CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O'Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.
School: Crystal Lake South
Head Coach: Rob Fontana
How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-6 Fox Valley conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.
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2017 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 25 – @ McHenry
Sept. 1 – vs Crystal Lake Central
Sept. 8 – @ Jacobs
Sept. 15 - vs Prairie Ridge
Sept. 22 - @ Dundee-Crown
Sept. 29 – vs Hampshire
Oct. 6 - @ Cary-Grove
Oct. 13 - vs Huntley
Oct. 20 - vs West Chicago
Biggest storyline: Can the Gators get out of the gate quicker in 2017?
Names to watch this season: Junior OL Trevor Keegan and Senior RB/LB Kyle Leva
Biggest holes to fill: The Gators will need plenty of guys to step up, especially in the offensive skills department. Senior RB Kyle Leva the only returning starter back from a season ago.
EDGY's Early Take: With an offensive line that --at least size-wise-- could double as a major college line, it's safe to say that Crystal lake South will look to run the football a bit in 2017. If the newer offensive skills players can develop and help the Gators avoid a slow start (0-4 out of the gate in 2016), this team has the potential to be as strong as the upper tier FVC teams this fall.
Rod Carey's staff has been putting in overtime on the recruiting front over the past few weeks and Wednesday night added its seventh known in-state verbal commitment when Palatine outside linebacker Cortez Hogans pledged to the Huskies.
Committed 🤘🏽💯🐺 pic.twitter.com/1hskH6836n— Yung Fre$h Prince💯 (@CortezHogans) June 21, 2017
"NIU just has a lot to offer," Hogans said. "I really like all of the coaches at NIU. They all seem like good guys and guys who can help me grow and develop. NIU is also close to home, and my family and friends can get to see me play in college. I was also really impressed at how hard they work at NIU. I was able to go see a few practices in person, and they just really go hard and get after it every day. NIU also offers strong academics, and everything just seemed to come together for me at NIU."
Hogans is the seventh known in-state verbal commitment in NIU's Class of 2018. Hogans joins Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Decatur MacArthur wide receiver Amir Brummett, Rich Central wide receiver Jyran Mitchell, Plainfield East defensive end Jack Sullivan, Phillips defensive tackle Queneil Morrison and Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis.