Beth Long’s weekly recruiting roundup

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Hales’ Denzel Ward was a busy guy last weekend.

First, the junior offensive tackle and his teammates traveled Friday to Cahokia, where they won to clinch the Spartans’ second straight IHSA playoff berth. Then after getting home around 4:30 a.m. Saturday and catching a couple hours’ sleep, Ward was off to Ann Arbor, Mich., to watch the Michigan-Michigan State game.

After the game, a narrow win for the Wolverines, he gave Michigan a verbal commitment.

“I always was a fan of Michigan and I see their vision and plan for me to become a greater person and player,” said Ward, a 6-foot-9, 285-pounder. “I understand patience is a virtue and I will wait my time to play for the greatest fans ever.

“The visit was amazing because of the nail-biting nature of the game. I think I picked the best day to commit and overall it’s Michigan for God’s sake!”

Allegretti adds Illinois offer

Less than a week after receiving his first offer from Cincinnati, Lincoln-Way East junior offensive lineman Nick Allegretti received his first Big Ten offer from Illinois.

“One reason that I like Illinois is that my brother is a freshman there,” Allegretti said. “Also I like that they are in the Big Ten because I like the way they play. On top of that, I like their location, they are close to home and I am very close with my family.”

The talented lineman had a lot more to say about Illinois and their style of play.

“I love offensive line coach Luke Butkus and everything that I have heard from him so far,” Allegretti said. “He is an Illini alumni and has a lot of passion for the team and the school.”

Weekend visitors

Several Chicago area prospects visited Iowa Saturday for the Hawkeye’s game against Penn State, including Glenbard North junior running back Justin Jackson.

“Honestly, I loved all of it and talking to the coaches was awesome,” Jackson said. “Just walking in the stadium and being on the field for warm-ups was so loud and looked like there were so many people there.”

Another prospect who visited was Hinsdale Central junior wide receiver Ian Bunting.

“I really like the coaches at Iowa, that’s one of the most important things to me and those guys are real with you,” Bunting said. “They are very serious about what they do, but they know how to have fun, too.”

But that wasn’t all that impressed Bunting.

“When the strength coach was speaking he said if you don’t plan on graduating college, then don’t come to Iowa,” Bunting said. “Academics are extremely important there and that’s important to me, too.”

Other area prospects that visited Iowa Saturday included three juniors: Hinsdale Central offensive lineman Brian Allen, Wheaton North quarterback Clayton Thorson and De La Salle running back Mikale Wilbon.

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