Helmholdt: Weekend top performers
Rivals.com Midwest Analyst saw Crete-Monee (Ill.) vs. Glenbard South (Ill.) on Friday night and Peoria (Ill.) Manual vs. Peoria (Ill.) High on Saturday. He shares his thoughts on the prospects who stood out in the games:
1. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Crete-Monee, Ill.
Treadwell carried the offseason performances that elevated him to the top spot in the wide receiver rankings into Friday night, recording seven catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a win. Not measured in the stats, however, is what Treadwell does when the ball is not coming his way. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder is not only a willing blocker on the edges; he destroys people. He blocks with as much passion as he runs his routes, and his strength overwhelms defensive backs. Treadwell is also one of the best in the country at getting a release from the line of scrimmage. He made several catches over the middle of the field, but also came down with deep balls on the outside and took short throws and turned them into long-gainers.
2. Nyles Morgan, LB, Crete-Monee, Ill. (2014)
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Morgan has not gotten the same hype as some others in a deep Midwest 2014 linebacker class, but he showed on Friday night he is every bit as deserving. We knew from watching Morgan this offseason that he was an athletic player, but now we have seen him translate that to the field and dominate football games. Morgan sees the field and anticipates exceptionally well. He then accelerates like a running back and does a great job avoiding traffic on his way to the ball carrier. And Morgan knows what to do when he arrives at the football, registering several bone-jarring hits. His diving interception off a tipped pass showed he has playmaker instincts.
3. Logan Tuley-Tillman, OT, Peoria (Ill.) Manual
Peoria Manual entered Saturday's game against Peoria with an 0-3 record and dropped this contest 44-0. But in the final minute of the game Tuley-Tillman was still on the field, still blocking all-out to the whistle and still trying to get his team up. Technically we saw a lot of the good things the 6-foot-7, 315-pound Tuley-Tillman showed in the summer: getting into his pass set quickly, utilizing his length, having fast, active hands. But his effort from kickoff to final whistle, especially after playing both ways all game, was the most impressive thing he showed this day. Tuley-Tillman has been knocked for his work ethic at times in the past, but he has really rounded into a leader and a high-motor kid.
4. Josh Augusta, DL, Peoria, Ill.
A three-sport star, Augusta spent his off-season playing basketball and track, so we did not see him at any of the spring combines or summer camps. The last we saw of the three-star was junior film, and many of the attributes that stood out a year ago were evident in Saturday's contest. We've had Augusta's weight at 275 pounds, but the Peoria roster lists him at 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds and that looked accurate. He played defensive tackle and appears destined for that role in college, though he could line up at end in a three-man front. Augusta is extraordinarily athletic for his size, so much so that Peoria splits him out at wide receiver and throws screen passes his way. He definitely could use an off-season of just football to polish his skills, but the upside here is tremendous.
5. Lance Lenoir, WR, Crete-Monee, Ill.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Lenoir holds a pair of lower division offers, but he has the skills to play Division I football. We felt that way after seeing him at the NIKE Camp in Champaign, Ill., and saw more in Friday night's game to further that opinion. Lenoir has good size for the position and is tough to take down after the catch. He plays in the slot and flashes into the backfield at times for Crete-Monee, but could make a name for himself at the college level as an outside possession receiver. Lenoir does not have that "wow" aspect to his game that teammate Treadwell brings to the field, but he just is a really solid wide receiver who has enough speed and ball skills to be an asset to a Division I program.
Martez Cox, ATH, Peoria, Ill.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Cox certainly looks the part of a potential Division I prospect. Playing wide receiver and safety for Peoria, Cox hauled in a 62-yard touchdown reception and had several big hits in the flats on defense.
Chris Slayton, DE, Crete-Monee, Ill. (2014)
The 6-foot-5, 234-pound Slayton apparently started out as a basketball kid, but his coaches say he is serious about football. And Slayton has serious potential in football. He is young and developing, but the tools are there.
Omari Stringer, DB, Crete-Monee, Ill. (2015)
The buzz is that the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Stringer will be the next big thing out of Crete-Monee, and we saw nothing to contradict that. His first half interception shows he has a nose for the football, and his size is outstanding for the position.
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