Brian Allen, Hinsdale Central
The Big Ten college scholarship offers keep piling up for Allen, and it's little wonder. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound junior lineman excels wherever he plays on either side of the ball. Last year Allen played on the Red Devils' defensive line, but this year he was a bruising center on offense and a tackle on defense, where he notched 25 tackles, including 4 sacks.
Dylan Andrew, Neuqua Valley
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound senior quarterback made the difference between Neuqua being very good and being great. Completing 92 of 153 passes for 1,647 yards, 20 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, the all-Upstate Eight River pick set program records for completion percentage, passing efficiency and yards per attempt. Poised and diligent as a team captain should be, Andrew's yardage and touchdowns rank second in Wildcats history. "He put the ball right on the money," coach Bill Ellinghaus said.
Scott Andrews, Glenbard West
Normally you'd be surprised by a junior's impact on a state championship team. Not Andrews. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back accounted for 1,700 yards of total offense highlighted by 1,273 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns with blazing speed. "We knew we had something special with him," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Dom Battaglia, Willowbrook
Playing nearly every position, the area had no more valuable player than Battaglia. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound senior spent most of his time at defensive back and receiver, earning West Suburban Gold player of the year honors with 1,246 yards, 77 tackles and 7 sacks. "He's the best football player in DuPage County," coach Nick Hildreth said.
Fred Beaugard, Montini
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end saved his best for last: 9 tackles, 3 sacks and a forced fumble in the Broncos' Class 5A title victory over Morris. Offered by North Dakota, Beaugard missed no time despite a dislocated shoulder. He earned all-Suburban Christian Blue and honorable-mention all-state honors. The senior three-year starter made 75 tackles, 9 for loss, plus 7 sacks. "He's a big, fast lineman," coach Chris Andriano said. "Those guys are hard to find."
Jack Beneventi, Benet
Watching Beneventi you'd never know he was a sophomore. The 6-foot-6, 185-pound quarterback shattered records his first varsity season. Already drawing looks from top colleges, Beneventi completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,318 yards and 20 touchdowns. "He surpassed all my expectations this season," coach Pat New said.
Matt Biegalski, Wheaton North
When Biegalski came alive during last season's playoffs as a sophomore, the Falcons found their go-to receiver for the next two years. A major vertical threat, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior receiver averaged 17.7 yards on his 43 catches and scored 11 touchdowns. "He's the kind of player who wants the ball," coach Joe Wardynski said.
Joey Borsellino, Montini
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior receiver was the glue and heart of the Class 5A champion. A two-time Suburban Christian Blue offensive player of the year and 2012 All-State selection, the three-year starter led the Broncos with 69 receptions, 730 yards, 14 touchdowns and ran for 244 yards and 5 TDs. Football IQ, versatility and guts off the charts. He got Montini to the 5A final with a quarterback sneak. "He makes everything work," said coach Chris Andriano.
Kyle Bosch, St. Francis
The two-time Class 5A All-State left tackle accepted an offer from Michigan over 20 others by the likes of Notre Dame, Alabama and Stanford. The two-time all-Suburban Christian Blue honoree goes 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, bench presses more than 400 pounds and squats more than 600. "Kyle Bosch as a student-athlete improved his football skills that coupled with strength and size gives him the potential to become a great college football player," coach Greg Purnell said.
Tate Briggs, Montini
At 6-foot-4, 300 pounds and with a 370-pound bench press, Briggs anchored the Broncos offensive line even with a plate in his ankle after a severe break in last year's Class 5A title game. Solid trapping, run blocking and pass blocking, the two-year starter was Champaign News-Gazette all-state special-mention and all-Suburban Christian Blue both on the field and academically. He's big, tough, mean and smart, with four scholarship offers. "He's got all the right attributes," coach Chris Andriano said.
Hayden Carlson, Glenbard West
A two-year starter as a junior, the 6-foot, 180-pound safety epitomizes the legendary status of a Hitter in Glenbard West's program. Leading the Hilltoppers in tackling nearly every game, Carlson used tremendous closing speed to notch 82 solos and 49 assists. "He's probably the best defensive player in the state," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Demetrius Carr, Immaculate Conception
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior quarterback was twice named Coaches Association Class 3A All-State honorable-mention and the Suburban Christian Gold offensive player of the year. Athletic, strong, with great passing touch and distance, Carr completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,062 yards, 13 touchdowns. He also led IC with 830 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns. A smart leader, IC's offensive player of the year interests several college programs. "He's a next-level player," said Knights coach Bill Krefft.
