Eight Illini football recruits still in playoffs
Most of the country will spend the rest of today wondering which way Ohio will swing for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, but four Ohio high school football players in the Class of 2013 who are committed to Illinois will likely have their minds on upcoming playoff foes.
Of the 18 high school prospects that have verbally committed to play for Illinois head coach Tim Beckman starting with the 2013 season, eight will still play at least one more prep football game.
Here's a look at when and where to see the remaining eight Illinois football commits whose teams are still alive in the playoffs this weekend.
JARROD CLEMENTS and REON DAWSON — The senior teammates — Clements is a defensive end and Dawson is a wide receiver/defensive back — from Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) High School will look to keep their playoff run rolling this weekend after routing Cincinnati's Mt. Healthy High School 48-0 last Friday in a Division II Region 8 quarterfinal win. The Rams, now 9-2, will play Cincinnati's Winton Woods High School, which is 8-3 after blowing out Trenton Edgewood High School 50-7 last Friday. The regional semifinal game will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Edgewood High School's Kumler Field in Trenton.
JESSE CHADWELL — The senior offensive lineman from Clarkston (Mich.) High School and his Wolves teammates will take their 11-0 record into a Division I regional final game against 9-2 Rockford High School at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
CALEB DAY — The senior wide receiver/defensive back from Hilliard Darby (Ohio) High School has played a crucial role in the Panthers' 11-0 record up to this point. The versatile Day will try to ensure Darby makes it 12-0 after its Division I Region 3 semifinal game against 10-1 Pickerington North High School. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday at Gahanna Lincoln High School Stadium.
MICHAEL HERMOSILLO — The Ottawa (Ill.) High School senior running back could eclipse 2,000 yards this season in Saturday's Class 6A quarterfinal game at Crete-Monee High School. Hermosillo has 1,960 yards heading into the 1 p.m. showdown with the Warriors, who, like Ottawa, are 11-0, and feature Laquon Treadwell, the wide receiver/defensive back who is among the nation's top uncommitted seniors.
MERRICK JACKSON — The Belleville Althoff Catholic (Ill.) High School senior defensive tackle and his 8-3 Crusaders will have their first home playoff game this weekend. Althoff will host 11-0 Casey-Westfield at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Belleville Lindenwood University's stadium in a Class 2A quarterfinal matchup.
JOSHUA JONES — The Walled Lake Western (Mich.) High School senior, who is set to play defensive back at Illinois, showed his offensive skill set with 246 yards of offense and five touchdowns in the Warriors' second-round Division 2 playoff win against Fenton High School last Friday. Now he'll get a chance to showcase those skills again at 7 p.m. on Friday as he leads his 9-2 team into a regional final against 9-2 Birmingham Brother Rice High School.
AUSTIN SCHMIDT — The senior offensive lineman from Olentangy High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, will try to help the Braves' offense out again in a Division I Region 3 semifinal game against 9-2 Hilliard Davidson High School. The 10-1 Braves will clash with Davidson at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Upper Arlington High School's Marv Moorehead Memorial Stadium. A win by Olentangy would advance them to the regional final and a possible game against fellow Illinois recruit Day's Darby High School team.