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'05 Illinois recruiting


Even though Illinois does not appear to be a priority I thought we should at least take a look at their top prospects. It appears to be a good year in Illinois


With recruitment of the class of 2004 winding down, the class of 2005 already is taking shape.

Tim O'Halloran, who runs the recruiting Web site Edgytim.com, is touting this year's junior class as one of the best in recent history.

"It's potentially the best class ever in Illinois," O'Halloran said. "It's deep and it's talented at every position."

It's led by Niles West junior running back Rashard Mendenhall, who already has verbally committed to the University of Illinois. Not only is Mendenhall rated as the top junior running back in Illinois, O'Halloran believes he may be the nation's top running back.


Barrington offensive lineman Dan Doering- Chris Pool- Insiders Midwest guru ranks him the no.2 Olineman in the Midwest (Boone is no.1). He has 12 schollie offers including USC & scUM and thinks by the end of May that number will be up to 30. He has already visited Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Northweestern, Illinois and Notre Dame. But no tOSU



Lockport quarterback Jake Christensen- Lemming has him in his early top 10 junior list- he is the son of a former NFL QB Jeff Christenson- he passed for 3,350 yds, 36 TD's and only picked off 6 times as a junior


Chris Jeske LB Joliet Catholic

Bio Notes: Chris Jeske is a big and physical player for Joliet Catholic, one of the premier football powers in Illinois. As a sophomore in 2002, Jeske made several post season honors and was nmaed as a junior in 2003 to the EDGYTIM.com Preseason All State team.

Schools in the Running: Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Wisconsin



Wheaton Warrenville South is loaded with talent. Most of it is on the offensive line, where 6-foot-8, 280-pound tackle Dace Richardson and 6-4, 240-pound tight end Tony Moeaki already have received offers from Illinois.

Six-five, 315-pound tackle Michael Smith, guard-linebacker Grant Nemeth and 6-6 receiver Matt Stevens also will attract recruiting attention.

O'Halloran believes Downers North lineman Cody Cielenski, Naperville Central linebacker Eric Small, York linemanTimothy Freiteg , Hinsdale Central defensive end Doug Pilcher, Glenbard West linebacker Conor Gillen and Hilltoppers tight end Tom McAndrew will be prime recruits, along with Driscoll kicker Rick Albreski and quarterbacks Greg Wunderlich of Naperville North and Dan LeFevour of Benet.
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Hear The Drummer Get Wicked
Staff member
'05 IL LB - Eric Lines




Eric Lines
Morris Community HS (Illinois)
(LB) 6-2 210lbs
2003 All Conference and All Area
Early Favorites include Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Nebraska Purdue, and Northwestern.


As a sophomore, 205-pound linebacker Eric Lines led the 2002 varsity with 170 tackles. With 210-pound junior Chad McClintock alongside, the Redskins figure to present defenses with a formidable linebacking corps.

We seem pretty set at the Will with guys like Hawk, Freeman, Lukens and Matthews on the roster but we could use another Sam or two. Lines has the speed you look for and plays in the middle right now. 170 tackles for a LB is awfully impressive, even more so considering he was only a sophomore.
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Oak Lawn (IL)
Running back

Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 180 pounds

Will be a three-year varsity starter in 2004. Rushed for 1,909 yards and 32 touchdowns as a sophomore. Rushed for 1,558 and 22 touchdowns as a junior. Named all-area in 2002 and '03. Should end his career as the leading rusher and scorer in school history.

Coaches Comments --"Dion is the best running back I've coached in my 32 years at Richards. He's better than Joe Montgomery (Ohio State, New York Giants) and Demetrius Smith (Michigan). Dion will break all of our school rushing records in 2004.

Scouting Report - 3-yards and a cloud of dust. Former Denver Bronco's running back Terrell Davis said that all he needed from his lineman was to give him a crack, just a little bit of day light and he'd do the rest. This is how Dion Foster operates. He makes touchdown runs look easy that never even looked like he had room to run. Dion's burst is super and he can run inside or outside. Dion has tremendous lamps (Vision) and he's tough to bring down on first contact.

Schools in the Running: Illinois, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin

Comparisons are being made to Fred Russell or Anthony Davis
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Foster already has offers from Wisconsin, Illinois and Purdue but he grew up following the Bucks. His role model is Joe Montgomery (who went to the same HS). He claims tOSU is not recruiting him. Same old song in Illinois recruiting :(
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Chicago always has a ton of talent and Wisconsin, Illinois and NW always clean up there. Michigan got Avant a couple of years ago and every now and then a kid will sneak away.

