2012 NFL Draft Capsule: DT Dontari Poe

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2012 NFL Draft Capsule: DT Dontari Poe

Dontari Poe (DT), Memphis
6-5 350 lbs.

2011 Stats:
33 tackles, 8 TFL, 1 sack, 5 QBH

Projection:
Top 15

Strengths:
A tall, well put together 350-pound lineman who carries his weight well and doesn't possess much soft flesh. Displays a physically put together lower half as well. Is strong through the base, legs and calves and honestly can play at 350. Has a Haloti Ngata type build. Displays some nimbleness as a pass rusher. Can use his foot quickness to change directions quickly in tight areas and push his way through contact once he gains a step. Demonstrates the power and flexibility to gain leverage and consistently push the pocket inside at the next level. (National Football Post)

Weaknesses:
Doesn't take a positive first step off the football in either the run or pass game. Needs to do a better job maximizing his first step in order to reset the line of scrimmage, wastes too much motion. Needs to do a better job finding the football. Doesn't consistently decipher information quickly and put himself around the action. Hasn't ever been real productive because of his lacking technique and ability to consistently find the football. Is a boom or bust kind of player. (National Football Post)
Fit for Bears:
Poe is a rare blend of size, strength and quickness that can cause fits in the trenches. Rod Marinelli would do wonders for Poes technique and preparation, but the Bears are already really high on where Henry Melton and Stephen Paea project long term. There will probably be better options to fill greater needs for Chicago at pick No. 19, but if Poe slips outside of the top 15 he may be too intriguing to pass up.

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

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USA TODAY

Northern Illinois adds running back Fotis Kokosioulis

Northern Illinois University added it's fourth known verbal commitment today in its growing Class of 2018.

Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis (5-foot-8, 165 pounds) added an offer from the Huskies on Tuesday after making a spring practice visit, and today he gave head coach Rod Carey his verbal commitment.

"I chose NIU because it's been a school that I've liked for awhile now," Kokosioulis said moments ago. "I like the facilities at NIU, the stadium and everything else they have to offer. I also really like all the coaches at NIU. I felt that even if I got more offers I would've still chose NIU over other schools. I know that there are bigger school and programs but I feel that I just fit in well at NIU, so I committed."

Kokosioulis, who was an All-State performer for the Class 8A state champion Maine South Hawks in 2016, is now the fourth known in-state verbal commitment for Rod Carey and the Huskies and the fifth known commitment overall. Kokosioulis joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan and Danville tight end Julian Pearl in the NIU Huskies in-state Class of 2018.

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

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Photo at top: Loyola Academy assistant coach Paul Pryma extends his hand toward a Steinmetz High School player during pregame introductions on Feb. 21. (Andres Waters/MEDILL)

High School coaches 'leave no stone unturned' in helping players explore next level

By Andres Waters
Special Contributor to CSNChicago.com

After Loyola Academy held off rival New Trier 43-40 to win the 2017 Zion-Benton regional championship, Ramblers head coach Tom Livatino had a special message for his players.

"That's the best celebration that I have ever been a part of," Livatino said. "Because everybody was completely about love. You guys love each other and we all can tell. I'm really, really proud just to be one of our coaches."

While the speech was a powerful way for Livatino to tell the players of his appreciation, he and other high school coaches engage in something much bigger to show players how proud they are: college recruiting.

In addition to time spent planning and practicing, coaches also sacrifice countless hours each week helping their players find opportunities to play at the next level.

"It's a really long part of the process, but to be honest, it's a part of the job that I absolutely love," Livatino said. "We demand so much of our players in every aspect. And, from a basketball standpoint, the least I could do is everything in my power to help them out."

Less than 48 hours after the Ramblers completed their season with a loss to Evanston Township in the Waukegan Sectional semifinal, Livatino was back in his office holding individual meetings with each player.

Starting with the 10 departing seniors, Livatino discussed the factors that go into choosing a college for high school athletes.

His conversations with the two players who already committed, senior guards Ramar Evans and Matt Lynch, focused on how they felt about their next steps. With the others, Livatino asked whether they wanted to play at the next level and, if so, which schools they wanted to attend that shared an interest in them. The conversations held with the Ramblers' juniors are very similar.

"I wasn't just looking for basketball, I was looking for a fit academically and socially," said Lynch, who committed to Division III St. Norbert College. "[Livatino] said St. Norbert would be the best fit for me. It fit everything I was looking for."

Read the full story at Medill Reports Chicago.

CSN Chicago, in partnership with Northwestern University,  features journalism by students in the graduate program at Medill School of Journalism. The students are reporters for Medill News Service. Medill faculty members edit the student work. Click here for more information about Medill.