Lake Forest

Edgy Tim's recruiting news and notes

USA Today

Edgy Tim's recruiting news and notes

Lake Forest’s Mac Uihlein, a four-star junior inside linebacker (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), gave Northwestern his verbal commitment this past weekend. 

“Northwestern is like family,” Uihlein told WildcatReport's Lou Vaccher. “It’s the relationships you build at Northwestern that make it more than a four-year decision. It’s a lifetime decision.

"The academic opportunities they provide are amazing, and it’s definitely something I want to take advantage of,” said Uihlein, who carries a 5.01 GPA (on a 5.0 scale) at Lake Forest and scored a 26 on his ACT. “Coach Fitzgerald, and Coach McGarigle and all the guys they recruit are just great people I want to be around. Plus, Northwestern is close to home, so my family can get to games easily.”

Uihlein said that it was during a phone conversation with McGarigle that he realized “Northwestern was the place I wanted to be. My values line up with Northwestern’s, so I decided there was no reason to wait. I wanted to make my decision now."

Uihlein is now the fourth known verbal commitment for the Northwestern Class of 2021 and the first known in-state commitment.

Richmond-Burton junior offensive tackle Luke Eckardt (6-foot-7, 265 pounds) gave the NIU Huskies and head coach Thomas Hammock his verbal commitment late last week.

"We went back and forth for a bit with NIU, but once they offered me, it's just too good of a fit and opportunity for me to pass up. So I committed," Eckardt said. "I had been thinking more and more about making an early college decision, and I feel great about committing to NIU."

Eckardt, who was starting to see his overall recruiting stock rise this early spring, discussed why he committed to the nearby NIU Huskies.

"I just really like the coaches at NIU. We've been talking a lot, and I've gotten to build a strong relationship with them. I've also been able to make visits to NIU, and I really like the campus and the facilities. NIU is also close to home, and that also played a factor in my decision. I'll be able to go to school, get a good education, and also have my family and friends see me play in college. Everything about NIU feels right to me, and my family is also behind me and is excited about my decision. NIU is building something special, and I wanted to be a part of it."

Eckardt also admitted that the timing of his decision during the COVID-19 pandemic no question played a role in his choice.

"It (COVID-19) definitely played a role in making my decision this early. With the NCAA basically pushing back recruiting (the NCAA recently extended the dead period from April 15 to May 31), I really won't have a chance to get out to visit any other schools. I also didn't want to extend or drag out the recruiting process for a long time. I'm extremely comfortable with NIU. The school and the football program is a great fit for me, and I felt ready to make my decision. So I committed."

Luke Eckardt is the sixth known verbal commitment in the NIU Class of 2021 and the fourth known in-state commitment. Eckardt joins Aurora Christian quarterback Ethan Hampton, Solorio safety Brian Whitsey and Batavia Wide Receiver Trey Urwiler in the Huskies Class of 2021.

Willowbrook junior offensive tackle Enrique Cruz Jr. (6-foot-6, 250 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock take off over the past week or so, adding his first offer last week from Syracuse.

"Syracuse Coach (Mike) Lynch found me on Twitter a week or two ago," Cruz said. "We've been in contact quite a bit ever since then, and we FaceTime called on Saturday. That's when Syracuse offered me a scholarship ."

Cruz discussed his initial impressions of adding his first scholarship offer from Syracuse.

"I know that Syracuse is a really nice school, and I've been online and able to do a little bit of research on them. They offer a strong education, and it's just a great offer from a great school. The offer from Syracuse was a big surprise for sure. The coaches from Syracuse said that they want me to come and visit them as soon as we are allowed to make college visits."

Cruz Jr., who added new offers from Louisville and Western Illinois on Monday, has also been in touch with Iowa, NIU and Rutgers. He made a Junior Day visit earlier this winter to Iowa.

Nazareth Academy junior defensive tackle Drew Hughes (6-foot-3, 270 pounds) saw his recruiting stock take off early this spring despite an NCAA-forced football recruiting dead period in response to COVID-19.

"It's been really exciting getting these offers all of a sudden," Hughes said. "I have offers now from Miami of Ohio, Kent State and also North Dakota. I didn't expect to be playing Xbox one day and then getting on the phone with college coaches who want to offer me scholarships the next. It's been pretty wild."

Hughes filled us in on his latest recruiting news and new suitors so far this spring.

