High school football notebook: New Trier’s David Davidkov picks Iowa and more
With offers in hand from 11 Big Ten schools and many others, Davidkov opted to commit to the Hawkeyes.
New Trier junior David Davidkov’s goal has been clear, and he just took another step toward it.
“Ever since I started playing football in fourth grade, it hasn’t left my mind — going to the NFL,’’ Davidkov said. ‘‘With that comes a lot of hard work with a good [college] program.”
Davidkov picked his program last week, announcing his commitment to Iowa on Twitter.
The 6-6, 290-pounder is the consensus No. 2 prospect in Illinois’ Class of 2021 behind Michigan-bound quarterback JJ McCarthy of Nazareth. Davidkov is the 18th-ranked junior offensive tackle nationally, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and is 134th overall in the class.
He had plenty of options, with offers from 11 Big Ten schools, defending national champ LSU and Oregon, among others.
“I initially thought of committing in July,’’ Davidkov said. ‘‘The reason I committed recently, I knew that Iowa was my [top choice] for months. I didn’t see any point in waiting.’’
He said he didn’t want to waste his own time or that of the other schools recruiting him.
“Yeah, they’re going to show you nice stuff, they’re going to wine-and-dine you,’’ Davidkov said. ‘‘But I know myself. It isn’t going to change my mind.’’
Davidkov said several factors made Iowa stand out.
Stability is one, and success is another. Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz has had 17 winning seasons and 15 bowl appearances in a 21-year run, and Iowa is coming off a 10-3 season that ended with a victory in the Holiday Bowl and a No. 15 national ranking.
And then there’s Iowa’s track record of developing offensive linemen. Just last week, the Buccaneers made Hawkeyes tackle Tristan Wirfs the No. 13 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Davidkov had a chance to talk with Wirfs before the draft and said he liked what he heard about the Hawkeyes, including offensive line coach Tim Polasek and strength and conditioning coach Chris Doyle.
“What I got from that, coach Doyle makes you an athletic, explosive lineman,’’ Davidkov said.
After starting at both tackle spots for the Trevians, Davidkov will anchor the left side of the line this fall. Iowa coaches have talked about using him initially at guard before eventually moving him back to tackle.
“For me, it doesn’t matter,’’ Davidkov said. ‘‘Whatever the coaches think is best for me.’’
No sibling rivalry
While most local players are on their own in terms of staying fit during the coronavirus lockdown, Prairie Ridge junior Carter Evans has an enviable advantage.
The6-4, 225-pound fullback/linebacker has two Division I football players providing workout tips: his brothers Samson, a redshirt freshman running back at Iowa, and Shane, who was an offensive lineman at Northern Illinois and Purdue.
Carter Evans felt no pressure from his older brothers’ achievements.
“I never looked at it as, I have to fill their shoes,” he said. “They were my role models. I strived to be like them,”
It looks like he’ll get the chance to follow in their college footsteps. Back healthy after suffering a broken left fibula in the Wolves’ first-round playoff win over Grayslake North last fall, Evans is a three-star prospect with more than 30 scholarship offers.
It’s an eclectic mix of schools from the Power Five (Syracuse) to the service academies (Army, Navy) and six Ivy League programs (Columbia, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Yale).
Like many prospects, his timeline has been disrupted by the current lockdown.
“I was planning on taking the majority of my visits in April and March,” Evans said, with an eye toward committing in early summer. Now he hopes to pick a college a few months later.
What is he looking for?
“A school where I feel comfortable with the coaches and players, a school where I feel I can survive as a student-athlete [with] great academics and a great strength program.”
Mid-American Conference teams have been active locally, picking up four recent commitments.
Western Michigan added a pair of Catholic League/ESCC recruits in Mount Carmel receiver Jaali Parker and St. Laurence cornerback/receiverAaron Wofford.
Northern Illinois received a commitment from Nazareth cornerback Diamond Evans, while Ohio added Rolling Meadows safety/receiver Nife Oseni.