National signing day is less than a week away, and the morning of Feb. 2 looks to be busy for a number of Chicago-area athletes headed for major-college football programs.
Among the biggest: Vernon Hills receiver Davaris Daniels
, who is verbally committed to Notre Dame, and his teammate, Evan Spencer
, a wide receiver who is headed for Ohio State.
The University of Illinois, which landed two Chicagoland quarterbacks in 2010, will get at least one more this year. Reilly O'Toole
, who led Wheaton Warrenville South to two consecutive Class 7A championships, verballed to the Illini last year. He passed for 3,187 yards and 42 touchdowns in 2010 and more than 5,000 yards and 66 TDs over the past two seasons.
Naperville North quarterback Matt Lacosse
originally verballed to Minnesota, but after Gophers head coach Tim Brewster was fired, LaCosse de-committed from Minnesota and then verballed to Illinois in December. At 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds, LaCosse will likely play at tight end in college.
Illinois' other verbals include Joliet Catholic Academy Josh Ferguson
, who topped 1,500 rushing yards each of the last two seasons.
While the majority of Chicago‘s top players are already committed, pending last-day shifting among college recruiters and the players they are chasing, Chicago Simeon Career Academy has a couple of recruits still undecided. Offensive tackle Christian Bryant
and cornerback Demarius Reed
will announce their choices Friday. Bryant has received 13 scholarship offers, but reportedly is leaning toward Illinois, Michigan, Arizona and Pittsburgh. According to the Chicago Tribune, Reed de-committed from Wyoming. He visited Indiana University last weekend.
Among the players who did commit in the last week: T.J. Lally
, a 6-foot-1 running back and linebacker at Aurora Marmion Academy, verbaled to South Dakota State. Lally led the Cadets to a 12-2 season and an appearance in the Illinois Class 6A championship game, rushing for 1,389 yards and 17 touchdowns. He had a team-high 79 tackles. Lally's other scholarship offer came from Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference.
Also headed to South Dakota is Elk Grove quarterback Nick Meyer
, who had more than 4,000 yards of total offense last season. The difference is, Meyer is headed to the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. South Dakota State is in Brookings.
* One of the stunning changes among head football coaches during the offseason is at Morgan Park (Chicago)
, where longtime coach Lexie Spurlock was removed after winning 12 conference championships, three Chicago Public League titles and one Prep Bowl championship. "I thought we had a pretty good program and were going in the right direction. But it is what it is," Spurlock told Chicago Sun-Times Media.