Kenwood’s Power Five pipeline keeps producing stars

Kalil Tate, K’Vion Thunderbird, Logan Lester and Marquise Lightfoot have college coaches flocking to Kenwood.

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Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate (11) runs the ball for a touchdown against Simeon last season.

Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate (11) runs the ball for a touchdown against Simeon last season.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

It started with Lewis Bond and Dante Reynolds, and continued with Jalil Martin.

Next up in Kenwood’s pipeline to the Power Five football are Kalil Tate, K’Vion Thunderbird, Logan Lester and Marquise Lightfoot.

Tate, Thunderbird and Lester all are consensus top-25 prospects in Illinois’ class of 2023, while Lightfoot is a rising star in the class of 2024.

Little wonder that college recruiters make sure Kenwood is one of their stops in the Chicago area.

Rivals analyst Clint Cosgrove stopped by during a recent workout and saw coaches from Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Cincinnati, Indiana and Iowa among others.

“It was like a coaches convention,” Cosgrove said. “They’ve done a good job. [Kenwood coach] Sinque Turner, he lives it, he breathes it. He takes the kids everywhere.”

The exposure has paid off with plentiful FBS scholarships and offers. Bond and Reynolds are redshirt freshman receivers at Boston College, while Martin is a freshman safety at Nebraska.

They haven’t forgotten where they came from, either. Both Bond and Reynolds were back at Kenwood last week to share their knowledge with the next group of recruits.

Lester, a 6-3, 200-pound receiver appreciates the program’s legacy and wants to add to it.

“I’m thinking of taking that role that Lewis and Dante had before me,” he said. “It ignited a spark in me and a lot of my peers.”

Cosgrove sees bright futures for all of the Broncos’ rising senior stars:

— “Logan, he’s long, athletic. A number of teams like him at receiver, some teams like him on defense.

— “Kahlil Tate, he’s a kid who has been on the radar for a while. You didn’t know if he’s a safety, a receiver, a corner. Most likely he’s going to be a safety at the next level. He can be that safety/outside linebacker type that’s going to be important in today’s game.”

— “Thunderbird is a guy who was an undersized linebacker going into this past season. Very productive, high motor. He put on some weight and he really looks the part now too.”

Lightfoot, meanwhile, “has absolutely blown up,” Cosgrove said. “That happened in the last couple weeks,” after he picked up an offer from Notre Dame with others following in quick succession.”

“I love it,” Lester said of the attention the Broncos are getting. “We’re building a new culture at Kenwood.”

Rising stars

The Rivals 250 national rankings for the class of 2024 are out and five local players, all four-star prospects, have made the list.

Leading the way at No. 34 is St. Ignatius’ Justin Scott, a 6-5, 310-pound defensive tackle whose 15 offers include Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Illinois and five other Big Ten schools, Missouri and Tennessee from the SEC, and USC.

Also on the list are Mount Carmel running back Darrion Dupree at No. 95, Glenbard South wide receiver Cam Williams at No. 124, Morgan Park athlete Tysean Griffin at No. 202 and Lyons defensive end Eddie Tuerk at No. 212.

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