Football recruiting

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Week Seven

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings after seven weeks of football.

1. Lincoln-Way East 7-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Lockport, 45-7
This Week: @ Sandburg
EDGY's Take: The Griffins continue to roll along. Will they face another serious challenges the remainder of the regular season?

2. Mount Carmel 7-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat De La Salle, 28-21
This Week: @ St. Viator
EDGY's Take: The last few wins for the Caravan haven't been pretty, but a win is a win. 

3. Nazareth Academy 6-1 (3)
Last Week: Beat Marist, 39-29
This Week: @ Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners bounced back from a 14-0 deficit to beat Marist on Friday night. When the J.J. McCarthy to Tyler Morris connection is on, look out.

4. Loyola Academy 5-2 (4)
Last Week: Beat Benet Academy, 46-14
This Week: @ Marian Central Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers offense has started to make some noise while the defense remains a big strength. 
 
5. Warren Township 7-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Lake Zurich, 24-3
This Week: @ Stevenson
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils hold Lake Zurich to a field goal while RB Derrick McLaughlin carries the load on offense for The Township.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 6-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way West,  35-0
This Week: vs Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Vikings offensive line, running game and speed on defense should play well in 8A this postseason.

7. Glenbard West 7-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Lyons, 42-0
This Week: vs Hinsdale Central
EDGY's Take: This Saturday's game against Hinsdale Central will be the most anticipated regular season game in quite a while on the shores of Lake Ellyn.

8. Notre Dame 7-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Leo, 40-8
This Week: vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Dons' defense has been a strength all season. They get their biggest test on Friday as the Roadrunners come calling.

9. Hinsdale Central 7-0 (10)
Last Week: Beat Proviso West, 49-6
This Week: @ Glenbard West
EDGY's Take: Can the Red Devils win on the road on Saturday at Glenbard West? 

10. Bolingbrook 6-1 (11)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 34-13
This Week: @ Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Raiders' triple-option run game and athletic defense could combine to make some big moments this postseason.
 
11. Neuqua Valley 6-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Metea Valley, 43-21
This Week: @ Naperville North
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are now aiming to win out the remainder of the regular season. Can they earn a high seed in Class 8A?
  
12. Hersey 7-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Buffalo Grove, 42-14
This Week: vs Elk Grove
EDGY's Take: The Huskies will need to beat Elk Grove this week before locking in on a huge Week 9 showdown vs. Rolling Meadows.

13. Minooka 7-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Yorkville, 19-10
This Week: vs West Aurora
EDGY's Take: The Indians' defense has been rock-solid all season long. They limited a tough Yorkville offense. 

14. Oswego 7-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Oswego East, 14-3
This Week: @ Yorkville
EDGY's Take: The Panthers keep their winning streak alive (15-0) over district rival Oswego East. 

15. Maine South 5-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Glenbrook South, 40-10
This Week: vs Glenbrook North
EDGY's Take: The Hawks are getting healthy at the right time of the year. 

16. St. Charles East 6-1 (22)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 30-29
This Week: vs Wheaton North
EDGY's Take: The Saints post back-to-back wins over St. Charles North and Batavia. Impressive. 

17. Batavia 5-2 (7)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles East, 30-29
This Week: @ St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs now need to get back on track. Another DuKane rival looms in St. Charles North.

18. Hillcrest 6-1 (18)
Last Week: Beat Tinley Park, 41-0
This Week: @ Lemont
EDGY's Take: The Hawks will get a huge test on the road this Friday at Lemont.

19. Willowbrook 6-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat York, 35-21
This Week: @ Morton
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got off to a quick 14-0 lead against York and never looked back. 

20. Huntley 6-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Hampshire, 56-0
This Week: vs Burlington Central
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders are also rolling and are playing for a high seed in Class 8A.

21. Montini Catholic 5-2 (21)
Last Week: Beat St. Joseph, 2-0 (forfeit)
This Week: vs De La Salle
EDGY's Take: Will the forfeit win last week be a blessing for the Broncos?

22. Fremd 5-2 (25)
Last Week: Beat Barrington, 14-0
This Week: @ Conant
EDGY's Take: The Vikings' defense has been a strength all season; the run game pounded out enough yards in the win over Barrington.

23. Crete-Monee 7-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 44-12
This Week: vs Bloom 
EDGY's Take: The Warriors are also in line for a top seed in the postseason.

24. Andrew 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way Central, 33-21
This Week: vs Lockport
EDGY's Take: The T-Bolts enter the Top 25 aiming for a high seed in the postseason; however, they shouldn't overlook the Porters.

