Where the local prep players are going

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Where the local prep players are going

A total of 140 seniors from the Chicago area made formal commitments on national signing day but only 17 of them are going to Big 10 programs, confirming what recruiting analysts had forecast a year ago -- the class of 2012 in the city and suburbs is average at best.

Only four others committed to major Division I programs.

Illinois signed four -- WR Charles Robertson of Lincoln-Way East, OL Robert Bain of Bolingbrook, DL Vontrell Williams of Mount Carmel and LB J.B. Bello of Lincoln-Way West.

Northwestern signed three -- RB Malin Jones of Joliet Catholic, RB Dan Vitale of Wheaton Warrenville South and DB Joe Jones of Plano.

Iowa got four -- OL Ryan Ward of Providence, DL Faith Ekakitie of Lake Forest Academy, DB Maurice Fleming of Curie and DL Jaleel Johnson of Montini.

Indiana signed RB Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest and OL Dan Feeney of Sandburg. Wisconsin landed OL Dan Voltz of Barrington, Minnesota signed LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich.

Ohio State signed DL Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West, who originally had committed to Penn State after Notre Dame and Michigan had pulled his scholarship offers.

Nebraska managed to keep prize wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp of Montini away from Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, which once was a dominant factor in the recruiting sweepstakes in the Chicago area, got only long snapper Scott Daly of Downers
Grove South.

Florida signed LB Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook. Oklahoma got RB David Smith of Bremen. Stanford signed several outstanding offensive linemen, including Johnny Caspers of Glenbard West.

Northern Illinois signed a dozen local players--QB Matt Williams of Geneva, RB Keith Harris of Leo, TE Desroy Maxwell of Amundsen, DB Perez Ford of Romeoville, LB Ladell Fleming of Julian, OL Scott Taylor of Marian Central, DL Brian Canoy of St. Patrick, DL Michael Ippolito of Neuqua Valley, DL Mario Jones of Hubbard, OL Sal Arceo of Mount Carmel, DB Conner Gavin of Notre Dame and DL Corey Thomas of Lindblom.

Several local products remain uncommitted and unsigned, including OL Jordan Diamond, QB Robert Gregory and LB Shaquille Joyner of Simeon, RB Josh Williams of Downers Grove South, RB Mike Panico of Carmel, LB Jack Stibich of Fenwick, DB Anthony Standifer of Crete-Monee and OL Ryan Glasgow of Marmion.

Diamond, who is ranked No. 68 in the nation according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, said he will announce his decision on Friday -- either Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin or Arkansas.

Gregory originally committed to Arkansas but wasn't able to qualify academically. Standifer de-committed from Michigan and is hoping to sign with Notre Dame.
WHERE THE LOCAL PLAYERS WENT

Quarterbacks

Ryan Bartels, Sycamore -- North Dakota
A.J. Bilyeu, Bartlett -- Air Force
Noel Gaspari, Batavia -- North Central
Zach Gross, South Elgin -- Olivet Nazarene
DaeShaun Hurley, Julian -- Ball State
Anthony Maddie, Aurora Christian -- Western Michigan
Billy Reed, Lockport -- Southern Illinois
Robert Tonyan Jr., McHenry -- Indiana State
Ryan West, Oswego -- Southern Illinois
Malcolm Weaver, Loyola -- Butler
Matt Williams, Geneva -- Northern Illinois
Blake Winkler, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois State

Running backs

Kevin Bayer, Lincoln-Way East -- North Dakota
Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest -- Indiana
Keith Harris Jr., Leo -- Northern Illinois
Malin Jones, Joliet Catholic -- Northwestern
Jordan Kos, Carmel -- Winona State
Paul Preston, Maine South -- Winona State
David Smith, Bremen -- Oklahoma
Tyler Starke, Lincoln-Way East -- Robert Morris
Dan Vitale, Wheaton Warrenville South -- Northwestern
Martez Walker, Brother Rice -- Central Michigan

