Where the local prep players are going

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Where the local prep players are going

A total of 140 seniors from the Chicago area made formal commitments on national signing day but only 17 of them are going to Big 10 programs, confirming what recruiting analysts had forecast a year ago -- the class of 2012 in the city and suburbs is average at best.

Only four others committed to major Division I programs.

Illinois signed four -- WR Charles Robertson of Lincoln-Way East, OL Robert Bain of Bolingbrook, DL Vontrell Williams of Mount Carmel and LB J.B. Bello of Lincoln-Way West.

Northwestern signed three -- RB Malin Jones of Joliet Catholic, RB Dan Vitale of Wheaton Warrenville South and DB Joe Jones of Plano.

Iowa got four -- OL Ryan Ward of Providence, DL Faith Ekakitie of Lake Forest Academy, DB Maurice Fleming of Curie and DL Jaleel Johnson of Montini.

Indiana signed RB Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest and OL Dan Feeney of Sandburg. Wisconsin landed OL Dan Voltz of Barrington, Minnesota signed LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich.

Ohio State signed DL Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West, who originally had committed to Penn State after Notre Dame and Michigan had pulled his scholarship offers.

Nebraska managed to keep prize wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp of Montini away from Notre Dame.

Notre Dame, which once was a dominant factor in the recruiting sweepstakes in the Chicago area, got only long snapper Scott Daly of Downers
Grove South.

Florida signed LB Antonio Morrison of Bolingbrook. Oklahoma got RB David Smith of Bremen. Stanford signed several outstanding offensive linemen, including Johnny Caspers of Glenbard West.

Northern Illinois signed a dozen local players--QB Matt Williams of Geneva, RB Keith Harris of Leo, TE Desroy Maxwell of Amundsen, DB Perez Ford of Romeoville, LB Ladell Fleming of Julian, OL Scott Taylor of Marian Central, DL Brian Canoy of St. Patrick, DL Michael Ippolito of Neuqua Valley, DL Mario Jones of Hubbard, OL Sal Arceo of Mount Carmel, DB Conner Gavin of Notre Dame and DL Corey Thomas of Lindblom.

Several local products remain uncommitted and unsigned, including OL Jordan Diamond, QB Robert Gregory and LB Shaquille Joyner of Simeon, RB Josh Williams of Downers Grove South, RB Mike Panico of Carmel, LB Jack Stibich of Fenwick, DB Anthony Standifer of Crete-Monee and OL Ryan Glasgow of Marmion.

Diamond, who is ranked No. 68 in the nation according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network, said he will announce his decision on Friday -- either Michigan, Ohio State, Auburn, Wisconsin or Arkansas.

Gregory originally committed to Arkansas but wasn't able to qualify academically. Standifer de-committed from Michigan and is hoping to sign with Notre Dame.
WHERE THE LOCAL PLAYERS WENT

Quarterbacks

Ryan Bartels, Sycamore -- North Dakota
A.J. Bilyeu, Bartlett -- Air Force
Noel Gaspari, Batavia -- North Central
Zach Gross, South Elgin -- Olivet Nazarene
DaeShaun Hurley, Julian -- Ball State
Anthony Maddie, Aurora Christian -- Western Michigan
Billy Reed, Lockport -- Southern Illinois
Robert Tonyan Jr., McHenry -- Indiana State
Ryan West, Oswego -- Southern Illinois
Malcolm Weaver, Loyola -- Butler
Matt Williams, Geneva -- Northern Illinois
Blake Winkler, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois State

Running backs

Kevin Bayer, Lincoln-Way East -- North Dakota
Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest -- Indiana
Keith Harris Jr., Leo -- Northern Illinois
Malin Jones, Joliet Catholic -- Northwestern
Jordan Kos, Carmel -- Winona State
Paul Preston, Maine South -- Winona State
David Smith, Bremen -- Oklahoma
Tyler Starke, Lincoln-Way East -- Robert Morris
Dan Vitale, Wheaton Warrenville South -- Northwestern
Martez Walker, Brother Rice -- Central Michigan

Receivers

Cole Gardner, Batavia -- Eastern Michigan
Kenny Golladay, St. Rita -- North Dakota
Dee Gray, Waubonsie Valley -- North Dakota State
Tyler Hickey, Geneva -- Davidson
Tony Leon, Naperville North -- Wisconsin-Platteville
Chris Lisenby, De La Salle -- Western Illinois
Nic Margiotta, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Luke Mathewson, Libertyville -- North Dakota
Desroy Maxwell, Amundsen -- Northern Illinois
Shawn Mitchell, Rich Central -- Southern Illinois
Charles Robertson, Lincoln-Way East -- Illinois
Ben Rogers, Geneva -- Cornell
Scott Simpson, Neuqua Valley -- Western Illinois
Anthony Taylor, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
Mitch Vejvoda, Providence -- South Dakota State
Jordan Westerkamp, Montini -- Nebraska
Zach Wolfe, Lockport -- Butler
Brandon Wright, De La Salle -- St. Joseph's, Ind.

