Preps Talk

Simeon wins home-opener by 56

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Simeon wins home-opener by 56

By Dan Ruane
Yourseason.com

Among the crowd at Simeons home opener against Red-South opponent Carver were several college coaches. They got to see the top-ranked Wolverines dismantle the Challengers for a 79-23 victory in a game that was never close.

Representatives from Georgetown, Missouri State, Michigan State and Illinois along with head coaches Johnny Dawkins from Stanford, Buzz Williams of Marquette and Roy Williams of North Carolina came to see uncommitted juniors Jabari Parker, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate.

The Wolverines did not disappoint in storming out to a 27-2 first-quarter lead playing its trademark ball-sharing offense along with its suffocating defense.

Theyre a fantastic team, Roy Williams said. They play so hard and so well together. Theyre a very unselfish team and I obviously like to see that.

Simeon also knows how to get the ball to the guy with the hot hand.

Marquette-bound Steve Taylor scored 13 of his 15 points in the first quarter, all while the Wolverines (4-0, 1-0) were forcing Carver (0-7, 0-1) into 14 first-quarter turnovers.

They are a true Number 1 team, Carver coach Johnnail Evans said. They are going to run through the Red-South this year. People do not have the talent to match up against them.

The only mystery in the game was how long Simeon coach Robert Smith would play his regulars. Smith used his bench extensively but also allowed his starters enough time to display their wares for the would-be college suitors.

Its a tribute to our program that so many high, major programs are looking at our kids, Smith said. I got into Kendrick at halftime. With all of these college coaches here, he came out in second half and made gold.

Nunn scored 13 of his 16 points in the third quarter including converting three treys. Jabari Parker played a strong all-around game with 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Tate came off the bench to score 15 points. Taylor recorded four blocks while Parker had five.

Michael Howell led Carver with 12 points.

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.

Maurice Jones-Drew ranks Jordan Howard in NFL's top-10 RBs

Maurice Jones-Drew ranks Jordan Howard in NFL's top-10 RBs

Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is entering an interesting season. He has just as good a chance of leading the NFL in rushing as he appears to have at losing reps to Tarik Cohen, a player some analysts feel is a better fit for coach Matt Nagy's system.

It's unfortunate that Howard isn't receiving the kind of praise a player like him deserves. He set the Bears' rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016. In 2017, he became the first running back in franchise history to start a career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Howard's production suggests he should be the feature back in Chicago's ground game. In fact, according to NFL Network's Maurice Jones-Drew, it's a no-brainer. He recently ranked Howard in the NFL's top-10 running backs.

7. Jordan Howard (Bears)

Even with the plethora of offensive weapons thanks to some offseason additions, the Bears' offense still must run through Howard. After rushing for at least 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons, Howard will be a key piece for first-year head coach Matt Nagy and will have to carry Chicago late in the season if the squad is going to make a playoff push.

Howard will be given every chance to prove he can thrive in Nagy's system early in the season. If he can prove reliable as a receiver, he could match Kareem Hunt's league-leading 1,327 yards last season. He'll have to be effective as a pass-catcher to keep Cohen from threatening for more touches.

Howard deserves this kind of respect for what he's done through two seasons as a pro. He may not be in the NFL's elite class just yet, but if he surpasses 1,200-plus rushing yards and threatens for 10 or more touchdowns again, it'll be an undeniable fact that Howard is a true franchise back.