How early is the State of Illinois Class of 2018 already starting to fill up and make verbal commitments?
According to the early Rivals.com Class of 2018 Top 25 recruit rankings, 10 out of the Top 15 names are already verbally committed. I fully expect nearly the entire State of Illinois Class of 2018 Top 25 to be verbally committed by the end of the upcoming spring evaluation period, which would easily be the earliest I can remember any State of Illinois football recruiting class being "locked up" in the over 20 years over covering recruiting in this state.
Marist junior three-star ranked tight end TJ Ivy (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) has 20 scholarship offers so far this early spring. So has Ivy begun to feel any added pressure to make an early verbal commitment since so many other names are committing earlier and earlier?
"I know that more and more kids are committing early," Ivy said. "I think I might be one of the last top ranked tight ends in state that hasn't committed yet. I'm looking at all of my options a bit harder now. I'll come up eventually with a top schools listing then I'll move froward from that point and get closer to a decision."
Ivy hopes to make spring unofficial visits to Iowa and West Virginia.
Palatine junior outside linebacker recruit Cortez Hogans (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) has seen his recruiting stock take off over the past month. Hogans made a Tuesday unofficial campus visit to Northern Illinois University and came away with an offer from the Huskies.
"I visited NIU (Tuesday) and they offered me," according to Hogans. "NIU was a really nice visit. I was able to watch a spring practice and also talk to the coaches at NIU. NIU offered me as an outside linebacker recruit."
Cortez, who now is holding offers from NIU, North Dakota State, Illinois State, SIU, WIU, Wyoming and South Dakota State has also drawn recruiting contact from several new schools.
"Syracuse, Boston College, Central Michigan and Wofford. Syracuse said they are going to visit my school in April. I'm going to visit Central Michigan soon and I'm going to talk to Boston College on Wednesday."
Fenwick junior wide receiver recruit Mike O'Laughlin (6-foot-5, 205 pounds) just wrapped up his basketball season as a key contributor to the Class 3A state runner up Friars. McLaughlin will now focus on his remaining school year along with his football recruiting.
"I have offers now from Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Miami of Ohio, Wyoming, Ball State, Toledo and Cincinnati," according to O'Laughlin. "I've stayed in touch with all of those coaches along with North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Several schools are still showing interest. Iowa, Purdue, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Ball State, Penn State, Western Kentucky and Central Florida all have remained in touch. Almost every one of those schools are planning to visit my school this spring."
O'Laughlin is planning to visit Iowa on April 15th along with visiting Miami of Ohio and Cincinnati in April.