Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

SHARE Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook
SHARE Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Football season is just days away and many of the top uncommitted prospects in the state are planning on finalizing their college plans before their senior seasons begin.

Three-star Huntley defensive lineman Olalere Oladipo is the next top prospect that plans to announce his commitment, planning to decide the eve of his season opener on August 25. Oladipo burst onto the recruiting scene after his junior season concluded, racking up offers from likeIllinois, Indiana, Maryland, Northern Illinois, Penn State, Purdue and Syracuse.

Seniors committing

One of the most recent athletes to come off recruiting boards is Marist senior linebacker Micah Awodiran.

From the beginning, Awodiran knew exactly what criteria he would use to narrow his list down from his top-four of Vanderbilt, Yale, Illinois, and Duke. For the 6-2, 210-pound prospect, academics truly was key.

“When I narrowed down my list I looked for just the schools that best fulfilled the criteria that I was looking for for an academic standpoint,” Awodiran said. “I looked for the academic prowess and academic support system that they have as well as the relationships from the linebacker coach that recruited me all the way up to the head coach. All those things is what I was looking for, just the best combination.”

Awodiran, one of the top defensive prospects in the state, recently announced his decent to commit to Yale. The RedHawks are expected to be able to put together a top end defensive effort this season with the combined efforts of Awodiran, who recorded 133 tackles last season, and Kansas defensive back commit Rob Topps.

Barrington senior wide receiver Josh Babicz also summed up his recruitment with a commitment just prior to his senior season, to North Dakota State University.

“I would like to announce that I have made a decision to continue my athletic and academic career at North Dakota State University,” Babicz wrote on Twitter. “I appreciate all the schools that have recruited me and shown interest in me.”

Babicz is a long, 6-6, 220-pound athlete who also had offers from Illinois State, Western Illinois, Wyoming, Missouri State and several others.

Barrington senior linebacker Blake Holley recently committed to Navy.

Top uncommitted

In addition to Oladipo, the top prospects remaining uncommitted are Wheaton North senior linebacker Erik Mueller who has a host of MAC Conference offers and Big Ten interest and explosive Crete-Monee defensive lineman John Mitchell who has offers from Illinois, Syracuse, and Western Michigan. Rich Central defensive lineman Caylon May has nods from Illinois, Miami (Ohio), Ball State and others.

The Latest
The town hall-style forum with an audience of more than 700 was light on attacks between the two men vying for the mayor’s office.
As outside conservative support grows in school board races, the Democratic Party of Illinois for the first time is investing in these local races.
Baseer Muhammad, 23, is charged with murder, reckless discharge of a firearm and other felonies in connection to a fatal shooting Feb. 28.
The man was taken to Stroger Hospital with blunt force trauma to his body and was pronounced dead, police said.
When Jim Thomas and his staff looked at their upcoming schedule back in November, the Downers Grove North coach had a very bright outlook.