Alek Thomas

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 14 Mount Carmel

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 14 Mount Carmel 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 Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Mount Carmel

Head coach: Frank Lenti

Assistant coaches: Mike Minogue, Bill Nolan, Dave Lenti, Mark Antonietti, Jerry Blew, Rick Good, Tom Sulo, Mark Carmen

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (0-4 Chicago Catholic League Blue Conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoff field.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 15 New Trier]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Taft *Soldier Field*

Sept. 1 @ Lane Tech

Sept. 9 @ Loyola Academy

Sept. 16 vs. DePaul Prep

Sept. 22 @ St. Rita

Sept. 29 vs. Brother Rice

Oct. 6 @ De La Salle *St. Rita*

Oct. 13 vs. Montini Catholic

Oct. 20 vs. Providence Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the Caravan bounce back from a 4-5 season in 2016?

Names to watch this season: senior QB Alek Thomas (TCU), senior OL/DL Jeremy Cooper (Cincinnati)

Biggest holes to fill: Mount Carmel will need to reload on the offensive line with just one returning starter in senior Marcelo Mendiola. 

EDGY's early take: It's pretty rare to see Mount Carmel sitting at home come state playoff time, and its 4-5 record in 2016 was the first time since 1985 that the Caravan missed the IHSA playoffs. The 2017 Caravan? The defense welcomes back eight starters this fall and senior two-sport standout Thomas will takes the reins under center, running the Caravan's option attack. A key will be how quickly an inexperienced Mount Carmel offensive line can come together, yet this is also a very proud football program looking to put last season behind them in 2017.

Recruiting News and Notes: Micah Jones nearing college decision

Recruiting News and Notes: Micah Jones nearing college decision

Micah Jones (WR), Warren Township

Warren Township four-star ranked wide receiver Micah Jones (6-foot-5, 196 pounds) will make his college decision in a press conference at 3 p.m. on Friday at his high school. Jones, who has several Power 5 offers, has named Iowa, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Illinois and Northwestern as his finalists. Jones' last two recent unofficial campus visits came at Notre Dame and Northwestern.

Mount Carmel (ATH), Alek Thomas

Mount Carmel junior athlete Alek Thomas (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) recently gave TCU his verbal commitment to play both football and baseball in college. Thomas, who played running back and quarterback for Hall of Fame head coach Frank Lenti's Caravan last fall, is also one of the top baseball prospects in the Class of 2018. Playing both sports in college was a high priority for Thomas.

"Playing both sports in college has always been my dream,"Thomas said. "TCU offered me that opportunity, but they also offer so much more. TCU has great facilities, great coaches and it's just a really good overall fit for me. They also have a history of having multi-sport athletes so they have experience dealing with it and they are comfortable with the idea. TCU from the football side is looking at me as more of a slot back along with returning kicks and punts."

Queneil Morrison (DT), Phillips

Phillips head coach Troy McAllister has yet another FBS recruit in junior defensive tackle Queneil Morrison (6-foot-2, 300 pounds). 

"I have offers now from NIU, Bowling Green and Toledo," Morrison said. "My first offer was from NIU was awhile ago and it's exciting to hear from new schools."

Morrison plans to make his first unofficial visit to NIU on Saturday.

Scholarship notes

A handful of local Class of 2018 players have added multiple scholarship offers over the past few weeks. Glenbard North defensive back Greg Newsome (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) is quickly approaching 20 verbal offers with his latest offers coming from Vanderbilt and Purdue. Lincoln-Way East defensive end Devin O'Rourke (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) recently added offers from Penn State, Rutgers and Iowa. Marist has three players who have added multiple offers so far this winter in defensive tackle Elijah Teague (6-foot-3, 292 pounds), tight end TJ Ivy (6-foot-5, 217 pounds) and defensive end Gavin McCabe (6-foot-3, 255 pounds). Western Michigan offered all three Redhawks scholarships on Wednesday morning.