Glenbard West's Chris Watt is the best offensive guard prospect in the country. The Notre Dame-bound 6-4, 290-pound lineman reminds me of former St. Laurence, Notre Dame and NFL star Tim Grunhard.
Watt dominates everybody he goes up against. If ever the Player of the Year award was presented to an offensive lineman instead of a quarterback or running back, as it usually is, Watt would be the one.
He is aggressive, never takes a play off, has great feet, is technically sound, is full of enthusiasm and loves to play the game.
I attended the St. Rita/Loyola game last Saturday in Wilmette. In my view, Chance Carter, Loyola's junior defensive end, was the best athlete on the field. The 6-4, 235-pounder moves like a graceful athlete.
But Carter lacks the super aggressiveness and relentless nature that you see with great pass rushers. He has quickness, body control and athleticism. But he needs to get stronger and needs to play more. Once he gives up basketball and realizes his future is in football, he will emerge as a big-time prospect.
Look for John Whitelaw, Hinsdale Central's junior quarterback, to be one of the most recruited players at his position next year. He is a good athlete and he can run. He has the perfect composition to be a quarterback in a spread offense. He is the type of player that every college coach is looking for, a quarterback who can run and throw. He could develop into an elite quarterback.
I'm really impressed with Darren Jones, Thornton's senior quarterback. He is Big Ten material as an athlete. He is a big, thick kid who can run. Look for more colleges to express interest as he gains more exposure. The 6-3, 195-pounder is the latest in a long line of big-time prospects developed in coach Bill Mosel's program.
Another junior who is beginning to make his mark is junior running back LaSteven McKinney of Nazareth Academy in LaGrange Park. He is only 5-9 and 160 pounds but shows signs of following in the footsteps of the best running backs produced in the Chicago area in recent years. He reminds me of Garrett Wolfe and Michael Turner.
By the way, if you are aware of any outstanding junior prospects, please bring them to my attention. College coaches are always looking for underclassmen and NCAA restrictions on recruiting don't permit them to see as many prospects as they once did. I'm always looking, too.