Kenwood leads the way with two of the five most significant transfers to watch this season

As usual, there are some intriguing transfers around the area, including two who landed at a Public League power.

SHARE Kenwood leads the way with two of the five most significant transfers to watch this season
l’Marion Stewart (1) stiff arms a Simeon would-be tackler and picks up extra yardage while playing for Bolingbrook last season.

l’Marion Stewart (1) stiff arms a Simeon would-be tackler and picks up extra yardage while playing for Bolingbrook last season.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

It’s nothing like NFL free agency or the ever-expanding transfer portal for college players.

But every high school season begins with familiar faces in new uniforms. As usual, there are some intriguing transfers around the area, including two who landed at a Public League power.

Here’s a look at five transfers to watch:

Ethan Middleton, Kenwood

The senior running back comes to the Broncos from St. Rita, where he had 539 total yards and four touchdowns last season for the Class 7A semifinalist.

“I love it,” Middleton told the Sun-Times. “I get to have fun honestly. All the coach is doing is breaking me out of my shell that I was kind of like closed in.”

The 5-10, 180-pounder has four offers so far, including Missouri and Penn State, and hopes to pick up some more as recruiters see his senior film.

Toward that end, a point of emphasis has been working on his pass-catching skills. It helps having new teammates such as four-star recruit I’Marion Stewart and Jacob Bickham.

“I’m learning on footwork,” Middleton said. “Me learning from someone else [good] is like iron sharpens iron.”

Kenwood coach Sinque Turner is looking forward to having Mako Grant, another highly regarded uncommitted senior, and Middleton in the backfield.

“That gives us a breath of fresh air on the offensive side of the ball,” Turner said.

I’Marion Stewart, Kenwood

Stewart comes to the city from Bolingbrook. He’s a four-star prospect, ranked seventh among Illinois seniors, 47th among wide receivers and 309th overall nationally by 247Sports.com.

The Michigan commit is looking forward to playing cornerback as well as receiver for the Broncos after being used exclusively on offense at Bolingbrook.

He’s also excited for the season opener against a former conference rival in the Southwest Suburban Blue.

“We’re just looking to get off to a good start,” Stewart told the Sun-Times. “I’ve got one more shot at beating Lincoln-Way East.”

Stewart is on the same page with Turner in terms of playing top teams in nonconference games. And he welcomes the chance to correct some misconceptions.

“I love that from coach Que.” Stewart said. “A lot of schools think we’re not disciplined or not ready for that competition.”

Keshawn Lewis-Hunt, Morgan Park

Lewis-Hunt was a two-way standout for a Bremen team that reached the second round of the Class 6A playoffs last season.

He ran for 1,060 yards — 6.7 per carry — and scored 18 touchdowns as part of a potent run game. On defense, Lewis-Hunt had 97 tackles and 16 tackles for loss in 11 games.

AJ Jones, Bolingbrook

Jones started as a freshman last season for downstate Washington. A 6-1, 180-pounder, he offers another talented target for fellow sophomore Jonas Williams, the Raiders’ returning starting quarterback.

Malachi Smith, Batavia

The 6-0, 270-pound junior is a Texas transplant who is getting FBS recruiting interest.

Smith “has been very impressive this summer and will be a force in the D-line,” Batavia coach Dennis Piron said.

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