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 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."

Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge


Breaking: Northwestern adds another in-state pledge

It didn't take Wheaton North junior outside linebacker Xander Mueller (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) long to give the Northwestern coaching staff his verbal commitment today. Mueller — whose older brother (junior linebacker Erik Mueller) is already on the Wildcats roster — attended the Wildcats final spring practice today. He picked up a scholarship offer and then gave head coach Pat Fitzgerald his verbal commitment on the spot. 

"I didn't expect it (adding a Northwestern offer) and I was very surprised," Mueller said. "Northwestern is the place for me because of the incredible academics, the location, having my brother already on the team and the amazing coaching staff and football program. I'm super happy."

Mueller is the second in-state name for the Wildcats and the seventh known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2020. Mueller joins Lake Zurich tight end Hunter Welcing (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) as the Wildcats in state commitments so far in the 2020 class. 

Mueller was also the Wildcats second overall verbal commitment today as Groveport (Ohio) Madison three star ranked offensive guard TeRah Edwards (6-foot-3, 295 pounds) also committed to the Wildcats after today's final spring practice. 

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

One of the top Illinois high school quarterbacks in the Class of 2020 has responded to the coyote call.

Normal West junior Carson Camp (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) gave his verbal commitment to the University of South Dakota. Camp had early scholarship offers from both in-town Illinois State and Indiana State. He also boasted strong recruiting attention from several Mid-American Conference schools. Camp felt that the timing was right to give the Coyotes his commitment. So why commit this early? 

"That's a hard question to answer quickly because it involves a lot of different issues," Camp said. "I originally planned to wait until the end of the spring evaluation period (which begins Monday). I was waiting on one specific FBS school in particular but I already had three strong FCS offers and everything to me just felt right with South Dakota. I also didn't want to miss out on an opportunity by waiting. The timing was just right for me now to commit and in all honesty I was ready to make my decision."

The Class of 2021 is already shaping up to become one of this state's better recruiting classes in years, and the overall depth at the quarterback position leads the charge. Both Antioch QB Athan Kaliakmanis along with Naperville Central QB/ATH Sam Jackson (who can also play wide receiver). are already committed to Minnesota. Nazareth Academy QB J.J. McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) has 27 scholarship offers-- a list that includes several from Power Five schools across the country. East St. Louis' Tyler Macon (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) also has a handful of early FBS offers. Another half dozen or so names have emerged also have FBS/FCS potential. 

If you needed any further proof that the recruiting process is starting earlier and earlier for elite-level names, just take a look at Tyler Morris.  The 5-foot-10, 160 pound Morris, a Class of 2022 athlete recruit who was a starter on the 2018 Roadrunners 7A state title team, has added offers this spring from Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. His latest offer came earlier this week came from Michigan. Morris is also expected to draw several high Power Five visitors starting Monday with the beginning of the spring evaluation period-- when colleges are allowed to make in-person visits to a recruit's high school. 

Keep an eye on Maine South junior safety Ryan Kilburg (6-foot-1, 181 pounds). He has emerged as a top name in the Class of 2020.

"I have scholarship offers from Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio, South Dakota and Navy," according to Kilburg. "I've also been in contact with the coaches from Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Harvard, Brown and Holy Cross. I've been able to get out and visit Holy Cross, Harvard, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan. All of the schools that I've been in contact with all have invited me out to visit them this spring. Those same coaches also are telling me that they will be back in school to see me in a few weeks."