Offensive linemen

Sal Arceo, Mount Carmel -- Northern Illinois
Kyle Avaloy, Glenbard South -- Illinois State
Robert Bain, Bolingbrook -- Illinois
Richard Barber, Lake Forest Academy -- Holy Cross
Charles Barth, Providence -- Western Michigan
Ryan Callen, Hinsdale Central -- Miami, Ohio
Johnny Caspers, Glenbard West -- Stanford
Nick Dachota, St. Rita -- Indiana State
Scott Daly, Downers Grove South -- Notre Dame
Robert Delaney, Loyola -- Dayton
Dan Feeney, Sandburg -- Indiana
Alex Hern, Lincoln-Way East -- Drake
Greg Hohenstein, Wheaton South -- Bowling Green
Jake Hurcombe, Stevenson -- Eastern Michigan
C.J. Irvin, Manteno -- Illinois State
Jake Jankowski, Joliet Catholic -- St. Xavier
Maciej Kozlowski, Jacobs -- Southern Illinois
Mike Love, Andrew -- Western Illinois
Jim Lowery, Montini -- Eastern Illinois
David Meyerhoff, Naperville North -- Southern Illinois
Dan Pawlak, Lakes -- Illinois State
Paul Perschon, Conant -- Toledo
Nick Roach, Mount Carmel -- Western Michigan
Dillon Sandberg, Libertyville -- Robert Morris
Scott Taylor, Marian Central -- Northern Illinois
Dan Voltz, Barrington -- Wisconsin
Ryan Ward, Providence -- Iowa

Defensive linemen
Brian Canoy, St. Patrick -- Northern Illinois
Nick Cemeno, Providence -- St. Xavier
Nick Collofello, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Mikhail Dubose, Hubbard -- Bowling Green
Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academy -- Iowa
Josh Falk, Joliet Catholic -- Northwest Missouri State
Evan Finnane, Elgin St. Edward -- Army
Matt Frolik, Joliet Catholic -- Robert Morris
Greg Gordon, Bolingbrook -- St. Joseph's, Ind.
Alex Hamilton, Minooka -- St. Xavier
Anthony Harris, Bolingbrook -- Northern Michigan
Michael Ippolito, Neuqua Valley -- 0Northern Illinois
Mario Jones, Hubbard -- Northern Illinois
Jaleel Johnson, Montini -- Iowa
Brett Jones, Naperville North -- Cornell
Austin Lewis, Batavia -- Augustana
Alec Lyons, Batavia -- Indiana State
Joel Mangum, Lincoln-Way East -- Indiana State
Mike Marks, Naperville North -- Concordia, Minn.
Phillip Martin, Kenwood -- Toledo
Pat O'Connor, St. Rita -- Eastern Michigan
Mike Parker, Libertyville -- Grand Valley State
Jimmy Pelnarsh, Morris -- Air Force
Lance Sanders, Leo -- Central Michigan
Michael Scott, Loyola -- Dayton
Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West -- Ohio State
Jon Slania, South Elgin -- Southeast Missouri State
Matt Solner, Lincoln-Way East -- Iowa Western
Corey Thomas, Lindblom -- Northern Illinois
Austin Tixler, Prospect -- Wyoming
Alec Vesper, Minooka -- Mankato State
Vontrell Williams, Mount Carmel -- Illinois

Linebackers

Andre Allen, Bolingbrook -- Illinois State
Lance Baggett, Chicago Academy -- Army
B.J. Bello, Lincoln-Way West -- Illinois
Evan Bishop, Jacobs -- Northern Michigan
Collin Corcoran, Prairie Ridge -- Winona State
Stewart Cunningham, De La Salle -- 0Carthage
Ladell Fleming, Julian -- Northern Illinois
Leonard Garron, Evanston -- Southern Illinois
Tristan Humbles, Notre Dame -- Western Illinois
Matt Koran, Joliet West -- Harvard
Kyle Krull, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jack Lynn, Lake Zurich -- Minnesota
Will McNamara, St. Rita -- Dartmouth
Anthony Messina, Addison Trail -- New Mexico
Carl Miller, Stevenson -- Air Force
Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook -- Florida
Sean Oroni, Batavia -- Carthage
Mike Partyka, Bartlett -- Winona State
Mike Passo, Joliet Catholic -- St. Francis
Nathan Sudnick, West Chicago -- Dayton
Brad Uher, Lemont -- Western Illinois
Jarrett Wood, Vernon Hills -- Winona State
Defensive backs

