Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

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Oswego East’s Antwain Walker. Photo by Greg Powers, courtesy of

Bolingbrook defensive lineman Deshaun Mallory is starting to turn heads on the recruiting scene.

In the last year he’s grown four inches and lost thirty pounds. The junior is now 6-3, 265-pounds and adding plenty of scholarship offers.

“Recruiting is going really well,” Mallory said. “I have six offers right now and after this semester coach thinks I’ll have more. Right now my offers are pretty much from the MAC. But there are a few Big Ten, SEC and PAC-12 schools that I’m hearing from too.”

Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska are the Big Ten schools that are involved.

“Michigan State and Illinois say they like my size and my speed,” Mallory said Especially with how big I am they tell me they like my speed. I think that is one thing that separates me. They like my football IQ. I can really talk to them on a high level about football, I can put my word in there.”

As for the in-state Illini, there are several things that stand out to Mallory.

“I like the program,” Mallory said. “We have one our guys up there so it’s not too unfamiliar. I know head coach Lovie Smith is there and everyone is talking about him too.”

Mallory is projected as a defensive tackle but has potential for versatility at the next level.

“Interior defensive line,” Mallory said. “I know a couple schools said if I keep losing weight, which I don’t know how, they might consider moving me around.”

Antwain Walker one to watch

Oswego East defensive back Antwain Walker is a long, 6-1, 170 pounds. The junior has been impressive on the spring camp circuit.

“I have improved my hip mobility and definitely gotten my legs stronger,” Walker said. “I’m better at tackling and with my foot speed too.”

Oswego East advanced to the second round of the Class 8A playoffs this past season, eventually losing to Loyola.

“Our offensive line is going to be very strong and should be a lot better than last year,” Walker said. “I just have to take a bigger role on the team because we lost Ivory Kelly-Martin.”

His recruitment is moving quickly.

“Everything with recruiting is going well. A lot of schools looking at me, a lot of the MAC,” Walker said. “Illinois is looking at me, Iowa, Air Force and some other schools.”

Walker plays mostly safety and receiver for Oswego East but will see his role change in the college game.

“I am getting recruited as a cornerback but I play receiver and safety in high school,” Walker said. “At receiver I know that you attack the DB and as a DB you have to be very patient with the receivers because they like to do a lot of stuff off the line to get you confused. You have to be really patient.”

Smart advice from a prospect that should continue to shine.

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