Football notebook: Justin Lynch to Temple, Otto Hess grabbing offers, Maine West’s new coach

Mount Carmel quarterback Justin Lynch has committed to Temple.

SHARE Football notebook: Justin Lynch to Temple, Otto Hess grabbing offers, Maine West’s new coach
Mount Carmel’s Justin Lynch (1) hurdles Willowbrook’s Sam Tumilty (6).

Mount Carmel’s Justin Lynch (1) hurdles Willowbrook’s Sam Tumilty (6).

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Justin Lynch met Rod Carey a few times when his brother Justin was starring for Northern Illinois.

But it wasn’t until the Mount Carmel junior began his own recruiting journey that he started getting to know Carey — who left NIU last year to become Temple’s coach — and his program better.

The more Justin Lynch saw, the more he liked.

“I love the coaching staff,” he said of the Owls. “The offense is similar to what we run.”

And it’s a style that’s been very good to the Lynch family.

“I saw what they did with my brother in the offense,” Justin Lynch said. “It’s anoffense where you’re going to win.”

Indeed: Jordan Lynch set NCAA single-game and season records for rushing yards by a quarterback, and was a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2013.

Now Justin Lynch is set to play for Carey as well after committing in February.

Given how the coronavirus pandemic has shut down in-person recruiting and stalled the entire process, Lynch feels fortunate to have his future settled.

“Nobody knew this was going to happen,” he said. “Looking back, I’m kind of glad I committed early.”

He’s also happy to have another go-round with the Caravan after capping off a 14-0 season with a brilliant showing in last fall’s Class 7A title game. Lynch ran for five touchdowns in a 37-13 romp past Nazareth, finishing the season with 2,640 total yards.

“Coming off state, we want to do it again,” Lynch said, noting the number of returning starters for the Caravan.

Then it’ll be off to Philadelphia, where Lynch is looking forward to following in his brother’s footsteps as an option quarterback in major-college football.

“It’s surreal, it hasn’t sunk in yet,” he said. “I can’t wait. It’s going to be fun.”

Big man on film

Power Five schools are waking up on Oswego offensive tackle Otto Hess, a 6-foot-6, 293-pounder whose offers include Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, Boston College and Syracuse.

Why is Hess getting interest literally all over the map? He credits the shutdown of in-personrecruiting that has college coaches holed up at home,waiting out the coronavirus shutdown.

”Out-of-state schools like Arizona and schools on the eastern seaboard, they’ve had a lot of time to look at film of guys they might not see (otherwise),” Hess said.

He also believes new coaching staffs with Midwest connections may be casting a wider net. Whatever the reason, Hess said, “it’s pretty cool to get offers from these schools I’ve been watching on TV for a long time.”

Hess originally planned to commit before the start of his senior season. Now he’s less sure of a timetable. He does know he wants to make some campus visits before deciding. Among the places he’d like to go, in no particular order: Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Arizona, Boston College, Virginia and Syracuse.

”Every coach that calls me asks, ‘Do you have a timeline for commitment?’” Hess said. “I think even committing to a timeline is not the right thing” because of the uncertainty of when life will get back to normal.

New challenge

George Klupchak, who led Payton to a 32-10 record and four IHSA playoff berths from 2016-19, was approved this week as the new coach at Maine West.

He replaces Jason Kradman, who returned the Wolves to relevance. After 11 straight losing seasons, Maine West went 16-5 with the first back-to-back playoff berths in program history the past two seasons.

”I was aware of the Maine West program and all the success they’ve been having recently under coach Kradman,” Klupchak said. “It was an attractive opportunity because of the great facilities and support.”

Klupchak appreciated the backing he got from Payton’s administration and community. But there are some things he won’t miss about coaching in the Public League.

”We practiced in a public park,” he said. “It was tough sometimes, you had to get off (the field) in time for the softball leagues. There were challenges in CPS we were able to overcome.”

Now he looks to keep the momentum going in Des Plaines.

”We’re bringing back a number of starting linemen, some kids who played in the backfield as well,” Klupchak said. “Plus starters on defense on the line and at linebacker.”

There are seniors to replace at quarterback and receiver, but reinforcements are coming from a seven-win frosh-soph team.

Now Klupchak is putting together s staff and getting to know his new players at Maine West.

”They’ve got everything you need to run a successful high school athletic program,” he said.

The Latest
A four-star prospect and a pair of teammates are among the area’s top running backs.
It is not clear if the city will follow the recommendations of the Chicago monuments project advisory committee. In May, Mayor Lori Lightfoot hinted strongly at ignoring them.
After the GOP candidate for governor again ripped the city, where over one fifth of the state’s residents live, Mayor Lightfoot snapped back on Twitter.
Danny Golden was released a month after the Beverly shooting that left him paralyzed. He was greeted by cheers from dozens of supporters and loved ones.