Preps Talk

Stevenson senior Justin Smith commits to Indiana

Stevenson senior Justin Smith commits to Indiana

Stevenson senior and Mr. Basketball candidate Justin Smith ended his recruitment on Monday night by committing to Indiana on Twitter.

The 6-foot-6 Smith averaged 17 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on 52.2 percent shooting last season as the high-flying wing was a third-team CSN All-Area selection.

Regarded as the No. 105 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings, Smith is going to be one of the main players to watch in the area this season as he's already helped the Patriots win a state championship as a sophomore while producing big numbers as a junior.

Smith joins three-star point guard Al Durham in Indiana's recruiting Class of 2017.

Now that Smith has ended his recruitment, Evanston's Nojel Eastern and Thornton's Alonzo Verge are the two best uncommitted prospects in the area as all three players are major candidates to win Player of the Year honors.

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 12

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

High School Lites basketball roundup: Week 12

Check out our high school hoops highlights from some of the best games around the state, and be sure to follow @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest scores, highlights, and analysis

Athlete of the Week: Maine West's Angela Dugalic

Team of the Week: Simeon girls basketball 

Windy City Legends: Anthony Davis

Highlights: Hillcrest 76, TF North 74

Highlights: Loyola 57. Fenwick 49

Highlights: Waubonsie Valley 35, Naperville Central 32

Highlights: Oswego East 63, Plainfield North 46

Midweek Mixtape: Simeon 81, Morgan Park 76

Highlights: Schaumburg 35, Palatine 21

Highlights: Evanston 61, Glenbrook South 60

Highlights: Aurora Christian 74, Riverside-Brookfield 69

Highlights: East Aurora 94, Streamwood 89

Highlights: Round Lake 68, Wauconda 43

Highlights (Girls): Trinity 56, ITW-Speer 8

Highlights: Marengo 53, Woodstock North 47

Highlights: Andrew 68, Lincoln-Way Central 48

Prep football: Scholarship updates, news and notes

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USA TODAY

Prep football: Scholarship updates, news and notes

Oswego junior offensive tackle recruit Otto Hess (6-foot-7, 285 pounds) has continued to add more scholarship offers at a steady rate despite this being the recruiting "dead" period. Hess has added recent offers from Western Michigan, SIU and Virginia and recaps his latest recruiting news and more here.

"Recruiting has just been very exciting for me lately," Hess said. "I'm just beyond excited about all of the attention and scholarship offers. "

Hess discusses his thoughts from adding his first Power 5 offer on Wednesday from the University of Virginia.

"It's really exciting to get an offer from Virginia. I mean Coach Bronco Mendenhall is a great coach who did some amazing things for BYU and is now doing the same things at Virginia. Virginia is one of the top public universities in the nation and honestly the offer pretty much came out of nowhere. The Virginia coaches had been staying in contact with my head coach (Brian Cooney) and they talked to some of my teachers at school and also requested my transcripts. I was asked to call the offensive line coach Garrett Tujague and we had a good talk for about a half hour and that's when I got the offer from Virginia. I've never seen Virginia in person so I'm going to get out and visit them this spring for sure. It's just exciting to add my first Power 5 offer from Virginia and it's great to see more and more bigger schools showing more interest in me."

Look for Hess to have a very busy spring travel itinerary beginning March 1st.

"I'm set to visit Iowa on March 1st, Ohio University on March 7th and then I'm also visiting Miami of Ohio on March 9th. I also want to get out to visit Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan along with Virginia. I'm also set to visit Kansas State on April 10th for a spring visit. I've been able to already visit both NIU and Miami of Ohio."

Marist junior three-star ranked offensive tackle recruit Pat Coogan (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) has remained one of the most sought after names in the Midwest this winter. Coogan, who has added recent scholarship offers from Virginia, Arizona, Purdue and Missouri. Coogan, who now is holding 20 FBS scholarship offers this winter also discussed his recent visit to Michigan State. 

"I had an awesome visit to Michigan State," Coogan said. "I just really liked it at Michigan State and I was able to get to learn more about the school and the football program."

"I ended up driving myself out to Michigan State and I'm really glad I made the visit. I really liked the coaching staff and everyone made me feel very welcome. The coaches at Michigan State also have a great personality and it also was good to just get to know them better. I was also impressed with the facilities at Michigan State and everything was well planned out and maintained. I was also able to visit and talk with an academics advisor on my visit, but the visit was mainly football related this time. The coaches at Michigan State made me feel like a priority while I was there and overall I just really enjoyed my visit."

Does Coogan have any additional upcoming visits planned?.

"I'm definitely planning to get out and visit more schools," Coogan said. "I'm looking to visit Michigan on March 1st along with getting out to visit Stanford on March 6th and 7th. I'm also planning to visit Ohio State on March 28th."

Loyola Academy junior offensive center recruit Josh Kreutz (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock rise this winter including adding his first recent Big Ten scholarship offer from the University of Illinois. Kreutz — the son of former Chicago Bears All Pro center Olin Kreutz — recaps his latest offers and recruiting news here.

"It was really cool to get my first Big Ten offer from Illinois," Kreutz said. "It was exciting to get the offer and it was a really nice surprise. I was pulled out of class and we called the Illinois coaches and that's when they offered me."

Kreutz is now holding four early scholarship offers so far this winter.

"I also have scholarship offers from NIU, Ball State and Central Michigan along with Illinois. Iowa has also been showing some interest in me and they recently invited me to come out for a visit. We had several college coaches in our school last month and a lot of those coaches watched our team workouts."

Kreutz also made a recent visit to Northern Illinois University.

"I visited NIU on like the last day you could visit schools in January. The visit to NIU was pretty cool and I really liked the indoor facility at NIU along with getting to meet with the coaches. NIU is very interested in me and they want me to stay in touch with them and come back for another visit this spring."

Does Kreutz have any additional college visits planned?

"I don't have any dates just yet but I'm looking at getting down to Illinois for a visit," he said. "I also want to get out to visit Iowa as well."

Prairie Ridge junior outside linebacker recruit Carter Evans (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers at a steady rate, and Evans now has 10 early scholarship offers this winter. 

"I added a few recent offers from Wyoming, Syracuse and Western Michigan," Evans said. "I also was finally 100 percent cleared from rehab last Wednesday so it just feels good to get back to working out and training with no restrictions."

Evans discussed adding his latest scholarship offer from the Syracuse Orangemen.

"Syracuse was in school back in January and they went back and re-watched my junior year video. Two weeks after they made an in school visit they contacted me and offered a scholarship. Getting the offer from Syracuse was definitely a nice surprise. They are recruiting me as tight end and I'm totally fine with playing tight end in college."

Evans also has remained on several Big Ten schools recruiting list this winter.

"I'm still getting interest and staying in touch with schools like Northwestern, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue and Iowa. They are also telling me that they will be back in school this spring to watch me work out in person, Because of my injury last season, a lot of those Big Ten schools didn't get to see me workout this winter."

Evans is also hoping to get out to make some college visits this spring.

"I'm still checking the dates but I'm hoping to get out to visit schools starting in March. I'm looking to get out to visit schools like NIU, Syracuse, Western Michigan plus a few other schools. I'm hoping to see as many schools in person as possible."