Treadwell likely to pick Ole Miss

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Treadwell likely to pick Ole Miss

After sorting through more than 25 scholarship offers from the elite college football programs in the nation, after visiting several campuses, after hearing one sales pitch after another and experiencing the good, the bad and the ugly of the recruiting process, Crete-Monee's Laquon Treadwell has finally reached a decision.

On Thursday, at a press conference at his school, before family and teammates and friends, with at least four college coaches biting their lips and crossing their fingers in anticipation, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound wide receiver will choose Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Michigan.

Bet on Ole Miss.

Treadwell, who is ranked as the No. 6 player in the nation by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, is one of the last members of the top 100 in the class of 2013 to make a commitment. He has been careful to evaluate each school, to weigh all of his options, make the right decision, to have no regrets.

It hasn't been easy. Last August, he said he was leaning to Michigan. He has visited the Ann Arbor campus six times in the last two years and attended three games at Michigan Stadium. He said he liked coach Brady Hoke, was comfortable with the players and had a good relationship with a Michigan recruit, highly rated quarterback Shane Morris.

But Treadwell, unlike many 18-year-old recruits who are overwhelmed by the first school that shows them a lot of love, wasn't ready to commit. He said he "most likely won't make a decision until February," that he wanted to make visits "to farther places like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State."

Also a standout on Crete-Monee's basketball team, he passed up a game last weekend to visit Oklahoma State. Like Ole Miss, the Cowboys played up the family angle. Treadwell's uncle, Ricky Young, a former All-America linebacker at Oklahoma State, lives in Norman.

However, like Michigan, sources at Oklahoma State and Oklahoma admitted that Ole Miss was the leader. They concede it was significant that Treadwell stopped in Birmingham, Alabama, on his way home from the Under Armour All-American Game to watch Ole Miss' bowl game.

"I have no dream school," Treadwell insisted in August. "What is important to me? Style of offense, head coach, position coach, how comfortable I feel with the other players. It doesn't matter which conference I am in. I just want to compete against some of the best players in the country, in practice and in games."

Ole Miss wasn't among the schools that Treadwell was considering at that time. But it leaped into the picture when close friend and former teammate Anthony Sandifer, a standout cornerback on Crete-Monee's 2011 team who had originally committed to Michigan, changed his mind and opted for Ole Miss.

Treadwell made three visits to the Oxford campus. At a basketball game, the student section began chanting: "We want Treadwell." A report that Ole Miss legend Archie Manning, father of Peyton and Eli, had talked to Treadwell was unconfirmed. But the story gets better.

After visiting Ole Miss in early December, Treadwell told Neal McCready of RebelGrove.com: "I would say Ole Miss and Oklahoma are the favorites. My visit went very, very good. My mom loved it the most, so that's the best thing," he said.

"I feel like it's home when I'm around the coaches and players and that's the most important thing. I feel like I fit right in with everything Ole Miss is trying to do with the program and I love the offense they're running."

But last week, Treadwell told the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that Ole Miss was his favorite school.

What did he like about Ole Miss? "Basically everything...coaches, recruits, players that are there. I've got a teammate (Sandifer) there," he said.

That's not all. Treadwell has developed a very strong bond with Robert Nkemdiche, a 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end from Loganville, Georgia, who is the consensus choice as the No. 1 player in the nation. Nkemdiche, who de-committed from Clemson, has stated that Ole Miss is his favorite. He also has ties to Ole Miss. His brother Denzel is a standout linebacker on the football team. And his mother has stated that she wants her two sons to play together. Robert also is considering LSU.

Treadwell and Nkemdiche had an opportunity to hang out for a week while participating in last week's Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando. Treadwell's mother favors the two playing together. Treadwell also has another friend at Ole Miss, tackle Jordan Diamond of Simeon.

"We talked the whole week," Treadwell said about his relationship with Nkemdiche. "We've been talking before we even got here. We've been big on that."

Lemming predicts Treadwell will choose Ole Miss. "They have worked him hard. They came to my banquet in Chicago in December. They have done a great job on him, selling him on their future, him and Nkemdiche," he said.

Michigan apparently has faded out of the picture. "Michigan was the favorite a while ago but it's been trending in the wrong direction for quite some time. I would bet he (Treadwell) does not end up at Michigan," said recruiting analyst Tim Sullivan of Rivals.

