The recruiting period began last week, meaning that college coaches officially could get back on the recruiting trail and hand out scholarship offers.
It didn’t take long for one area prospect to benefit, with Grayslake North’s Titus Booker receiving his first offer — from Toledo — on the first day that contact could begin.
‘‘Toledo came to my school to visit me,’’ Booker said. ‘‘They told my coach I was one of their top juniors and that the head coach loved me, the running backs coach loved me and the defensive backs coach loved me. They said they were going to go ahead and offer me.’’
A first offer is always a big one, and it was no different for Booker.
‘‘I know it is a great thing to get the first offer,’’ Booker said. ‘‘There is still a lot of work to be done, but this is a great milestone to reaching my goals. I was surprised when they offered. I knew one offer could be coming soon, but it felt awesome when it happened.’’
And this is just the beginning of the recruiting process for Booker, who has received interest from schools such as Illinois, Syracuse and Western Michigan, among others.
‘‘My coach was proud of me,’’ Booker said. ‘‘I could tell my mom and dad were so proud, but they know that this is just the beginning of finding the right school for me.’’
Curry is one to watch
One area senior poised for a late Division I offer is Montini senior defensive back Derrick Curry, who has received interest from Illinois State, Ball State and Western Illinois to go with offers from McKendree, Northern Michigan and Quincy.
‘‘I think that schools should offer me because of my speed, my skill and my academics,’’ Curry said. ‘‘I am doing well in school. Plus, I know how to win [from] being at Montini.’’
Montini junior receiver Leon Thornton added offers from Western Michigan, Indiana and Toledo to his recent offer from Illinois.
Many area players made college visits during the weekend.
Booker, Maroa-Forsyth linebacker Jack Hockaday and Naperville Central linebacker Bobby McMillen visited Iowa, and Julian defensive back Jalen Miller, St. Charles North linebacker Jordan Bergren and several others visited Illinois.