Edgy Tim

Edgy Tim’s IHSA team of the decade: Offensive line

ethanpocic.png
USA Today

Edgy Tim’s IHSA team of the decade: Offensive line

The last four days have produced spirited debates in our look at the IHSA All-Decade team (2010-19). We have the quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight end positions set. Let’s take a look at several names to consider on the offensive line— our “Best of the Best” in the IHSA over the past 10 years. 

The list of worthy offensive linemen over the past decade, as with other positions, seems endless. Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let the debate begin:

Ethan Pocic, Lemont’s Class of 2012 (LSU): Pocic, who followed in the footsteps of his older brother Graham Pocic (Illinois), was a multi-year starter for the Indians. He was ranked as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com and the No. 3 ranked offensive linemen in the nation in the Class of 2012. Pocic went on to have a terrific college career at LSU. He was drafted in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks and played in four games this season.

Brian Allen, Hinsdale Central’s Class of 2013 (Michigan State): Brian Allen was the middle of three Allen brothers who were standout football players and wrestlers at Hinsdale Central. Allen was a three-year varsity starter and a two-time All-State player for the Red Devils who was also ranked as one of the top interior linemen in the nation. Allen was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft and was the starting center for the Rams this season until suffering a season ending injury in Week 10. 

Jamarco Jones, De La Salle’s Class of 2014 (Ohio State): Jamarco Jones was a multi-year impact starter for the Meteors during his high school career. Jones, who was a four-star ranked offensive tackle recruit by Rivals.com and was also ranked as the No. 94 best recruit in the nation. Jones wound up committing to Ohio State after drawing scholarship offers from national football power programs from across the county. Jones was a multi-year year starter at Ohio State who was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jones is on the Seahawks active roster and has played in 15 games so far this season for Seattle.

Kevin Jarvis, Maine South’s Class of 2017 (Michigan State): Jarvis was a three-year varsity mainstay for the Hawks and head coach Dave Inserra. Jarvis was a four-star ranked recruit in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com and was also a key in leading the Hawks to the Class 8A state title in 2016. He was simply a dominant two-way starter who is also off to a strong start in his college playing career at Michigan State. Jarvis is currently listed as a junior on the MIchigan State roster.

Nick Allegretti, Lincoln-Way East’s Class of 2014 (Illinois): Allegretti was another multi-year starter for the Griffins and head coach Rob Zvonar. He was named as an All-State player in his junior and senior season. Allegretti was also a top wrestler as well at the Frankfort school who wound up signing with Illinois. Allegretti was a two-time team captain in Champaign who played in 48 games (including 36 consecutive starts) for the Fighting Illini. Allegretti was a seventh round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2019 NFL Draft and has played in seven games this season for the Chiefs. 

Next in? 

Dan Voltz, Barrington’s Class of 2012 (Wisconsin)

Dan Feeney, Sandburg’s Class of 2012 (Indiana)

Tanner Farmer, Highland’s Class of 2014 (Nebraska)

Trevor Ruhland, Cary-Grove’s Class of 2015 (Notre Dame)

Erik Swenson, Downers Grove South‘s  Class of 2016 (Oklahoma)

Peter Skoronski, Maine South’s Class of 2020 (Northwestern)

Jordan Diamond, Simeon’s Class of 2012 (Auburn/Miami of Ohio)

Jack Allen, Hinsdale Central’s Class of 2011 (Michigan State)

Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South’s Class of 2019 (Michigan)

Edgy Tim: top five wide receivers of the decade

westerkamp.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: top five wide receivers of the decade

Narrowing down the list for the top five IHSA wide receivers of the decade has been brutally tough. One thing is for certain: Illinois had no shortage of high school talent at the wideout position this past decade (2010-2019). 
 
The same debate question applies here: Do you factor in just strictly high school production and program winning/success, or does a particular player's post high school success also become a factor? Let’s give this a shot: 

Flynn Nagel, Marist/Lemont’s Class of 2015 (Northwestern): Nagel started his high school career at Marist then transferred to Lemont during his junior year. He is listed all over the IHSA record books. To name a few accolades, Nagel holds IHSA receiving records for most career receptions (255), touchdown receptions (57), single-season touchdown receptions (289) and most career receiving yards (3,613). Nagel was a speedy and consistent receiver with the ability to break big plays with every touch.

