Beth Long’s football recruiting notebook

Phillips receiver Jahleel Billingsley is the Sun-Times top ranked receiver for the 2018 season. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.
Phillips receiver Jahleel Billingsley is the Sun-Times top ranked receiver for the 2018 season. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.

Undefeated Phillips is loaded with prospects, including junior receiver Jahleel Billingsley.

He’s getting interest from schools all over the country and has offers from Illinois, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Minnesota and more.

“My game has improved all over, from route running to blocking,” Billingsley said. “I’ve been working and getting stronger during the offseason. Playing 7-on-7 with Boom over summer sped my game up a lot,” Billingsley said.

Billingsley has visited Purdue and has plans to visit Mississippi and Cincinnati.

“As far as football goes when I visit I’ll just be watching how they use their tight ends so that I know how I would fit in the offense,” Billingsley said. “How much the coaching staff cares about the players will also play a big role in my choice.”

The 6-5, 230-pound athlete is enjoying the recruiting attention, be he’s focused on seeing how far this Wildcats team can get this year.

“The ultimate goal is to win a state championship and I think we are on the way to doing that,” Billingsley said. “We’re playing great football with great intensity and technique and I don’t think anyone can stop us from reaching our goals as long as we are committed.”


Hinsdale Central is off to a fast start. The Red Devils are 5-2 and looking for a playoff qualifying win against rival Lyons on Friday.

One of the key cogs in the Hinsdale Central defense is linebacker Aaron Antoniou, a 6-3 205-pound athlete who returned from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fl. for his senior year with the Red Devils.

Antoniou, who had committed to Minnesota, re-opened his recruitment last week.

“I’m looking to find the right fit honestly,” Antoniou said. “I’ve been talking with coaches about visiting and I’m going to take a couple more unofficial visits before the season ends. Then after the season I’m going to narrow down my options and take a few officials before deciding.”

Antoniou has enjoyed meeting all the college coaches and players during his recruitment.

“’ve met so many staffs and players of college programs through the recruiting process,” Antoniou said. “They are relationships that will stay with me through college ball. I’m looking for great coaches that believe in my ability to be great. I want to mean something to the team early on and win games in college.”

Antoniou can play several different spots on the field and is getting time at all of them this season.

“A lot of schools like my size and athletic ability,” Antoniou said. “Coaches also love that I’m versatile. I’m an edge rusher and I can drop back and play in coverage. I want to put on a lot more weight in college while focusing on maintaining my speed and agility.”

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