Beth Long’s recruiting notebook

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Glenbard West senior Hayden Lekacz is one of the Midwest’s top kicking prospects and has given his verbal pledge to Stanford.

‘‘As of now, it’s a preferred walk-on for the first year,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m going to redshirt my first year. Then, once Jordan Williamson leaves, it’s my job to win and my scholarship to earn.’’

Lekacz had a full scholarship offer from Air Force and the Ivy League equivalent of that from Cornell. In the end, Stanford was where he wanted to be.

‘‘This has been my dream since I was a little kid,’’ he said. ‘‘The opportunity given to me has me on cloud nine. I’m thrilled [coach David] Shaw and [special-teams coordinator Pete Alamar] gave me the opportunity to come play and go to an institution like Stanford.’’

Sykes waiting game

Recruiting has been in a holding pattern for linebacker Nile Sykes. The Montini rising senior recently competed with the team in the National Select seven-on-seven in Hoover, Ala., a tournament Montini qualified for by winning the Red Grange Classic.

‘‘I thought the first day we showed hints of being a really good team, but we ended up tying a couple of games that could have been won if we executed the way we should have,’’ Sykes said. ‘‘But Day?2, everyone came out with energy, and we were all playing together and doing our jobs.’’

Traveling to tournaments and switching from the defensive line has kept the FOX Sports NEXT three-star linebacker busy. He hasn’t come any closer to making his college decision.

‘‘It is going very well,’’ Sykes said of recruiting. ‘‘Schools like Wisconsin, Missouri and Mississippi State say they’re really looking forward to seeing my first couple of games.’’

Sykes has offers from Illinois, Iowa State, Indiana, Syracuse, Cincinnati and several others.

Juniors making the rounds

Several of the top juniors in the state took visits during the last several days, including Lyons running back Leonard Ross and Providence receiver Miles Boykin, who visited Illinois for their preseason practices. Ross also visited Indiana.

‘‘I got to tour the whole campus, see what it was like to be a football player there,’’ Ross said. ‘‘I sat in the meeting room with the running backs. I got to watch practice itself and roam around during the whole thing. It was awesome.’’

The Hoosiers also gave Hales defensive back Patrick Nelson his first offer after he visited campus.

Grayslake North running back and defensive back Titus Booker visited Iowa.

‘‘It went well — first we got a tour of the facility, then we watched practice and got a tour of the campus,’’ Booker said. ‘‘We also got to talk to some of the coaches. I was very impressed with how intense their practice was, and they treated me and my family well.’’

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