Jordan Westerkamp, Montini Catholic’s Class of 2012 (Nebraska): Westerkamp is another name you'll see listed all over the IHSA record books. He was a three-year starter and a major impact performer for the Broncos’ three straight Class 5A state title teams (2009-2011). Westerkamp is the state's all-time leader in career receiving yards (4,548), career touchdown catches (68) and holds the record for the most touchdown catches in a season (29) in 2011. He went on to have an impressive college career at Nebraska.

Laquon Treadwell, Crete-Monee’s Class of 2013 (Ole Miss): His impact at Crete-Monee was off the charts. A three-year varsity starter on both sides of the football, Treadwell was a two-time All-State player who led the Warriors to the Class 6A state title in 2012. In his senior season, he caught 81 passes for 1,424 yards and 16 touchdowns while also making 56 solo tackles and 6 interceptions. Treadwell was also a dangerous kick and punt returner. After a stellar college stay at Ole Miss, he is now playing wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. 

Jeff Thomas, East St. Louis’ Class of 2017 (Miami FL): Thomas was a three-year varsity starter for the Flyers. He posted 177 receptions for 3,532 yards and 41 touchdowns over his high school career and led his team to a perfect 14-0 record and the 2016 Class 7A state title. He possessed flat-out sprinters speed along with terrific ball skills. He is another player who was a threat to score every time he touched the football. In December, he announced that he will skip his senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

Mike Dudek, Neuqua Valley’s Class of 2014 (Illinois): Dudek was an impact player for the Wildcats in his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, Dudek caught 69 passes for 1,384 yards and 19 TDs; he also rushed 30 times for 260 yards and three scored. He was a threat on special teams as well, returning 21 kickoffs for 692 yards (33.0 ypr) and two TDs in 2013. This blue collar player simply made big plays for the Wildcats. Dudek committed to Illinois and had a breakout freshman season for the Fighting Illini before various injuries cut short Dudek's college career. 

Next in? 

Malik Turner, Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Class of 2014 (Illinois)

Davaris Daniels, Vernon Hills’ Class of 2011 (Notre Dame)

Ricky Smalling, Brother Rice’s Class of 2017 (Illinois)

A.J. Henning, Lincoln-Way East’s Class of 2020 (Michigan)

Zach Grant, Rochester’s Class of 2012 (Illinois)

Miles Boykin, Providence's Class of 2015 (Notre Dame)

Edgy Tim: IHSA football rescinds district football proposal

footballs-0718.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: IHSA football rescinds district football proposal

IHSA member schools voted for Proposal 15 Tuesday, which officially eliminates the football district scheduling system which was approved a year ago and was slated to begin for the 2021 season. 

By a vote of 374-241-87, IHSA membership voted to go back to the current IHSA scheduling system which is managed by individual schools, many of whom belong to conferences. The result of the vote for Proposal 15, the regular season scheduling and football playoff system will remain unchanged. 

“There is incredible passion for high school football in our state, and the subject of football district scheduling has been no exception,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “Many coaches and communities were excited about the prospect of district scheduling when the vote passed a year ago, just like many are excited today that it will ultimately not occur in 2021. We do not expect the discussion surrounding football regular-season scheduling and the playoff structure to dissipate, so we will be charged with continuing to facilitate discussion and ideas among our member school coaches and administrators.”

One local athletic director and former state champion coach sees the positives in the decision.

"My feeling is that this is the IHSA membership pumping the brakes a little bit," according to Joliet Catholic athletic director Dan Sharp. "You have so many different proposals out there that it's a good thing to take a little bit of time and see how things play out."

The vote totals for the passing of Proposal 15 was considerable when compared to a year ago. In 2018, the IHSA membership passed the football district system by a vote of 327-307-69, while the vote to eliminate the same system this year was 374-241-87. Many administrators pointed to a buyer remorse feeling toward the football district system after seeing several mock-ups of what the actual districts could look like. IHSA member schools were asked to vote for the football district scheduling and playoff system without being provided an example of what those districts would look like and the potential impact it could have for member schools.