The first five offers are in for Lake Park junior defensive lineman Mike Panasiuk, from Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Iowa State, Syracuse and Western Michigan.
“Recruiting has been good, it’s been picking up lately,” Panasiuk said. “The last couple of weeks coaches have been talking to me as well as swinging by the school.”
Plenty of other schools stopped by to see Panasiuk since the contact period began.
“I am just excited to see all the coaches come in and it motives me to get more to come in and see what I have been up to and motive myself,” Panasiuk said.
The first offer was from Toledo. It’s something the 6-4, 280-pound prospect won’t forget.
“Toledo offered first,” Panasiuk said. “The coach came in and we talked and then once he left [Lake Park] coach [Chris] Roll pulled me out of class and told me that I was getting an offer. I was surprised, I didn’t think I would get one that early. Once he told me I was really excited.”
Then came Miami Ohio, Western Michigan, Syracuse and the latest from Iowa State.
“A lot of coaches have been telling me that I am a strong kid and having the strength helps but I plan on working more technique this offseason,” Panasiuk said. “Right now I would say my strengths are taking on the double team, I can really take on the double team and set the block and make the tackle.”
Junior Day Visitors
Several area prospects took a trip to Iowa to check out the Hawkeyes for their Elite Junior Day — and Nazareth junior Julian Love came home with an offer extended his way.
“The best part was definitely when the coaching staff had me sent up to Coach [Kirk] Ferentz’s office and he then talked to me about the school and offered me,” Love said.
The 6-foot, 175-pound prospect wasn’t expecting the offer from the Hawkeyes, but was pretty excited it happened.
“I didn’t expect them to offer me,” Love said. “So my reaction was very surprised. But obviously I was very happy.”
Other prospects to make the trip were Fremd junior defensive back Kenney Lyke and defensive lineman Matt McCabe, along with Deerfield junior quarterback Anthony Ranallo.
“I would say when they were walking us around the football facilities and showing us what life is like as an Iowa football player was my favorite part of the visit,” Ranallo said. “I also loved sitting with the quarterback coach and getting to know their offense.”
Another junior to pick up offers in the last week was West Aurora defensive back Drake Spears, who added an offer from Western Michigan. Spears is 6-2, 205-pounds and has offers from Illinois and Bowling Green along with the Broncos.
Phillips senior quarterback Dewayne Collins has reopened his recruitment after committing to Illinois State during the season.
“We feel that he is one of the best athletes in the state and can help a four year division one school next year,” Phillips defensive coordinator Michael Larson said.
“What he is looking for is a four year division one program that can utilize his skill set.”