Dan Chism, WW South
It's no coincidence the defensive line improved drastically when Chism came back from injury. DuPage Valley Conference coaches rewarded the 6-foot-2, 262-pound senior by naming him defensive lineman of the year. Chism had 34 tackles and 3 sacks despite missing significant time. "He's got natural brute strength," coach Ron Muhitch said.
Kellen Cleveland, Wheaton North
A stellar athlete who also wrestles and competes in track, Cleveland used his athleticism to power the Falcons' defensive line. The lean 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior notched 45 tackles including 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. "He still has great football ahead of him," coach Joe Wardynski said. "He has such a high ceiling."
Jack Crain, Benet
Crain's off-season dedication paid off as he was named defensive player of the year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. The 6-foot, 195-pound senior linebacker showed his explosiveness while posting 136 total tackles, including 11 for loss. As a fullback he scored 6 times. "He had a great nose for the ball," coach Pat New said.
Bret Curtis, Glenbard South
It isn't difficult to imagine Curtis playing in the days of leather helmets. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior linebacker and offensive lineman earned Metro Suburban Conference defensive player of the year honors. Physical and fast to the ball, Curtis had 102 tackles and 10 sacks. "He plays at top speed all the time," coach Jeremy Cordell said.
Tyler Dayton, Glenbard West
A crucial player entering the season, Dayton became invaluable when injuries decimated the Hilltoppers' corps of linebackers. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior stepped up first as an outside linebacker and then a middle linebacker. Dayton had 97 solo tackles and 30 assists. "He was always in the right spot," coach Chad Hetlet said.
D.J. Deolitsis, Hinsdale South
The West Suburban Gold offensive player of the year led the Hornets to their first playoff berth since 2005. The 5-foot-11, 155-pound senior quarterback ran the option to perfection. Deolitsis rushed for 1,098 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing for 852 yards. "He was the linchpin to our offense," coach Mike Barry said.
Mike Dudek, Neuqua Valley
Not just an athlete with 4.4 speed and a 38-inch vertical, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound all-Upstate Eight Valley receiver is a player. Dudek had a hernia and still caught 46 passes for 991 yards -- a 21.5-yard average -- and 14 touchdowns. The junior averaged 41 yards on kickoff returns with 3 touchdowns including a 99-yarder. He explodes off the line and adjusts in the air. "He has better ball skills than anybody I've ever coached," coach Bill Ellinghaus said.
Jack Euritt, Benet
When discussing Benet's explosion plays, the conversation often turned to Euritt. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound senior receiver broke a 26-year-old program mark with 55 receptions. Euritt had 850 receiving yards, an average 15 yards per catch and scored 10 touchdowns. "I don't think he dropped a pass all season," coach Pat New said.
Troy Fumagalli, Waubonsie Valley
The Class 8A All-State tight end chose Wisconsin out of 10 scholarship offers. Adding defensive end to his resume, the 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior made 48 tackles, 4 sacks, 6 pass breakups. His 26 catches for 441 yards, 5 touchdowns led Waubonsie, and he was a key blocker for an option that ran for 3,874 yards. The team co-captain won Waubonsie's award for mental toughness and effort. "He was always a positive influence," coach Paul Murphy said.
Nick Garland, Glenbard West
A fixture on Glenbard West's offensive line for three seasons, the Hilltoppers knew they could trust Garland no matter where he played. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior was tenacious whether playing tackle or pulling as a guard. He thrived in spot duty on defense. "He just never misses an assignment," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Colin Goebel, Naperville North
Twice named unanimous all-DuPage Valley Conference and all-state, Goebel will take his talents to Iowa next year. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound senior guard displayed the perfect combination of strength and quickness while helping the Huskies amass 2,900 rushing yards with six different backs. "He's an absolute mauler," coach Sean Drendel said.
Hugh Griffin, Waubonsie Valley
Brought up in 2011 as a sophomore due to his nose for the ball, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound linebacker suffered no falloff. He led Waubonsie with 123 tackles and tied with 11 tackles for loss, earning all-Upstate Eight Valley recognition. Always around the football, Griffin made 18 tackles against Metea Valley, 15 against Neuqua Valley. "Obviously, we're counting on him to be the cornerstone to build our defense around next year," coach Paul Murphy said.
