Football recruiting

Edgy Tim's Top 50: Class of 2019

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 50: Class of 2019

Wednesday marks the early signing period for college football. Here is a list of the Top 50 names in Illinois, which includes their position, high school and college selection.

1. Trevor Keegan (OL) - Crystal Lake South, 6-foot-6 310 pounds, Michigan

2. Jahleel Billingsley (TE) – Phillips, 6-foot-5 230 pounds - Alabama

3. Jirehl Brock (RB) Quincy, 6-foot-0 200 pounds - Iowa State

4. JJ Guedet (OL) - Washington, 6-foot-8, 270 pounds - Minnesota

5. Tyler Nubin (DB) - St. Charles North, 6-foot-2 185 pounds, Minnesota

6. Logan Lee (TE) – Orion, 6-foot-5 240 pounds, Iowa

7. Sebastian Castro (DB) – Richards, 6-foot-1 198 pounds, Iowa

8. Cameron Mitchell (DB) – Bolingbrook, 5-foot-10 175 pounds, Northwestern

9. Fabian McCray (WR) – Phillips, 6-foot-2 180 pounds, Uncommitted

10. Anthony Williams Jr. (RB) – Bolingbrook, 6-foot-0 195 pounds, Michigan State

11. Keith Randolph (DE) - Belleville West 6-foot-5 250 pounds Uncommitted

12. Kendall Abdur Rahman (ATH) – Edwardsville, 6-foot-0 175 pounds, Notre Dame 

13. Steven Hawthorne (DE) – De La Salle, 6-foot-4 220 pounds, Cincinnati

14. Khali Saunders (LB) – IC Catholis Prep, 6-foot-4 210 pounds, Purdue

15. Michael Jansey Jr. (LB) – Batavia, 6-foot-2 210 pounds, Northwestern

16. Jason Bargy (DE) – Momence, 6-foot-5 240 pounds, Uncommitted

17. Joseph Thompson (DB) – Phillips, 5-foot-10 160 pounds, Illinois

18. Izaiah Ruffin (DE) - Oak Park-River Forest, 6-foot-6 235 pounds, Cincinnati

19. Duke Olges (DT) - New Trier, 6-foot-5 260 pounds, Northwestern

20. Alante Brown (ATH) – Simeon, 5-foot-10 170 pounds, Michigan State 

21. Dominic Moore (DL) – Perspectives, 6-foot-7 287 pounds, Uncommitted

22. Luke Weerts (LB) – Batavia, 6-foot-2 230 pounds, North Dakota State

23. Payton Thorne (QB) - Naperville Central, 6-foot-2 185 pounds, Michigan State

24. Nick Broeker (OL) - Sacred Heart Griffin, 6-foot-5 290 pounds, Ole Miss

25. Joacheim Price (OL) – Jacobs, 6-foot-8 315 pounds, Western Michigan 

26. Josiah Miamen (TE) – Dunlap, 6-foot-4 225 pounds, Iowa

27. Wynston Russell (DB) - Homewood-Flossmoor, 5-foot-10 160 pounds, Oregon State

28. Romel Goston (DB) – Raby, 6-foot-1 170 pounds, NIU

29. Marshawn Foster (WR) – Raby, 6-foot-4 180 pounds, Western Michigan 

30. Maema Njongmeta (LB) – Stevenson, 6-foot-1 210 pounds, Wisconsin 

31. Deion Harry (DE) - Crete-Monee, 6-foot-6 257 pounds, Howard

32. Corey Crooms (WR) – Hillcrest, 5-foot-11 170 pounds, Western Michigan 

33. Nick Fedanzo (RB) - Montini Catholic, 6-foot-0 200 pounds, Illinois 

34. Devin Blakley (DB) - St. Joseph, 5-foot-10 190 pounds, Uncommitted 

35. Evan Kirts (OL) - Brother Rice, 6-foot-5 255 pounds, Illinois 

36. Michael Love (ATH) - Nazareth Academy, 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, NIU

37. Marcelo Mendiola (OL) - Mount Carmel, 6-foot-5 290 pounds, Cincinnati

38. Dave Monnot III (OL) - Joliet Catholic, 6-foot-6 285 pounds, Purdue

39. Mark Aitken (DB) – Kenwood, 5-foot-9 175 pounds, NIU

40. Cam Mattox (DE) – Hillcrest, 6-foot-3 215 pounds, NIU

41. Kyle Davis (RB) - Chicago Mount Carmel, 6-foot-0 206 pounds, Western Michigan

42. Justin Clark (ATH)  - Oswego, East 6-foot-0 180 pounds, NIU

43. Griffin Moore (TE) – Bloomington, 6-foot-4 225 pounds, Illinois 

44. Sean Tyler (RB) - Rich Central, 5-foot-9 175 pounds, Western Michigan 

45. Luke Dwyer (LB) - Lake Zurich, 6-foot-2 195 pounds, North Dakota State 

46. Addison West (OL) - Cary-Grove, 6-foot-4 265 pounds, Western Michigan

47. Kendric Nowling (DB) – Marist, 6-foot-1 185 pounds, Eastern Michigan

48. Mike McNicholas (OL) - Montini Catholi,c 6-foot-4 285 pounds, Kent State

49. Tom Trieb (LB) - Buffalo Grove, 6-foot-2 220 pounds, NIU

50. Messiah Travis (ATH) – Solorio, 5-foot-10 170 pounds, NIU

Edgy Tim: Pros and cons of IHSA district football

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Pros and cons of IHSA district football

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) approved 11 separate amendment proposals Tuesday in its annual bylaw referendum. Included in the approved proposals was Proposal 23 (passed 324-307-69), which involves implementing a statewide district regular season schedule system for football, thus eliminating the current regular season conference scheduling system. The changes will take place beginning with the 2021 IHSA football season.  

