Simeon’s Malik Elzy, Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate make college decisions

The Public League’s top two senior football recruits are off the board.

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Simeon’s Malik Elzy (8) runs the ball against Kenwood.

Simeon’s Malik Elzy (8) runs the ball against Kenwood.

Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

The Public League’s top two senior football recruits are off the board.

Simeon’s Malik Elzy and Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate both have made their commitments, continuing a trend of the state’s top prospects locking up their college plans ahead of the beginning of preseason practice on Aug. 8.

Only two of the top 15 seniors in the composite rankings — Kankakee cornerback Jyaire Hill and East St. Louis offensive tackle Miles McVay — remain uncommitted.

Elzy, a wide receiver ranked No. 8 in Illinois, committed to Cincinnati on July 15. Tate, a defensive back ranked No. 12, announced for Iowa on July 12.

Tate is the Hawkeyes’ second local commit in the senior class after Marist safety John Nestor, who is ranked No. 13 in Illinois.

Rivals recruiting analyst Clint Cosgrove thinks those are good landing spots for the Public League duo.

Cosgrove noted that Elzy got his first offer, from Michigan, as a freshman. 

“He always had that big frame,” Cosgrove said of the 6-foot-3, 195-pounder. “Over the past year, he’s developed that killer instinct with the body control and athleticism. He’s got a chance to be a very special player in the end.”

It helped that Cincinnati, a returning College Football Playoff participant, showed its ability to develop receivers when it helped Glenbard West grad Alec Pierce become a second-round draft pick of the Colts this year.

“They’re going to be in the Big 12, throwing the ball around,” Cosgrove said of the Bearcats. 

And in the new world of college football, Cosgrove doesn’t expect the interest in Elzy to fade away in the wake of his commitment.

“When people see his development over the past year, not only will teams not stop recruiting him, new teams will recruit him,” Cosgrove said.

Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate (11) runs with the football for a touchdown against Morgan Park.

Kenwood’s Kahlil Tate (11) runs with the football for a touchdown against Morgan Park

Quinn Harris/For the Sun-Times

Tate also is going to a school with an established track record of sending players at his position to the NFL. His skill set, as a safety/nickel/hybrid DB is especially in vogue, Cosgrove said.

And Cosgrove believes Tate, a 6-1, 185-pounder, could make an immediate contribution on special teams.

“He’s already got a great frame,” Cosgrove said. “A great combination of size, skills and want-to.”

Tate is glad to have recruiting wrapped up ahead of the season.

“It’s a big load lifted off your shoulders,” he told Cosgrove. 

He said Hawkeyes junior defensive back Jermari Harris, a Montini grad, was one of the people in the Iowa program who helped sway his decision. 

“Those guys down there made me feel really comfortable,” Tate told Cosgrove. “They kept it real. ... That’s something I looked for.”

With his future set, Tate can turn his full attention to a Kenwood team that’s among the best in the city and also has bigger dreams.

The Broncos are loaded with Division I talent and have four more players ranked in the top 50 among the state’s seniors: linebacker K’Vion Thunderbird, receiver Logan Lester (a Western Michigan commit), cornerback Kiwaun Davis and running back Davonte Johnson.

“We gotta go win a state championship,” Tate told Cosgrove. “Bring a ring down there with me.”

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