Five local players on Lemming's Top 100

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Five local players on Lemming's Top 100

Five Chicago area products are listed among the Top 100 players in the nation in the class of 2014, according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network. But none of them ranks among the top 75, an indication that this year's juniors rank a step behind the class of 2013.

The five are Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett (76), Bolingbrook cornerback Parrker Westphal (86), Marist tight end Nic Weishar (94), De La Salle offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (96) and Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan (100).

It is interesting to note that Westphal, while consistently rated among the top five prospects in Illinois in the class of 2014, was named to the Joliet Herald-News' All-Area second defensive team. To date, he has accumulated 14 scholarship offers.

"At this time, I have interviewed in person one-third of the nation's top prospects and watched film on about 80 percent of the nation's top 2,000 prospects," Lemming said, explaining how he annually travels from coast-to-coast to make his evaluations.

"This top 100 will be changed in a couple of months after I have seen all of the nation's top prospects in person. So far, 19 players have earned five stars with more coming."

Garrett has nine scholarship offers -- from Illinois, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State and Ole Miss.

Weishar, the nation's No. 2 tight end according to Lemming, has 12 offers -- from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Boston College.

As a sophomore, Weishar caught 73 passes for 1,149 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a junior, the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder caught 89 for 1,034 yards and five touchdowns. He has a 5.37 grade-point average on a 5.0 scale.

He was the only one of the five players who made Lemming's Top 100 to earn a spot on the Chicago Sun-Times' 24-member All-Area squad.

Westphal, a standout on Bolingbrook's Class 8A state championship team in 2011, has offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Nebraska, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Purdue, Ole Miss and Cincinnati.

Jones has accumulated more offers (15) than any other local prospect -- Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Purdue, Toledo, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

Morgan, the defensive standout on Crete-Monee's unbeaten 2012 Class 6A state championship team, is a rapidly rising star. He has offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, UCLA, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Purdue, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.

"I don't base my evaluations on the number of scholarship offers a player receives. And I don't take into account what a player does or doesn't do at a combine," Lemming said. "I think it is more important to judge a player's skills on the basis of his performance, in person or on film. And I like to interview each player to get a sense of his passion and love for the game."

Other juniors in the city and suburbs who are attracting considerable interest from colleges and could earn a spot in the top 100 before the end of the 2013 season are Glenbard North running backdefensive back Justin Jackson, Richards running backathlete Tommy Mister, Mount Carmel defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr., Stevenson defensive back Matt Morrissey and Hinsdale Central center Brian Allen.

Nation's Top 100 In Class of 2014

(According to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network)

No. Name, Hometown Pos. Ht. Wt.

