High-SchoolIllinois: Tommy Schutt

Winkler wins Gatorade POY

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
11:22
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Blake Winkler may not have been the highest-ranked football player in Illinois, but there was no one more feared with the game on the line. For his steady play and clutch leadership, Winkler took home the Gatorade State Player of the Year award for 2011.

The 6-foot senior passed for 2,369 yards with 30 touchdowns this year, while tossing just five interceptions. His Lincoln-Way East squad was upset in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs, but Winkler was still the choice for the Gatorade panel.

It won't be a popular decision in some circles, as there were some spectacular performers across Illinois this year. Montini senior receiver Jordan Westerkamp became the state's all-time leader in every pass-catching category while leading his team to the Class 5A championship. Bolingbrook junior quarterback Aaron Bailey burst onto the scene and won the Class 8A championship. Joliet Catholic junior running back Ty Isaac ran for 2,629 yards and scored 51 TDs.

And those are just the offensive stars. Glenbard West senior defensive tackle Tommy Schutt may have been the most dominant player in the state.

If I had a vote, in all honesty, I probably would have cast it for Isaac or Bailey. But since both are juniors, we'll likely get to see them battle it out for this award next year. For 2011, I have no problem with Winkler taking home the hardware.

To read the complete rundown of Winkler's credentials, click here.

To see all the winners for every state, click here.

Stock rising for Schutt, Greer

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
3:24
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In this week's edition of All-State Stock Watch, we're looking at All-State football players who saw their potential value rise or fall over the past week. A player could have performed well in a game, gotten a big-time scholarship offer, or broken his leg. Whatever the case, I chart all the data (in my head) and give you the biggest movers of the week.

STOCK WATCH

UP — Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West DL
Some moron gave Schutt a DOWN grade last week, but the senior responded with one of the most impressive performances of Week 1. He was an absolute beast in a nationally-televised game against Wheaton South, leading Glenbard West to a 21-7 victory. It snapped Wheaton South's 26-game winning streak and made the statement that Hilltoppers (and Schutt especially) are among the best in Illinois. That deserves either an UP grade or an apology ... let's give Schutt an UP.

DOWN — Lamontiez Ivy, East St. Louis QB
Ivy is still one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the state, but it's hard to argue that Week 1 went well for the senior signal caller. He led his East St. Louis team into Georgia to take on North Gwinnett on Saturday, and the Flyers came out on the wrong end of a 41-0 rout. For a team that is expected to have an explosive offense, Ivy couldn't get anything going (11 of 27, 99 yards).

UP — Brandon Greer, Mount Carmel DB/RB
In last year's season opener, the Mount Carmel defense was gashed in a 47-41 loss to Simeon. This time around, Greer led a defensive turnaround that helped Mount Carmel win the rematch, 23-14. Greer, a safety, was instrumental in holding Arkansas-bound Simeon QB Robert Gregory in check (155 passing yards, 2 TDs). Greer also contributed 124 rushing yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

Disagree with any stock picks? Or have a suggestion for next week? Leave a comment below or hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
The timing of the Glenbard West vs. Wheaton-Warrenville South game is a bit odd, as the two schools open on Sunday at 12 p.m. But there will be very large audience watching, as the meeting is being televised on ESPN2 as part of the ESPN High School Foootball Kickoff.

The game itself should be interesting. Glenbard West opens the season as the No. 2 team in our rankings, while two-time defending 7A champ Wheaton South checks in at No. 4. Wheaton South is turning over much of its roster from last year, with five new starters projected along the offensive line. That may prove problematic on Sunday, as Glenbard West's headline player is massive DL Tommy Schutt. It should be interesting to see how Wheaton South attempts to block Schutt, who we featured on the cover of the September issue of ESPNHS Illinois magazine. From that story:
In the past two seasons, he’s led Glenbard West to a 23-3 combined record on the gridiron while piling up 138 tackles and 23 sacks as a defensive end. Now a 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior, he is rated the nation’s No. 132 recruit in the ESPNU 150.

Considering he never played a down of football before getting to Glenbard West, his accomplishments in the sport just add to his legend.

“He can do things athletically that will blow you away,” says Glenbard West head coach Chad Hetlet. “We’ve had our share of great players come through here, but his natural athleticism is off the charts.”

