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March 1, 2004
Illinois' best highlight junior day
CHICAGO - Rivals.com Junior Day events have been successful for more than four years now, but the event hosted at Naperville (Ill.) North this past weekend will go down as one of the most impressive ever. The EdgyTim.com/Rivals.com Junior Media Day had an impressive collection of blue-chip recruits - including several that could be Rivals100 team members.
With more than 200 prospects on hand from Illinois and Indiana, one of the most impressive looking players from a physical standpoint was Thornridge, Ill., offensive tackle prospect Joshua Flynn.
Flynn measured in at 6-foot-6 and 290 pounds and claimed scholarship offers from Penn State, Oklahoma and Tennessee. His coach said that he's not sure about the offers or his claim that he's committed to Penn State - yet it doesn't take away from the fact that he's a special looking specimen.
Flynn is what you call a monster that easily passes the eye-ball test. Honestly, most in attendance thought he was either a coach or a prospect's father because of his size.
Yet, he wasn't the only big-time player in attendance.
All week while scouting players in Chicago, coaches were talking about Wheaton (Ill.) South offensive tackle Dace Richardson.
The massive offensive tackle measured in at 6-6 and 300 pounds. He easily rivaled Flynn for the most impressive looking prospect at the event and with his already impressive resume of scholarship offers, it looks like national top 100 will be written all over him.
Richardson has already picked up offers from Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern and is also getting heavy interest from Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Northwestern.
"I just go out there and work harder than the other guy across from me," Richardson said when asked what he does best.
"Success on the football field starts during this time of the year, when you're in the weight room working out and hitting the weights. I just love to get out there and play smash-mouth football and open up holes and win a lot of games."
Chicago Morgan Park was also well represented and by eye-balling their top prospects, it's easy to see why it'll be favored to win the Chicago Public League in 2004.
Cornerback Melvin Rice measured in at 5-11 and 185 pounds, and with a who's who already recruiting him and an amazing junior tape that measurement might have just solidified a spot in the Rivals100.
His teammates, strongside defensive end Sam Porter (6-2, 225) and outside linebacker Phillip Brown (6-0, 220) will also be highly recruited and should be regional top prospects - especially now that their heights and weights were confirmed to be legitimate.