25. Cary-Grove 6-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Jacobs, 16-6
This Week: vs Prairie Ridge
EDGY's Take: The annual grudge match against rival Prairie Ridge should be a good one Friday night.

Edgy Tim's Week 7 analysis and picks

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Week 7 analysis and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 7 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can Oswego East go on the road and beat in-town rival Oswego in a key conference showdown? Which team will suffer its first loss of the season: Yorkville or Minooka? Can St. Charles East roll into Batavia and beat the Bulldogs in the shadows of the Batavia water tower? Who wins the huge North Suburban Conference showdown in Lake Zurich as the Bears host an elite 8A team in Warren Township? And will Marist have Nazareth Academy's number once again? Or can the Roadrunners finally beat the Redhawks for the first time since 2015?

Eisenhower at Evergreen Park, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Eisenhower (4-2/2-1) first-year head coach Sheamus Murphy has the Cardinals pointed towards the state playoffs but can they beat Evergreen Park on the road? They've won three of their last four games, including last week's 27-21 thriller over T.F. North. The Cardinals features QB Daniel McLaurin. Evergreen Park (3-3/2-2), coached by Jerry Verde, is coming off a 49-0 shutout win over Argo. Running back Antowan Underdue and signal caller Jack Manso each tallied two TDs in that victory. The Mustangs will need to win two out of its final three games to become playoff eligible. 
 
EDGY's Pick: Eisenhower 27 Evergreen Park 16

Oswego East at (15) Oswego, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Coach Tyson LeBlanc's Wolves of Oswego East (4-2/0-2) have dropped two straight Southwest Prairie West games since geting off to a 4-0 start. East features junior QB Michael Ford and a strong group in the offensive skills department, led by senior WR Keion Battle. Oswego (6-0/2-0) is off and running. Coach Brian Cooney has balance on offense, guided by QB Cole Pradel. The Panthers also have star power in WR/DB Jack Lemke and senior OL/DL Jack Hugunin (NIU). Can East's offensive line stalemate Oswego's speedy defense?

EDGY's Pick: Oswego 28 Oswego East 14

Yorkville at (14) Minooka, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Yorkville (6-0/2-0) has a strong squad this season. They're led by senior QB Josh Beetham, while senior RB Tre Thomas has been effective running the football. Also keep an eye on WR/S Cale Reeder (South Dakota) for head coach Dan McGuire and company. Minooka (6-0/2-0) is coached by John Belskis. They boast a strong running game and a big offensive line. Keep an eye on senior QB Seth Lehr and senior RB Noah Ellens. Senior OL/DL Jacob Shipla is another key player in the trenches for the Indians. Can the Minooka defense keep the Yorkville offense off the field as much as possible Friday night? 

EDGY's Pick: Minooka 28 Yorkville 21

(22) St. Charles East at (7) Batavia, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Charles East (5-1/3-1) is coming off a huge 31-21 win last Friday over rival St. Charles North, Coach Bryce Farquhar's Saints decided to switch up the offense this season, going to more of a spread attack. The charge will be led by QB Nathan Hayes. However, East still will run the football behind a big and physical offensive line, anchored by senior Dylan Barrett (Wisconsin). Coach Dennis Piron has guided Batavia to a 5-1/4-0 start. The Bulldogs also have balance on offense with RB/LB Quinn Urwiler (North Dakota), senior RB Art Taylor and QB Kyle Oroni. Can St. Charles East run the football against Batavia? The matchups in this game are pretty even. I fully expect a close game. 

EDGY's Pick: Batavia 28 St. Charles East 27

Lane Tech at Phillips, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lane Tech (2-4/0-2) has lost four straight games since starting the season with a 2-0 record. Head coach Anthony Fatlin's Indians will now travel to Mandrake Park on the South Side take on Phillips (5-1/2-0). The Wildcats are coming off a tough 14-6 loss last Saturday night to Simeon. Coach Troy McAllister will look to QB Antonio Brown to jump-start the offense. They have a big, physical offensive line. Don't overlook their defense. It has remained a strength this season. 

