News and Notes from 247Sports swing through East St. Louis (Ill.) High
Five-star DL Terry Beckner Jr.
-Top100 2015 running back Natereace Strong is healthy for the first time and ready to run wild. Ohio State and Missouri have made an early impression.
More items including comments from head coach Darren Sunkett
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Watson is a Kansas verbal, choosing the Jayhawks over offers from the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Purdue, Syracuse and TCU. Watson says he’ll attend the Jayhawks home opener and that he also plans to take an official visit to Illinois at some point before National Signing Day. He registered 142 tackles including 12 for loss, five sacks and three interceptions a season ago.
“He’s a much improved football player,” Sunkett said. “He’s a kid that’s definitely showing a lot of leadership skills this year in taking command of the defense. He’s making all our calls and all our checks for us. He’s definitely matured.”
Kansas LB commit Kyron Watson goes up for a pass while playing TE at practice.
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Taylor gave his pledge to Missouri back in April and remains solid to the Tigers. He registered 92 tackles and two interceptions last season, and also had scholarships from Illinois, Kansas, Purdue and Syracuse.
“Outstanding safety slash wide out,” Sunkett said. “Greg came in that way. He’s always been a hard worker. On the field and off the field. That’s always been his personality. He’s shown a lot more leadership this year and been a lot more vocal.”
Prater In Position For More
Western Michigan was able to score a May commitment from receiver/defensive back Treevon Prater over offers from Kansas and Syracuse.
Illinois and Missouri continue to show interest in the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Prater, and offers from both programs could come early in the season.
“His ceiling is very high,” Sunkett said. “Last year was really his first year playing organized football. You talk about a kid just in his developmental stage over the course of one year has been phenomenal. It’s up to us to get him the ball and up to him to display his talents on defense to get more looks.”
The Next Big Thing
The East St. Louis football program is as tradition-rich as any school in the state, turning out several championship teams and many, many scholarship players.
As this year’s team looks to bring home another title, they’ll need freshman receiver Jeff Thomas to come up big and Sunkett is figuring he will.
“We have an incoming freshman that’s going to really turn some heads this year,” Sunkett started. “A fleet-footed wide receiver. The kid is 5-10, 5-11, one of the fastest kids on the team right there with Nate.
“This will be the first freshman receiver we’ve had start. That’s saying something right there. Just very explosive. Out of our four wide outs he’s head and shoulders above everyone else right now.”
Missouri is already recruiting Thomas.
-Cornerback Wilbert Jones is committed to Indiana State.
-Center Cortez Spencer (6-1, 274) and guard Luther Wright (6-4, 297) are a pair of seniors that Sunkett sees landing Division I-AA offers this fall.
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