Bishop McNamara

81 Days to Kickoff: Bishop McNamara

81 Days to Kickoff: Bishop McNamara 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: Bishop McNamara

Head coach: Rich Zinanni

Assistant Coaches: Jack Roney, Kurt Belisle, Mike Yarborough, Mike Vickery, JJ Hollis, Chris Lamore and Brent Dolliger

How they fared in 2017: 3-6 (1-2 Chicago Catholic League White  Conference). Bishop Mac failed to make the state football playoff field. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Bloom Township

Aug. 31 vs (Blue Island) Eisenhower

Sept. 7 vs Riverside-Brookfield

Sept. 14 @ IC Catholic Prep

Sept. 21 @ St. Francis

Sept. 28 vs Wheaton Academy

Oct. 5 @ Aurora Christian

Oct. 12 vs Aurora Central Catholic

Oct. 19 @ Elmwood Park

[MORE: 98 Days to Kickoff - Eisenhower]

Biggest storyline: How will the Fightin' Irish handle their first season as part of the Metro Suburban conference?

Names to watch this season: QB Tyler Hiller and RB/LB Tyshon King

Biggest holes to fill: Bishop McNamara is stacked with returning starters this coming season (eight on offense, 10 defense); however, overall numbers and depth are always concerns.

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Rich Zinanni, who enters his 44th season coaching at the Kankakee school, took a few lumps last fall. They finished 3-6 after a 4-5 campaign in 2016 (they won the 3A title back in 2015). But with 18 starters back in the fold (including four starting offensive linemen), you will need to look out for Bishop Mac. While the Fightin' Irish will get some early tests on the schedule, this team --on paper-- has the makings of being a potential winner come the fall.

Recruiting News and Notes: Ben Bryant commits to Cincinnati

Recruiting News and Notes: Ben Bryant commits to Cincinnati

Ben Bryant (QB), Lyons Township

Lyons Township senior three-star quarterback Ben Bryant (6-foot-3, 195 pounds), who originally gave Wisconsin his verbal commitment only to have the Badgers rescind his verbal scholarship offer, has given Cincinnati his verbal commitment.

"It was a much harder decision this time around compared to the first time I committed," Bryant said. "When I committed the first time (to Wisconsin) I had two offers. This time around I had a lot of options and some great offers, but Cincinnati is the best place for me."

Bryant is thrilled to have ended his recruiting process again and can now focus on his upcoming senior season while also putting to rest the entire ordeal with Wisconsin.

"I've put the whole Wisconsin deal behind me and I stand my statement that I sent out on my Twitter account and that's all I have to say. I had some great offers and options and it was a great problem to have. I can just focus now on my team this summer and having a great senior season."

Bryant joins Simeon wide receiver Jayshon Jackson and Mount Carmel senior offensive linemen Jeremy Cooper as part of the Bearcats Class of 2018. 

Jeff Griffin (DL), Homewood-Flossmoor

Northern Illinois continues to do well with filling out its Class of 2018. The Huskies added another Chicagoland piece when Homewood-Flossmoor senior defensive linemen Jeff Griffin (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) became the team's ninth in-state commitment and 14th overall pledge.

"I visited NIU (last Saturday) and that visit really sold me on NIU," Griffin said. "I always wanted to stay closer to home for school and once NIU stepped up and offered me it was a hard offer to turn down. After the visit on Saturday I was sold on NIU so I called up the coaches and committed."

Griffin is also hoping to help NIU add a few more pieces from Homewood-Flossmoor's talented senior class.

"I'm definitely already talking to Justin (Hall) and Mario (Wright II) about joining me at NIU."

Seniors' athlete Justin Hall and linebacker Mario Wright II have both listed Northern Illinois as one of their favorite schools this summer. 

[RELATED: Recruiting News and Notes - Jyran Mitchell commits to NIU]

Indiana State recruiting

Indiana State head coach Curt Mallory has been on fire when it comes to the Sycamores recruiting this summer. Mallory, who was a long-time assistant coach at various stops in Illinois, now has an amazing 24 verbal commitments — including two recent additions in Bishop McNamara safety Giavion Mason (6-foot-0, 190 pounds) and Lindblom wide receiver CJ Rutherford (6-foot-0. 170 pounds).

So why the Sycamores?

Rutherford pointed towards the strength of the coaching staff as a big factor in his decision.

"I really love the coaching staff at Indiana State," Rutherford said. "Coach Mallory brought in a staff that has a lot of experience and several of his coaches worked with him when he was at Michigan. The coaches made us feel comfortable and at home at Indiana State and I'm just excited to be a part of helping the football program win."

Recruiting News

Who are the Top 5 uncommitted players remaining in the Class of 2018?

Carterville tight end Luke Ford (6-foot-7, 245 pounds) has offers from literally every Power 5 school in the nation. Ford originally committed to Arkansas.

Oswego DT Noah Shannon (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) was committed to Minnesota but reopened his recruiting process. Shannon has shown heavy interest in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Arkansas.

Bolingbrook DT Dashaun Mallory (6-foot-2, 265 pounds) added a camp offer from Michigan State, and has a Top 3 list of the Spartans, along with Iowa State and Toledo. 

Waubonsie Valley tight end Charles Robinson (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) listed Iowa State, Minnesota and Mississippi State as his Top 3 favorite schools.

Bolingbrook wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) camped earlier this summer with Wisconsin and also made a recent visit to Syracuse. 

76 Days To Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science


76 Days To Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science 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 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Chicago Ag Science

Head coach: Shawn Finnin

Assistant coaches: Craig Dovich, Vince Patterson

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (4-2 Chicago Public League Great Lakes conference), failed to qualify for the IHSA state playoffs.

[MORE: 77 Days To Kickoff - Bishop McNamara]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Evergreen Park

Aug. 31 – vs North Lawndale

Sept. 9 –vs Corliss

Sept. 16 -vs Back of the Yards

Sept. 23 - vs Ralph Ellison

Sept. 28 – vs Bowen

Oct. 7 - vs CMA Bronzeville

Oct. 14 -  vs Carver

Oct. 21 - vs Harper

Biggest storyline: Can the Cyclones make the playoffs in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior FB Jelani Montgomery, senior QB Hilel Anjorn, senior OL Zian Rosario

Biggest holes to fill: The Cyclones will need to fill some key spots on the offensive line and in the secondary this summer.

EDGY's Early Take: Chicago Ag Science might just have its best chance of making the playoffs for the first time in school history. The Cyclones have experience back on both sides of the football, and the program has been making steady progress under Finnin.