Charles Elmore, St. Rita -- South Dakota State
Maurice Fleming, Curie -- Iowa
Perez Ford, Romeoville -- Northern Illinois
Conner Gavin, Notre Dame -- Northern Illinois
Brandon Greer, Mount Carmel -- Central Michigan
Joe Jones, Plano -- Northwestern
Ryan Meyer, Marist -- Eastern Illinois
Chase Murdock, Barrington -- Toledo
Diaron Rhodes, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Dion Starnes, Bremen -- Air Force
Sam Styler, Libertyville -- Illinois Wesleyan
Tevin Teamer, Bolingbrook -- Central Missouri
Philip Wilson, Bolingbrook -- Indiana State
Caz Zyks, Jacobs -- Drake
Kicker

Ron Colluzzi, Naperville North -- Central Michigan
Tyler Mellecker, Waubonsie Valley -- Indiana State
David Reisner, South Elgin -- Navy
Sam Retzky, Notre Dame -- Tulsa
Brad Walovitch, Crystal Lake South -- Winona State

Former Northwestern football player Torri Stuckey now focuses on helping others

Former Northwestern football player Torri Stuckey now focuses on helping others

Torri Stuckey played football at Northwestern and has dedicated his post-playing career to helping others.

Stuckey, who was born in the same Illinois town, Robbins, that Dwyane Wade grew up in, played safety and was a captain for the Wildcats. He graduated in 2004 and is now 34.

As someone who worked his way to a better life, he now tries to help others do the same. He has self-help workshops for teenagers and young adults in urban poverty and wrote a book, Impoverished State of Mind: Thinking Outside da Block, on the subject.

Stuckey, who currently lives in Chicago, was featured as part of CSN's Black History Month series. Watch the video above to see more about Stuckey's efforts.

Chicago native Paris Lee doing all he can to make sure Illinois State's NCAA Tournament bubble doesn't burst

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USA TODAY

Chicago native Paris Lee doing all he can to make sure Illinois State's NCAA Tournament bubble doesn't burst

Dan Muller didn't even have to say anything.

The Illinois State men's basketball coach certainly didn't want his team to lose focus, not with what the game against Bradley meant for the Redbirds' NCAA tournament chances. 

But as Bradley mounted a comeback in the second half of what initially appeared to be a blowout, senior point guard Paris Lee stepped up and delivered all that needed to be said.

"Paris led us like he always does," senior forward Deontae Hawkins said. "The defense was slacking later in the game and Paris called us out and told us, 'We're too old to keep following our old habits.'"

[RELATED —​ MVC tripleheader on CSN Wednesday night, including ISU-Missouri State at 8 p.m.]

The Redbirds wound up cruising to a 64-50 win over Bradley to improve their record in the Missouri Valley Conference to 13-1 (21-5 overall) and Lee took home MVC player of the week honors for his effort.

It was all the more important given the audience at Redbird Arena Saturday night.

At halftime, Illinois State honored the 1998 team, the last Redbirds squad to make it to the NCAA Tournament back when Muller was filling an important role as a player instead of a coach.

Now in his fifth year at the helm of ISU, Muller has improved the Redbirds' record in the MVC in each season. With four conference games left — including Wednesday night's tilt against Missouri State on CSN — Muller has already set a new high mark with 13 conference wins.

And he's been leaning heavily on Lee to do so.

Muller said Lee's impassioned mid-game speech to his teammates has become a common sight this year as Lee — a native of Maywood, Ill. just outside Chicago — has grown more comfortable in a leadership role.

"Paris is pretty locked in," Muller said. "He's been a coach on that floor all year; he has been since he's been here [at ISU]. That's one of the areas he's probably improved the most over the last four — his leadership, his competitive spirit, his comfort level and taking control of the team."

Lee admitted his transformation into a leader was not always a natural fit.

"I feel like I had no other choice but to start maturing because we had a lot of new guys on the team and a lot of younger guys looking up to me," he said. "So I had to. I was kinda forced to grow up. 

"In previous years, I've always had teammates that were able to take the load from me, talk, do everything I should do. But this year, I had no choice but to [step up as a leader]."

Lee is all in — down to his red-tipped dreadlocks that he joked gives him more swag and a pair of sick red Jordans — on getting the Redbirds back to the NCAA Tournament in his final season. He's already set a new career high in assists, thriving as a playmaker/facilitator.

"I'm very hungry, man," Lee said. "I'm gonna continue to play the right way, not try to do too much. Just try to do the right thing to help my team win."