Did you notice that only five Illinois high school products were included among the top 250 college football players in the country in the preseason ratings by national magazines?
They are quarterbacks Juice Williams (Chicago Vocational) of Illinois and Dan LeFevour (Benet) of Central Michigan, defensive end Tim Jamison (Thornton) of Michigan, offensive lineman Xavier Fulton (Homewood-Flossmoor) of Illinois and linebacker Larry English (Marmion) of Northern Illinois.
"The last few years have been down years for recruiting in the Chicago area. There has been no knockout year," said recruiting analyst Tom Lemming. "Recruiting was great in the 1980s and pretty good in the 1990s. The high water mark was 1986, when 141 players received scholarships and 20 went to the NFL.
"But recruiting has changed. Because so many Chicago area players are making early commitments today, it hurts other kids because college coaches don't come back to recruit in December and January. Consequently, they aren't taking as many players from the Chicago area as they once did. Instead, college coaches are going South in December and many late-developing prospects in the Chicago area are overlooked."
But Lemming predicts the class of 2010 in the Chicago area could be the best since 1990. In fact, he projects as many as 100 signees. The class is headed by Fremd offensive lineman Christian Lombard, Loyola defensive end Chance Carter and Johnsburg wide receiver C.J. Fiedorowicz. All three have been invited to participate in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl in San Antonio.
How's that for an early commitment?