Abbate, Brate deserve props

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While I recover from jet lag, having just returned from my four-day trip to Hawaii, allow me to clear some things off my desk before I recount my experiences in the Aloha State.

Two players who had outstanding senior seasons but continue to slip under the radar of many Division I coaches are defensive end Nick Abbate of Glenbard North and tight end Cameron Brate of Naperville Central. Both compete in the tough DuPage Valley Conference so nobody can complain that they aren't battle hardened.

Abbate, a 6-2, 220-pounder, earned a spot on the Sun-Times' 25-man All-Chicago Area team. He spearheaded a defense that registered six shutouts and keyed Glenbard North's drive to the state semifinals.

Abbate plays defensive end on film but he also has enough quickness and football sense to be a linebacker in college. Because of his academic standing, he could be a candidate for the Ivy League. But schools such as Southern Illinois, Illinois State and Western Illinois should be looking at him.

He is playing defensive end so he is being overlooked at 6-2, 220. But he will grow to 240 pounds in college. He had great production as a senior with 75 tackles and nine sacks. He should be attracting more interest.

Brate, a 6-5, 230-pounder, looks great on film. He is a definite Division I player, in my opinion. As a senior, he had 45 receptions for 490 yards and nine touchdowns. He also is a good blocker. His speed is questionable, probably what scares away some recruiters, but he has great size and production. And he is an excellent student with a 3.9 grade-point average and a 30 ACT.

Brate has Mid-America Conference ability. Frankly, I don't understand why he has been overlooked.

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3 Comments

I played on glenbard norths team this season and I completely agree with you. Nic Abbate but forth more effort in the offseason then I have ever seen any player do. Also Nic was always ready to play he came with a level head every practice and every game he never let anything get to him. He understands the game from both sides of the ball. He played several games at tight end and defensive end. Nic deserves to be looked at by more schools he is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever seen. Congratulations Nic on all you accomplishment. And thank you for recognizing him for all of this.

Tom, I am beginning to think that you could build a pretty good team from the "overlooked players" in DuPage county alone. Looking at the SunTimes and Daily Herald All Area picks there are a lot of guys "undecided". Should be a check mark for "under recruited" as well.

I saw both Brate and Abbate play this year and both are deserving of scholarships.

For QB's, you could have Trace Wanless of Glenbard South, Tyler Warden of Glenbard West, Nick Linne Naperville Central, Brandon Pechlof at Montini and John Whitelaw at Hinsdale Central. Nick Slezak and Connor Douglas at Glenbard South at LB and WR/DB. I honestly believe that any of these players could play well for any of the Mid-American Conference teams. (Yes I know Whilelaw is going to the Ivy League and Linne to Northwestern to play baseball)

Connor Loftus, Glenbard West, is a terrific player and has the grades to go anywhere. He plays like a Big 10 player to me yet I am not sure he is on that conferences radar.

I know that coaches look for current size, potential to grow, speed, etc. but they don't always seem to look at the intangibles - competitiveness, leadership, determination, the size of the fight in the dog so to speak.

Happy Holidays Tom.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on December 15, 2009 10:38 AM.

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