Friday, January 18, 2013
Top Illinois athletes flock to Core 6 event
By Jared Shanker
Don’t expect to see 40 times or bench press reps or high jump numbers to come out of Chicago on Monday. The Core 6 Showcase is all about competition, not combines.
Core 6 CEO Paul Szczesny said the object of Monday’s showcase is to have his players compete against one another instead of against a clock or ruler.
“When we started three years ago, everyone was into a combine phase and I didn’t like the whole results -- guys coming and not running 40s and didn’t want to do it because they were scared of running a bad 40,” Szczesny said. “We want to do it differently. We bring in the best competition and let them compete, and it’ll make them better.”
The list for Monday’s event is impressive, so there should be no shortage of competition in the Windy City.
The headliner of the event is ESPN Watch List linebacker Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South). The 6-foot-2, 218-pound inside linebacker already holds a dozen offers with the likes of Ohio State and Notre Dame among them.
Hinsdale (Ill.) Central teammates Brian Allen and Ian Bunting both have multiple Big Ten offers to their names, as does outside linebacker/defensive end Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic). Jauan Wesley (Harvey, Ill./Thornton) has an Illinois offer, and safety Matt Morrissey (Lincolnshire, Ill./Stevenson) has a pair of offers, including one from Illinois.
Naperville (Ill.) Central quarterback Jake Kolbe could be the Chicago area’s top signal-caller in 2014. He already holds an offer from Toledo.
Dozens more 2014 prospects are FBS-caliber players, too.
Dekalb (Ill.) running back Dre Brown represents for the 2015 class, and Illinois and Northern Illinois have tendered early offers. Jack Beneventi (Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy) is a strong candidate for the top quarterback in the 2015 class in Illinois.
Among 2016 performers, the big name is Erik Swenson (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South). The 6-foot-6, 280-pound freshman has an Illinois offer and the attention of Michigan and Notre Dame.