If there ever was such a thing as a football offseason, it is melting away quickly. Downers Grove South's Chandler Whitmer, who has verbally committed to Illinois, was in California this week for the Elite 11 quarterback camp. ESPN.com has a nice Whitmer feature off the event.
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In what's shaping up as a banner year for Chicago-area quarterbacks, Lake Forest's Tommy Rees has verbally committed to Notre Dame. Tuesday's announcement means that Rees will join Downers Grove South's Chandler Whitmer (Illinois) and Wheaton North's Taylor Graham (Ohio State) as BCS-caliber quarterbacks. Rees' father Bill is a former UCLA assistant and front-office staffer for several NFL organizations.
Naperville North, Waubonsie Valley and Naperville Central - that's Redhawks quarterback Nick Linne pictured above - are scheduled to compete in the Raider Passing Jamboree on July 18 at Bolingbrook. The Saturday morning event begins at 9. Here's the list of teams expected to be in attendance:
Naperville North and Waubonsie Valley are scheduled to take part in the Raider Lineman Challenge - now in its 21st year - on July 15 at Bolingbrook. Here's a preliminary list of programs expected to participate (with more expected to sign up):
Wheaton Warrenville South
Downers Grove South
Recruiting comes down to where you fit on a program's big board. If a team needs a quarterback, Illinois would be a good place to look.
Of the top 30 juniors in the Chicago area, five are quarterbacks, all of whom are slotted within the first 21 spots. The list compiled by Taylor Bell and Tom Lemming includes Chandler Whitmer (Downers Grove South) at No. 6, John Whitelaw (Hinsdale Central) at No. 7 and Taylor Graham (Wheaton North) at No. 19. It appears the class of 2010 is stocked at the position.
It's winter, so Naperville Central guard Nick Linne is into basketball. But the spread offense quarterback who was responsible for more than 2,000 yards of total offense as a junior has begun receiving the mass mailings from college football programs, Arizona and Northern Illinois in particular. But baseball is another sport the 6-foot-1-inch, 195-pound athlete could potentially play on the next level. Linne said he'll be more prepared to weigh his options after the spring season.
"Really either football or baseball," Linne said. "Right now (I'm) really focused on football because I've already had my junior season. ... I still have to play my junior season for baseball and you really don't start getting letters for baseball until after that junior season so I got a ways to go."
Central's football and baseball programs enjoy state-wide reputations and its athletes are encouraged to play both sports. But relatively speaking the baseball team, which won a state championship in 2006, may have a slightly higher profile. Assistant Phil Lawler - whose son Scott is the associate head baseball coach at Notre Dame and brother Jim was a long-time assistant at Texas A&M - could open some doors.
"Coach Lawler's got a bunch of connections," Linne said. "If you're playing good for our team, he's going to get your name out there."