Downers Grove (both hs's), Joliet Catholic, Lockport, Wheaton Warrenville and that damn school that produced McNabb and the DE always have good players.
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Well there is at least one Illinois player that tOSU is actively recruiting and his name is LB Chris Jeske (see info above). According to Rivals and Chris, tOSU has stepped up their recruitment of him and have started sending him alot more mail.
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2 time Reigning BuckeyePlanet Poker Champion
every year illinios seems to have ONE HUGE prospect who goes to oklahoma (that d-lineman from a year ago) or texas (big time wr when they had their #1 class full of d-linemen a few years ago and those are just straight from the top of my head, ive always wondered why we dont hit that state a lil harder...
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ive always wondered why we dont hit that state a lil harder...

Yea- this does seem puzzling and has been discussed a few times on the boards.

But it does seem clear that Illinois is not a priority for the coaches. We seem to be getting in late on some of the top guys (Dampier, C. Patterson, K. Williams, T. Jamieson and now Doering) or not getting in on some guys at all (Roland Martin). Illinois is a highly contested state with powerhouses from the Big 12 (OU- Patterson, Dampier), SEC (Tenn- in on quite a few i.e. Martin) and the Big 10 (just about every team) competing for the talent.

My guess is the coaches have just prioritized other areas that have the potential for a higher payoff and Illinois is a casuality of this strategy. tOSU areas of concentration- Ohio, Florida (specifically S. Florida), PA (specifically W. PA) and I think this year we will see a greater move into the Northeast (specifically NJ). We hired a coach with experience in this area and it seems even more wide open now with the demise of the Big East.
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Hear The Drummer Get Wicked
Staff member
Didn't Chris Patterson and Eric Andino last year have Ohio State as their early favorites yet neither received an offer? The lack of interest in Doering is puzzling and I won't even get into the Roland Martin situation from last year. Have we landed a kid from Illinois since McNutt? You'd think we'd have better luck over there. He was a Heisman hopeful after all :wink:
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Chicago article on local '05 recruiting class

The May evaluation period for college football is just around the corner, and coaches and recruiting analysts already are touting the senior class next fall as perhaps the best in state history.

How good? Chicago-based recruiting analyst Tom Lemming, who has evaluated talent for 25 years, rates running back Rashard Mendenhall of Niles West and offensive linemen Dan Doering of Barrington and Dace Richardson of Wheaton-Warrenville South among the top 50 in the nation.

Lemming compares the Class of 2005 to the Class of 1986, which set a standard of excellence that all other classes strive to achieve. It sent 14 players to the NFL, including Russell Maryland, Jeff Alm, Brad Quast, Paul Justin, Tim Grunhard, Chris Calloway and Bobby Wilson.

"It is too early to say it is the best class in the last 10 years, but there are enough blue-chip athletes to consider that,'' Lemming said. "The Class of 1986 was the best in the last 25 years. Other classes looked good, but the players didn't perform up to expectations. Potentially, the Class of 2005 has a chance to be as good as 1986.''

It is so good that Lemming considers Mendenhall, who already is committed to Illinois, as a leading candidate for National Player of the Year. It is so good that as many as 12 players might be rated among the top 100 seniors in the nation at the end of the season, the most since 1986.

Lemming lists eight local products among the top 100 in the nation in his pre-spring evaluation -- Mendenhall, Doering, Richardson, quarterbacks Jake Christensen of Lockport and Sean Price of Maine South, tight end Anthony Moeaki of Wheaton South and linebackers Ryan Bain of Bolingbrook and Chris Jeske of Joliet Catholic.

"It is one of the best years for athletes,'' Lemming said. "There is talent at every position, more players with Division I potential.''

*Mendenhall, a 210-pounder with 10.5-second speed for 100 meters, "is the best running back to come out of Chicago in the last 25 years,'' Lemming said. "If he hadn't committed early, he might have been the most recruited running back in the nation.''

Illini coach Ron Turner doesn't have to worry about Mendenhall changing his mind. He and older brother Walter, who signed in February, are inseparable. They made a decision to attend Illinois together and told other schools not to bother.

"It isn't a normal situation,'' Lemming said. "Normally, other colleges keep pressuring a kid who has committed. But as long as Walter is happy, Rashard will be happy. There has been no pressure on Rashard to change his mind because it is a strong family.''

Going into the May evaluation period, Mendenhall ranks with running backs Toney Baker of Jamestown, Pa., and Jonathan Stewart of Olympia, Wash., as the leading prospects in the nation.

*Doering, a 6-6, 300-pounder, is the most recruited offensive lineman in the country. He might be the best offensive tackle produced in Illinois, even better than Dennis Lick and Jim Juriga, who played in the NFL. He has dozens of scholarship offers but appears to be most interested in Iowa, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska and UCLA. USC, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Georgia Tech also have offered scholarships.

"At this stage, he is in the Jim Juriga class,'' Lemming said. "He is smart and has stuff you can't teach -- size and athletic ability. He also is technically sound and has a great work habit. He will be the most recruited offensive tackle in the nation.''

*Price, the Sun-Times Player of the Year in 2003, "is the best precision passer I've seen in the Chicago area,'' Lemming said.

