Recently in Recruiting Category

Benet's Nikki Bell is signing a letter of intent to play women's basketball at Eckerd College, a Division II program in St. Petersburg, Fla.

--Naperville North swimmer Joel Demuth has signed a letter of intent with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

--Huskies junior softball player Sammy Marshall has given a verbal commitment to Western Illinois.

Naperville Central senior outfielder Matt Cmiel has made a verbal commitment to the University of Illinois at Springfield, which will officially begin play during the 2010-11 academic year as a Division II program and member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference.

An all-DuPage Valley Conference selection as a junior, Cmiel helped lead the Redhawks to a sectional title. He hit .434 with a .529 on-base percentage, stealing 29 bases and scoring 42 runs.

"Coach Brian Grunzke has made it clear he is building a winning team from the ground up and I want to be part of it," Cmiel wrote in an e-mail. "UIS received D2 status and approval to build a baseball team in August. I'm excited about the opportunity to play baseball for four years and to academically major in education. It will be great to be part of a new college program."

Naperville North senior center Matt Hasse gave a verbal commitment to Austin Peay on Monday, according to Sean Connor, his AAU coach with the Velocity program.

The Governors have advanced to the Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship game in six of the past seven seasons. Coach Dave Loos, who is heading into his 20th season leading the program, has 314 victories at Austin Peay, which ranks second in conference history.

Basketball's early signing period runs Nov. 11-18. The 6-foot-9-inch Hasse figures to be in an immediate fight for playing time next year - Loos is guiding a team that features nine underclassmen on the roster.

UPDATE: Conlon, a kicker at St. Rita, is not out for football, according to Central coach Mike Stine.

Naperville Central, which will return the majority of its everyday lineup from a team that won a sectional title last season, is welcoming another Division I baseball athlete into its program.

Redhawks coach Bill Seiple confirmed that left-handed pitcher/first baseman Shane Conlon - who has verbally committed to Kansas State - is transferring from St. Rita to Central.

"Shane enrolled (here) last week," Seiple wrote in an e-mail. "I'm hoping he chooses to play baseball. I anticipate that he will be eligible to play."

Conlon helped lead St. Rita to a state finals appearance last season and a championship in the summer state series. The lefty went 9-1 as a junior, and Central's expectations just jumped that much higher. For more background information on Conlon, check out Prep Baseball Report news from Sean Duncan and Drake Skleba. PBR first broke the story.

After weighing all his options, Naperville Central senior Nick Linne has committed to play baseball at Northwestern.

The three-sport athlete will focus on baseball instead of actively searching for more football opportunities. The Redhawks quarterback threw for 1,711 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior, later drawing an offer from Illinois State.

Linne, a versatile infielder/outfielder, said that Central baseball coach Bill Seiple and his Illinois Sparks travel team coaches did too much selling to Northwestern on his behalf to reconsider the decision.

"It's just a verbal right now, but I'm not gonna change my mind. It's not gonna happen," Linne said Thursday after football practice. "I'm really excited to get up there next year."

According to Prep Baseball Report, Naperville North pitcher Kyle Klosak has committed to Oakton Community College. PBR ranks the right-hander as the state's 26th-best prospect in the class of 2010. Klosak appeared in 15 games, primarily as a reliever, for the Huskies last season, going 3-3 with a 5.71 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 30-plus innings.

Tracking Evans

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Joe Henricksen of City/Suburban Hoops Report has a recruiting update on 6-foot-5-inch Neuqua Valley forward Dwayne Evans, who -- if everything breaks right -- could eventually join his friend Drew Crawford (Naperville Central) at Northwestern. Henricksen writes:

After a strong finish in the high school season and a solid start in the spring AAU season, Evans did not play his best basketball during the July evaluation period. Although he has been a highly productive player who finds ways to get things done, he still has the dreaded 'tweener label attached to him.

Hoops Report Analysis: While Northwestern is still heavily involved and the biggest player in the Evans recruiting, the mid-major level would be ideal for Evans. If Evans to Northwestern doesn't get done, keep an eye on these schools as we inch closer to November and the signing period: Loyola, Drake, Toledo, Western Michigan and Fairfield.

Naperville North senior outfielder Charlie White has committed to Maryland. White hit .479 with five home runs, 39 RBI, 36 runs scored and 14 stolen bases as a junior. On the mound, the lefty finished 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA, two complete games and two saves, becoming perhaps the most reliable arm on a staff that already had two pitchers committed to Division I programs. White projects as an outfielder for the Terrapins, who went 27-27 last season.

Marcus Jordan - Michael's kid - has made a verbal commitment to Central Florida.

Reading list

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The baseline for Dwayne Evans is set with mid-major programs from the Mid-American Conference and Horizon League. But Northwestern has also looked at the Neuqua Valley forward, and his stock only figures to rise over the next several months. In this Sun-Times News Group piece, Scott Powers breaks down Evans' well-rounded game.

Recruiting projections are still just guesswork, as quarterback Dan LeFevour has shown at Central Michigan. As part of an interesting series, the Sun-Times shines the spotlight on Benet, with an essay from LeFevour and all sorts of trivia about the Redwings.



Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

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