De La Salle

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

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USA TODAY

Edgy Tim's Recruiting News and Notes

Phillips junior safety recruit Willie Jones (6-foot-2, 175 pounds) decided to give the University of Toledo his verbal commitment on Tuesday night.

"I decided that I was ready to make my college decision," Jones said. "I called up the coaches at Toledo and gave them my verbal commitment."

Jones discussed why he has decided to verbally commit to the Toledo Rockets.

"I just felt very comfortable when I visited Toledo a few weeks ago and it just felt like home to me. The coaches from Toledo just are great guys and I have been able to build up a great relationship with them over the past few months. The coaches are very much like father figures and I trust the coaches. Toledo is also a great football program and they also offer a good education."

Jones also hearing from several other schools but felt like it was time to make his decision.

"I was in touch with coaches from several schools. The coaches from Cincinnati showed a lot of interest along with Miami of Ohio along with a few other MAC schools. I really just felt like I was already comparing everyone else to Toledo and I really wasn't looking very hard at anyone else. I knew that I wanted to play and go to school at Toledo so why wait? I decided I was ready to make my decision and I feel great about it."

Edwardsville junior four-star ranked running back recruit Justin Johnson Jr. (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) made a weekend unofficial visit to West Virginia and came away highly impressed with the Mountaineers football program.

"I had a great visit to West Virginia," Johnson Jr. said. "I spent the entire weekend at West Virginia and I was just really impressed with the overall atmosphere and excitement level for West Virginia football."

Additionally, Johnson Jr. has a handful of upcoming college visits in mind. 

"I'm going to visit Nebraska soon along with Louisville on March 28th. I've also been in contact recently with the coaches at Cal, Michigan State and Minnesota over the last few weeks. All of those schools want me to visit this spring so I'm hoping to see a few more schools this spring if I can fit them into my schedule.

Johnson Jr. also has a time frame in mind for making his college decision. 

"My plan is to see how spring recruiting goes for me and I'm sure I'll narrow things down to a Top 5 schools list. I'm looking at making a college decision sometime this summer."

De La Salle junior outside linebacker recruit Aidan Ralph (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) made a weekend visit to Iowa State for a Junior Day event and came back home with his first offer from the Cyclones.

"I went to Iowa State on Saturday for a Junior Day event," Ralph said. "I also was able to add my first offer from Iowa State and it just feels great and capped off a great visit."

Ralph recapped his impressions from his Saturday Junior Day experience at Iowa State.

"I had been staying in contact with the Iowa State coaches quite a bit, and Iowa State has been recruiting me the hardest out of any school by far. Getting the offer from Iowa State was a big time surprise. I really was impressed with Coach (Matt) Campbell and the football program at Iowa State. Iowa State has some great coaches who are all pretty cool guys. I was able to watch a little bit of a spring practice and then we had our Junior Day program after wards. I was impressed with the facilities at Iowa State. Iowa State offered me as a linebacker and they feel that I can potentially play at any of the linebacker spots for them if needed. Most colleges like me as an outside linebacker so far. Overall I just had a great visit to Iowa State and I'll definitely look harder into them and stay in touch with the Iowa State coaches."

Ralph is also starting to draw additional recruiting attention this winter.

"Besides Iowa State I've also been in touch with the coaches from NIU and Ball State. I know that some new coaches started to follow me this weekend on Twitter after I got the offer from Iowa State. Hopefully more schools will take a look at me and my teammates later this spring."

Naperville (IIl.) Central sophomore wide receiver recruit Reggie Fleurima is one of the top sought after names in the Class of 2022 in the Midwest, and Fluerima made a weekend visit to Minnesota. 

"Minnesota was good. My Dad and I talked with Coach (PJ) Fleck and Coach (Matt) Simon a little bit. They talked about how they could use me in their offense and also focused on how the University of Minnesota can help me with life after college."

So what stood out to Fluerima at Minnesota?

"The overall team energy stood out to me at Minnesota. They all seem to buy into Coach Fleck and the culture he has built at Minnesota."

What's next for Fluerima this spring?

"I'm going to visit Nebraska this coming weekend. I'll probably add a few more college visits in April."

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants is more?

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school football followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

For the regular season football finale, it's all about "Bubble Week." We're featuring games with teams who are fighting to reach the playoffs. For some, a win means a playoff berth. Which game deserves our coverage Friday night? Sandwich is looking for their first playoff berth since 2013. A win gets them in. Same goes for St. Laurence. Can they win on the road at De La Salle? And how about the Leo-Marian Catholic game? The winner not only clinches a playoff berth but a conference championship.

Sandwich (4-4) at Morris (6-2), 7:00 p.m.

Leo (3-5) at Marian Catholic (4-4), 7:30 p.m.

St. Laurence (4-4) at De La Salle (3-5), 7:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.

40 Days to Kickoff: De La Salle

40 Days to Kickoff: De La Salle

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: De La Salle

Head coach: Mike Boehm

Assistant coaches: Bill Green, John Grubisich, Jim Brinkley, Nick Henton, Rich Blake, Bob Garrett and Terrence Young

How they fared in 2018: 8-5 (2-2 CCL Green Conference). De La Salle failed to make the IHSA state football playoff field, but entered the Chicago Catholic League playoffs and defeated St. Joseph, St. Ignatius and St. Laurence. They lost to St. Rita in the CCL championship. 

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Niles West 

Sept. 6 vs Kenwood 

Sept. 13 vs Marmion Academy 

Sept. 20 vs Benet Academy 

Sept. 27 vs St. Joseph 

Oct. 4 @ Nazareth Academy 

Oct. 11 @ Mount Carmel 

Oct. 18 @ Montini

Oct. 25 vs St. Laurence

[MORE: 68 Days to Kickoff - St. Laurence

Biggest storyline: A tale of two conferences. How will the Meteors fare in the newly-realigned CCL/ESCC Orange conference in 2019? 

Names to watch this season: TE Matt Byrne (Sr.) and RB/WR/DB Jason Moore (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Meteors will need to reload at several positions, especially on offense with just two starters back from last year's squad. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Meteors are now in the same league with the likes of St. Laurence, Nazareth Academy and Benet Academy. De La Salle has a handful of key names back this season, but several new faces will need to step up and provide production. De La Salle will also need to come out and take care of business in August and September, as the regular season slate is stacked with traditional power programs from Week 5 thru 9. Five straight home games to start the season should provide a nice boost.