2017 Underrated Part 1

I will be breaking this series into parts as I notice more recruits that are deserving of this list.

Qualifying for this list: Everyone has their own qualifications to be classified as underrated. Therefore, there is no exact way to make this list. Factors such as amount of offers, quality of offers and attention from other media outlets are factored in, but at the end of the day its about if the athlete can compete at the D1 level or not. After evaluating hundreds and hundreds of players, these are some of the players who I believe are the most underrated in the Illinois high school football recruiting landscape.

Cover Photo Credit – Tom Hauck Student Sports

Josh Bean

Hinsdale Central
Hinsdale, IL
Ht: 6’2″
Wt: 200 lbs
Class: 2017

Commitment status: Columbia

Photo Courtesy: Tom Hauck Student Sports

I often times go to my uncle, Tom Lemming, for some names that I should look out for and also present him names that I think he should know as well. Funny enough, I thought I had this Josh Bean kid in my back pocket until he told me that he knows all about Josh and that he was even in his summer 2015 magazine. Needless to say its very hard to give the best of the best in recruiting a quality recruit he hasn’t heard of.

As for Bean, he started half the games on varsity his sophomore year for the Red Devils and played well, but really broke out his junior year. Bean (LPI #5 QB) really improved on his deep ball his junior season making deep throws and hitting his receivers on the run and between the numbers with regularity. If you watch his film, Bean looks a lot more poised and confident his junior year routinely stepping up in the pocket and making great throws even when he knows a big hit is coming. Its a little easier for a guy that stands 6’2″ 200lbs to take a hit compared to a 5’10” 170lbs running QB, but don’t let that good length and great size of Bean’s fool you. While he is a throw first QB, Bean is still very mobile in the pocket with above average speed and can run for yards when needed. Since we’re on the topic of feet I love Bean’s. Yes, I love Josh Bean’s feet just like the Kardashian’s love attention. Bean’s feet are always moving so he can put himself into a good throwing position in a split seconds notice and use that great arm to hit his receivers in stride.

I had the idea to include Josh in this article about 2 months ago. With his length, size, mobility, great highlight tape and seeing him excel at the Nike Open back in April, I was dumbfounded as to how this kid did not have a D1 offer. However, a few weeks ago I saw on Twitter that Josh had received his first offer from Columbia and shortly thereafter Josh verballed to the Lions. While my diamond in the rough got a little dimmer with that verbal I’m very happy Bean got what he deserved in that commitment as that is all that really matters. Best of luck to you at Columbia, Josh.

Andrew Edgar

Wide Receiver
St. Patrick
Chicago, IL
Ht: 5’11”
Wt: 170 lbs
Class: 2017

Commitment status: Undecided

Photo Courtesy: Tom Hauck Student Sports

I’m very glad I stumbled across Andrew’s film. I don’t remember exactly how I was led to it, but I sure am glad to have come across it. Edgar (LPI #16 WR) has good, but not excellent speed (4.55 40), is not the lengthiest wide receiver (5’11”), but what he doesn’t have in size or speed he certainly makes up for with his great athletic ability and exceptional hands. On film, Edgar routinely makes one handed, full extension leaping, or contested catches in traffic with relative ease. He makes the type of catches that when you see it you can’t help but say “wow” to yourself. When going for a contested ball Edgar has an uncanny ability to adjust, put himself in the best position possible and to come down with the ball in his hands. Edgar plays on the outside in high school, and while he certainly has a chance to play on the outside in college, he will most likely play the slot in college. He didn’t play against a lot of bump and run coverage in high school, but when he did he usually just beat the defender with is quick first step and ran right past them. It won’t be that easy in college as he’ll see a lot more physical bump and run corners on the line in college. However, this isn’t to say Edgar can’t adjust, I just believe it’s more so a testament of him profiling into the slot in college even more.

Edgar is currently sitting on two offers from Valparaiso and D2 Davenport University, but has the tools and the hands to have more. I’m not saying Edgar should suit up for Alabama game 1 next fall as that may be pushing it a bit. I’m trying to say that Edgar is a quality recruit that can catch just about anything thrown his way and can succeed at more than just the 2 schools that has offered him. No disrespect to Valparaiso or Davenport, in fact I credit them for offering him as either of them would be getting a quality recruit if he were to choose one of them.

Richie Warfield

Running Back
New Lenox, IL
Ht: 5’11”
Wt: 200 lbs
Class: 2017

Commitment status: Undecided

My uncle, Tom Lemming, was the one who turned me onto Richie Warfield. I’m very thankful he did. As a sophomore, Warfield (LPI #6 RB) started at running back and scored 14 TDs for the 2014 7A state champion Providence Celtics. Not only did Warfield start in the state championship game as a sophomore, but he dominated scoring a 7A title game record 4 touchdowns (he tied the record). When you hear of a 5’11” 200lb sophomore running back that runs a 4.50 40 and scores 4 touchdowns in the 7A state championship you would generally think that he has or would be coming up on some D1 offers. However, that is not the case for Warfield as he only has 1 D2 offer from Hillsdale college and I am still scratching my head as to why he doesn’t have more. Yes, Warfield got hurt and missed some of his junior season, but still, no D1 offers? I contacted Warfield about how his recruiting was going and he assured me that his injury was only a sprain and nothing career threatening. In fact, he came back at full strength immediately following his junior season so he could train and get ready for track season. Warfield informed me that he is now faster and stronger than he was before the injury. In fact, I can vouch for him as he looked every bit as explosive as advertised at the Nike Open back in April. What’s the deal college coaches?

On film, Warfield is as explosive as they come. He has massive thighs that propel him into defenders and allow him to keep churning his feet for extra yards. There were multiple plays on his film, especially in that 2014 state game, where Warfield was hit at or near the goal line by defenders, but used his very strong legs to get that extra few yards to reach the end zone. Another thing I noticed about his film was that, with his power-speed combo, he is electric in space. Funny enough that during our interview Warfield told me that this offseason his main focus was to play the slot more and catch more balls out of the backfield. While we have to wait for his early senior season tape, Warfield may add another element to his already impressive game that could finally get some FCS college coaches to bite on him. This is certainly a kid to watch out for this season.