Craig Drummond, Morgan Park's 6-5, 245-pound defensive end, will be one of the 25 players on my first-team junior All-America team that will be announced on Tom Lemming's Generation Next at 6 p.m. Thursday on CSTV.
How good is Drummond?
He is a high school version of Richard Dent, the former Chicago Bears defensive star. He has long legs and long arms, the same type of body as Dent. He will weigh 270-280 pounds in college. And he has intangibles. He motors on every play. He is aggressive and athletic and has great football instincts.
Colleges are always looking for defensive ends, big guys with speed and athletic ability and an aggressive nature, which is difficult to find. Former Simeon star Martez Wilson, now at Illinois, had that ability but he wasn't as big as Drummond and didn't have his motor going all the time. Drummond also reminds of Mario Williams, who was the Houston Texans' No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
In what figures to be the year of the quarterback, nationally and in Illinois, Matt Barkley of Santa Ana, Calif., is my early choice as the No. 1 player in the country. He is as good as Jimmy Clausen, last year's top prospect, coming out of high school and he has had a better year than senior Dayne Crist of Sherman Oaks, Calif., one of Notre Dame's prize recruits. Barkley already has 15 scholarship offers, including USC, Tennessee, Stanford and California.
Also on my junior list is John Simon of Youngstown, Ohio, a defensive lineman who already has been offered by Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Chicago will have a good year. While Drummond is the only top 25 player, at least seven or eight could make the top 100 list. This year, there are only four or five.
The class of quarterbacks is outstanding. Marian Central's Jon Budmayr has been offered by Northwestern. I also like Glenbard North's Evan Watkins, Maine South's Charlie Goro and Aurora Christian's Jordan Roberts.
It also figures to be a good year for linemen. Glenbard West's Chris Watt has been offered by Northwestern. And I like lineman Patrick Ward of Providence, linebackers Darius Moffett of Hubbard and Jim Juriga of St. Charles North, defensive lineman Scott Covert of Lake Forest and running backs Mike Trumpy of Wheaton North and Dominique Bell of Morgan Park.
I like Trumpy a lot. He has a Division I swagger about him. He has good size and speed and he knows how to run. He has good running instincts.