High School: Football

Laquon Treadwell deciding Thursday

January, 11, 2013
Crete-Monee (Ill.) senior Laquon Treadwell, the nation's top wide receiver recruit, will announce his college decision at his school Thursday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Treadwell will choose between Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Mississippi. He's already made official visits to Oklahoma and Ole Miss and is visiting Oklahoma State this weekend.

Read the entire story.

IHSA football championships: WatchESPN

November, 21, 2012
Frank LentiScott Powers/ESPNChicago.comMount Carmel coach Frank Lenti, shown with Donovan McNabb, will try for his 10th state title.

The IHSA state football championships shouldn’t disappoint again this season. It’s full of all of the essentials, and all of the games can be seen on WatchESPN.com on Friday and Saturday.

All-American player? Check. Crete-Monee wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, ESPN’s top-ranked wide receiver, will be playing in the Class 6A state championship. There are plenty of other D-I players throughout the title games.

Defending champions? Check. Aurora Christian (3A), Rochester (4A) and Montini (5A) are all back in their respective classes’ title games after winning state last season. Montini is attempting to grab its fourth consecutive state title, and Rochester is going for its third.

Traditional powerhouses? Check. Mount Carmel (8A) has won nine state titles. Montini (5A) has won four. Belleville Althoff Catholic (2A) and Morris (5A) have won three. Rochester(4A) and Stockton (2A) have won two. Aurora Christian (3A), Cary-Grove (6A), Glenbard West (7A), Lincoln-Way East (7A) and Maroa-Forsyth (1A) have won one.

Legendary coaches? Check. Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti has gone 325-59 with nine state titles in 29 years. Montini coach Chris Andriano has gone 255-119 with four state championships in 34 years.

Former NFL player coaching? Check. Former NFL wide receiver Don Beebe is in his ninth year as Aurora Central Christian’s coach. He’s gone 87-22, finished runner-up once and won one state championship. His son Chad is a senior on the team.

Here are the links to watch this weekend’s games, including all eight IHSA state championship games:

Chicago High School Football Prep Bowl: Friday at noon, Watch!

Class 1A Championship: Friday at 11 a.m., Watch!

Class 2A Championship: Friday at 2 p.m., Watch!

Class 3A Championship: Friday at 5 p.m., Watch!

Class 4A Championship: Friday at 8 p.m., Watch!

Class 5A Championship: Saturday at 11 a.m., Watch!

Class 6A Championship: Saturday at 2 p.m., Watch!

Class 7A Championship: Saturday at 5 p.m., Watch!

Class 8A Championship: Saturday at 8 p.m., Watch!
Chantel Jennings catches up with Shelby Spence, a 2014 quarterback prospect from De La Salle (Chicago) who still awaits his first scholarship offer.

WeAreSC: Ty Isaac Interview

November, 14, 2012
Chantel Jennings catches up with running back Ty Isaac, a USC commit, as Joliet (Ill.) closes in on a state title. Isaac is ranked No. 70 in the ESPN 150.

New ESPN 300: Midwest Region

November, 7, 2012

ESPN recruiting coordinator Jared Shanker breaks down movements in the ESPN 300 player rankings in the Midwest.
Enoch Smith holds a handful of FBS offers, but he stills waits for one from Michigan. Chantel Jennings talks to Smith about recruiting and the season at Mount Carmel.
Joliet Catholic (Ill.) offensive lineman -- and lead blocker for USC commit Ty Isaac -- J.B. Butler still waits for his first scholarship offer. The Class of 2014 prospect talks to Chantel Jennings about his recruiting.

Colin McGovern getting noticed

October, 11, 2012
Colin McGovern's recruitment started off slow as he was a relatively unknown offensive line prospect. But things changed quickly after his junior year, and today the Notre Dame commit and UA All-American is regarded as one of the nation's top offensive linemen.

Click here to read the story.

Laquon Treadwell sets an example

October, 9, 2012
Laquon TreadwellZach Perry/intersportLaquon Treadwell seems to have added Illinois and Notre Dame to his list of possible destinations.

Rated the nation’s No. 4 wide receiver and No. 38 recruit in the ESPN 150, Crete-Monee (Crete, Ill.) wide receiver Laquon Treadwell sets an example for his younger brother with the hard work he puts in off the field.

Read the entire story.

High-powered offense is spreading

August, 17, 2012
Matt AlvitiTom Hauck/ESPNHSMaine South QB Matt Alviti will bring his experience with the spread offense to Northwestern.
Three yards and a ... shoestring tackle.

Could that be the Big Ten's new motto? It's become the motto for nearly all of college football over the past decade with the advent of the spread offense.

Rich Rodriguez tried it at Michigan. Urban Meyer is bringing his to Ohio State. Penn State had its "HD Offense."

The Big Ten is no longer just a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust league. But it is nothing new for some of the high schools in the Midwest.

Rocky Pentello has been coaching at Westerville South in Ohio since 1991. He estimates his team has been running the spread offense for close to 15 years now. While Ohio and the Midwest are known for producing linemen, not every program is blessed with the horses up front year after year. Pentello and his staff began incorporating the shotgun-based spread to even the playing field.

Pentello implemented zone-blocking schemes for his offensive line, which, in its simplest terms, is predicated on blocking an area instead of just a man.