EDGY's Pick: Phillips 42 Lane Tech 7

(5) Warren at Lake Zurich, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take:  Warren Township (6-0/4-0) has one of the state's top defenses this season. The Blue Devils, coached by Bryan McNulty, have allowed just 18 points all season-- and that includes three shutouts. Warren Township features senior DT Willis Singleton Jr. (Iowa State), senior LB Juan DeLaCruz and junior LB Malachi McNeal. On offense, RB Derrick McLaughlin figures to get a lot of looks. Lake Zurich (4-2/4-0) and first year head coach Ron Planz took a few weeks to get the offense on track. They're rolling now, with QB Jack Moses and RB Jack Dwyer leading the way. The Bears' always-tough defense is led by junior LB Bryan Sanborn. Can Lake Zurich establish the running game against The Township?

EDGY's Pick: Warren Township 21 Lake Zurich 7

York at (19) Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: While York (3-3/2-2) is certainly in need of a win, they may have turned some heads in pushing Hinsdale Central to the limit in a 28-21 loss last Friday. The Dukes feature a playmaker in RB Nick Conroy. Senior OL/DL Josh Mathiasen is also a key contributor on both sides of the football for York this fall. Speaking of playmakers, Willowbrook (5-1/4-0) has one in do-it-all senior QB/S Sam Tumilty. Head coach Nick Hildreth's Warriors have been stout on defense. The unit has allowed just 54 points so far this season. Can the York defense slow down/limit Tumilty?

EDGY's Pick: Willowbrook 28 York 21

(3) Nazareth Academy at Marist, 7:30 p.m. #SendEDGY

EDGY's Take: Nazareth (5-1/2-0) has won five straight games after a season opening loss to St. Louis-area power Cardinal Ritter (6-0). Coach Tim Racki's Roadrunners are led by junior QB J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)-- and he has an arsenal of weapons to rely on this season. Marist (3-3/0-2) is looking to bounce back from last week's 21-14 loss to Mount Carmel. The Redhawks turned the football over four times in the loss. Coach Ron Dawczak has a rotation of quarterbacks with senior Hayden Mikesell and sophomore Dontrelll Jackson Jr. They also have a strong offensive line, led by junior Pat Coogan. Marist has beaten Nazareth Academy three straight seasons by a combined score of 110-28. Can the Redhawks make it four straight? 

EDGY's Pick: Nazareth Academy 28 Marist 21 OT

Rolling Meadows at Prospect, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Another week, another great Mid-Suburban East showdown. Rolling Meadows (6-0/2-0) has received a big season so far from the running game, paced by Chris Divito. Coach Matt Mishler's defense has been forcing turnovers and big plays all season. Senior DE Nate Pedraza (Ball State) has been a key contributor. Prospect (5-1/1-1), under head coach Dan DeBoeuf, are looking to bounce back after a 45-28 loss last Friday to Hersey. The Knights have a big-play offense with QB Gary Moeller, RB Luke Zardzin and WR Matt Meyer at the ready. Can the Prospect defense stop the Rolling Meadows' run game? Can Rolling Meadow's defense get pressure on Prospect's spread offense attack? 

EDGY's Pick: Rolling Meadows 35 Prospect 31

Viewers' Choice Games of the Week

Sullivan vs Kennedy, 4:15 p.m. at Winnemac Stadium

EDGY's Take: This South Side-meets-North Side Chicago Public League crossover features CPL Illini Big Shoulders conference leader Sullivan (3-3/2-0) taking on CPL Chicago Madison Street conference member Kennedy (3-3/3-2). The Tigers have looked impressive in wins over Steinmetz, King and South Shore. Sullivan, coached by Calvin Clark, is seeking an IHSA state playoff for the third consecutive year. The Kennedy Crusaders, coached by Michael Cremins, have won three of their last four games-- the latest, a 44-14 win over Senn. 

EDGY's Pick: Sullivan 27 Kennedy 7

Von Steuben vs Whitney Young @ Rockne Stadium, 4:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This is a battle between two Chicago Public League Illini Great Lakes teams seeking to break out and make a late season run towards a state playoff spot. Von Steuben (3-3/1-1) is coached by David Rivera. The Panthers, one of last year's Cinderella stories, are looking to advance to the playoffs for the second time. Whitney Young (3-3/1-1) features a first-year head coach in Daniel Finger. The Dolphins have won three of their last four, with a 36-6 win over CMA-Bronzeville coming last Friday. Both teams started off the season with an 0-2 records and both have played strong as the weeks have progressed.

EDGY's Pick: Von Steuben 21 Whitney Young 14

Edgy Tim: Illinois Player of the Year candidates (so far)

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Illinois Player of the Year candidates (so far)

We have played six weeks on the high school football schedule. It's still a bit early, but who are the early candidates for IHSA Football Player of the Year? With a month-plus of football under our belts, it's time to start identifying which names are deserving of a mention heading into Week 7 games. 

