The atmosphere at Sunday's Mount Carmel/Joliet Catholic game at Soldier Field was electric. The Caravan won 21-20 in dramatic fashion. And the two best players on the field, to no one's surprise, were linebackers Steve Filer of Mount Carmel and Nick Clancy of Joliet Catholic.
Filer, who is committed to Notre Dame, is excellent in pursuit and around the ball on almost every down. He makes plays and plays with confidence. He runs exceptionally well from sideline to sideline, a trait which makes him a pro prospect. Against Joliet Catholic, he played like he could be a top 25 prospect in the nation if he continues to perform as well throughout the season.
Clancy played every bit as the more publicized Filer. He has great lateral pursuit, made a lot of big plays and demonstrated that he has Division I speed and instincts. He plays well in space and has good body control. Boston College, Indiana and Minnesota are recruiting him. But if he continues to play as he did Sunday, more big-time schools will come after him. At this point, he might be leaning to Boston College.
I rank St. Rita defensive end Darius Fleming as the No. 1 player in the Chicago area, ahead of Filer. Fleming has great burst from off the edge. He is very productive, a defensive threat all the time. But there isn't much difference between Fleming and Filer and Clancy is just as good.