North Recruiting Notebook

There were a bunch of big games around the region this weekend and that means a lot of recruits were visiting schools. The high school playoff season is also winding down. tries to catch you up on the latest around the North Region.

Inkster (Mich) wide receiver Cameron Gordon picked up a big offer last week, when the Michigan Wolverines extended an offer. The 6'2, 215-lb senior now has offers from Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State, Central Michigan and Bowling Green among others. He has played safety this season and could project to linebacker as well. He will visit Michigan State for an official this month, but no other official visits have been set. Gordon and his Inkster teammates lost in the state finals to East Grand Rapids over the weekend.

East St. Louis won the 7A title in Illinios thanks in large part to their dynamic wide receiver duo of Terry Hawthorne and Kraig Appleton. Both caught key touchdowns after the Flyers were down 7-6 to Geneva. Hawthorne, an Illinois commitment later snared an interception which helped his team to the 33-14 victory. Appleton is expected to join Hawthorne at Illinois next season but has yet to officially announce his decision.

Center Grove won the one that counted more as they avenged an early season loss to Carmel by defeating the Greyhounds 36-33 on Saturday to win the 5A state title in Indiana. Neither highly touted senior quarterback disappointed. Mr. Football favorite Morgan Newton of Carmel, a Kentucky commit, rushed for 211 yards and two touchdowns and went 12-19 for 78 yards and one touchdown through the air in the losing effort. Center Grove's senior signal caller Jordan Luallen, a Georgia Tech commitment, lead the come from behind victory. Trailing 33-14 with just over eight minutes left in the 4th quarter, it seemed like a Carmel repeat was a formality, but a Luallen TD run followed by an onside kick and a Luallen TD pass put them back in it at 33-28. Another successful onside kick gave Luallen the ball yet again where he engineered the game winning drive which ended with a Luke Swift touchdown run. The future Yellowjacket Luallen was 13-20 for 167 yards and the one TD through the air and he also chipped in two touchdown runs.

Another fine quarterbacking performance in a state finals game took place on Friday as Holland Christian (Mich.) senior A.J. Westendorp set state finals records for completions (26) and yards (429) in his team's win over Detroit Country Day. The 6'2, 210-lber does not have any offers but has been hearing from several programs. Instate Big Ten schools Michigan and Michigan State have shown interest in him as a walk-on.

Kentucky verbal commitments and high school teammates Ridge Wilson and Mister Cobble helped their team (Louisville Central) advance in the playoffs with a 42-21 victory over Elizabethtown in the Kentucky Class 3-A quarterfinals. Wilson recorded five tackles and Cobble led the team with twelve.

Ohio State verbal commitment Justin Green ran 19 times for 254 yards and four touchdowns and caught a 76-yard touchdown that helped Louisville Male defeated Scott Country 56-35 in Class 6-A playoff action in Kentucky.

Tim Phillips who is committed to Central Michigan is looking for a return to the state final game posting 305 all-purpose yards and four scores as Louisville (Ky.) Trinity knocked off Eastern 63-15. The win sets up Trinity to battle rival Louisville St. Xavier in the next round to see who will advance to the state title game.

Not to be outdone, Louisville St. Xavier running back Rolandan Finch aka "Deuce" is looking for a state title to close out his prep career and showed why he's a favorite to win Mr. Football in the Commonwealth by posting 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns along with a punt return for a score as St. Xavier defeated Manual 53-0 to advance to the next round.

Steve Hull an Illinois commitment also was at the Bearcats Big East victory. The game was Hull's second in as many weeks and raises the question if the Cincinnati native is looking at staying home. Several sources are saying Hull is close to giving the Bearcats an official visit in a couple of weeks.

One of Ohio's top juniors Andrew Norwell came up short in being part of another state championship. Norwell may well be one of the Midwest top prospects with offers from Ohio State and Cincinnati to name a few. Despite an outstanding performance Norwell's team came up short against Sylvania Southview in the final.

Ohio State verbal commitment Adam Bellamy was successful in helping his team win a state title on Saturday. "This is something every kid dreams about when you play football in Ohio, "Said Bellamy about the state title. "I'm living the dream and know for the rest of my life I was part of this great team." The victory gave Aurora High School their first football state championship in schools history.

Wisconsin verbal commitment Chris Borland also was successful in winning a state championship as Kettering Alter defeated Steubenville in the D-IV title game. Borland had a great day on offense as a running back and also from his linebacker position.

Toledo commitment Austin Boucher (Kettering Alter) showed why Toledo was so high on his with his outstanding performance in victory of Steubenville. When asked about his commitment to the Rockets, Boucher had the following to say. "I'm excited to see who the university brings in as the next head football coach. I'm committed to Toledo at this time."

Two Ohio juniors enjoyed great championship games in the D-I final. Cleveland St. Ignatius linebacker Scott McVey had the most outstanding performance of any player in this past weekends championship games and is sure to see several colleges show interest in the next week. Cincinnati Elder wide receiver Tim O'Connor also enjoyed a great game breaking the D-I receptions record by pulling down fifteen passes in the title game. Both players should see recruiting heat up in the coming weeks.

Ohio State verbal commitment Sam Longo visited the University of Cincinnati for their game against Syracuse this past Saturday. But Longo wasn't there to check out the Bearcats. Instead he was there to give support to his younger brother Matt who has a chance to be a prospect in a couple of years. According to Sam's father Sam had spoken with Ohio State and told them he was going with his brother to the game.

Steve Hull an Illinois commitment also was at the Bearcats Big East victory. The game was Hull's second in as many weeks and raises the question if the Cincinnati native is looking at staying home. Several sources are saying Hull is close to giving the Bearcats an official visit in a couple of weeks.

Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson had their pride hurt in an opening weekend loss to Ohio power Cleveland Glenville at the Friends of Coal Classic in Wheeling, W. Va. The Jaguars learned from the experience and have not looked back as they ran their record to (13-1) after beating Erie (Pa.) Strong Vincent in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals. Senior running back Brian Baldrige ran 44 times for 197-yards and five touchdowns. With his performance he eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark for the season. The Jaguars advance to the semifinals this weekend where they will meet West York (13-1).

Aliquippa (Pa.) rode the talents of junior quarterback Rasheem Jones and Rashad Kenney to a 42-14 victory over Karns City in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals. The Quips (12-2) will now play Wilmington, who lost to Karns City earlier this season.

The Clairton (Pa.) Bears displayed their stingy defense once again as they posted their eighth shutout of the season 26-0 over Windber in the PIAA Class A Quarterfinals. Junior running back Deontae Howard ran for 117 yards on 16 carries. He ran his season totals to 1,555 yards and 23 touchdowns. The Bears now move on to the semifinals where they face Farrell (12-2). The Steelers have given up a miniscule 36 points all season.

Allen Trieu and Dave Berk contributed to this report

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