IHSA playoffs three consecutive seasons-- the first such streak in Rich Central history. Can they stay on a winning track and make a deeper playoff run this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR/S Mehki Miller (Miami of Ohio) and RB Sean Tyler (Western Michigan)

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

EDGY's Early Take: Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander has brought winning and stability to the Olympians football program.  The 2018 team has some firepower back in the aforementioned Miller and Tyler; however, the development of their underclassmen group this summer will determine just how far this team will go. The ingredients look to be there for another IHSA state playoff caliber team.