But Christensen, who quarterbacked Lockport to the Class 8A championship last season, looms as a better college prospect because he has a stronger arm, outstanding vision, poise and leadership skills and is cool under pressure. Curiously, Price hasn't received any scholarship offers.

"I think Price is a big-time quarterback, a Big Ten player, if he gets a chance,'' Lemming said. "He reminds me of Drew Brees. He has touch and football smarts. He must sell himself to the college coaches who perceive that he lacks arm strength.''

*Two players who have impressed scouts on film and have climbed rapidly up the talent chart are defensive lineman Alex Magee of Oswego and running back Dion Foster of Richards.

"Defensive linemen are hard to find, big people who can move their feet and make plays,'' Lemming said of Magee, a 6-4, 275-pound star on Oswego's Class 7A champion last season. "It's hard to think of a defensive lineman who was better since Bryant Young and Brian Hamilton in the 1980s.''

Foster makes up for his 5-8 stature with 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash and great competitive spirit. He is a producer. In the last two seasons, he rushed 372 times for more than 3,500 yards, averaged 9.3 yards per carry and scored 51 touchdowns. Coach Gary Korhonen compares him to former Richards star Joe Montgomery, who played at Ohio State and in the NFL.

Others who might crack the top 30 during the May evaluation period are wide receiver Markus Murray and tackle Brad Davis of Thornton, quarterback Paul Blalock of Waubonsie Valley, running back Jason Reed of Homewood-Flossmoor and linemen Chris Vaccaro of Bishop McNamara, Jack Byrne of St. Rita, Tim Freitag of York, Jake Wertz of Stevenson, Jake Seiler of Crystal Lake Central, Cody Cielinski of Downers Grove North, Doug Pilcher of Hinsdale Central, Aaron Miller of Oswego, Grant Nemeth of Wheaton South, Otis Hudson of Barrington, Herbert Abah of Steinmetz and Ohene Wiafe-Ababio of Bolingbrook.

Also, wide receivers Jarrett Drake of Thornridge, George Kadlec of Lockport, Deon Flowers of Lane Tech and Mike Lyons of Hubbard, quarterback Greg Wunderlich of Naperville North, linebackers Anthony Morrison of Romeoville, Phillip Brown of Morgan Park and Connor Gillen of Glenbard West and defensive backs Brad Pruitt of Hyde Park and Kevin Platt of Joliet Catholic.

But Lemming cautions that some players' heads are getting too big for their helmets.

"I see some kids who think they have it made already, and that is an invitation to destruction,'' he said. "Some kids are getting too much publicity on the Internet, and they are taking it too seriously. If they stay hungry, it will be a remarkable year in the Chicago area.''


Player School Pos. Ht. Wt.
1. Rashard Mendenhall Niles West RB 5-10 210
2. Dan Doering Barrington OL 6-6 300
3. Dace Richardson Wheaton-Warrenville South OL 6-7 295
4. Alex Magee Oswego DL 6-4 275
5. Jake Christensen Lockport QB 6-1 195
6. Dion Foster Richards RB 5-8 190
7. Anthony Moeaki Wheaton-Warrenville South TE 6-4 242
8. Ryan Bain Bolingbrook LB 6-2 250
9. Chris Jeske Joliet Catholic LB 6-2 215
10. Terrance Jamison Thornton OL 6-4 240
11. Stephen Benjamin Leo WR 6-2 205
12. David Moosman Libertyville OL 6-5 265
13. Tim Reed Evanston DL 6-2 240
14. Eric Hedstrom Prospect OL 6-6 255
15. Tom McAndrew Glenbard West TE 6-4 240
16. Sean Price Maine South QB 6-2 175
17. Garrett Seeger Barrington QB 6-1 195
18. Justin Anderson Steinmetz QB 6-2 200
19. Dwayne Pillow Lane Tech WR 6-3 195
20. Omari Dollison Hales Franciscan RB 6-2 225
21. Chris Clancy Joliet Catholic RB 6-3 215
22. Sam Porter Morgan Park LB 6-2 225
23. Andy Laue Barrington OL 6-5 280
24. Orlando Moore Morgan Park WR 6-0 170
25. Scott Smith Highland Park LB 6-4 215
26. Rashard Ward Harper WR 5-10 168
27. Keyon Brown Thornton DL 6-2 210
28. Mike Kafka St. Rita QB 6-3 185
29. Wade Weyer St. Rita RB 5-10 180
30. Freddie Barnes Homewood-Flossmoor QB 6-2 190
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It looks like some of tOSU's Illinois recruiting is picking up

* Doering was offered

* JT is mailing letters to ILL no. 1 QB Jake Christenson


* Melvin Rice, a top Ill DB who attended tOSU Nike, is listing tOSU as a top 5 favorite


* WR Orlando Moore is still rating tOSU in his top 5


One of the top wide receiver prospects in the Midwest for 2004. Moore had 800 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns as a junior. He was named all-city.
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