Five Caravan roll along in recruiting process

Five Caravan roll along in recruiting process

Chicago Mt. Carmel has, unequivocally, one of the strongest football tradition in the state of Illinois.

The Caravan won the program’s 11th state title last November at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

Only Joliet Catholic, with 13 state titles, can boast more than what Frank Lenti Sr. and his program have won.

Lenti has been at the helm for 10 of those titles, and the Caravan might have the pieces in place to make a 12th state championship a reality next November at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

Five juniors who all have offers from Division I programs are a main reason why.

Two in particular — defensive tackle Enoch Smith Jr. and running back Matt Domer — are high on Illinois coach Tim Beckman’s priority list for the Class of 2014.

Smith Jr. (6 feet, 3 inches and 265 pounds) has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Duke, Indiana, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame and Purdue, among others.

Domer (5-11, 180) has offers from Illinois, Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Northern Illinois, Syracuse and Western Michigan.

Three other players the Caravan boast in the Class of 2014 who could see their stock rise in the coming months are defensive tackle Steve Richardson (5-11, 280 with offers from Minnesota, North Carolina State and Western Michigan), center Nathan Oquendo (6-2, 290 with offers from Eastern Michigan, Illinois State, Purdue, Western Michigan and Wyoming) and defensive back Deontae Brown (6-2, 200 with a Western Michigan offer).

“Right now, the premier defensive lineman in our program is Steve Richardson,” Lenti said. “Enoch gets a lot of play because of his size. If we can get Enoch to play like Steve, we’ll be in really good shape. Steve epitomizes the fact that it’s not how big you, but how big you play, because he always plays big.”

Domer will return for his senior season after rushing for 1,370 yards on 155 carries and 21 touchdowns last fall.

“Illinois is very interested in Matt Domer, and he’s interested in them,” Lenti said. “Matt Domer has a chance to be the best all-around football player on our team next year. It’s just going to be a matter of how hard he works in the offseason to get himself ready.”

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