(I also discussed this on camera at NBC Sports Chicago's studios Wednesday afternoon)

So where to begin? Let's start outside of Chicagoland. 

East St Louis (6-0) and head coach Darren Sunkett has a roster loaded with talent. It includes over a dozen names drawing serious recruiting attention and scholarship offers this fall. But in my mind, junior QB Tyler Macon (1,856 yards passing) is the leading candidate for the Flyers so far in 2019. Macon, who a season ago was more of a game manager with potential and physical tools, has transformed into a more of a mature, patient quarterback with a tremendous arm and touch. 

The Springfield area always has talent. Start with Class 6A's top-ranked Glenwood Titans (6-0) and its multi-sport, multi-year starting QB Luke Lehnen. This senior has led the Titans to a perfect record so far this season; he has the Chatham community feeling like it's 1998 all over again (Glenwood won its only IHSA state football title that season). Not to be outdone, nearby Rochester (6-0) knows all about winning. Senior QB Clay Bruno (1,688 yards passing 21 TDs) has been on fire so far in 2019. Glenwood hosts Rochester on Oct. 25. Springfield sophomore QB Rashad Rochelle has been a huge presence in big games. This includes last week's 54-42 win over Sacred Heart-Griffin. 

Also don't overlook a handful of other standout performers in Central Illinois including Peoria (5-1) senior QB Gabe Hernandez and Normal West (5-1) senior QB Carson Camp, who is commited to South Dakota.

Getting closer to the Windy City, the Chicagoland area has several worthy names to watch. 

Lincoln-Way East (6-0) is the state's top ranked 8A team. The Griffins have received a huge season from senior A.J. Henning (Michigan). Henning has played wide receiver, running back and also has played at quarterback. He has been an big impact, big play performer for coach Rob Zvonar and company. 

Several quarterbacks are also in the discussion. Nazareth Academy (6-0) junior QB JJ McCarthy (Michigan) is the state's top quarterback prospect and one of a handful of Roadrunners worthy of consideration. Neuqua Valley (5-1) has also relied on senior QB Mark Gronowski (South Dakota State). His overall game has reached new heights; his overall recruiting profile continues to grow as well. Hersey's (6-0) offense is averaging almost 50 points per game. Senior QB Jordan Hansen will remind you a bit of another Jordan --as in former Mount Carmel/NIU star and current Mount Carmel head coach QB Jordan Lynch-- with Hansen's identical ability to be a punishing runner and very impressive passer, much like Lynch in his playing days. 

Has anyone meant as much to his team and his school community as Willowbrook (5-1) senior QB/S Sam Tumilty? Tumilty continues to post big numbers week in and week out. He never leaves the field and keeps leading the Warriors football program to a new level of respect. 

How about some smaller enrollment names to consider? Take Coal City senior RB Dan Jezik. He's been a huge factor in getting the Coalers to new heights in Class 4A. How about IC Catholic Prep's senior QB/S Danny Cronin? St. Francis (5-1) and head coach Bob McMillen has the Spartans on a roll. No one has been as valuable as junior QB Tommy Rittenhouse. He's paid dividends --with his arms and feet-- for the Spartans so far this fall. 

However, the Player of the Year honor is always much more than just a quarterback-only award. 

Mount Carmel junior RB/LB Kenenna Odeluga is a quiet, low-key type of kid off the field. He is the Caravan's main threat in the run game on offense while also being an impact player on defense-- a unit that's allowed just 55 points in 2019. Chicago's southern suburbs has one of the Midwest's most sought-after running backs in Hillcrest (6-0) junior Mar'Kiese Irving. Irving keeps impressing everyone who has seen him in person this season. He already has several Power Five scholarship offers under his belt. In the western suburbs, Glenbard West (6-0) is always about the defense. Senior LB Greyson Metz has played as well as any non-offensive players in Chicagoland so far this season. 

Yet what separates some names over others? 

One of my favorite memories so far from this season features Batavia senior RB/LB Quinn Urwiler. After the Bulldogs' opening week loss to East St. Louis, I noticed several Flyer coaches and players seeking out Urwiler after the handshake line. So I asked Flyers' four star-ranked senior S Antonio Johnson why he walked over out of his way to talk to Urwiler. 

"That kid can ball," Johnson said. "We went at him hard and he never backed down. He gave us everything he had and I respect his game for sure."