Scouting the IHSA Finals
Matt Perez (Chicago Tribune)
Matt Perez (Chicago Tribune)
Midwest Regional Manager
Posted Dec 1, 2009

We had a chance to watch the state title games in Illinois, here are a few impressions from the games.

Maine South rolled to a 41-17 victory over Chicago Marist. In that game, senior running back Matt Perez continued his incredible senior season, rushing for 328 yards and five touchdowns.

The Indiana commitment has proven this season that he is one of the most under-appreciated players in the country. He has great natural running instincts and good speed. He also showed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Judging from this game and the season he has had, he could make a real impact when he gets to Bloomington.

Here were some other prospects we saw in this game:

Maine South junior OT Victor Nelson: The 6'7, 310-lb Nelson is a solid all around blocker. He is a good athlete, on the raw side, but has good tools. He did show a mean streak a couple times, but I would like to see it more consistently. He plays in a system that has him pass block with regularity from the left tackle spot. He's not necessarily a sure shot early offer for BCS schools, but I think he could earn some on the camp circuit this summer.

Chicago Marist senior QB Mike Perish: After a great senior year, the Western Michigan product struggled some in this game. I thought he threw the ball well, but forced the action a bit, partially due to his team being behind and ended up with three interceptions, two when his team was coming from behind. He finished 17-30 and did throw two touchdowns. He is accurate and moves around well in the pocket. I think he will do quite well at Western Michigan, a school that has traditionally developed their quarterbacks.

Montini Catholic senior quarterback Brandon Pechloff started off shaky in his game against Joliet Catholic Academy. The 6'7 Pechloff threw two early interceptions, but rebounded and got hot when his team needed him. To top it off, he lead a great last minute drive, making several stick throws, showing anticipation and confidence. He capped it off with a touchdown pass and then a pass for the 2-pt conversion which gave his team a 29-28 victory. He isn't the most mobile kid and is relatively inexperienced, but he does have size, a solid arm and some moxie. Will he get an FBS scholarship? At this late stage, it is not looking too likely, but offers from 1-AA and D2 schools are.

Joliet Catholic linebacker Jake Stockman is a tough, hard-nosed kid. He had a relatively quiet game, but made a couple nice stops and had an early fumble recovery.

Wheaton-Warrenville South offensive tackle Rocco Ammons is big (6'5, 305) and tough. He has a couple MAC offers and should be a kid who can work his way into a starting lineup.


Joliet Catholic running back Joshua Ferguson is a kid who has impressed with his speed this year. He didn't break any huge runs against Montini, but he grinded out yards and showed toughness and durability for a smaller back.

His backfield mate Malin Jones, only a sophomore, is an impressive athlete. At this point, he is more of a basketball recruit, but I like his potential on the gridiron as well.

Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Riley O'Toole is a kid worth watching. He's big at 6'3, 195-lbs, mobile and tough. He has a good arm. He made a couple of questionable decisions, but he is a good athlete who can throw on the run and has some intangibles.

We got to watch Providence Catholic offensive tackle Dan Lembke for the first time. He showed some ability in space and solid athleticism. He needs to get bigger and stronger, but he has a good frame and decent footwork.

Glenbard West Jordan Walsh has impressed us with his quickness off the ball and overall athleticism. Watching him play, it is easy to see why he already has a BCS offer from Arizona and a host of other schools interested.

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RB Josh Ferguson (profile)
OT Victor Nelson (profile)
QB Brandon Pechloff (profile)
RB Matt Perez (profile)
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