Core 6 Showcase: 2016-2017 Recap

Monday's Core 6 Showcase was broken up into two parts, the first of which featured kids in the classes of 2016 and 2017, several of which served notice that they are the future in the state of Illinois.

The MVP of the event was Ricky Smalling (6'0, 170), a freshman wide receiver from Chicago Brother Rice and it was hard to argue with that selection. He is smooth, quick-footed route runner who created a lot of separation. He was also very good at tracking the football and adjusting to passes. He has exceptional body control and natural pass catching skills. He certainly looked the part of a future top prospect.

He is not alone as far as wide receivers in the 2017 class though. Providence Catholic's Martez Malone is a tall, long (6'2, 170) and rangy kid who is still growing into his body, but what he can become is readily apparent. He looks the part of a future big timer. His teammate, Richie Warfield won fastest man. A freshman running back and linebacker, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Warfield has the tools to develop into a prospect at multiple positions depending on how his body grows and develops over the next few years.

The 2016 class had several skill players stand out as well. Nazareth Academy's Julian Love, better known as a running back during the season, looked very comfortable at wide receiver and defensive back. At 5-foot-11, 170-pounds, he has a longer frame and the athleticism to play either spot in college. He caught the ball well, but his man to man cover skills couple with his size and youth make him an intriguing possibility in the secondary.

Crete-Monee wide receiver Drew Harvey is not one we came into the camp knowing about, but he showed he could be the next highly recruited prospect from the school. He already has a solid build and made a lot of plays, including a couple of tough over the shoulder catches. Naperville Central's Emmanuel Rugamba is another receiver who could play in the secondary. He's a longer kid, skinny at the moment, but a fine athlete who moves around the field and makes plays while making it look easy.

Chicago Phillips' Quayvon Skanes is an explosive route runner with good burst out of his breaks and sure hands. Marian Central Catholic wide receiver Jarryd Cabuscao is a high school running back who is not real big, but quick, runs great routes and catches the ball very consistently. He looks like he could make the transition to slot at the next level and do it well.

Champaign St. Thomas More's Joshua Parker (5'11, 175) is a freshman running back who had a very productive varsity debut rushing for 1,300 yards this season. It was easy to see how on Monday as he looked fluid going through drills and is not built like your average freshman.

Mundelein Carmel tight end Noah Turner is a tank. He's a big, muscled-up young man who uses that size and strength. He was physical as a route runner and did not let defenders re-route him. For a kid of his size, we thought he ran well and caught the ball well. Given his build, he could end up projecting to other positions. He could be more of an H-Back, but we also like the possibility of him putting his hand down and playing defensive line down the road. Speaking of tight ends, Nazareth Academy's Matt Pendergrast (6'4, 228) is a good sized kid who caught the football well.

Throwing to these players were two quarterbacks to watch for, Monticello's Brandon Wildman and Lake Forest's Dom Haubner. Wildman has the big frame at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds. He's also a good athlete. He needs to continue to add weight and strength while polishing his game, but he has the tools. Habner has some polish to him already. He spins it well and was consistent. He's not as big right now (5'11, 178) so how he grows will determine the level to which he is recruited.

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