Now that the Illinois football playoffs have begun, it‘s a time to shine for the state‘s football recruits. The stage will get bigger every week. Click here
to view MaxPreps' Illinois football playoff brackets.
University of Illinois coaches must already be smiling. Quarterback recruit Reilly O'Toole
of Wheaton-Warrenville South
threw for three touchdowns and directed scoring drives in the Tigers‘ first five possessions in a 49-7 win over Lisle Benet Academy.
Illini running back recruit Josh Ferguson
of Catholic Academy (Joliet)
rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries in a 49-7 win over Washington.
And there was plenty more. Ohio State recruit Evan Spencer
returned the opening kickoff 84 yards for a touchdown in a 51-0 win for Vernon Hills
over Chicago Harlan.
, a quarterback at Naperville North
, rushed for 95 yards in a 27-14 win over Chicago Marist. College recruiters are watching LaCosse closely because Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster was fired, and LaCosse's verbal commitment to the Gophers is in question.
And then, there are those seniors still in the hunt for football scholarships. That list includes Glenbard West (Glen Ellyn)
running back Nick Burrello
, who already has three scholarship offers. He took his stock up a notch by running for four touchdowns in a 51-12 win over Plainfield North. He has offers from Dartmouth, Harvard and Eastern Illinois, but Big Ten schools Indiana and Northwestern have shown interest.RECRUITING: DE LA SALLE'S SHAW VERBALS TO ILLINOIS
The University of Illinois has grabbed another top-level Chicago recruit.
One year after Illini head coach Bruce Weber landed Waukegan's Jereme Richmond, De La Salle (Chicago)
power forward Michael Shaw
has also chosen Illinois. Shaw, 6-foot-8 and 213 pounds, is listed by multiple recruiting services as a Top 100 recruit.
"Illinois has been recruiting me since eighth grade. They've been loyal since I got on the scene," Shaw told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Shaw chose Illinois over Notre Dame, West Virginia, DePaul and Marquette, among others. He is the fourth Chicago recruit this year to verbal to Illinois, joining Mount Carmel guard Tracy Abrams, St. Ignatius center Nnanna Egwu and Chicago Orr guard Mychael Henry. Richmond, the most highly recruited player in Illinois last year, is a freshman guard/forward on this year's team at Illinois.
* Mike Turner
, a 6-foot-8 forward at University (Chicago)
, a city charter school, verbaled to Northwestern University. In addition to basketball skills, Turner also has the brains. According to media reports in Chicago, he has an ACT score of 29. His other offers included Ivy League schools Harvard and Pennsylvania.
* Wisconsin's football team received a verbal commitment from Curie (Chicago)
defensive end James Adeyanju
, a younger brother of former St. Louis Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Adeyanju is rated as one of the top defensive linemen in the nation and had more than 20 other scholarship offers. He visited Boston College and Nebraska in October. Curie will play Chicago Hubbard in the Chicago Public League playoffs Friday night.5 BIG PERFORMANCES …
* Prospect (Mt. Prospect)
senior quarterback Steve Dazzo
ran for four touchdowns and passed for two more, all in the first half, leading the Knights to an impressive 54-14 first-round Class 7A playoff win over Rockford Guilford. Dazzo's scoring runs covered 41, 23, 8 and 7 yards, and he had touchdown passes of 59 and 48 yards. Prospect (9-1) plays host to Lake Zurich (9-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday, with a possible match against unbeaten Simeon awaiting the winner next week.
* Jaylan Bailey
passed for 339 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-28 win over Normal West in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. His fourth scoring pass, to Julius Spicer
from 8 yards out with 2:17 remaining, was the game-winner.
* Maine South (Park Ridge)
sophomore quarterback Matt Alviti
completed 14 of 18 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns in the Hawks' 47-0 win over Niles Notre Dame in the first round of the Illinois Class 8A football playoffs. Maine South, the two-time defending 8A champ, rolled up more than 350 yards in total offense. The Hawks (8-2) will play host to Barlett (8-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday.
* Joliet Catholic Academy linebacker Mike Mettille intercepted three passes in the Hilltoppers' 49-7 win over Washington in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. Joliet Catholic took advantage of seven Washington turnovers.
* Max Auden's goal in the second overtime gave Naperville North
a 2-1 Supersectional win Tuesday night over Lyons and a berth in the Class 3A boys soccer semifinals Friday at North Central College in Naperville. The Huskies (21-2-2) are unbeaten in their last 18 games.3 TO WATCH …* Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort) (9-1) at Glenbard West (9-1), 1 p.m. Saturday:
This second-round Class 7A battle features the Southwest Suburban Blue champion (Lincoln-Way East) against a team that shared the West Suburban Silver title. Lincoln-Way East struggled in a 17-7 first-round win over Thornton, but the Griffins have won eight straight. The winner of this game likely gets top seed and unbeaten Wheaton-Warrenville South next week.* Vernon Hills (9-1) at Tinley Park (7-3), 5 p.m. Saturday:
Is yet another shutout in the offering? Vernon Hills, which won seven of its nine regular-season games by shutout, opened the Class 5A playoffs with a 51-0 win over Antioch. A win this week may set up a showdown with unbeaten Maple Park Kaneland next week.* Libertyville (20-4-1) vs. Naperville North (21-2-2), Class 3A boys soccer semifinal, 7 p.m. Friday, North Central College, Naperville:
Libertyville, which needed four overtimes to win its sectional, is in the state's final four for the first time since 1986. The Huskies have won eight straight. The winner will meet Rockford Boylan or Edwardsville for the 3A title Saturday.STORYLINES AROUND CHICAGOLAND:
* The unbeaten Cary-Grove
girls volleyball team reached a Class 4A Sectional final with a 25-9, 25-14 victory over DeKalb on Tuesday night. The Trojans, ranked No. 4 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 presented by the Army National Guard, have won all 38 matches this season and have won 54 in a row dating back to 2009. A win over Rockton Hononegah on Thursday would send Cary-Grove to the Barrington Supersectional on Saturday. Chicago Marist (36-2), ranked No. 21 by MaxPreps, also advanced to a Class 4A Sectional final, defeating Providence Catholic, 25-23, 25-18. The state tournament in all classes is set for Nov. 12 and 13 at Redbird Arena in Normal.
won its first state championship in any boys sport, when a goal by Eric Osika with 33 minutes left in the Class 1A boys soccer final gave the Lions a 1-0 win over Peoria Christian. The Lions, in the eighth year of their soccer program, finished with a 17-9-1 record and handed Peoria just its fourth loss of the season. "It's crazy. I can't even describe how good it is," Osika told the Chicago Sun-Times.
* St. Edward (Elgin)
will play its first home football playoff game in school history Saturday, when the Green Wave plays host to Mendota in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs. A 44-8 win last week over Chicago Uplift was St. Edward's first postseason win and tied the school record for wins with eight. A piece of history: Saturday's game sets up a rematch of a first-round game last year won by Mendota, 27-13.Paul Bowker, an online and newspaper sports journalist for 25 years and the author of two Major League Baseball books, covers the Chicago area for MaxPreps. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.