Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Phillips quarterback J'Bore Gibbs (9) runs out of the backfield for a first down against Johnsburg. Worsom Robinson/ For the Sun-Times.

Phillips quarterback J’Bore Gibbs recently picked his first scholarship offer.

“Eastern Michigan offered me and Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan are both coming to see me throw this spring,” Gibbs said. “So recruiting is going well.”

The first offer is one that Gibbs will always remember.

“The cornerbacks coach got on the phone with me because he recruits in Chicago and he told me he watched my tape and then all the coaches sat down and and watched it together,” Gibbs said. “They gave me the head coaches number and he told me they loved my film.”


Lake Zurich linebacker Jack Sanborn is headed to play his collegiate ball at Wisconsin. The four-star junior had more than a dozen offers

Sanborn committed via Twitter.

“I want to thank every school that has given me an opportunity to play for them but after discussing it with my family I have decided I want to commit to the University of Wisconsin,” Sanborn tweeted.

When the Badgers offered the 6-foot-2, 210-pounds, he knew it was something different.

“I knew in my gut that Wisconsin was where I belong,” Sanborn said. “And after my family and I discussed it we decided that it was the best fit for me.”

The relationship that Sanborn has with the coaching staff set Wisconsin apart from the rest.

“Tim Tibesar, my recruiting coach, knew but we just had to wait for head coach Paul Chryst to come back from out of the country and I gave him a call once he arrived back in Madison to let him know of my decision,” Sanborn said.

Sanborn was pleased to end his recruitment before the high school season began.

“It was very relieving and very exciting,” Sanborn said. “I am very thankful for everything that has happened to me and I understand many kids dream of being in the situation I am in going on to play division one football and I am so blessed and very excited to continue onto the University of Wisconsin.”


De La Salle junior Joseph Bonds keeps adding offers, the latest is from Western Michigan.

“Recruiting is going great,” Bonds said. “I never though my recruiting would blow up like this so fast it’s all a blessing and very humbling.”

Central Michigan was the first school to offer the 6-3, 210-pound linebacker. It is a moment that he remembers clearly.

“My heart was racing when I got it from Coach Bono from Central Michigan,” Bonds said. “I was so excited I never thought I’d get an offer I was just so excited to know that at the point my parents aren’t going to pay for college.”

Bonds also has offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Iowa State, Northern Illinois, Toledo and several others.

“The best thing about recruiting so far is getting more offers and being able to weigh my options,” Bonds said.

One of the biggest focuses for Bonds as he heads into the fall is adding weight.

“This offseason I am working on trying to get faster and keep weight on my body,” Bonds said. “Trying to get big but still stay fast.”

And as for schools that the De La Salle prospect grew up near, he’s getting a lot of attention.

“I am really close with Northern Illinois,” Bonds said. “They offered me so we are very close. Illinois has been in contact here and there but mostly NIU is the one that has the best relationship with me right now as far as in state schools.”


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