"I have offers from Miami of Ohio, Kent State and North Dakota. I've been in contact quite a bit with the coaches from South Dakota, South Dakota State, plus Akron. I've made visits so far to Miami of Ohio, NIU, Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn, and also Iowa. I had visits planned to Western Michigan and Ball State, but those visits got canceled. I'm hoping that we can eventually be allowed to make college visits again, and I'm also looking at visiting Miami of Ohio again, along with North Dakota."

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with Lake Forest's Rylie Mills

Edgy Tim goes 1-on-1 with Lake Forest's Rylie Mills

It's good to be Rylie Mills these days.

Mills, Lake Forest's four star-ranked junior defensive end (6-foot-5, 270 pounds), was one of several top ranked recruits in Illinois and the greater Midwest who attended the fourth annual EDGYTIM Underclassmen Showcase powered by EFT Sports Performance on Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. 

Mills is currently holding over 25 FBS-level scholarship offers and his recruiting stock is rising by the day. He takes a few minutes to update his latest recruiting news and give fans a quick preview of the Scouts' upcoming 2019 season. 

Edgy Tim talks recruits' latest decisions


Edgy Tim talks recruits' latest decisions

Western Illinois, under new head coach Jared Elliott, was able to add a handful of strong in-state names to the Leathernecks’ Class of 2018.

Glenbard South senior outside linebacker recruit Nick D'Ambra (6-foot-0, 206 pounds) decided to end his recruiting process earlier this week. He pointed to a good general vibe at WIU that made him pledge to the Leathernecks after his official visit last weekend.

"It was just the overall fit for me at WIU that sold me," according to D'Ambra. "The players and coaches at WIU all seem to be on the same page and have a lot of the same goals. WIU just felt like home for me and I feel really comfortable whenever I visited them. I was able to see a lot more of the school and get to know everyone much better after my official visit."

Oswego senior defensive back Josh Shodipo (6-foot-0, 185-pounds) is, once again, headed to Macomb. At one point, Shodipo was committed to Western and then decommitted. But in the end, he rediscovered his passion for the Leathernecks and recommitted to WIU. He will sign his Letter of Intent on Feb. 7.

"I never closed the door with WIU," Shodipo said. "I kept an open mind and once I made my official visit, I knew that I wanted to go to school and play at WIU. I had other options, but I feel great about my decision and excited to sign with WIU."

Lake Forest sophomore defensive lineman recruit Rylie Mills (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) made a recent visit to the University of Minnesota for a junior day event. It resulted in his first scholarship offer, courtesy of the Gophers’ head coach PJ Fleck.

"It's a weird feeling and also a great feeling," Mills said after adding his Minnesota offer. "I was just so surprised to go to Minnesota and come away with a scholarship offer. It's amazing. I always thought I would end up getting my first offer maybe after a summer camp. I was in a bit of shock at first and so was my dad."

Mills is also planning to visit more schools in person this winter and early spring.

"I'm planning to get out to visit Iowa sometime soon. Iowa made an in-school visit last week, and they seem very interested. I'm also looking to get out to visit Northwestern and also Tennessee."

Algonquin (IL) Jacobs junior offensive tackle recruit Joacheim Price (6-foot-8, 315 pounds) is already holding four early verbal scholarship offers. He’s also getting recruiting attention from several Power Five programs. Not bad for a kid who just started playing football recently. 

"Last season was my first year ever playing football," according to Price. "I just was always a basketball player and never really considered football until some of the coaches at school convinced me to go out for the team. Now I have football scholarship offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Illinois and Ball State. It's a real blessing."

Price, who is in the middle of his basketball season for the Corsairs, has also continued to draw increased football recruiting attention.

"I've also been in contact with Minnesota, Toledo, Purdue and Michigan State. The college coaches want me to stay in touch with them so that they can get to know me better."

Chicago (IL) Solorio junior athlete recruit Messiah Travis (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) has remained on several college recruiting radar screens this winter.  Travis added his third offer this winter on Tuesday from Toledo.

"I have offers now from Toledo, NIU and Western Michigan," Travis said. "We are also seeing a lot more college coaches in school, and it's been fun so far."

Travis, who played receiver and defensive back for the Sun Warriors in 2017, is also drawing recruiting looks at a few different positions this winter.

"It seems like every coach I meet wants to know what side of the football I see myself playing in college. I really like playing wide receiver but I'm pretty open to anything. It's not really that big of a deal to me."