Michigan, however, remains very much in the mix for junior cornerback Parrker Westphal of Bolingbrook, one of the top prospects in the class of 2014 in Illinois. Westphal recently said Michigan was the leader in his recruiting process and is "the school against which all others will be compared."

Treadwell, acclaimed the nation's top-rated wide receiver by Lemming and the Player of the Year in the Chicago area by the Sun-Times and Tribune, led Crete-Monee to a 14-0 record and the Class 6A championship by catching 81 passes for 1,424 yards and 16 touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 75 passes for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also stood out as a free safety.

Ironically, when he was growing up and playing for the University Park Lions, he played quarterback and dreamed of being another Michael Vick. But after being switched to wide receiver as a sophomore, he realized where his future was.

"Now I'm going to be another Justin Blackmon," he said, referring to the former Oklahoma State All-America wide receiver who had a standout rookie season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Somewhere, Archie Manning is smiling.

2017 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

2017 CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area Team

The 2016-17 high school basketball season is finally in the books as the Chicagoland area saw a lot of star performances from throughout the year.

So it's time to unveil the 15-man, three-team, CSN Preps Boys Basketball All-Area team.

While other awards might only count regular-season accomplishments, the CSN Preps All-Area team is unique because we also include postseason accomplishments and titles when considering the three teams.

Only players from the Chicagoland area are consisdered for the All-Area teams as factors such as strength of schedule, final statistics, team accomplishments and personal awards are all weighed in the final decision.

Here's a look at the three All-Area teams and the CSN Preps Player of the Year. 

First Team

Alonzo Verge, Thornton senior guard (Player of the Year) -- The choice for Player of the Year is Verge after he burst back on the local scene after a year away. Leading the Wildcats back to a Class 4A sectional title game, Verge averaged 26 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals per game as he was the most unstoppable player in the area this season. Verge helped Thornton to a Southwest Suburban Red title while he earned MVP honors at the Big Dipper for leading the Wildcats to victory. 

Ayo Dosunmu, Morgan Park junior guard -- The only junior to make the All-Area team, Dosunmu averaged 18.3 points per game while helping the Mustangs win the Public League Red-South and Class 3A state championship. Although Dosunmu didn't play much in Peoria when the Mustangs won state, they definitely needed him to get there as the junior had some big-time playoff performances. 

Cameron Krutwig, Jacobs senior center -- One of the best players ever to come out of the Fox Valley Conference, Krutwig finishes his career with 1,528 points and ninth in state history with 1,258 career rebounds. A monster senior season saw Krutwig put up 15.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.4 assists per game entering regional finals as he was the area's best post player this season. Led Jacobs to three straight Fox Valley titles, three regional titles in four seasons and a sectional title this season.

Nojel Eastern, Evanston senior guard -- Another prolific four-year player, Eastern was a third-team CSN All-Area selection last season. After a solid regular season that saw him average 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks per game, Eastern elevated his play to an elite level in the state playoffs in helping the Wildkits to a Class 4A sectional title. Eastern put up 31 points, 10 rebounds and six steals in the Super-sectional loss to Whitney Young and 29 points and 17 rebounds in a win over Waukegan for the sectional title. 

Lucas Williamson, Whitney Young senior guard -- The unsigned senior had a final year to remember as Williamson helped the Dolphins to a Class 4A state title. The 6-foot-4 Williamson averaged 17.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while shooting 48 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line. Also the MVP of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament, Williamson improved dramatically as a perimeter shooter over his four-year high school career.

Second Team

Nana Akenten, Bolingbrook senior forward -- The Nebraska commit was able to combine high-flying above-the-rim plays along with a lethal perimeter jumper. The 6-foot-6 Akenten shot 49 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point range during the season. Akenten put up 14.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game for the Raiders, as they finished third in Class 4A. The MVP of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic, Akenten has as much upside as anyone on this list. 

Evan Gilyard, Simeon senior guard -- After a four-year varsity career, Gilyard will go down as one of the better floor leaders that Simeon has ever had. The senior led the Wolverines to back-to-back city titles and back-to-back trips to Peoria as he averaged 15.9 points, 3.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game while shooting 39 percent from three-point range and 86 percent from the free-throw line. The A.C. Williamson award winner at Pontiac, Gilyard is committed to UTEP. 

