We saw last season that Jerry Kill has some good recruiting ties SEC Country but not what he could do in homeland.
This year Kill has 11 recruits from Illinois and 14 total from Big Ten states (two from Michigan and one from Wisconsin). Highlighting the Illinois class is defensive lineman Frank Boenzi (6'3" 305, Geneva, Ill.).
Boenzi was recruited by almost every Big Ten school but his poor grades had the Midwest schools scampering away. As ESPN Chicago's Scott Powers reported, Boenzi still has some academic issues to work out and still may not be eligible by NCAA standards this season.
Tyler Loos (6'6" 270, Sterling, Ill.) may be the next most promising Illinois recruit on the offensive line.(6'4" 240, Chicago, Ill.) needs to add some weight but Loos and Tyler Pitt (6'6" 278, McRae Ga.) may be a nice combination in a few years.
I'm interested to see how C.J. Compher works out as a true H-back with time to develop.
The rest of the IL recruits include: Monster LBs Mike Hellams, Cameron Stingily and Greg Barksdale. What a trio. WR Da'Ron Brown of Morgan Park was one of the best pure athletes playing in the CPL. And let's not forget a potential Punter/Kicker prospect in Tyler Anderson of Rockford.
The preferred walk-ons include DB Marckie Hayes of Sycamore and S Michael Santacaterina of Geneva.
While I like the numbers coming out of Illinois, it's obvious Kill still has some recruiting ties to lock down in the Chicago area. Looking through some of the top Chicago-area recruits, it was a bit disturbing how man ran off to MAC schools. There's no indication whether we even recruited these players or if they fit our system, but you never know. Just look at Benet graduate Dan LeFevour.
Tyler Benz, Maine South, QB: Benz started one year for Maine South and led the Hawks to a state title this fall. He's on scholarship to Eastern Michigan.
Mike Perish, Marist, QB: Perish had a great season at Marist, he'll be heading to Western Michigan next year.
Kill talked today about getting a quarterback because of injuries they had to Harnish and the always present factor of never knowing what will happen. He did land Casey Weston but I wonder if NIU put all their eggs in a basket with Miles Osei and didn't pursue a backup when he bailed to Illinois.
Milton Greer, Mount Carmel, RB: Carmel has a strong history of good football players (best example being Donovan McNabb). Greer will be heading to Miami (Ohio) next fall.
LaSteven McKinney, Nazareth, RB: McKinney originally committed to Central Michigan but decided on Southern Illinois when Butch Jones left. Almost another rival school hitting close to home.
Keith Sconiers, Richards, WR: A lot of Sconiers's original schools faced coaching changes and his hand was finally forced to Akron. Scoiners was a 3-star prospect according to Rivals.
Pat Driscoll, Lemont, DL: Headed to Western Michigan
Many of the ones who got away were at positions of need, especially Sconiers. Kill still has some hometown work to do but that should (hopefully) improve over time. In the meantime the 2010 class was a step forward for KIll and NIU in Chicagoland.