Beth Long’s weekly recruiting roundup

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One of the most dynamic seniors in the area this past season was Mount Carmel’s Christian Searles. The wide receiver and defensive back received lots of recruiting attention, and Dayton finally caught his as he verbally committed to the Flyers.

“I chose Dayton because it is a great academic school and has a strong football program,” Searles said. “I loved the coaches, people and campus size. It was not too big, but not too small and I like that the football team travels to different parts of the country.”

Searles committed on his official visit while meeting with the coaching staff.

“The coaches loved my film and the head coach (Rick Chamberlain) told me I want you to be a part of our football team and said for me to call him if I wanted to come to Dayton,” Searles said. “And right then I said this is where I want to be.

‘‘He jumped out of his chair and gave me a hug. It was a very exciting moment for [me and] my family.”

Changes at Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt has done a good job recruiting the state of Illinois, landing commitments from De La Salle’s Mikale Wilbon, Maine South offensive lineman Brendan Brosnan and Danville defensive back Trent Sherfield.

But with coach James Franklin’s departure to Penn State, the status of some of the commitments is in limbo. Wilbon, a Scout.com three-star running back, has addressed his commitment via Twitter, tweeting “after talking with my parents. I’ve decided to open up my recruitment. I am going to reevaluate everything and do what is best for me.”

Brosnan has yet to speak publicly about his commitment, while Sherfield has withdrawn his commitment from Vanderbilt and is considering other offers.

Thornton gets first

Montini junior wide receiver Leon Thornton unexpectedly added his first offer — from Illinois.

“I called [wide receivers] coach Mike Bellamy,’’ Thornton said. ‘‘He said first off I want to apologize for not doing this sooner, and then he offered me. I was like ‘What? This is amazing.’ Then we talked about how the process was going to go and stuff.”

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