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Crete-Monee senior defensive back Jaylen Dunlap recently committed to Illinois. | Beth Long~For Sun-Times Media
Crete-Monee defensive back Jaylen Dunlap, one of the area’s last remaining high-profile seniors to choose a college, recently committed to Illinois during the Core 6 Winter Showcase.
“I wanted this my whole life and the choice was easy because I love Illinois,” Dunlap said. “It is my dream school and it just felt right. To play for my home state, it feels great.”
Dunlap returned from his official visit Sunday and then chose the Illini over Western Michigan Monday.
“Since I was young when I first started playing football I knew I wanted to play for Illinois,” Dunlap said. “But when they offered me it was just like ‘Dang this is real.’ My official visit was great, but it was just the icing on the cake.
‘‘I already loved Illinois. Coach Tim Beckman made me feel at home and welcomed me with open arms. The whole coaching staff made me feel like I had been there for four years already.”
Weishar adds OSU
Top junior tight end prospect Nic Weishar of Marist added an offer from Ohio State.
“The offer is pretty awesome and humbling at the same time,” Weishar said. “Ohio State is another great school with great tradition.”
Weishar has double-digit offers from the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois. The Buckeyes are a team he is looking forward to learning more about.
“I didn’t see that many games of Ohio State’s this year, so I definitely have some research to do,” Weishar said. “I do know they have a pretty good reputation with tight ends in the NFL, though.”
Iowa lures local talent
Several of the area’s top prospects, including Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett, Wheaton North quarterback Clayton Thorson and Naperville Central quarterback Jake Kolbe visited Iowa for Sunday’s junior day.
While on campus Garrett received confirmation of an offer from the Hawkeyes.
The catch is, he’s had the offer since May.
“When I asked coach LeVar Wood what I had to do to earn an offer he said I have had it since May,” Garrett said. “Overall, the junior day went really well. I got to see a lot of what they have to offer as far as football.”
Thorson, who attended Saturday’s basketball game against Wisconsin with his family, also enjoyed the junior day experience.
“My parents and I sat down with coach Ferentz for about a half hour, so that was nice to talk with him for a little bit and learn more about the program,” Thorson said.
Thorson picked up an offer from Minnesota just before heading to Iowa.