Illinois State was able to pick up it's fourth known verbal commitment in the Class of 2014 when St. Charles East senior wide receiver Brannon Barry (6-foot-4, 195 pounds) gave the Redbirds a verbal commitment on Monday evening.
"The ISU football program is headed in the right direction, and I love the coaches at Illinois State," Barry said. "I just felt very comfortable and at home with the coaches, the players and everything that's offered. I just felt like I will be a good fit at Illinois State. The campus life is great, and they also offer a top education. Illinois State has a great business program, and everything just seemed to come together for me there."
Barry joins an Illinois State Class of 2014 group of in-state verbal commits which includes Naperville Central quarterback Jake Kolbe, Oswego full back/linebacker Bryce Holm and Waubonsie Valley wide receiver Christian Gibbs.
Purdue last week landed a verbal commitment from Oak Park-River Forest senior wide receiver Simmie Cobbs, and the Boilermakers on Tuesday morning extended an offer to Nazareth Academy senior defensive end Will Colmery (6-foot-5, 248 pounds) according to Core 6 president Paul Szczesny. Szczesny also reports that Oklahoma has started to show interest in Colmery, who also has offers from Central Michigan, Colgate, Fordham, North Dakota and Wyoming.
Montini Catholic senior linebacker Nile Sykes (6-foot-1, 219 pounds) was able to make an unofficial visit this past weekend to Missouri, who recently extended Sykes a scholarship offer.
"I had a really good time," Sykes said. "The coaching staff showed a lot of love, and it was probably one of the best games I've been to," the No. 20-ranked prospect from Illinois explained. "It was intense the whole time. Both teams were playing really well. Even though Mizzou unfortunately lost, I still had a really good time. I'll definitely be back down there."
Sykes will need to put off any visits for now since the Broncos are in the state playoffs. Sykes is expected to make an official visit to Missouri after the season and also plans to narrow down his list of favorite schools shortly.
Another one of the state's top Class of 2014 recruits fell off the available list when O'Fallon senior four-star defensive end Dewayne Hendrix (6-foot-4, 265 pounds) gave Tennessee his verbal commitment this past weekend. With Hendrix's decision, just eight of the Rivals.com preseason Class of 2014 state of Illinois top 40 prospects remain uncommitted.
"I knew from the first moment I walked on campus back in the spring that Tennessee is where I belonged," Hendrix said. "It's a feeling I had never had. I wanted to see if my mom had that same feeling, so we went down for the orange and white game. She loved it there, but we wanted to be sure, which is why we visited some other places. I never had that same feeling anywhere else. There was really no comparison to Tennessee with the other places I visited."
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One of the state's top small-school recruits from the Class of 2015 added two recent offers.
Maroa-Forsyth junior outside linebacker Jack Hockaday (6-foot-0, 199 pounds) added offers last week from both Duke and Nebraska.
"Both Duke and Nebraska have offered me," Hockaday said. ""Duke has a great reputation, and they offer a very strong education. Nebraska is also a great school with a long tradition. Nebraska I know has a great fan base and a ton of support."
Hockaday, who plays quarterback and safety for the defending Class 1A state champion Trojans also has early offers from Iowa and Indiana.