Receivers

Cole Gardner, Batavia -- Eastern Michigan
Kenny Golladay, St. Rita -- North Dakota
Dee Gray, Waubonsie Valley -- North Dakota State
Tyler Hickey, Geneva -- Davidson
Tony Leon, Naperville North -- Wisconsin-Platteville
Chris Lisenby, De La Salle -- Western Illinois
Nic Margiotta, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Luke Mathewson, Libertyville -- North Dakota
Desroy Maxwell, Amundsen -- Northern Illinois
Shawn Mitchell, Rich Central -- Southern Illinois
Charles Robertson, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois
Ben Rogers, Geneva -- Cornell
Scott Simpson, Neuqua Valley -- Western Illinois
Anthony Taylor, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
Mitch Vejvoda, Providence -- South Dakota State
Jordan Westerkamp, Montini -- Nebraska
Zach Wolfe, Lockport -- Butler
Brandon Wright, De La Salle -- St. Joseph's, Ind.

Offensive linemen

Sal Arceo, Mount Carmel -- Northern Illinois
Kyle Avaloy, Glenbard South -- Illinois State
Robert Bain, Bolingbrook -- Illinois
Richard Barber, Lake Forest Academy -- Holy Cross
Charles Barth, Providence -- Western Michigan
Ryan Callen, Hinsdale Central -- Miami, Ohio
Johnny Caspers, Glenbard West -- Stanford
Nick Dachota, St. Rita -- Indiana State
Scott Daly, Downers Grove South -- Notre Dame
Robert Delaney, Loyola -- Dayton
Dan Feeney, Sandburg -- Indiana
Alex Hern, Lincoln-Way East -- Drake
Greg Hohenstein, Wheaton South -- Bowling Green
Jake Hurcombe, Stevenson -- Eastern Michigan
C.J. Irvin, Manteno -- Illinois State
Jake Jankowski, Joliet Catholic -- St. Xavier
Maciej Kozlowski, Jacobs -- Southern Illinois
Mike Love, Andrew -- Western Illinois
Jim Lowery, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
David Meyerhoff, Naperville North -- Southern Illinois
Dan Pawlak, Lakes -- Illinois State
Paul Perschon, Conant -- Toledo
Nick Roach, Mount Carmel -- Western Michigan
Dillon Sandberg, Libertyville -- Robert Morris
Scott Taylor, Marian Central -- Northern Illinois
Dan Voltz, Barrington -- Wisconsin
Ryan Ward, Providence -- Iowa

Defensive linemen
Brian Canoy, St. Patrick -- Northern Illinois
Nick Cemeno, Providence -- St. Xavier
Nick Collofello, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Mikhail Dubose, Hubbard -- Bowling Green
Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academy -- Iowa
Josh Falk, Joliet Catholic -- Northwest Missouri State
Evan Finnane, Elgin St. Edward -- Army
Matt Frolik, Joliet Catholic -- Robert Morris
Greg Gordon, Bolingbrook -- St. Joseph's, Ind.
Alex Hamilton, Minooka -- St. Xavier
Anthony Harris, Bolingbrook -- Northern Michigan
Michael Ippolito, Neuqua Valley -- 0Northern Illinois
Mario Jones, Hubbard -- Northern Illinois
Jaleel Johnson, Montini -- Iowa
Brett Jones, Naperville North -- Cornell
Austin Lewis, Batavia -- Augustana
Alec Lyons, Batavia -- Indiana State
Joel Mangum, Lincoln-Way East -- Indiana State
Mike Marks, Naperville North -- Concordia, Minn.
Phillip Martin, Kenwood -- Toledo
Pat O'Connor, St. Rita -- Eastern Michigan
Mike Parker, Libertyville -- Grand Valley State
Jimmy Pelnarsh, Morris -- Air Force
Lance Sanders, Leo -- Central Michigan
Michael Scott, Loyola -- Dayton
Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West -- Ohio State
Jon Slania, South Elgin -- Southeast Missouri State
Matt Solner, Lincoln-Way East -- Iowa Western
Corey Thomas, Lindblom -- Northern Illinois
Austin Tixler, Prospect -- Wyoming
Alec Vesper, Minooka -- Mankato State
Vontrell Williams, Mount Carmel -- Illinois

