It is a below average year for football talent in the Chicago area and the state of Illinois. Only three players are good enough to rank among the top 100 in the nation and only 19, including two from Leo, Thornton and East St. Louis, are good enough to rank among the top 25 at their positions, the lowest number in a long time.
The trio of top 100 players are defensive end Craig Drummond of Morgan Park, offensive lineman Chris Watt of Glenbard West and quarterback Jon Budmayr of Marian Central. Watt is committed to Notre Dame, Budmayr to Wisconsin.
Three quarterbacks rank among the top 25 with their pro-style skills--Budmayr, Evan Watkins (Northwestern) of Glenbard North and Charlie Goro of Maine South.
Thornton quarterback Darren Jones ranks among the best run/pass/athletic quarterbacks in the country.
Wheaton North's Mike Trumpy (Northwestern) is the only running back on the list while Thornton's Greg Fuller (Illinois) and Lemont's Tyler Burns are top 25 fullbacks.
Kraig Appleton and Terry Hawthorne (Illinois) are among the top 12 wide receivers in the nation. Appleton also is expected to commit to Illinois.
Richards' Shaun Pratl is the only tight end, Leo's Lendell Bruckner (Illinois) is the only defensive tackle and Hubbard's Darius Moffett is the only linebacker.
Drummond and Homewood-Flossmoor's Mike Buchanan are standouts at defensive end, Watt and Leo's Leon Hill (Illinois) are listed as guards and Sandburg's Mike Schofield (Michigan) and Providence's Pat Ward are tackles.
Thornton's Jamal Gray is a pure athlete who could play wide receiver or defensive back in college.