So what are some of the potential pros and cons of the passing of Proposal 23?

"I can see the pros and the cons of this proposal," according to Joliet Catholic athletic director Dan Sharp. "I just had a feeling that this would pass since the issue really has impacted everyone across the state."

The potential positives of Proposal 23? 

"It's a definite positive when it comes to conference stability," Sharp said. "Football, no question, has been the main factor that has driven conferences splitting apart over the last several years. The conference system has been unfair especially when it comes to other sports and this will hopefully eliminate conferences in the other sports from breaking apart."

"I also love the fact that the first two games don't count towards the playoffs. I can see us going out and getting to play some huge opening season games and getting to play against some schools who we've played in the past like a Mount Carmel for example. I also like the fact that we will know our class before the start of the season and play against schools in the same class now. Conferences started to become more enrollment-based several years ago and that trend has continued. So playing against same sized programs under this proposal makes sense."

Sharp also relayed some of the negatives regarding Proposal 23.

"Some schools will need to travel more. I'm thinking of this area and schools like Minooka and the Plainfield schools will be impacted. In our case, our travel could get cut considerably compared to playing in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. Also you will no longer be able to play against bigger enrollment schools in district games and we've played against bigger schools for years. Will a district schedule be as challenging as the current conference scheduling? In a lot of cases I can see schools not being happy not getting to play up to challenge themselves."

Several longtime traditional conference will also be lost under this proposal.

"Long time traditional conferences like the Chicago Catholic Blue and the West Suburban schools are now non existent and you hate losing those traditional rivalries. I'm sure those schools will use some of the two non district games to keep some of those rivalry games going." 

Yet the biggest negative of all with the passing of Proposal 23? Who will you be playing in your district starting in 2021?

"The biggest issue a lot of coaches and ADs had was the unknown factor. Who will be in your district and how will the IHSA divide up those districts? Will we be heading towards the Rich Township schools or maybe out West? Maybe we will need to travel down south?"

Edgy Tim: Conferences? Districts? Upcoming vote to shape IHSA football

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Conferences? Districts? Upcoming vote to shape IHSA football

The IHSA Legislative Commission voted last Wednesday to send 11 separate proposals to a membership wide vote, with voting beginning today and ending at midnight, December 17. One specific proposal in particular --Proposal 23-- looks to have the IHSA implement a scheduling system for regular season football, thus eliminating the current conference system where IHSA member schools set up its own regular season schedules beginning in the 2021 season, if passed. 

The new proposal for scheduling would including the following: (a) a nine-week regular season, (b) playoff classes determined in advance of the season, (c) schools from each class placed into eight geographic groups by the IHSA Office to play a round-robin schedule; (d) the remaining games on the regular season schedule to be arranged by the individual schools at their discretion and (e) the top four teams in each of the eight groups qualify for the playoffs, based on games played within each group.

Ok. Here is my take and overall thoughts on Proposal 23.

Overall scheduling and conference jumping has been a major issues for high schools across the state over the past several seasons. While this proposal would indeed eliminate conference jumping, I'm still not certain just how effective this proposal could or would be for all member schools. In many cases this new proposal could actually create several more issues not mentioned in this proposal.

So what are some examples of what the proposed eight geographic groups would look like by class? Sorry that's not available. Member schools are being asked to vote on the "philosophy" of IHSA district scheduling proposal without actually submitting any examples of what this new scheduling system would actually look like. So instead of having some type of guideline for member schools to at least get a general idea of what or who they could potentially face in a geographic look (proponents claim that since this is a scheduling system based on enrollments/class starting in 2021 it's not possible to currently present an accurate outlook) schools are being asked to vote on a system that they have no idea how this could impact them. 

Other potential issues? A huge increase in travel. In some cases, member schools would have to go several hundred miles just for a regular season games. Some prime examples would be several larger enrollment schools in the greater St. Louis area (Edwardsville/Belleville West/Belleville East) who would most likely fall into the same geographic groups as say schools in the Plainfield/Minooka area. The current conference system for many of those schools work because they are allowed to play nearby schools in many cases larger in class. Under this proposed system, those nearby games against bigger or smaller schools would end and in many cases force those schools into much more travel to play same sized schools. 

Also: no eight teams in any proposed geographic groupings are created equal. It would be a real possibility of seeing schools such as Chicago Mount Carmel or, say, Rochester being assigned to new geographic groupings against seven schools closer in enrollment size, yet not close in the same level of competition. It could translate to several lopsided eight team groupings. Many longtime observers also feel we could see more and more schools decide to drop football if they are placed in a grouping of schools where those same schools have a harder time competing. 

This new proposed system also addresses just varsity level football and makes no mention of sophomore of freshman level scheduling, meaning athletic directors statewide would still need to schedule a nine game regular season slate for the underclassmen level. 

So what are the odds of Proposal 23 passing? It's tough to say. I've spoken with those for and against this proposal. One thing is certain, and that is if this proposal does pass the entire landscape of IHSA football and schedule would take a sharp turn.