I've scouted some recent games in the Chicago area and I've watched a lot of film. Here is what I've seen and what I know and who I recommend as Division I prospects. It is difficult to understand why some seniors aren't being more highly recruited than they are. But, after 31 years, I've learned that is the nature of the business.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Big 10 should be recruiting quarterbacks Miles Osei of Prospect and Jimmy Garoppolo of Rolling Meadows. I think Hinsdale Central's John Whitelaw is a big-time prospect, too, but he apparently got frustrated by the process and opted to commit to Yale. So who can argue that he didn't make a good decision?
Both Osei and Garoppolo have had good senior seasons. They have been very productive. They have major college arm strength, speed and athleticism. In my view, there is no good reason why they shouldn't be offered.
Go through NFL rosters and you'll find players who weren't recruited heavily. Overlooked seniors like Osei and Garoppolo should continue to persevere and something good will happen. They have the skills to make it at the next level.
Remember, Kurt Warner was a walkon at Northern Iowa and became a Super Bowl MVP. Drew Brees came out of Austin, Texas, and was turned down by everybody. But Jim Chaney, then the offensive coordinator at Purdue and now an assistant at Tennessee, took him mainly because they had lost other prospects on their priority list.
Brett Favre had no offers except for Southern Mississippi. They took him because he was running an option offense for his father, a high school coach.
What all of this says is recruiting isn't an exact science, particularly at quarterback. When you only bring in one quarterback a year, a lot of mistakes are made.
J.D. Barchard, Crystal Lake South's 6-3, 230-pound linebacker, is another overlooked and unappreciated senior. He should get a full ride somewhere. He has good size and makes a lot of plays. People just don't know about him. I've seen him on film and he stops everything up the middle. He has been credited with more than 100 tackles.
At Providence, the Plantz brothers, Tyler and Zac, sons of former Gordon Tech and Notre Dame star Ron Plantz, deserve some serious consideration. Tyler, a 5-11, 210-pound senior linebacker who gets lost playing with conference MVP Peter Houlihan, is headed for Army or the Ivy League. Zac, a 6-1, 205-pound junior linebacker, is bigger than is brother and likely will be a Division I recruit.
At Niles Notre Dame, the Burgos brothers, Julian and Jeremy, also deserve some recognition. Juian, a 5-9, 180-pound senior running back with 4.5 speed, is a MAC-type runner with power, speed and vision. Jeremy, a 6-1, 210-pound junior linebacker, will be among the top 30 players in the Chicago area in the class of 2011. If he works hard and gets bigger, stronger and faster over the summer, he figures to make it at the next level.