Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

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Scout recruiting four-star Evanston defensive lineman Naquan Jones has narrowed his long list of offers down to a top six: Michigan State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Penn State.

Jones decided to get one step closer to a decision because he just felt like it was time.

“Because I am wrapping up my junior year and i want to be fully dedicated to my senior season and don’t want to worry about recruiting my senior season,” Jones said.

In the end, the cuts really came down to relationships with coaches that Jones has made — since he has only taken visits to Michigan State and South Carolina.

“Basically the schools that I thought would benefit me the most, they are schools that i could see myself at and schools that I have the best relationship with their coaches,” Jones said.

Cutting down his list was much harder than the 6-4, 320-pound athlete expected. Jones will announce a final decision at Evanston on June 5, the final day of his junior year.

“I don’t know yet,” said Jones. “It was tough narrowing it down to five, there were a lot of coaches telling me they hoped to see me in the top five. But it’s a business kind of, if I could go to every school I would and it comes down to just where I feel the most comfortable. Who can support me the most academically thats what I’m looking for.”

Accolades for Mike Panasiuk

The most recent camp for top prospects to come through Chicago was Nike’s the Opening Regionals which took place at Addison Trail.

Coming away with the defensive line group MVP and an invite to the Opening in Beaverton Oregon in July, was Lake Park’s Mike Panasiuk.

“In the beginning of the camp I wasn’t expecting it,” said Panasiuk. “There were all these big names of prospects out here, but then the coaches taught me different things and then I just thought to myself ‘Why can’t it be me? And getting the MVP, I definitely was excited. I thought to myself that I gave my best effort and gave it 100-percent so it could be me.”

The 6-4, 285-pound prospect’s most recent offer came from Maryland.

Josh King’s Top Five

Another area athlete has narrowed his list of schools, fellow four-star defensive lineman Josh King of Hinsdale South. King announced that Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan, Southern California, and Notre Dame had made his top five.

“You always take any offer into consideration and give every school a chance because you don’t know exactly what they have to offer,” said King. “I talk to Michigan State a lot, Ron Burton is a great guy. I talk to Michigan a lot. Mostly I am just thinking Big Ten and staying in the Midwest.”

King most recently had a big performance at the Opening Regionals in Chicago, where he was one of the top defensive lineman in attendance and has yet to set a date to announce his final decision.

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