Linebackers

Andre Allen, Bolingbrook -- Illinois State
Lance Baggett, Chicago Academy -- Army
B.J. Bello, Lincoln-Way West -- Illinois
Evan Bishop, Jacobs -- Northern Michigan
Collin Corcoran, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Stewart Cunningham, De La Salle -- 0Carthage
Ladell Fleming, Julian -- Northern Illinois
Leonard Garron, Evanston -- Southern Illinois
Tristan Humbles, Notre Dame -- Western Illinois
Matt Koran, Joliet West -- Harvard
Kyle Krull, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jack Lynn, Lake Zurich -- Minnesota
Will McNamara, St. Rita -- Dartmouth
Anthony Messina, Addison Trail -- New Mexico
Carl Miller, Stevenson -- Air Force
Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook -- Florida
Sean Oroni, Batavia -- Carthage
Mike Partyka, Bartlett -- Winona State
Mike Passo, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Nathan Sudnick, West Chicago -- Dayton
Brad Uher, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jarrett Wood, Vernon Hills -- Winona State
Defensive backs

Charles Elmore, St. Rita -- South Dakota State
Maurice Fleming, Curie -- Iowa
Perez Ford, Romeoville -- Northern Illinois
Conner Gavin, Notre Dame -- Northern Illinois
Brandon Greer, Mount Carmel -- Central Michigan
Joe Jones, Plano -- Northwestern
Ryan Meyer, Marist -- Eastern Illinois
Chase Murdock, Barrington -- Toledo
Diaron Rhodes, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Dion Starnes, Bremen -- Air Force
Sam Styler, Libertyville -- Illinois Wesleyan
Tevin Teamer, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Philip Wilson, Bolingbrook -- Indiana State
Caz Zyks, Jacobs -- Drake
Kicker

Ron Colluzzi, Naperville North -- Central Michigan
Tyler Mellecker, Waubonsie Valley -- Indiana State
David Reisner, South Elgin -- Navy
Sam Retzky, Notre Dame -- Tulsa
Brad Walovitch, Crystal Lake South -- Winona State

DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

DeShone Kizer stays the same leader for new group of Notre Dame teammates

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A number of teammates took the field for the first time with DeShone Kizer during the cacophony of Sunday night’s atmosphere at Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin. And much as Kizer did last year, he led the Irish offense with a certain kind of poise and mentality that deftly toes the line between confident and cocky. 

“When we were down by two touchdowns or when it was tied, he had the same demeanor,” sophomore receiver C.J. Sanders said. “That really speaks volumes about him as a man.”

Kizer wowed his teammates a year ago when he subbed in for the injured Malik Zaire and threw a game-winning touchdown to Will Fuller. It wasn’t just for the throw, but it was also for the way in which the quarterback conducted himself in a hostile, pressure-packed environment. 

Last year’s Irish offense, though, was loaded with leaders. Ronnie Stanley, Nick Martin and Chris Brown were pillars on that team, and there were veterans all around like Fuller, C.J. Prosise, Steve Elmer and Amir Carlisle. 

Notre Dame only returned a handful of upperclassmen who played on that 2015 team in Kizer, Torii Hunter Jr., Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson (running back Tarean Folston was injured in Week 1 against Texas, and tight end Durham Smythe missed the remainder of the regular season after an injury in Week 2). 

So that meant there was quite a bit of inexperience permeating Notre Dame’s offense Sunday night. But some of those greenhorns said Kizer’s composure and confidence helped them ease into a roaringly-intense evening. 

“When we were down, he brought us together and said we’re going to drive and score and come back,” sophomore receiver Equanimeous St. Brown said, adding that message from Kizer gave him and the rest of the Irish offense a confidence boost in the second half. 

“What young guys typically don’t understand when they go into that environment is that it’s not too much different from what you’re doing in practice,” Kizer said. “When you step in front of 100,000 people, there’s a lot of noise and that could definitely create some adrenaline. But other than that, we’re playing the same game that we’ve been playing all summer. 

