The Chicago area may not boast as many big-time prospects in the class of 2011 as the city and suburbs produced in 2010. But Downstate Illinois is loaded with talent. At East St. Louis, for example, coach Darren Sunkett has six legitimate Division I prospects.
Sunkett's top players are 6-2, 270-pound defensive tackle Clint Tucker, 6-1, 210-pound running back Vincent Arterbridge and 6-2, 195-pound wide receiver Keante Minor. Each has several scholarship offers.
The No. 1 player in the state is 6-3, 230-pound running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville. Alabama has offered Coe as a running back while other schools are recruiting him as a linebacker.
The top-rated offensive lineman in Illinois is 6-4, 290-pound Ryan Klachko of Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin. He is relentless. He and teammate Greg Wilson,a 5-9, 185-pound running back who averaged seven yards per carry last season, will make veteran coach Ken Leonard very busy in the recruiting process.
Riley McMinn, a 6-6, 220-pound defensive end from Rochester, has offers from Illinois and Boston College and other schools. He is very athletic. McMinn's former teammate, quarterback, Sean Robinson, is a freshman at Purdue.
Belleville East has a pair of standouts in 5-10, 190-pound running back Ryan Herring, whose older brother signed with Wisconsin as a defensive end, and 5-10, 185-pound wide receiver/defensive back Darnell Stevenson. Both have been timed in 10.6 seconds for 100 meters.
Bloomington's McAvoy twins come from good stock. Kyle is a 6-5, 290-pound offensive lineman. Luke is a 6-5, 260-pound offensive lineman. Their father played at Gordon Tech and Illinois. Their brother played at Michigan.
A sleeper in the mix is 6-6, 240-pound tight end/defensive end Calvin Lewis, a three-sport athlete from little Stark County in Toulon.
Other Downstate standouts include 6-4, 225-pound quarterback Judson Wienke of Tuscola, whose brother is a quarterback at Iowa; 6-1, 175-pound quarterback Tyrell Bolden of Springfield; 5-9, 175-pound running back Tevin Hicks of Peoria Richwoods; kicker Brennen Van Mieghem of Metamora; and 6-4, 260-pound offensive lineman Ryan Ricketts of Galesburg.