Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Maine South's Fotis Kokosioulis (41) tries to avoid a tackle by Loyola's Mickey Kane (49) during the second quarter of the IHSA Class 8A high school championship football game, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Bradley Leeb) ORG XMIT: ILBL129

It’s been quite the junior year for Maine South’s Fotis Kokosioulis. The running back had a tremendous season, putting his name on the map while helping the Hawks upset Loyola to win the Class 8A state title.

Kokosioulis, a 5-9, 175-pound back, showed his ability to run downhill. He amassed 1,275 rushing yards during the regular season, averaging nearly nine yards a carry.

As April got underway Kokosioulis’ recruitment started picking up. He recently picked up his first scholarship offer, from Northern Illinois.

“They invited me to see a practice and come out so I did,” Kokosioulis said. “I watched it, got a tour, talked to the coaches, and they offered me.”

That feeling was unmatched.

“I was so excited,” Kokosioulis said. “At first I wasn’t sure if they were going to offer me. So when I was talking to the coaches and they said they were gonna offer I was a little surprised but mainly very happy. Plus, I know that the MAC is a conference I really can show my skills in.”

Overall, the nod from Northern Illinois was a jumpstart for the Hawks offensive weapon.

“Before it was going kind of slow,”” Kokosioulis said. But with Northern offering me, it is a school I always have targeted so that was very exciting. Other than that I visited Miami (Ohio), Columbia, Fordham. I was also invited to a Stanford’s junior day.”

The schools I’ve seen have all been nice. I really like New York City. It was cool to see some different schools and now I can kind of compare some to others.”

During the football offseason, Kokosioulis is busy playing lacrosse.

“It definitely helps keep me in shape because there is a lot of sprinting,” Kokosioulis said. “It also helps because I’m still doing quick burst and cutting when I’m dodging. A lot of the same movements I do in football.”

As for additional visits, Kokosioulis is still open to more this spring.

“I’m hoping to see Stanford and other than that right now we haven’t really decided,” Kokosioulis said.

Jayden Reed to Western Michigan

Metea Valley junior receiver Jayden Reed is heading to play his college ball at Western Michigan.

He announced his commitment on Twitter.

“I want to thank every coach that gave me the opportunity to play next level football at their university it was a really great experience for me,” Reed tweeted.

A versatile two-way athlete that can play defensive back or receiver, Reed also had offers from Central Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo.

Reed is the fourth area prospect to orally commit to Western Michigan, following Rich Central defensive back Matthew Stuckey Jr., De La Salle linebacker Joseph Bonds and Lakes linebacker Ryan Selig.

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