Junior crop gets better and better

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Illinois coach Ron Zook says it is difficult to recruit within the state, that it is easier to recruit in Florida or Washington D.C. or even Ohio, because alumni, high school coaches and parents expect the state school to offer scholarships to one and all.

But what about a kid named Meiko Locksley, a 6-2, 185-pound junior quarterback at Champaign Centennial?

Yes, the son of Mike Locksley, Illinois' offensive coordinator and Zook's chief recruiter.

And Mike's teammate, 6-3, 215-pound junior linebacker Rayvonte Rice, whom I project to be one of the most recruited players in the state next year.

Another junior to watch is linebacker Marcus Lee of Bolingbrook, who could be a top 10 player in Illinois next season.

The two top juniors in the nation are 6-7, 305-pound offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson of St. Paul, Minn., and 6-2, 195-pound quarterback Jake Heaps of Seattle, Wash.

Henderson has been offered by all Big Ten schools and Notre Dame. He also figures to be offered by all of the nation's major programs. He ranks with Jonathan Ogden and Orlando Pace when coming out of high school.

Heaps is a high school version of Joe Montana. He has been offered by 15 schools to date, including Washington, USC, UCLA, Brigham Young and Notre Dame. Heaps is a Mormon so BYU might have an edge.

Notre Dame invited 35 prospects to last Saturday's Michigan game in South Bend. Thirty of them were making unofficial visits. The list included Chicago area standouts Chance Carter of Loyola, Christian Lombard of Fremd and C.J.Fiedorowicz of Johnsburg.

Among the official vistors were running back Nyshier Oliver of Jersey City, N.J., who committed to Tennessee months ago but now is considering Notre Dame and Michigan; linebacker Glenn Carson of Manahawkin, N.J.; 6-4, 285-pound defensive end Chris Bonds of Columbia, S.C.,a former teammate of Notre Dame cornerback Gary Gray; and 6-4, 245-pound defensive end Gabe Ikard of Oklahoma City, Okla.

Finally, the No. 1 senior in New Jersey, 6-6, 260-pound defensive end Anthony LaLota of Princeton's Hun School, committed to Michigan over Penn State, Notre Dame and Boston College. It is a good catch for Michigan. LaLota played only one year of football but had more offers than anyone else in the state.

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Watch out for Junior Back/linebacker Jerome L. Laseter, he should have a break season for the 2009 season, for Hubbard H.S.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on September 15, 2008 4:17 PM.

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