“The plays have been made time and time again all offseason and just understanding that when they’re out there, they’re expected to make those same exact plays and all they have to do is do that and do that well. You don’t have to go out there and be someone else. We have a really good coaching staff who put you in good positions to make big plays and all you have to do is execute what they say.” 

Leadership is one of those nebulous things every football player and coach will tell you is necessary, but it’s a quality that’s impossible to quantify. It’s not an end-all, be-all for an offense or defense — Notre Dame, after all, didn’t score when it got the ball back after Jarron Jones’ miraculous blocked PAT, which probably had more to do with the loss of Hunter Jr. than anything else — but it is something that can be pointed to as an asset in close games. 

And with Kizer quarterbacking the offense, Notre Dame has to feel confident in its ability to hang in close games. It still needs its special teams, defense (which was primarily behind recent losses to Stanford and Texas) and coaching (behind the loss to Clemson) to come through, but the next time Notre Dame finds itself in a high-pressure, hostile situation, it can count on Kizer to keep things calm. 

And that counts for something, whatever the extent of it is. 

“Before the game he kind of talked to us, got in front of us and told us hey, I don’t care how young you are, I know you guys can make plays,” Sanders said. “So just hearing that from him developed a comfort level to know that he can depend on us. Hearing that from him really made a big difference.” 

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola excited for upcoming season, trip to Spain

Loyola didn't have the season they were hoping for in 2015-16 but they're optimistic that things can turn around for the upcoming season. Even though the Loyola roster is filled with newcomers, the Ramblers are hopeful that a summer trip to Spain can help give them a head start.

As part of the trip, Loyola will get 10 extra practices and four games against Spanish competition that will give the team some much-needed experience before practice officially begins in October.

Head coach Porter Moser is already happy about working with this group, which features some productive returnees and a lot of talented newcomers.

"We play four games over there. They get that feel of being coached in a game at this level with their teammates," Moser said. "So then when we start back up in October they have a sense of some of the things we're trying to teach, some of the things of what to expect. And I think that's such a big element."

On a team full of new players, it will be important for senior guard Milton Doyle to have a bounce-back year for Loyola after a disappointing junior campaign. A former star at Marshall, Doyle saw his shooting percentages dip last season as the Loyola coaching staff challenged him to improve for his final season of college basketball. 

Moser is happy with the strides that Doyle has made this summer as he's added over 10 pounds of muscle to now play at 192 pounds. Also committed on the defensive end of the floor and being a team leader, Doyle is the Ramblers' only senior this season, so he'll be counted on to be a productive presence.

"It's a lot this year just because we had four seniors leave last year and I'm the last senior," Doyle said. "So it's my job to make sure everyone stays on track and everyone is uplifted, even when coaches get on them. That's my job right now."

Junior wing Donte Ingram — a former Simeon product — and junior guard Ben Richardson also return as key contributors from last year's team while Iowa State transfer guard Clayton Custer is expected to come in and be a major factor in the team's backcourt rotation.

As for the newcomers, Moser compared juco transfer forward Aundre Jackson favorably to former Loyola forward Christian Thomas while Vlatko Granic gives the team a stretch option at forward that they didn't have in the past. The team's freshmen are also very talented as guard Matt Chastain has shown solid athleticism and a good basketball IQ through some early practices. 

Another freshman guard, Cameron Satterwhite, is coming off of a torn ACL that cost him his senior season, but the Loyola staff is optimistic about his recovery for this season. Croatian freshman guard Bruno Skokna is also recovering from injury as he has played against professionals in Europe the last few seasons on an amateur contract. He is expected to be cleared soon so that he can return to action this season.

"I love this group because it's a group full of gym rats. This is a really enthusiastic group," Moser said. "They've come together, we've got a lot of newcomers. That's the benefit, that's why we did the Spain trip this summer."

Loyola takes its trip to Spain from Aug. 12-22 as they'll hit cities like Barcelona and Madrid during the trip.