So yeah, expect Wheaton South to do whatever it takes to try and block that guy.

For the complete story, click here.

For a cool breakdown of both teams from ESPN Recruiting, click here.
In this week's edition of All-State Stock Watch (aka the first edition of All-State Stock Watch), we're looking at All-State football players who saw their potential value rise or fall over the summer. A player could have performed well at a camp, gotten a big-time scholarship offer, or broken a leg. Whatever the case, I chart all the data (in my head) and give you the biggest movers of the week.

STOCK WATCH

UP — Robert Gregory, Simeon QB
When you throw 28 touchdown passes and just three interceptions as a junior, then all reports over the summer say you're improving as a passer, your stock rises in my book. Gregory is a dual threat (more than 900 rushing yards, 16 TDs last year), but it's his big-play ability from inside the pocket that could vault Simeon to a state title this fall. Gregory, a 6-foot-4, 190-pounder, has scholarship offers from Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Arkansas.

DOWN — Tommy Schutt, Glenbard West DL
This may be a bit of a stretch, as Schutt made the ESPNHS All-State first team and seems poised for another great season. But he didn't have the best summer, as two of his top college choices pulled the rug out from under him at the last minute. Earlier this month, Schutt was minutes away from committing to Notre Dame when the Irish pulled their offer after receiving a commitment from another defensive lineman. And Michigan was also in the running, but the Wolverines also pulled their offer on the same day. Schutt still ended up going with one of his top choices, as he committed to Penn State. But that kind of stress can't be good for the body, hence the speculative "DOWN" grade.

UP — Jason Robertson, Lincoln-Way East
Robertson didn't put up spectacular numbers last year (23 catches, 615 receiving yards, nine touchdowns), but that could change in a hurry. The 5-foot-11 speedster will be catching passes from senior QB Blake Winkler for the second straight year, and that chemistry should lead to a lot of big plays. During the offseason, Robertson impressed at the Nike SPARQ Combine in Chicago and committed to Illinois.

Disagree with any stock picks? Or have a suggestion for next week? Leave a comment below or hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

For the complete All-State team, click here.
After giving you a sneak peak yesterday, it's time to unveil the complete All-State football team for Illinois. Not a lot of surprises here, and definitely not with the selections of Jordan Westerkamp and Tommy Schutt. Westerkamp is set to become the state's all-time leading receiver this season, and we already told you about the legend of Schutt earlier today.

The team is based on projections for on-field performance and accomplishments, not necessarily recruiting potential. For a list of the state's top recruits, click here. Disagree with any of the picks? Come at me in the comments section or on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and let's duke it out (with keyboards, of course). The first team quarterbacks are listed here, with the complete All-State team after the jump.

ESPNHS Illinois All-State Football

First Team

Offense
Matt Alviti, Maine South, QB, Jr.
Threw 24 touchdown passes, ran for 12 as a sophomore

Robert Gregory, Simeon, QB, Sr.
Athletic dual threat drawing interest from Big Ten teams

Wes Lunt, Rochester, QB, Sr.
Oklahoma State recruit is top-rated senior QB in state

Read More »

Schutt ready for career year

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
1:15
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Value
Matt Marcinkowski/ESPNHSTommy Schutt
Glenbard West defensive lineman Tommy Schutt has dominated since the first time he put on pads as a freshman, and this feature story in the September issue of ESPNHS details his rise to prominence.
Tales of a 13-year-old athletic freak began to trickle into the athletic department during his eighth-grade year. It was the kind of hype coaches learn to dismiss in High School Coaching 101 — but the rumors persisted.

He’s already 250 pounds and can dunk a basketball.

He’s a stud pitcher with a mid-80s fastball.

It all turned out to be true, but even those impressive feats couldn’t come close to foretelling the type of career Schutt (pronounced “shut”) has enjoyed for the Hilltoppers. In the past two seasons, he’s led Glenbard West to a 23-3 combined record on the gridiron while piling up 138 tackles and 23 sacks as a defensive end. Now a 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior, he is rated the nation’s No. 132 recruit in the ESPNU 150.

It's an interesting read with some good stories about Schutt's early practices with team, when he used to battle one-on-one against former Glenbard West star lineman Chris Watt (now at Notre Dame). Click here for the complete story.

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