Austin Guido, Waubonsie Valley
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound, three-year starting tailback could hit full speed immediately. This fall Guido set 12 program records, including season and career rushing marks for yardage (2,377 and 4,126 yards, respectively) and touchdowns (31 and 54), and for total points (192 and 342). An easy pick as Class 8A All-State, team MVP, Upstate Eight Valley co-offensive player of the year. Guido scored 4 touchdowns in a game five times. "He ran downhill with great vision," coach Paul Murphy said.
Zach Guritz, Hinsdale South
An academic all-state selection, Guritz carried over his intelligence to the football field while garnering co-offensive lineman of the year honors in the West Suburban Gold. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior guard made the switch from center look easy as a power blocker. "The guys really rallied around him," coach Mike Barry said.
Andrew Harte, Montini
Class 5A All-State and Academic All-State, the senior is on several state record lists for kickers. His 112 straight extra points spanning 2011-12 rank third nationally. Harte averaged 36 yards a punt, delivered touchbacks on 79 percent of his kickoffs and set team records making 13-of-18 field goals, including a record 54-yarder. He beat Palatine in overtime and Sycamore with 1.1 seconds left in the playoffs. "He had a huge effect on our season," coach Chris Andriano said.
D'Angelo Hodges, Glenbard North
The most experienced member of Glenbard North's offensive line, a starter four games as a sophomore, Hodges was also the most powerful. The 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior was versatile enough to play tackle, but Hodges especially excelled as a run blocker at guard. "He was a leader up front for us," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Jaylen Howze, Wheaton North
After three years entrenched in the lineup, it'll be strange not seeing Howze in the Falcons' secondary next season. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior safety did a little bit of everything as a leader of the defense. Howze had 43 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4 interceptions. "He understood the big moments in games," coach Joe Wardynski said.
Justin Jackson, Glenbard North
The area's leading rusher was also one the top defensive backs. The 6-foot, 175-pound junior was a no-brainer choice as the DuPage Valley Conference's offensive player of the year, rushing for 2,603 yards and 35 touchdowns while tallying 36 tackles. Jackson has seven scholarship offers. "He was too good to take off the field," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Joe Kotch, Glenbard East
Averaging 300 yards a game, Kotch was among the area's most productive players. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior quarterback broke several program marks, throwing for 2,162 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushing for 613 yards and 8 scores. "The best all-around player I've coached in 18 years," coach John Walters said.
Austin Lacke, Waubonsie Valley
In Paul Murphy's eight seasons coaching Waubonsie no Warrior has made more tackles than this three-year starting linebacker. The Upstate Eight Valley defensive MVP made 106 this year, 315 in his career. Lacke added 9 quarterback hurries, 7 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions. Class 8A All-State honorable mention, the 6-foot, 210-pound senior was an emotional leader who used quickness, desire and anticipation to reach the ball. "He was the heart and soul of our defense," Murphy said.
Mike Langman, Naperville North
A returning starter, Langman improved tremendously while being named the DuPage Valley Conference's offensive lineman of the year. The 6-foot-5, 270-pound senior played hurt for much of the season but never missed a practice, let alone a game. "He's a kid who wants you to run the ball right behind him," coach Sean Drendel said.
Matt Loos, Glenbard South
Raiders coach Jeremy Cordell planned on playing Loos only on offense, but he proved to be way too valuable on defense. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior three-year starter rushed for 470 yards and 7 touchdowns while coming up with 62 tackles and 12 tackles for loss at linebacker. "He played at a high level on both sides of the ball," Cordell said.
Joe Marconi, Glenbard West
A two-year starter, Marconi played a pivotal role in containing everything coming his way as an outside linebacker. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior was a big-play machine for Glenbard West's defense, snaring 9 interceptions. Marconi finished with 92 tackles. "When you watch him he's always around the ball," coach Chat Hetlet said.
Nathan Marcus, Glenbard West
When Glenbard West threw the ball, everyone knew it was likely going to Marcus. It didn't matter. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior receiver, a Vanderbilt recruit, had 58 catches for 925 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was a very effective pass rusher with 8 sacks in spot duty. "He didn't miss too many plays thrown his way," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Charles Melka, Benet
As Benet powered through the playoffs, Melka led the way on defense. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior lineman was a terror off the edge, deceptively quick for his size. Sixteen of his 61 tackles were for loss, including 7 sacks. He had 11 quarterback hurries. "He was good at the beginning of the year and just got better," coach Pat New said.
