Preps Talk

Should under-12 tackle football be banned in Illinois?


Should under-12 tackle football be banned in Illinois?

A bill that would ban tackle football in Illinois for children age 12 and under passed out of the House Mental Health committee Thursday and will now move to the state’s House of Representatives for a vote.

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Carol Sente, D-Vernon Hills, and has been dubbed the Dave Duerson Bill, named after the former Bears great. Duerson, who committed suicide in 2011, was later diagnosed of suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE.

Illinois is now the fourth state to introduce legislation in regards to banning youth tackle football along with California, New York and Maryland.

So what's the reaction regarding this potential bill from those involved in high school football? Mixed at best.

Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow’s reaction mirrored that of several other high school football coaches across the state.

"It's great that the state is looking into these issues, and the more focus on safety the better," Ivlow said. "But as a parent, I'm not thrilled that the state is trying to tell us how to raise our kids. Parents should be allowed to make decisions for their own kids without any state or government involvement."

If passed, what impact could the banning of 12-and-under youth tackle football have at the high school level?

"In all honesty, not a lot," Ivlow added. "You can still learn a lot of the same skill development without having to play tackle football at such a young age. I never played tackle football until high school, and my kids also never played tackle football until high school."

Several coaches also pointed toward a recent study from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons which showed that girls soccer, not football, had the highest level of concussions.

One suburban high school varsity head football coach added, "I have a young son who has played youth tackle football for three years now and his health is my top concern. With that being said, I don't feel he is at any more risk for injury playing football than playing basketball or baseball."

Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa


Breaking: RB Williams pledges to Iowa

It didn't take very long for Oak Lawn Richards three star ranked junior RB LeShon Williams (5-foot-10, 205 pounds) to give the Iowa Hawkeyes his verbal commitment. Williams, who added a scholarship offer from Iowa yesterday decided this afternoon to commit to the Hawkeyes and announced his college decision via his Twitter account. 

"For me it was really all about the tradition and the culture (at Iowa)," according to Williams. "It's always been a dram of mine to play in the Big 10 conference, so why not play for Iowa and get to play again with one of my old teammates."

Williams, who is holding 16 scholarship offers this spring will join former Richards quarterback/safety Sebastian Castro who is part of the Class of 2019 for the Hawkeyes. Williams is now the 10th known verbal commitment in the Iowa Class of 2020 and is also the third known State of Illinois pledge for Iowa. Williams joins Byron three star ranked OL Tyler Elsbury along with Lena-Winslow three star ranked defensive end Isaiah Bruce as Land of Lincoln commitments. 

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

NBC Sports Chicago

Quarterback JJ McCarthy commits to Michigan

Nazareth Academy sophomore quarterback JJ McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), who had an All State season in 2018 leading the Roadrunners to the Class 7A state title decided to give the Michigan Wolverines his verbal commitment today while making a return unofficial visit to the Ann Arbor, Michigan, campus.

“I have a list of all the things I need to check off before I make my decision,” McCarthy told's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. “It’s a literal piece of paper I have at home, and Michigan checked every single one of those boxes.”

Among the various factors for McCarthy in deciding upon Michigan included location, academics along with preparing him for the next level of football.

“With all the NFL ties Michigan has, especially quarterback-wise with coach (Jim) Harbaugh and coach (Ben) McDaniels, it’s really a no-brainer for me,” McCarthy said. “When I hear ‘Michigan,’ I think of Tom Brady. He’s the greatest of all time and he’s an alum… at my position too.”

McCarthy, who was already holding over 30 verbal scholarship offers including offers from multiple Power 5 programs is the second known verbal commitment in the Michigan Wolverines Class of 2021 joining Stevenson Sterling Heights (Mich.) ranked offensive tackle Giovanni El Hadi.

McCarthy is now the fourth known verbal commitment from the state of Illinois Class of 2021, joining Antioch sophomore QB Athan Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and his brother Dino Kaliakmanis (Minnesota) and Naperville Central sophomore QB/ATH Sam Jackson (Minnesota).