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Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Waubonsie Valley's Charles Robinson (1) helps up a teammate in practice. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

Some of the highest-rated prospects left on the board in the area decided to make oral commitments before their senior seasons began, including Waubonsie Valley receiver standout Charles Robinson. The 6-3, 210-pound athlete pledged his commitment to Northern Illinois.

“First off I would like to thank God for all the wonderful opportunities that he has blessed me with, he has guided me through the hard times and shown me the light,” Robinson wrote. “I would also like to thank the schools that recruited me and gave me your time to explore your facilities and meet other recruits.”

Robinson had more than a dozen offers, including several Big Ten schools along with Iowa State and Mississippi State. He’s an athletic prospect who could make a quick impact for Northern Illinois at the tight end position. Robinson will join several other area standouts at NIU, including Homewood-Flossmoor running back Justin Hall.

Hall committed just weeks before his senior season began, sharing his commitment on social media.

“I would love to thank everyone who has been by my side during my football playing days,” Hall said. “Everyone who made me who I am. Coaches and mentors with the Markham Patriots, my coaches at Homewood-Flossmoor high school and especially my mother, I thank you. Football is a game made for tough men and there is no easy way to be great, only the hard way.”

Hall can play many different positions on the field and has seen time at defensive back, running back and receiver on the Vikings roster. Another notable prospect committed to the Huskies from the Chicago area is Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis, one of the most productive returning backs in the area.

It’s been a banner recruiting year for the Huskies. Robinson and Hall are just the two latest recruits to commit. Homewood-Flossmoor defensive lineman Jeff Griffin, Simeon receiver Leon Payne, Andrew defensive end Mike DeHaan, Phillips defensive tackle Queneil Morrison, Palatine linebacker Cortez Hogans and Rich Central all-around athlete Jyran Mitchell gave oral commitments earlier this year. Decatur MacArthur receiver Amir Brummett as also pledged to NIU.


Oswego defensive end Noah Shannon decommitted from Minnesota and committed to Iowa.

“These past few weeks I’ve thought long and hard about where I’ll be attending college and playing football for the next four years,” Shannon wrote on Twitter. “I’d like to personally thank all the programs that took their time to recruit me and offer me the opportunity to play the game I love. After many conversations with my parents and family, I have finally decided to further my academic and football career at the University of Iowa.”