Read the entire story.

Illinois loaded with top prospects

August, 16, 2012
Laquon TreadwellTom Hauck for ESPN.comNot only is Treadwell the top uncommitted recruit in Illinois, he is the top undecided player in the Midwest.
The 2013 class is one of the strongest in Illinois in recent memory. There are 12 prospects rated as four-star recruits from the state in 2013, which matches combined total from 2011 and 2012.

Although the top two spots in Illinois are occupied by skill positions players -- WR Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) and RB Ty Isaac (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) -- six of the top 10 players in the state can be found along the lines. That isn't much of a surprise, as the Midwest is known for producing big boys.

Five offensive tackles are found among the top 10 players in Illinois, and another offensive lineman -- guard Kyle Bosch (Wheaton, Ill./St. Francis) -- comes in at No. 6. Overall, the top part of the state's 2013 class is heavy on offense as 12 of the top 14 prospects could all play on that side of the ball.

Two Big Ten teams without much success recently are hoping they found their quarterbacks of the future from the state.

Read the entire story.
[+] EnlargeLaQuon Treadwell
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSLaquon Treadwell's top seven includes Michigan, but the competition for his services is stiff.
Crete-Monee senior wide receiver Laquon Treadwell was one of 64 high school skill players selected to play in the Champion Gridiron Kings.

The Champion Gridiron Kings will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. from Friday-Sunday. The event will include 7-on-7 games, skill challenges and performance trainings. It will air on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Sunday at 6 p.m.

Treadwell was the lone Illinois player selected for the competition. He is ranked No. 38 in the Class of 2013 ESPNU 150 and is being recruited by most of the nation’s top programs.

Treadwell was an ESPNChicago.com all-area selection as a junior and caught 75 passes for 1,391 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Joliet Catholic to face Providence on ESPNU

July, 2, 2012
Ty IsaacTom Hauck/ESPNHSJoliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.) running back and USC commit Ty Isaac will visit Providence Catholic on Opening Night of ESPN's High School Football Kickoff.

A showdown between two top teams in Illinois will kick off the high school football season in style as the third annual ESPN High School Football Kickoff gets underway in August.

In all, 26 teams from 15 states will play on ESPN’s family of networks from Aug. 24-26, beginning with Joliet Catholic Academy (Joliet, Ill.) playing at Providence Catholic (New Lenox, Ill.) at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU. That game features one of the nation’s top recruits, rising senior Ty Isaac of Joliet Catholic. The USC commit is rated the nation’s No. 70 player in the ESPN 150.

Other Friday games include Minnetonka (Minn.) at Arrowhead (Hartland, Wis.) at 8 p.m. on ESPN3. Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) will play at Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) at 9 p.m. on ESPN2, and Mullen (Denver) will play at Valor Christian (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) at 10 p.m. on ESPN3.

Friday is the first of three days of coverage that also includes 18 teams appearing on ESPN for the first time as well as 11 athletes who are currently ranked in the ESPN 150. That list is headlined by Fork Union Military Academy (Fork Union, Va.) QB Christian Hackenberg, the nation’s No. 1 quarterback and No. 10 recruit in the ESPN 150. His team will play Hermitage (Henrico, Va.) at Oscar Smith High School in Chesapeake, Va. on Saturday at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.

The slate of games includes 12 defending state champions, including two games which have dueling state champions – Good Counsel against Bishop Gorman as well as Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) taking on Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) at 7 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

Illini land O'Fallon DB Darius Mosely

June, 23, 2012
O’Fallon senior defensive back Darius Mosely committed to Illinois on Saturday.

Mosely, who is 5-11 and 185 pounds, is the No. 9-ranked prospect in Illinois and 41st-ranked defensive back in the country, according to ESPN Recruiting. He chose the Illini over Vanderbilt.

Mosely said Illinois coach Tim Beckman and his staff were creative in their recruitment of him.

“They were on me constantly,” Mosely told ESPN.com’s Max Olson on Saturday. “They sent a picture with my face on a billboard that said, ‘Welcome to Illinois: Coming soon.’ I was like, 'Wow.' They even sent one where they named a McDonald’s burger after me: the McMosely.”

The Illini now have 13 Class of 2013 commitments, including six from Illinois.

DT Bryce Douglas commits to Illinois

June, 22, 2012
Plainfield Central senior defensive tackle Bryce Douglas committed to Illinois on Friday.

Douglas, who is 6-2 and 330 pounds, was offered by the Illini after participating in a linemen camp on Friday and committed within minutes. Both of his parents attended Illinois, and his father, Bruce Douglas, played basketball for the Illini.

“I’ve always loved Illinois,” Douglas said. “I’m really excited.”

Douglas was also receiving interest from Boston College, Central Michigan, Indiana and Nebraska, among others.

Illinois had been recruiting Douglas for some time, but he hadn’t received an offer. He said he was told by an Illinois assistant to attend Friday’s camp and show the staff how hard he’s been working.

“I just had to do my part,” Douglas said. “I was really focused, and I knew I was down there for one reason, and that was to try to get a scholarship offer. I did what had to be done. I had to step up and get my mind right. That’s what I did.

“I was excited [when I received the offer.] It took a minute to sink in. Words can’t describe it.”

Illinois now has 12 Class of 2013 commitments and five from in-state recruits.