Chicago Hales Franciscan head coach Randall Townsel only has 19 kids on his varsity squad this year, and they are playing schools much bigger, but win six and get to the playoffs, and he knows his team can go a long way.
They took a big step towards that on Saturday with a 20-0 win over conference for Gordon Tech. On Friday, Scout.com attended a walkthrough at the school and met a few of their standouts.
Junior safety Patrick Nelson is an impressive physical specimen at 6-foot-1, 195-pounds and already holds an Indiana offer.
"They saw his size and said, 'we better get in now,''" Townsel said.
Nelson plays running back, safety, and returns kicks for the Spartans. Townsel says he has fielded phone calls and mail from many Division-1 schools and had roughly 40 stop through during the spring.
Since the team occasionally plays on Saturdays, and the staff does not advocate visits during the fall, Nelson is not likely to attend many, if any games this fall. He did visit Bloomington for a fall practice when the Hoosiers offered.
"It was such an exciting experience being there," Nelson said. "I loved it. It motivated me. I was really impressed with the medical staff and how the coaches interacted with the players. It felt like a family."
Townsel has another junior he believes has a bright future in quarterback Dominic Christian. A multi-talented athlete, he is the leader of the Spartan offense, but as an athletic 6-foot-2, 175-pounder, his future may be at defensive back, where he has intercepted several passes this season.
He has heard from a number of schools including Bowling Green, San Diego State, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and more.