Elijah Joiner, Curie senior guard -- After helping Curie win a Class 4A state title last year, Joiner had a very strong senior season as he averaged 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game. Joiner helped the Condors win a Red-Central conference title while he had a 40-point game on rival Kenwood. An all-tournament selection at Pontiac, Joiner is committed to Tulsa. 

Teyvion Kirk, Joliet West senior guard -- This uncommitted senior had a tremendous season on both ends of the floor for the Southwest Prairie champion Tigers. The 6-foot-3 Kirk averaged 19 points, four rebounds and three assists per game this season as he recently set his final four schools to Arkansas, Middle Tennessee, Ohio and St. Bonaventure. Kirk helped Joliet West to a sectional title last season and a regional title this season while earning all-tournament honors at Pontiac.

Justin Smith, Stevenson senior forward -- A CSN third-team All-Area selection as a junior, Smith is back on the list after a stellar senior season. Smith put up 21 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in the regular season for the Patriots as he put down some of the best dunks in the area over the last three years. Smith won a state title as a sophomore starter alongside Jalen Brunson and Connor Cashaw and emerged as a star in his own right this season. Smith is currently committed to Indiana.

Third Team

Kyle Sliwa, Fremd senior guard -- One of the area's most efficient shooters, Sliwa hit some of the biggest clutch shots of the season. Sliwa twice helped Fremd beat rival Conant with game-winning three-pointers, including a buzzer-beater to win a sectional title. The 6-foot-1 Sliwa averaged 16.4 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range. Named MVP of the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament, the Wheeling Hardwood Classic and the Mid-Suburban West, Sliwa helped Fremd to a 31-0 start and fourth-place finish in Class 4A. 

Dillon Durrett, Wheaton-Warrenville South senior forward -- The area's most improved player was the DuPage Valley Conference's best player after only averaging 2.3 points per game as a junior. Durrett was versatile on both ends of the floor for the Tigers as he averaged 17 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 Durrett often had to play bigger for a small team that won multiple in-season tournaments and went unbeaten in conference play.  

Jack Nolan, Benet senior guard -- Clutch players are tough to come by and Benet had a good one in this senior point guard. After Nolan helped lead the Redwings to a second-place finish in Class 4A last season he averaged 18 points per game and made 40 percent of his three-pointers. Also averaging three assists and two rebounds per game, Nolan was all-Tournament at Pontiac, MVP of the Loyola-New Trier Thanksgiving Tournament and an all-conference in the ESCC.

Tai Bibbs, West Chicago senior guard -- It wasn't quite the season that West Chicago hoped for but Bibbs still put up huge numbers, averaging 26 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while drawing a lot of Division I offers. The 6-foot-3 Bibbs was a two-time all-Upstate Eight Valley selection and he was the Valley's Player of the Year this season. Bibbs won MVP of the West Chicago Thanksgiving tournament and also was all-tournament at Dayton as he put up a tournament-best 32.8 points per game.

Demarius Jacobs, Uplift senior guard -- The best player in the Public League Red-North, the 6-foot-3 Jacobs was one of the premier two-way guards in the city. Jacobs helped the Titans win the Red-North and stay in the CSN Preps Power Rankings for most of the season as he averaged 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game. An All-Tournament selection at Proviso West, Jacobs signed with Southern Illinois in the fall. 

Stagg quarterback Kyle Neputy goes 1-on-1 with Edgy Tim

Stagg quarterback Kyle Neputy goes 1-on-1 with Edgy Tim

Student first, then athlete.

Stagg junior quarterback Kyle Neputy has unquestionably taken the student portion of student-athlete to heart. Neputy, who is a high-honors student and touts an impressive 4.73 GPA, has drawn steady recruiting interest from college programs on several levels, including multiple Ivy League schools. Cornell has already extended Neputy an offer.

Neputy, a big, strong and athletic quarterback who measures in at 6-foot-4 and 234 pounds, has the overall size and physical upside to draw looks at multiple positions this spring and summer.

I caught up with Neputy at the fifth annual Franklin Dodgeball Madness Tournament at Franklin Middle School in Wheaton. Proceeds from the tournament benefited the school, the DuPage Hundred Club, Team Red, White and Blue and The Pat Tillman Foundation.

Watch the interview in the video above.