Sam Barkalow

Edgy's recruiting news and notes: HF's Mario Wright II pledges to Western Kentucky


Edgy's recruiting news and notes: HF's Mario Wright II pledges to Western Kentucky

Homewood Flossmoor senior inside linebacker Mario Wright II (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) decided earlier this week to end his recruiting process and give Western Kentucky his verbal commitment.

"I'm just really happy and excited about my decision," Wright said. "It came down to Western Kentucky or NIU for me. I just always felt a strong connection with the Western Kentucky coaches and it's also a beautiful place."

So with one teammate (Jeff Griffin) already committed to NIU and another teammate (Justin Hall), did Wright II seriously look at the Huskies and entertain playing together with his teammates at the next level?

"Oh those guys are my boys and we are all good friends, so we definitely talked about playing together in college," he said. "In the end we all are going to do what we feel is best for each of us. They knew that I really liked Western Kentucky. In the end those guys will still be my good friends no matter where we play in college."

Nazareth Academy senior defensive tackle Isaiah Lee (6-foot-2, 280 pounds) landed a late July camp scholarship offer from Iowa State and a few days later gave the Cyclones his verbal commitment after making an unofficial visit to campus.

“Iowa State was just beautiful and the visit really sold me and also sold my Mom," Lee said. "I’ve been out here playing my heart out all summer, doing what coaches tell me to do and killing their commits only for them to tell me that I just moved myself up the depth chart. It was time for me to make a decision and go where I’m wanted at a Power-5 school and that's Iowa State.”

Forreston senior tight end Sam Barkalow (6-foot-6, 220 pounds) also decided on Tuesday night to end his recruiting and committed to Western Illinois University. 

"I just felt that I was ready to make a decision" Barkalow said. "I looked and considered everyone who offered me but I decided to commit to Western Illinois. They have a great coaching staff, chemistry of the team and nice facilities."

Barkalow, who was a standout last season on the Cardinals Class 1A state title team, had drawn steady recruiting interest from Indiana State, Northern Iowa, North Dakota along with Yale and Harvard.

Waubonsie Valley senior defensive back Derric Lee (6-foot-0, 170 pounds) announced via his Twitter account last night that he had given Harvard his verbal commitment.

Lee had added 15 verbal scholarship offers this summer including several Mid American Conference schools (NIU/Ohio/Toledo) plus Army. Air Force and Navy.

Recruiting News and Notes: I'Shawn Stewart continues to draw interest

Recruiting News and Notes: I'Shawn Stewart continues to draw interest

I'Shawn Stewart (WR), Bolingbrook

Bolingbrook junior three-star ranked wide receiver I'Shawn Stewart (5-foot-11, 165 pounds) thought he would have been committed by now, but still remains uncommitted.

"I'm still waiting," Stewart said. "We've had 24 different college coaches in school so far. My plan is to see how the spring evaluation period goes for me and I'm also planning to go to a few college camps. I'm planning to camp at both Wisconsin and Michigan State this summer. Penn State has also been showing more interest. They came into school not too long ago and they are suppose to be back in this Friday to watch a team workout. I might also camp at Penn State this summer but I haven't set anything up yet. "

Stewart has scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Miami (OH), Nevada, NIU, Syracuse, Toledo and Western Michigan.

Jaylan Alexander (ILB), Hoffman Estates

Hoffman Estates junior inside linebacker Jaylan Alexander (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) has added several scholarship offers and increased recruiting attention this spring. 

"Recruiting has been good," Alexander said. "I have some nice offers so far and we have been seeing a lot of college coaches in school over the past few weeks. I have offers so far from NIU, Western Kentucky, Illinois State, Eastern Michigan, Western Illinois, Central Michigan and Bowling Green. I've been in touch quite a bit with Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota and those schools seem like they could be pretty close to offering."

[RELATED: Oswego's Noah Shannon becomes latest Illinois player to commit to Minnesota]

Sam Barkalow (TE), Forreston

Keep an eye out on Class 1A state champion Sam Barkalow (6-foot-6, 220 pounds). Barkalow, a three-sport athlete who was a key two-way starter for the Cardinals last season, has seen increased recruiting interest this spring. 

"My recruiting has been going well," Barkalow said. "I've been in touch with some of the Ivy League schools, along with some of the FCS schools in the Dakotas, plus some DII schools. Harvard, North Dakota State, Northern Michigan have been in school already, along with some smaller level colleges. The coaches all want me to come out and camp with them this summer."

Denver Warren (DT), West Aurora

West Aurora freshman defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) has been highly impressive on the camp circuit, and he recently added his first two BCS offers from Iowa State and Central Michigan.

"It's awesome to add two offers already," Warren said. "I spoke with the coaches at Iowa State on last week, and then about a half hour later I also talked to Central Michigan and they also extended me an offer. I'm just really excited and so is my family."

Warren, who played last fall at Aurora Christian before transferring to West Aurora, was more than a bit surprised to add two early scholarship offers.

"When I added the first offer from Iowa State I was still a little in shock," Warren said. "Then when Central Michigan offered me it really hit me that I was picking up scholarship offers already. It's a great feeling to add those offers and it's also great motivation. Getting those offers just makes me want to work harder and to keep proving myself."