Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Phillips defensive lineman Chris Elmore committed to Western Michigan this week. Elmore is the Broncos tenth commit for the 2017 class. Two other locals, Montini running back Prince Walker and Bishop McNamara wide receiver Chris Bell, have already pledged to Western Michigan.

“Going up there I was thinking to myself that I knew how it was going to be a good day because I would learn more about the university,” Elmore said. “But at the same time I was thinking about all the other visits I had coming up, so I wasn’t thinking about committing.”

After meeting the coaches and checking out the campus, the 6-1, 260-pound prospect decided that it was the time for him to make a decision.

“Then my family and I were the last ones to talk to [Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck] and as he was talking I was listening but also thinking about everything they have there and how it felt like Phillips and it felt like home,” Elmore said. “So I told Coach Fleck to pack up an oar because you just got your tenth commit.”

Elmore, one of the key defensive performers on the Wildcats’ Class 4A state championship team this fall, didn’t see any advantage in waiting to commit.

“I felt like I could not sit on the offer any longer, they took a chance on me despite my height when no one else would and they also have a great criminal justice program so that really caught my attention,” Elmore said. “I like that they are on the rise. They accomplish things that people said would never happen, just like Phillips. People said no city team would ever win state. They said that we would never get back to state. And Western Michigan is not a team that settles for less.”

Ivory Kelly-Martin a top prospect

Three-star running back Ivory Kelly-Martin, now at Oswego East, is working on getting faster this offseason — and one of the big ways he’s doing that is by competing in track and field.

“Track is going well,” Kelly Martin said. “I feel myself getting faster everyday. We only have a couple more weeks of indoor track left then outdoor starts up.”

Recruiting hasn’t slowed down for the 5-11, 195-pound prospect.

“Schools are showing a lot of interest but it is very time consuming,” Kelly-Martin said. “I do want to bring it to an end and make a decision before senior year.”

Kelly-Martin as offers from schools all over the country, but has a select few at the top of his list.

“Arizona, Iowa, Illinois, Syracuse, Western Michigan and New Mexico,” Kelly-Martin said. “But I still have a lot of research to do. I’m also still working on visits as they come up because of my track schedule which is going to make it a little harder especially with schools that are farther away.”

He’s already had the chance to chat with new Illini head coach Lovie Smith, a conversation he was pretty excited about.

“I’m excited I had a chance to talk to Lovie Smith for the first time Thursday,” Kelly-Martin said. “And he was really excited about it also, so, I’m really looking forward to building a relationship with him and some of the other new staff.”

Olalere Oladipo’s recruitment heats up

Huntley junior athlete Olalere Oladipo is a 6-4, 235-pound prospect who has double digit offers to his name. The first came from Illinois.

“It was such an amazing feeling getting the offer from Illinois, I was just so relieved to finally receive my first Division I offer,” Oladipo said.

Oladipo has already taken a visit to Illinois.

“I like the campus and environment at Illinois,” Oladipo said. “The fan base there seems amazing and my step sister goes there so it would be cool to be hanging out with her there.”

Recruiting has been a positive experience for Oladipo so far.

“Recruiting is going well, I’ve got 13 offers and I’m enjoying the process, it’s a blessing,” Oladipo said.

He has offers from Illinois State, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Indiana and others.

“I’ve visited Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Indiana, Illinois State, Miami Ohio, Central Michigan, and Illinois,” Oladipo said. “I’m going to visit Toledo this weekend. I enjoyed all my visits and liked the campus. The coaches were phenomenal and overall I just enjoyed my time at the colleges.”

“I never imagined that I would have double digit offers. It’s honestly a blessing and I am so grateful,” Oladipo said.

Houston Griffith adds Nebraska

Mount Carmel defensive back Houston Griffith, one of the state’s top 2018 prospects, was a standout performer for Chicago-based Midwest Boom’s 7-on-7 team at the Pylon National Championships. Midwest Boom finished second.

“The Pylon 7-on-7 was pretty incredible. There were a lot of talented teams and players,” Griffith said.

Only a sophomore, Griffith is wasting no time on the recruiting trail. He recently visited Nebraska. The Huskers have offered him a scholarship. More visits will be coming up soon for the 6-foot, 170-pound prospect.

“Nebraska offered me on my visit for junior day, it was a great visit,” Griffith said. “They made a great first impression on me. My favorite part was easily the faciliites and the academic presentation.”

As for other visits, the 6-foot, 180-pound prospect has yet to set any more dates.

“I’ll be seeing about seven schools during spring break but I haven’t finalized the list yet,” Griffith said. “When I go on visits I basically hope to build a relationship with the coaches and get a good feel for the universities and to see what they have to offer.”

Although still early in the recruiting process, Griffith has seen offers come in from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Kentucky, Maryland and Michigan State to name a few. Citing his athleticism and football I.Q., schools all over the country are interested.

“I’m excited about just basically seeing the universities in general,” Griffith said.

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