1. Leonard Fournette, New Orleans, La. RB 6-1 225
2. Raekwon McMillan, Hinesville, Ga. LB 6-3 240
3. Tony Brown, Beaumont, Tex. DB 6-1 185
4. Marlon Humphrey, Hoover, Ala. DB 6-0 170
5. Jabril Peppers, Paramus, N.J. DB 6-0 190
6. Quin Blanding, Virginia Beach, Va. DB 6-2 200
7. Cameron Robinson, West Monroe, La. OL 6-6 300
8. Kain Daub, Jacksonville, Fla. LB 6-3 200
9. Gerald Willis, New Orleans, La. DL 6-3 265
10. Andrew Brown, Chesapeake, Va. DL 6-4 290
11. Hoza Scott, La Porte, Tex. LB 6-2 205
12. Da'Shawn Hand, Woodbridge, Va. DL 6-4 260
13. Drake Harris, Grand Rapids, Mich. WR 6-4 180
14. Kevin Crosby, Bamberg, S.C. LB 6-1 225
15. Deondre Clark, Oklahoma City, Okla. DL 6-5 235
16. Tre Williams, Mobile, Ala. LB 6-2 220
17. Bo Scarbrough, Tuscaloosa, Ala. RB 6-2 220
18. Braden Smith, Olathe, Kan. OL 6-6 275
19. Sony Michel, Plantation, Fla. RB 5-11 185
20. Devon Thomas, Broken Arrow, Okla. RB 5-11 210
21. Orlando Brown, Duluth, Ga. OL 6-9 360
22. Todd Kelly, Knoxville, Tenn. DB 6-1 190
23. Damian Prince, Forestville, Md. OL 6-7 310
24. Tyler Luatua, La Mirada, Calif. ATH 6-4 230
25. DeShaun Watson, Gainesville, Ga. QB 6-4 200
26. Jeb Blazevich, Charlotte, N.C. TE 6-5 240
27. Denzel Ware, Crestview, Fla. DL 6-2 220
28. Khairi Clark, Hollywood, Fla. DL 6-3 310
29. Jerrod Heard, Denton, Tex. QB 6-2 180
30. Nathan Starks, Las Vegas, Nev. RB 5-11 200
31. Nick Watkins, Dallas, Tex. DB 6-1 180
32. Jordan Poland, La Jolla, Calif. OL 6-8 330
33. Vincent Jackson, Tampa, Fla. LB 6-2 230
34. Mason Cole, Tarpon Springs, Fla. OL 6-5 280
35. Speedy Noil, New Orleans, La. WR 5-10 180
36. Andrew Williams, McDonough, Ga. DL 6-4 250
37. Justice Hansen, Edmond, Okla. QB 6-4 200
38. Edward Paris, Mansfield, Tex. DB 6-2 190
39. Racean Thomas, Oxford, Ala. RB 5-11 190
40. Michiah Quick, Fresno, Calif. DB 6-0 170
41. Nick Harvey, Lancaster, Tex. DB 5-11 180
42. Kyle Allen, Scottsdale, Ariz. QB 6-2 200
43. Marshon Lattimore, Cleveland, Ohio DB 5-11 180
44. Donnell Stanley, Latta, S.C. OL 6-3 305
45. Demarcus Christmas, Bradenton, Fla. DL 6-3 280
46. Dalvin Cook, Miami, Fla. RB 5-11 195
47. Jalen Tabor, Washington, D.C. DB 6-0 180
48. Bryson Allen-Williams, Ellenwood, Ga. DE 6-3 235
49. Cameron Hampton, Dallas, Tex. LB 6-2 210
50. Andy Bauer, St. Louis, Mo. OL 6-5 300
51. Laurence Jones, Monroe, La. LB 6-2 215
52. Malik McDowell, Detroit, Mich. DL 6-6 290
53. Cameron Denson, Tucson, Ariz. WR 6-1 175
54. E.J. Moss, Ashville, Ala. LB 6-4 220
55. Thaddeus Snodgrass, Springfield, Ohio WR 6-1 185
56. Demetrius Knox, Fort Worth, Tex. OL 6-5 300
57. Mark Andrews, Scottsdale, Ariz. WR 6-6 225
58. Steven Parker, Jenks, Okla. DB 6-2 185
59. Montae Nicholson, Monroeville, Pa. DB 6-3 200
60. Jay Hayes, Brooklyn, N.Y. OL 6-5 270
61. Josh Malone, Gallatin, Tenn. WR 6-3 188
62. Ronnie Clark, Calera, Ala. DB 6-3 212
63. Keller Chyrst, Palo Alto, Calif. QB 6-3 210
64. K.C. McDermott, Wellington, Fla. OL 6-6 285
65. Casey Tucker, Chandler, Ariz. OL 6-5 270
66. Caleb Henderson, Alexandria, Va. QB 6-4 215
67. Shaun Dion Hamilton, Montgomery, Ala. LB 6-2 225
68. David Cornell, Jones, Okla. QB 6-5 220
69. Will Grier, Davidson, N.C. QB 6-3 180
70. Nifae Lealao, Sacramento, Calif. DE 6-5 270
71, Jonathan Hilliman, Jersey City, N.J. RB 6-0 205
72. Artavis Scott, Tarpon Springs, Fla. WR 5-11 180
73. Lorenzo Fetherston, Greensboro, N.C. DE 6-7 215
74. Mike Ferns, St. Clairsville, Ohio LB 6-3 235
75. Roderick Johnson, Florissant, Mo. OL 6-6 320
76. Clifton Garrett, Plainfield South, Ill. LB 6-2 220
77. Adoree Jackson, Gardena, Calif. DB 5-9 170
78. Travonte Valentine, Palm Bay, Fla. DL 6-3 280
79. Jalen Hurd, Hendersonville, Tenn. RB 6-3 210
80. Bentley Spain, Charlotte, N.C. OL 6-5 285
81. Demarre Kitt, Tyrone, Ga. WR 6-1 200
82. Alex Bars, Nashville, Tenn. OL 6-6 275
83. Johnathan Lloyd, Graham, N.C. ATH 5-11 175
84. Ross Pierschbacher, Cedar Falls, Iowa OL 6-4 275
85. Josh Frazier, Springdale, Ark. DL 6-4 330
86. Parrker Westphal, Bolingbrook, Ill. DB 6-1 185
87. Dante Booker, Akron, Ohio LB 6-3 212
88. Solomon Thomas, Coppell, Tex. DL 6-3 265
89. Budda Baker, Bellevue, Wash. DB 5-10 175
90. Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City, Utah DL 6-3 284
91. Jamoral Graham, Decatur, Miss. ATH 5-11 175
92. Andrew Trumbetti, Demarest, N.J. DL 6-5 250
93. Melvin Keihn, Baltimore, Md. LB 6-2 220
94. Nic Weishar, Chicago (Marist), Ill. TE 6-5 215
95. Bijhon Jackson, El Dorado, Ark. DL 6-2 320
96. Jamarco Jones, Chicago (De La Salle), Ill. OL 6-5 285
97. Jalyn Holmes, Norfolk, Va. DL 6-5 230
98. Jacory Washington, Westlake, La. TE 6-5 215
99. Derrell Scott, Havelock, N.C. RB 5-11 175
100. Nyles Morgan, Crete-Monee, Ill. LB 6-2 220

Preview: White Sox start series at Twins tonight on CSN

Preview: White Sox start series at Twins tonight on CSN

 

The White Sox take on the Twins on Friday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (8-8, 2.97 ERA) vs. Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.40 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.

