Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Under Armour brought their camp series to Chicago, taking over Glenbrook North for the day.

The camp brought around 200-athletes from the area and beyond to compete in a series of drills, testing and one-on-one competitions focusing on their position groups. After competing, one Chicago area athlete walked away with an invitation to play in the 2018 Under Armour All-American game.

Lincoln Way-East junior defensive lineman Devin O’Rourke was one of the top performers on the day and walked away with the invite. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound athlete was excited to be out

“Just competing, it’s fun,” O’Rourke said.

Lincoln Way-East advanced to quarterfinals of the class 8A state playoffs last season and O’Rourke and the rest the team have high hopes for this fall as well.

“Offseason is going really well. The team is looking good,” O’Rourke said. “We have a lot of people returning, so it could be good. I would say defense has the most potential to stand out, but I am a little biased. I guess I’d really have to say they can both be equally as good.”

Another big piece of the offseason for O’Rourke was narrowing down his long list of offers to just one, Northwestern where he committed last month.

“Once I committed, schools just kind of respected it and left me alone. I’m happy that it has slowed down,” O’Rourke said.

He added, “After my visit with Northwestern I kinda knew this was the place. People talk about getting a feeling and I did I got that feeling, so I knew that was it.

Plus, when he committed — the reaction he got was second to none from the coaching staff.

“I had Coach Long, the defensive line coach, and Coach Fitzgerald on the speaker phone and they just started screaming right away. It was really funny.

Gophers landing area athletes

Two junior athletes, both at Sunday’s Under Armour Camp, are headed to play their collegiate ball at Minnesota and are hitting the recruiting trail to try and bring more Chicago athletes with them.

Most recently, Glenbard North defensive back Tyrik Henderson pledged to the Gophers joining Marist defensive lineman Elijah Teague with his verbal commitment.

“It’s a little piece of home with me. Having people from Chicago up there with me,” Teague said.

He was also quick to reflect on his commitment to Minnesota, which was something that looking back on he wasn’t expecting to happen so soon in the process.

“It came out of no where. I was not expecting to commit. That weekend I went to visit Minnesota I was supposed to go visit Michigan State but my coach asked if I wanted to go to Minnesota to visit. I went and I loved it again, I think it was my third or fourth time up there. It just felt great,” Teague said.

All the while, the 6-foot-2, 290-pound athlete is still focusing on what his upcoming senior season can bring.

“I am working on my hands and my get off. I watched my film from last season a lot and I realized I relied on the bull rush and I really needed to start working on my hands for the next level. The next level is so much faster,” Teague said.

Hall a speedster

The final competition on the day was an agility course dominated by Homewood-Flossmoor athlete Justin Hall. In the ‘illSpeed’ competition, Hall earned a trip to the national finals in Baltimore with his speedy finish.

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