Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

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As the high school football season approaches its final weekend of 2015, several young prospects are beginning to emerge, including Mount Carmel sophomore defensive back Houston Griffith.

The 6-0, 180-pound prospect has offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and Virginia and just visited Champaign-Urbana.

“I got to take a tour again while I was on campus,” Griffith said. “And I talked with some of the coaches. I really know a lot about the school going into the visit so I was just focusing on building a better relationship with the coaches.”

You would think that Griffith, son of former Illini great Howard Griffith, would use his dad as a tour guide when he visited campus, but that’s not totally the case.

“I don’t really because it seems like every time I go down there to visit there is something new at the school,” Griffith said.

Griffith is being recruited as a defensive back and his primary recruiter is assistant coach Mike Bellamy.

Owen Piche taking visits

Neuqua Valley junior wide receiver Owen Piche who recently took a first trip to Michigan State, a school he’s been to visit many times since his dad is an alumni.

“I had a great time. Michigan State did an amazing job of showing the recruits what Big Ten powerhouse football is,” Piche said. “I talked with Coach Ron Burton, my area recruiter. He knew a lot about my season and how my team had performed.”

Piche made the trip with his dad.

“Just being around the program was amazing,” Piche said. “I have always dreamt of playing on that field since I was a little boy, so to be there was something special.”

Deshaun Mallory one to watch

Bolingbrook’s Deshaun Mallory is 6-3, 290 pounds and starting to get recruiting attention. He’s one to watch with his combination of size and speed.

“I am excited knowing that I have more experience on varsity than some of the younger guys and I know that I will be moved around a lot and I know what to expect,” Mallory said. “My body is right, my mind is right and I am ready for next year. The weight room is going to help a lot and last year I got my chance, the coaches saw me and I just took a shot.”

There has been a long line of success at the Division I level at Bolingbrook, the latest with senior linebacker Tuf Borland who will enroll at Ohio State in the spring semester.

“It is very motivating knowing that someone from my own team can be very successful academically and also athletically,” Mallory said. “He just brings a lot of motivation to me and he’s a great mentor. I’ve learned a lot about leadership and how to carry a team from him. Just to be able to speak up to anyone can change how I do things.”

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