Phillips defensive tackle Queneil Morrison commits to NIU

Phillips defensive tackle Queneil Morrison commits to NIU

Phillips junior defensive tackle recruit Queneil Morrison (6-foot-2, 300 pounds) gave Northern Illinois University his verbal commitment Saturday afternoon. Morrison, who is in DeKalb attending the Huskies spring game, told head coach Rod Carey his decision.

"I committed to NIU," Morrison said. "I just like NIU and it's a good school and a good program. I also really like the people at NIU and it's feel like a great place fort me."

Morrison, who had offers from Toledo and Bowling Green, was starting to draw increased recruiting looks from several FBS schools this spring.

[RELATED: Preps Recruiting News and Notes - Tuscola's Hunter Woodard headed to Oklahoma State]

Why commit this early to the NIU Huskies?

"I just really like NIU and I also didn't want to lose my opportunity that I have at NIU by waiting too long," Morrison said.

Morrison is now the fourth in-state verbal commitment to the Huskies' 2018 Class, joining Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis. Earlier this week, Danville junior offensive tackle Julian Pearl (6-foot-7, 245 pounds), who was the first 2018 commitment for the Huskies, backed out and gave Illinois his commitment after he was offered a scholarship earlier this week.

Glenbard North DB Tyrik Henderson verbally commits to Minnesota

Glenbard North DB Tyrik Henderson verbally commits to Minnesota

Glenbard North three-star ranked defensive back Tyrik Henderson (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) has given Minnesota and head coach PJ Fleck his verbal commitment.

"The culture that Coach Fleck is bringing to Minnesota is something that fits me as a player and as a young man growing up in this world," Henderson told Rivals.com's Midwest Recruiting Expert Josh Helmholdt. "Coach Fleck will not only teach me the game but he and his staff will teach me the way of (life) and how to succeed the right way.

"I know it's a little ways away from home but we have more than enough close family in Minnesota and my parents still wouldn't miss a beat when coming up for games. Minnesota is on the rise and I'm not missing this Boat, it's my time to hop on and get Rowing. Ski-U-Mah."

Henderson is now the Gopher second known State of Illinois verbal commitment in the Class of 2018 and the eleventh verbal commitment overall. Henderson joins Marist three-star ranked defensive tackle Elijah Teague who gave Minnesota his verbal commitment back in late February.

Henderson's decision is yet another example of recruits giving earlier and earlier verbal commitments. Out of the Rivals.com's Post-Season Class of 2018 State of Illinois Top 25 recruit rankings 11 of the top 12 ranked players are already verbally committed.

Preps recruiting news and notes: Tuscola's Hunter Woodard headed to Oklahoma State

Preps recruiting news and notes: Tuscola's Hunter Woodard headed to Oklahoma State

Tuscola junior offensive tackle recruit Hunter Woodard (6-foot-5, 296 pounds) decided to end his recruiting process on Tuesday and gave Oklahoma State his verbal commitment. Woodard, who recently added scholarship offers from both Illinois and Syracuse pointed towards his recent unofficial visit to Oklahoma State as a big factor in his early decision.

"The visit I made to Oklahoma State really blew me away." according to Woodard. "The offensive line coach Josh Henson and I have a similar background and personality and it's just a great fit for me. It's hard to describe just how amazing everything was at Oklahoma State. It's truly the best of everything you could ask for. I'm just extremely happy."

Marist will easily be one of the busiest schools over the next few months as the NCAA football spring evaluation period began on Monday. A handful of Power 5 coaches have already made in school visits to the Home of the Redhawks according to Marist three-star ranked defensive tackle Gavin McCabe (6-foot-3, 255 pounds).

"So far Michigan State, Minnesota, Illinois and Toledo have been into school," McCabe said. "They came in and watched one of our team workouts. Having the college coaches at our workouts definitely brings energy and a lot more focus from everyone. Just the attitude in the weight room is more intense at this time of the year and it's been exciting."

McCabe, who will be visiting Arkansas this weekend and both Boston College and Syracuse in a few weeks is starting to inch closer to a college decision.

"I'm aiming for early summer for making a decision. I'm waiting until after the spring evaluation period is over before I name any favorites. Once the spring evaluation is over I'll name a Top 5 schools list then narrow it down from there. "

Class 4A state power Phillips is no stranger to having FBS level players and sophomore athlete Joseph Thompson (5-foot-10, 160 pounds) just added his second FBS level scholarship offer earlier this week.

"Toledo just offered me a scholarship," Thompson said. "They offered me over the phone when I was talking to them. I know that Toledo is pretty good, that they run the football pretty well and they also have a nice defense, good wide receivers and that overall they are a good team. I think they played in a bowl game last year as well."

Thompson, who has offers so far from NIU and Toledo has also drawn recruiting looks this spring from Penn State, Western Michigan and Central Michigan.

Another familiar name to watch in the Class of 2019 is Wheaton Academy sophomore quarterback Ben Thorson (6-foot-3, 180 pounds). Thorson, who is the younger brother for former Wheaton North and current Northwestern starting quarterback Clayton Thorson has begun to attract early recruiting interest this spring.

"I camped at both Wisconsin and Northwestern last summer and I stay in touch with the coaches from both schools," per Thorson. "I also have also drawn interest from Duke and Iowa. I would say that my dream school would be anyone in the Big Ten. I'm just a Midwest guy and I've watched Big Ten football forever."

Thorson is already lining up a full slate of upcoming summer one day camps.

"I'm looking at camping at Duke, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, NIU and Illinois so far."