Justin Hall (2) gets stopped short of the goal line against Bolingbrook September 15, 2017 Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

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

Two Chicago prospects picked up a major honor this week. Lincoln-Way East defensive lineman Devin O’Rourke and Homewood-Flossmoor running back Justin Hall were eing selected to play in the prestigious Under Armour All-American game in Orlando in January.

O’Rourke, a 6-6, 250-pound senior, has long limbs and the ability to make plays for one of the top defensive lines in the area. The Griffins beat Thornwood 49-6 last week.

O’Rourke has orally committed to Northwestern, and has helped lead top-ranked Lincoln-Way East to an 8-0 record. The Griffins travel to Bolingbrook on Friday to try and cap off an undefeated regular season.

Hall is a jack-of-all trades, excelling on offense and defense for Homewood-Flossmoor. The 5-11, senior celebrated his honor with a a 240-yard, three touchdown performance in a Southwest Suburban conference win against Andrew. Hall is elusive, has impressive speed and could contribute at several different positions in college.

The Under Armour All-American game is scheduled for January 4th in Orlando, Fl. at Camping World Stadium. Hall and O’Rourke will take the field with many of the countries top prospects.


Raby is 7-1 this season, only losing to No. 4 Phillips. It’s been a statement year for the Raiders, just ask athletic running back Danquis Smith.

“My game and the team has improved since last season,” Smith said. “I became more hungry and more humble especially since we had a 2-7 season last year. The difference between last year and this year is we simply knew how it felt to be on the losing end and we always knew we were good enough to make noise. We just didn’t let anything take us off track.”

Smith has gained 1,094 yards on 112 carries this season, averaging more than 160 yards a game. He’s turned heads on the field and is starting to do so on the recruiting trail.

“Recruiting going pretty well so far, just been talking to schools no offers yet,” Smith said. “I’ve enjoyed visiting some campuses and getting a little taste of what the college life is like as a student-athlete.”

Smith is 5-6, 170-pounds and is a powerful runner. He’s trying to prove he’s got what it takes to play at the next level.

“In college I think I would bring energy,” Smith said. “I’m considered undersized but I believe my game and leadership would definitely make a impact.”

Although Smith has mainly played running back this season, colleges are interested in him as a slot receiver.

“At running back I like tiring out the defense and setting up plays for my teammates,” Smith said. “Receiver is fun because it is great getting the ball in space and making people miss.”

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