What about the Class of 2014?

What about the Class of 2014?
February 8, 2013, 11:15 am
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The Class of 2013 is signed and delivered, but the recruiting process never ends. Long before this year's senior crop was harvested, college coaches from coast to coast were already evaluating and offering scholarships to the Class of 2014.

While longtime recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network insists that the number of offers isn't always a true barometer of how good a prospect is, he and most other analysts from Rivals, Scout and ESPN agree on the top five juniors in Illinois.

They are tight end Nic Weishar of Marist, linebacker Clifton Garrett of Romeoville, linebacker Nyles Morgan of Crete-Monee, cornerback Parrker Westphal of Bolingbrook and offensive tackle Jamarco Jones of De La Salle.

What is particularly of interest is the number of schools that are recruiting the Class of 2014, many of whom are virtual newcomers to the Chicago area, such as Ole Miss, Florida, Maryland, UCLA, Arizona State, Vanderbilt, Oklahoma, Auburn, North Carolina State, Georgia, Mississippi State and USC.

Lemming points out that Notre Dame, once a dominant factor in recruiting in the Chicago Catholic League, is once again establishing a significant presence in the city and suburbs for the first time in several years.

"It isn't good news for the Big Ten," Lemming said. "Outside of Ohio State and Michigan, the conference hasn't done a very good job of recruiting, of persuading its in-state players to stay at home or make a statement nationally. The results of this year's recruiting (Ohio State and Michigan in the top 10, only one other Big 10 school in the top 34) speaks volumes."

    Crete-Monee has become a "must stop" on the recruiters' travel itinerary. Under former coach Jerry Verde, the south suburban school won a state championship and produced four big-time recruits -- Anthony Sandifer and Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss), Jayden Dunlap (Illinois) and Lance Lenoir (Western Illinois). Treadwell was ranked as the No. 6 player in the nation this year.

New coach John Konecki, who was Verde's offensive coordinator for the last six years, has inherited even more Division I prospects, specifically Morgan and defensive end Chris Slayton. Morgan is projected as a top 100 recruit for 2014 while Slayton is one of the most rapidly emerging stars in the class.

And how about Brooks' Jesus Miranda. No other kicking specialist from the Chicago area, much less the Chicago Public League, has ever been offered by the likes of the elite Division I schools that are pursuing Miranda, including USC, Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee.

The top 12 recruits -- Where are they going?

1. Nic Weishar, Marist, TE: Boston College, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ole Miss, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Maryland, Arkansas, Ohio State.

2. Clifton Garrett, Romeoville, LB: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Arizona State.

3. Nyles Morgan, Crete-Monee, LB: Ohio State, Illinois, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Vanderbilt, UCLA, Purdue, Oklahoma, Northwestern, Ole Miss, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Nebraska.

4. Parrker Westphal, Bolingbrook, DB: Cincinnati, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, West Virginia, Purdue, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Nebraska, Ohio State, Ole Miss.

5. Jamarco Jones, De La Salle, OT: Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Toledo, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Mississippi State, Tennessee.

6. Justin Jackson, Glenbard North, RB: Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Boston College, Toledo, Indiana, Iowa, Vanderbilt.

7. Jesus Miranda, Brooks, K: Illinois, Auburn, Georgia, Wisconsin, USC, Northwestern, Oregon, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Boston College.
8. Tommy Mister, St. Rita, RB: Notre Dame, Illinois, Indiana, Ball State.

9. Brian Allen, Hinsdale Central, C: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana.

10. Enoch Smith, Mount Carmel, DL: Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Purdue, Toledo.

11. Clayton Thorson, Wheaton North, QB: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Northern Illinois, Penn State, Northwestern, Toledo, North Carolina State.

12. Nile Sykes, Montini, DE: Illinois, Purdue, Northern Illinois, Toledo.