After big performances to open the season, Homewood-Flossmoor’s 6-4, 285-pound offensive lineman Desmond Bland is a prospect to watch. Bland has offers from North Carolina State and now Georgia State. The Wolfpack were the first to offer.
“They came to visit me and told my coach that they were offering me,” Bland said. “I was pretty happy. I knew I have to pick up stuff and I know I have to get my grades together. So as soon as I got that, I really just started working.”
For Bland, adding an offer just made him even more focused on his goals.
“It means I have to pick stuff up and mature and do well,’’ he said. ‘‘I have big things ahead of me, so I have to make sure I am doing well.”
As for other interest, there is plenty on the table for the rising prospect.
“Georgia State offered me, I went to visit Nebraska and I have talked to a lot of schools,” Bland said.
In the meantime, Bland is focusing on making sure he is the best he can be, and has no college visits planned for the fall yet.
“I am working on getting better, and just getting better everyday,” Bland said. “I am also working on being a great leader to these younger guys, too. So I have to step it up.
Collins continuing to improve
Phillips senior quarterback Dewayne Collins racked up over 2,000 yards rushing and passing last year and racked up some college interest this offseason.
The 6-2, 190-pound prospect has seen interest from Toledo, Western Michigan and others. Head coach Troy McAllister isn’t surprised at the attention.
“I mean the ball is really popping out of his hand now. He has developed the strength and the speed there obviously,” McAllister said. “He’s a state champion in track. He is just trying to find the right team. You have a very dynamic playmaker if you get a team with a couple established quarterbacks. I think he is the guy for them.”
Collins anchored Phillips’ 800-meter relay to a state championship in the spring and his speed is one of his biggest assets.
“He’s a long strider so you don’t think he’s fast and then at the city championships for track he runs a 10.85 100-meter dash and you realize, holy crap this kid can really fly,” McAllister said.
2016 class open season
College coaches were allowed to contact recruits in the junior class starting Monday at 12:01 a.m. and several of the areas juniors had plenty of schools reach out to them.
Evanston rising defensive lineman prospect Naquan Jones heard from a handful of new schools just hours after the contact period opened.
“A lot of schools reached out to me so far,” Jones said. “I am now being recruited by Purdue, Indiana, Penn State, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois and more.”
Another prospect who added new interest is Montini junior receiver Tyler Millikan who heard from Virginia Tech, Minnesota, Kansas and Miami Ohio.