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Bolingbrook's Parrker Westphal (21) looks for some running room up field vs Romeoville held at Romeoville on Friday, August 31, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Michigan’s matchup Saturday against Northwestern was important for more reasons than the just the Big Ten Legends race.
Several top recruits were in attendance, including Bolingbrook junior defensive back Parrker Westphal.
“I would say that the best part of the visit for me would be the intensity of the crowd and just the overall game day atmosphere,” Westphal said.
After the game Westphal had a chance to catch up with the coaching staff for about 30 minutes.
“They just told me that they need defensive backs,” Westphal said. “That they need defensive backs like me and they want me to come be a Wolverine.”
Another prospect on hand to watch the Wolverines’ 38-31 overtime victory over the Wildcats was Hinsdale Central tight end Ian Bunting.
“I loved it; it was definitely one of my best visits,” Bunting said. “I really liked the school a lot. It’s definitely one of my top schools.”
Both Northwestern and Michigan have shown interest in Bunting.
“I really enjoyed seeing both of the schools, they both played really well,” Bunting said. “It definitely impressed me and it was an exciting game to be at.”
Junior lineman to watch
With the football season wrapping up, recruiting attention is building for several junior defensive lineman, including Oak Park-River Forest defensive end Nile Sykes who has offers from Illinois, Northern Illinois, Purdue and Toledo.
“I visited Illinois Saturday for the game against Minnesota,” Sykes said. “The visit was great in my opinion. Even though they lost I still have faith in what they are doing because I know how good their coaching staff is.”
Sykes also got in some personal time with the coaching staff.
“I got to go talk to all the coaches during the day,” Sykes said. “And I got to talk with coach Tim Beckman in his office, then I went on a tour.”
Another defensive lineman causing a stir on the recruiting trail is Mount Carmel’s Enoch Smith Jr., who has offers from schools all over the Midwest, and now the west coast, as well.
“I haven’t really been focusing on recruiting, just focusing on winning the state championship, which is our goal,” Smith said. “But some of the new teams I have heard from are USC, Stanford, UCLA, Michigan, Michigan State and several others.”
New offer for Thurman
Senior defensive back Jameer Thurman of Proviso West recently picked up an offer from North Dakota.
“I wasn’t really expecting it at all,” Thurman said. “It surprised me but I always stayed in contact with them.”
The offer from North Dakota is the third for Thurman, who holds offers from Central Michigan and Western Illinois. Plus, there is one more school coming after Thurman, which he will visit Saturday.
“It’s just an unofficial visit to Kansas,” Thurman said. “But I am looking forward to hearing their plans for me regarding offering me.
‘‘I am also looking to see if I could see myself going there. So I am looking forward to touring the campus as well.”
Several Chicago-area prospects have received interest from high-profile schools over the past several weeks, including Glenbard West junior running back Scott Andrews.
“I got a letter from Vanderbilt and they have asked for my transcript so far,” Andrews said. “I would like to hear from Big Ten schools, it would be nice because they are close to home.”
He added, “I think I have done well this year, I blocked well and my coaches and family supported me. I believe in my team and they have made this possible.”
Plus, senior Glenbard West defensive lineman Ruben Dunbar picked up an offer from Missouri, and Simeon senior linebacker Reggie Spearman added an offer from Iowa.