Tyler Morris

2 Days to Kickoff: Nazareth Academy

2 Days to Kickoff: Nazareth Academy

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Nazareth Academy

Head coach: Tim Racki

Assistant coaches: Casey Moran, Joe Reynolds, Rudy Luna, Brody Budmayr, Jeff Tumpane, Joe Battaglia, Steve Gray, Andy Miller and Larry White

How they fared in 2018: 13-1 (6-1 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Nazareth made the 2018 7A state playoff field and defeated Andrew, Hersey, Simeon and Batavia. They advanced to the state title game and defeated St. Charles North 31-10.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 vs Cardinal Ritter (MO)
Sept. 6 vs Curie
Sept. 13 vs Fenwick
Sept. 20 @ St. Laurence
Sept. 27 vs Leo
Oct. 4 vs De La Salle
Oct. 11 @ Marist
Oct. 18 @ Notre Dame
Oct. 26 @ Benet Academy

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Fenwick] 

Biggest storyline: It's a pretty simple one-- Can Nazareth Academy win back-to-back Class 7A state titles?

Names to watch this season: QB J.J. McCarthy (Jr., Michigan) LB Marcus Griffin (Sr.) and WR Tyler Morris (Soph.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Roadrunners will need to replace all five starting offensive linemen from a season ago.
EDGY's Early Take: The Roadrunners are seeking a repeat of last year's Class 7A championship. Not a bad feat for a program that has been "success factored" by the IHSA for the past two seasons. They have an actual enrollment of 772 and a miltiplied enrollment of 1274, which is much closer to what you would find at a 5A school. Head coach Tim Racki's offense will be spearheaded by junior four star-ranked  QB J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), who has a stable full of talented receivers and backs led by junior RB Derrick Strongs, sophomore WR Tyler Morris and incoming transfer junior WR Landon Morris (6-foot-6, 205 pounds). Morris is another intriguing D-1 talent to watch this season. The defense has experience back. They're led by senior DT C.J. West, senior LB Riley Theobald and senior LB Marcus Griffin. Junior DE Ryan Keeler (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) had multiple Power Five scholarship offers this summer. If the Roadrunners can find the right pieces along the offensive line, they have a great shot to hoist a first place trophy Thanksgiving weekend in DeKalb.  

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim: Recruiting news and notes

One of the top Illinois high school quarterbacks in the Class of 2020 has responded to the coyote call.

Normal West junior Carson Camp (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) gave his verbal commitment to the University of South Dakota. Camp had early scholarship offers from both in-town Illinois State and Indiana State. He also boasted strong recruiting attention from several Mid-American Conference schools. Camp felt that the timing was right to give the Coyotes his commitment. So why commit this early? 

"That's a hard question to answer quickly because it involves a lot of different issues," Camp said. "I originally planned to wait until the end of the spring evaluation period (which begins Monday). I was waiting on one specific FBS school in particular but I already had three strong FCS offers and everything to me just felt right with South Dakota. I also didn't want to miss out on an opportunity by waiting. The timing was just right for me now to commit and in all honesty I was ready to make my decision."

The Class of 2021 is already shaping up to become one of this state's better recruiting classes in years, and the overall depth at the quarterback position leads the charge. Both Antioch QB Athan Kaliakmanis along with Naperville Central QB/ATH Sam Jackson (who can also play wide receiver). are already committed to Minnesota. Nazareth Academy QB J.J. McCarthy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) has 27 scholarship offers-- a list that includes several from Power Five schools across the country. East St. Louis' Tyler Macon (6-foot-0, 180 pounds) also has a handful of early FBS offers. Another half dozen or so names have emerged also have FBS/FCS potential. 

If you needed any further proof that the recruiting process is starting earlier and earlier for elite-level names, just take a look at Tyler Morris.  The 5-foot-10, 160 pound Morris, a Class of 2022 athlete recruit who was a starter on the 2018 Roadrunners 7A state title team, has added offers this spring from Northwestern, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. His latest offer came earlier this week came from Michigan. Morris is also expected to draw several high Power Five visitors starting Monday with the beginning of the spring evaluation period-- when colleges are allowed to make in-person visits to a recruit's high school. 

Keep an eye on Maine South junior safety Ryan Kilburg (6-foot-1, 181 pounds). He has emerged as a top name in the Class of 2020.

"I have scholarship offers from Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Ohio, South Dakota and Navy," according to Kilburg. "I've also been in contact with the coaches from Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Harvard, Brown and Holy Cross. I've been able to get out and visit Holy Cross, Harvard, Miami of Ohio and Western Michigan. All of the schools that I've been in contact with all have invited me out to visit them this spring. Those same coaches also are telling me that they will be back in school to see me in a few weeks."