Andrew Mulshine, Glenbard North
A two-year starter whose quickness allowed him to effectively shed blocks, Mulshine was equally adept against the run and the pass. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior defensive lineman had 50 tackles with 6 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. "His ability to get off blocks made him very effective up front," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Brian Murphy, Glenbard North
Headed to Michigan on a wrestling scholarship, Murphy was also a main reason why the Panthers played for the Class 8A title. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior quarterback, who also played significant time on defense, threw for 1,485 yards and rushed for 560. "He's the biggest competitor on the team," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Brian Owens, Hinsdale Central
As soon as Owens took over the starting spot midway through his junior year, the Red Devils never had to worry about the quarterback position. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior led his team to consecutive playoff berths as a dual threat athlete. Completing 57 percent of his passes, Owens threw for 2,236 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Johnny Peltz, Wheaton North
Peltz would be a great start when building a high school football team. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior quarterback was a two-time all-DuPage Valley Conference pick who split time behind center for the good of the team. Peltz finished with 1,891 passing, 280 rushing and 142 receiving yards. "He's the model teammate," coach Joe Wardynski said.
Joey Rhattigan, Neuqua Valley
Captain of the 2012 DuPage All-Area Football Team, the 6-foot, 201-pound three-year starter broke nearly every Wildcats rushing record. He ran for 2,226 yards and 33 touchdowns, with a program-record 346 yards against Bolingbrook and record-tying 99-yard kickoff return against Metea Valley. All of the above earned the senior tailback Class 8A All-State honors. "Joey exceeded all my expectations of him," said coach Bill Ellinghaus. "And I knew what a great football player he was."
Mario Rodriguez, Glenbard North
The defensive player of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference showed his mettle by playing with a torn ACL in the final two games of the season. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound senior linebacker had 85 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries. "He played every game as if it were his last," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Luke Roth, Naperville Central
The emotional leader of Naperville Central's defense, Roth provided a physical presence at middle linebacker. The 6-foot, 215-pound senior was an effective downhill player, using quickness and aggressiveness to lead the Redhawks in tackles with 96. "The more physical the game was, the better he played," coach Mike Stine said.
Luke Sahly, Wheaton North
Sahly had the ideal mentality for playing linebacker. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior had a knack for figuring out what opposing offenses tried to do. The defensive captain led the team with 65 tackles, including 10 for loss. Sahly added 6.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. "He had the highest football IQ of any kid I've coached," coach Joe Wardynski said.
Dimitri Taylor, Montini
Limited early by injury, the 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior back hit stride with 183 yards against St. Francis in Week 4. The Champaign News-Gazette All-State pick earned 243 yards on 9 carries against Aurora Central. His crowning moment came in the Class 5A title game -- 165 yards rushing, a 74-yard touchdown run and 48-yard touchdown catch. Taylor finished with 1,531 yards rushing, 282 receiving, 16 touchdowns. Coach Chris Andriano said, "He was probably our biggest big-play guy."
Kevin Teglia, Lake Park
The three-year starting receiver caught 51 passes for program records of 1,009 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior earned Coaches Association Class 8A All-State and Upstate Eight Valley honors. Teglia also ran and threw for touchdowns and within a three-week span set a Lancers record and extended it with 94- and 95-yard touchdown receptions. "My favorite stat," coach Chris Roll said, "was every third time he touched the ball it was a touchdown."
Dennis Thurow, Neuqua Valley
Speed, instinct and smarts that earned a 36 ACT score helped the 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior safety sniff out ball carriers. Thurow's 135 tackles rank second in Wildcats history and garnered Class 8A All-State and Academic All-State honors. On top of a personal-high 16 tackles, his interception helped clinch Neuqua's playoff win over Bolingbrook. The two-year starter was third in Upstate Eight Valley defensive MVP voting. "The Ivy League is all over him," coach Bill Ellinghaus said.
Jack Toner, Benet
East Suburban Catholic Conference coaches thought enough of Toner to name him the league's player of the year. A lockdown cornerback, the 6-foot-2, 161-pound senior snared 2 interceptions and broke up 11 passes. He added 29 catches, 480 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. "He was such a reliable player for us," coach Pat New said.
Cameron Wilcox, Metea Valley
The 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior set the standard for Metea running backs to come. A two-year starter who made Upstate Eight Valley all-conference, Wilcox established the program's records with 1,280 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, 1,902 yards for a career. A co-captain voted team MVP, Wilcox was a strong pass blocker who worked at his game as if he was not Metea's best player. "He had something to prove every day," coach Ben Kleinhans said.