Crystal Lake Central three star ranked offensive guard Wyatt Blake (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) made his college decision public today. Blake gave Northwestern his verbal commitment at a press conference in the school's library. He had narrowed down his list of favorites to the Wildcats and Minnesota before naming Northwestern as his school of choice.
"It was everything," Blake said when asked why he pledged to Northwestern. "I knew that I wanted to play for Northwestern and I was ready (to commit)."
Blake is now the seventh overall verbal commitment and the fifth known in state commitment to the Wildcats Class of 2018. Blake joins Lincoln-Way East defensive end Devin O'Rourke, Libertyville three star ranked offensive linemen Charlie Schmidt, New Trier three star ranked tight end Brian Kaiser and Dunlap three star ranked tight end Charlie Mangieri as part of the Wildcats in-state class.
Blake pointed toward a recent recruit overnight on campus unofficial visit as a big factor in making his decision.
"My overnight visits was a big factor in my decision. I knew after that weekend that I was ready to commit. I was able to get a better feel for the school, the coaches and the team and I was able to get answers for all of my questions."
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.
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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 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.