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Preview: Cubs host Mariners today on CSN

Preview: Cubs host Mariners today on CSN

The Cubs take on the Seattle Mariners on Friday, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m.. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jon Lester (10-4, 3.09 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 3.96 ERA)

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— Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.

Are Cubs done dealing? ‘Wouldn’t put anything past’ Theo

Are Cubs done dealing? ‘Wouldn’t put anything past’ Theo

Are the Cubs done dealing? Theo Epstein might be the baseball executive you’d least want to play poker against, and his team didn’t stop after winning 97 wins last season – committing almost $290 million to free agents – or hold onto the organization’s top prospect when the New York Yankees wanted Gleyber Torres in the blockbuster Aroldis Chapman trade.

“I wouldn’t put anything past him,” pitching coach Chris Bosio said.

That win-now impulse led the Cubs to Chapman, who instantly raised the energy level at Wrigley Field on Thursday night just by walking in from the bullpen, wowing more than 40,000 fans with his 100-mph heat and getting a four-out save to close out a 3-1 win over the White Sox.

“As fans of the game, you always see what Aroldis does,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. “If he’s pitching, and you’re flipping through the channels, you stay on him just to see what he does, because he’s that type of player. What he does for our bullpen now is just incredible.”

This is the blueprint for October with enough timely hitting, a quality start from John Lackey, Pedro Strop working the seventh inning and manager Joe Maddon calling for Chapman to replace Hector Rondon with a runner on third and two outs in the eighth. Chapman threw Melky Cabrera six straight fastballs that registered between 98.6 and 102.3 mph on MLB.com’s Gameday, striking him out swinging.

“I was ready,” Chapman said through temporary translator/catcher Miguel Montero said. “I’m pretty pumped to be part of it.”

While the Cubs unveiled grand plans to construct a future World Series winner, Bosio became the no-nonsense foreman supervising a crew of veterans, short-timers and sign-and-flip guys.

Ex-manager Dale Sveum and coaches like Bosio, Mike Borzello and Lester Strode installed the game-planning system and did the grunt work to build up Ryan Dempster, Scott Feldman, Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, putting in all that effort only to see them shipped off to playoff contenders in trade-deadline deals.

That roster churn yielded Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Strop, Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards Jr., Addison Russell, Hammel returning as a free agent and a trade chip (minor-league outfielder Billy McKinney) used in the Chapman deal.

“To be able to get a guy like him is a big step for the organization,” Bosio said. “It definitely sent ripple effects to everybody who’s a Cubs fan. I got so many phone calls and text messages.

“This one got a lot of people’s attention. Not just in baseball, but all over the world. He’s a headline guy coming to a headline city.”

Like virtually everyone else, the Cubs are looking for younger starting pitchers who come with years of club control, because right now only Hendricks and Jon Lester can be penciled into the 2018 rotation (when the $155 million lefty will be 34 years old).

The Cubs also can’t ignore the offense, even after pouring so much capital into their lineup, because Jason Heyward’s .632 OPS ranks 151st out of the 157 qualified major-league hitters, Montero is hitting .198, Willson Contreras will be making rookie adjustments and Kyle Schwarber’s left-handed presence will be missed even more against elite pitching in October.

If the Yankees decide to sell another rental player – and the Cubs are willing to mortgage their farm system – Carlos Beltran would be a good fit as a switch-hitter with an excellent track record as a playoff performer (16 homers, 40 RBI and a 1.155 OPS in 52 postseason games).

“There’s still a good amount of time before the trade deadline,” Epstein said this week. “So we’re going to engage with every other team and see if there’s an opportunity to get better. Either tweaks to the roster now, but I’d say it’s more focused on getting additional depth for this season and possibly making a move that makes sense for our longer-term picture, next season and beyond.”

The Cubs have until Monday afternoon’s non-waiver deadline to try to complete the World Series puzzle. Why stop with Chapman during an all-in season?

“Now we’re the ones looking to add pieces, whether it be a bat or a pitcher,” Bosio said. “I wouldn’t put anything past ownership or the front office, because they know how much we’ve invested into this year, and how hard it is just to win a major-league game.”