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Glenbard North's Justin Jackson (20) has had a sensational season, earning a spot on the Sun-Times All-Area team. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media |
Morgan Park, defensive lineman, 6-6, 285, senior: After getting eligibility issues settled, he led the Mustangs to the Public League final. Had 70 tackles and six sacks. Seven major scholarship offers, including Purdue and Northern Illinois.
Thornton, defensive back, 6-0, 195, senior: Class 7A coaches All-State pick was a four-year varsity starter. Had three interceptions this season, 10 for his career. Ranked 37th nationally among senior safeties by Rivals.com. Committed to Vanderbilt.
St. Francis, offensive lineman, 6-6, 315, senior: Four-star recruit is No. 92 on Rivals’ 100 for Class of 2013 and is seventh-rated offensive tackle nationally in his class. Second local OL to head to Michigan in two years, following Simeon’s Chris Bryant.
Mount Carmel, running back, 5-11, 180, junior: Part of the Caravan’s potent triple option attack, he’s averaging 9.1 yards per carry (142 carries, 1,290 yards, 20 TDs) heading into the Class 8A final. Has an offer from Ball State, interest from Ohio State, Florida State among others.
Loyola, 6-3, 200, defensive back/wide receiver, senior: Lawless Award winner as top player in Catholic League Blue led one of state’s top defenses with 79 tackles and four interceptions. Also a dangerous receiver (35 catches, 582 yards, 11 TDs). Committed to Holy Cross.
Lincoln-Way East, quarterback, 6-3, 180, senior: Northern Illinois recruit has rushed for a school-record 1,502 yards (152 carries, 9.3 average, 21 TDs) in leading 13-0 Griffins to Class 7A final. Also has completed 56 percent of his passes (75-of-135) for 1,070 yards and eight TDs.
Naperville North, offensive lineman, 6-4, 275, senior: Repeat All-Area selection was anchor of one of area’s top rushing attacks. The Huskies were so effective running the ball that they they didn’t attempt a single pass in two games this season. Ranked 27th nationally among offensive guards by Rivals. Committed to Iowa.
Loyola, defensive lineman, 6-2, 225, senior: Catholic League Blue Defensive MVP kept opponents moving backward with 14 tackles for loss and 10 sacks along with 24 solo tackles and 27 assists. Helped defense hold eight opponents to seven or fewer points.
Waubonsie Valley, running back, 5-11, 185, senior: The 10-2 Warriors reached the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1994, thanks in large part to their workhorse back. He ran for 2,365 yards and 31 touchdowns this season to finish his prep career with 4,114 yards and 54 TDs.
Fenwick, linebacker, 6-2, 225, senior: The Lawless winner as the top player in the Catholic League White led the Friars to a conference title and a near-upset of two-time defending state champ Boylan in the Class 7A playoffs. He had 123 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and three defensive TDs.
Montini, kicker/punter, 6-1, 180, senior: With the Broncos’ explosive offense (43 points a game last season, 32 PPG in 2012), Harte gets a lot of conversion attempts and he’s Mr. Automatic: 53-of-54 this season, 129-134 over two years. He also was 11-of-13 on field goals this season, including 2-of-2 from past 50 yards.
St. Charles East, linebacker, 6-0, 200, senior: Saints coach Mike Fields said Hoscheit is the best all-around player he’s had in 17 seasons. Class 7A All-Stater and Upstate Eight River Defensive MVP had 94 tackles, five sacks, 537 rushing and receiving yards, 10 TDs. Will play baseball at Northwestern.
Glenbard North, running back/defensive back, 6-0, 175, junior: The Panthers’ Mr. Everything has seldom left the field in leading Glenbard North to its fourth state final. He has 162 carries for 852 yards in the past four weeks; 392 carries, for 2,539 yards and 35 TDs for the year, along with 19 catches for 284 yards and three TDs.
Barrington, offensive lineman, 6-7, 285, senior: Another in a line of talented offensive lineman for the Broncos, he is following former teammate Dan Voltz to Wisconsin. Part of an exceptionally strong class of Illinois prep linemen, he’s ranked 40th nationally by Rivals among offensive tackles.
Lincoln-Way West, offensive lineman, 6-7, 297, senior: The Class 5A All-Stater helped the Warriors reach the state quarterfinals in just the program’s fourth season. He’s ranked 38th nationally among offensive tackles and is committed to Notre Dame. Others offers were from most of the Big Ten and Alabama among others.
Glenbard West, tight end/defensive lineman, 6-5, 220, senior: Despite missing some time due to injury, the Vanderbilt recruit has caught 51 passes for 884 yards and seven touchdowns. That’s added another dimension to the usually run-oriented Hilltoppers, who are 13-0 and playing for the Class 7A title on Saturday.
Stevenson, defensive back/wide receiver, 6-3, 185, junior: The son of former Bear Jim Morrissey is already a two-year, two-way varsity starter. A Class 8A All-Stater, he had 84 tackles and an interception along with 33 catches for 563 yards and five touchdowns. Has an offer from Toledo, interest from multiple Big Ten schools.
Cary-Grove, running back/linebacker, 6-1, 215, senior: One of several seniors who dressed as freshmen for the Trojans’ 2009 state champs, he has played an integral role in leading 13-0 Cary-Grove back to Champaign. He is averaging 11.2 yards per carry (198 attempts, 2,213 yards, 25 touchdowns). Offers from North Dakota and South Dakota.
Lemont, offensive lineman, 6-6, 290, senior: The LSU recruit is the best of a very good group of senior offensive linemen in Illinois this fall. Rivals ranks him as the 41st best player overall in the Class of 2013 and the third best offensive tackle. The repeat selection helped the Indians average 35 points and reach the state semifinals for the fourth time since 2007.
Palatine, linebacker, 6-3, 195, senior: The Mid-Suburban League West defensive Player of the Year led the Pirates to a 10-game winning streak and their second state quarterfinal berth in three seasons. He was a Class 8A All-Stater and had more than 100 tackles along with six interceptions.
Neuqua Valley, running back, 6-0, 201, senior: Neuqua Valley’s best team in program history was led by its durable back, who finished with 2,226 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns. He led the Wildcats to a 12-1 record and their first semifinal berth, gaining 806 yards in the first three rounds of the playoffs alone.
Mount Carmel, defensive lineman, 6-3, 261, junior: Defense is a big reason the Caravan is playing for its 11th state title on Saturday. Smith is a leader of that unit up front with 20 tackles for loss and 37 stops overall. He figures to be one of the most sought-after D-linemen in the Class of 2014 and already has offers from Notre Dame, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana among others.
Crete-Monee, wide receiver/defensive back, 6-3, 195, senior: The Sun-Times Player of the Year is also the No. 1 receiver nationally in the Class of 2013, with offers from virtually every big-time program. A repeat selection, he excels in all phases for the unbeaten Class 6A finalists with 75 catches for 1,339 yards and 15 touchdowns, 28 carries for 164 yards and six scores and lockdown defense at a variety of positions.
Marist, wide receiver, 6-5, 215, junior: The RedHawks star, projected as a tight end in college, has more major offers now than most seniors with Notre Dame, Michigan, Oklahoma and Northwestern among them. A Class 8A All-Stater and the East Suburban Catholic Conference co-Offensive MVP, he caught 89 passes for 1,034 yards and five touchdowns.