Hayden Adams, Willowbrook
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior was the Warriors' best player, an honor signified by the No. 1 jersey assigned to him. Adams grabbed 67 catches for 1,358 yards and 14 touchdowns. Defensively, he had 68 tackles, 4 interceptions and 16 breakups. "We had high expectations for him, and he exceeded them," coach Nick Hildreth said.
Brian Allen, Hinsdale Central
The epitome of dominance in the trenches. Committed to Michigan State University, Allen spent three years leading both sides of the line for the Red Devils. The 6-foot-2, 290-pound senior is the defending Class 3A 285-pound wrestling champion. "He's the most dominant lineman I've ever coached," coach Rich Tarka said.
Ben Andreas, Naperville Central
Andreas was a scoring threat every time he touched the ball. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior receiver snared 63 catches for 842 yards and 8 touchdowns, adding 5 rushing touchdowns and a kick return for a score. Andreas piled up 1,700 total yards. "We kept finding different ways to get him the ball," coach Mike Stine said.
Scott Andrews, Glenbard West
Glenbard West's three-back offense doesn't lend itself to one player getting a bunch of carries. That changed with Andrews the last three years. The 5-foot-9, 185-pound senior rushed for 1,496 yards and 27 touchdowns as the West Suburban Silver's player of the year. "He was as dynamic as any running back I saw," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Matt Biegalski, Wheaton North
In the face of constant double-teams, Biegalski adjusted and saved his best play for the postseason. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior receiver dominated in a second-round playoff win over Fenwick while grabbing 14 catches for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Illinois State-bound Biegalski had 52 catches for 984 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Jaavion Bradley, Addison Trail
Bradley came through with 43 catches for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns despite every opponent knowing he was the team's go-to guy. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior receiver never came off the field as he contributed in special teams and led the defense with 3 interceptions. "Throw to him 100 times and he'll catch 99," coach Paul Parpet said.
DeSean Brown, Naperville North
Brown was a three-year varsity player, the last two as a unanimous all-DuPage Valley Conference selection. The 6-foot, 195-pound senior running back averaged 6 yards a carry while rushing for 745 yards and 13 touchdowns. Brown also had 52 catches for 664 yards and 4 scores. "He's one of the best I've ever coached," coach Sean Drendel said.
James Butler, St. Francis
Combining 4.4 speed, quickness and explosive power the 5-9, 207-pound senior running back produced one of St. Francis' finest seasons in its history. He ran for 268 yards with 4 touchdowns against Plainfield South, finishing with 1,185 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Nevada recruit was voted Class 5A All-State and the Suburban Christian Blue offensive player of the year. "His biggest asset is his work ethic," coach Greg Purnell said.
Hayden Carlson, Glenbard West
Carlson made an impact in all three phases. The 6-foot, 190-pound senior safety, the West Suburban Silver's defensive player of the year, made 108 tackles while adding 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 2 recoveries. Carlson caught 3 touchdown passes. "He's a difference-maker on defense," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Godfrey Collins, Neuqua Valley
The 5-foot-10, 240-pound senior led the Wildcats in tackles at nose tackle. Explosive and strong of body and will, the two-year starter made 89 tackles with 10 for loss and 6 sacks. He made 13 stops against St. Charles East, 11 in the playoffs against Simeon. Collins is a repeat all-Upstate Eight Valley selection. "He's got a heart that just beats out of his chest," coach Bill Ellinghaus said.
Vontae Diggs, Downers North
Diggs made the best of a tough situation as injuries ravaged the roster. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior, a three-year starter, played quarterback, receiver, defensive end, inside and outside linebacker. Diggs had 30 tackles, threw for 209 yards and ran for 162. "Vontae matured into a real leader this season," coach John Wander said.
Combine quickness and power with a complete understanding of his position, and you wind up with Dombrowski's senior season. The 6-foot, 215-pound defensive lineman was a two-year starter who rolled up 59 total tackles, including 14 for loss and 4 sacks. "He plays the run and pass equally well," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Mikey Dudek, Neuqua Valley
This 5-11, 180-pound receiver amassed 2,361 yards of offense. Explosion, hands, elevation and 4.4 speed equaled 69 catches for 1,384 yards, 19 touchdowns and Class 8A All-State. The Illinois recruit gained 692 yards on kickoff returns with 94- and 56-yard touchdowns, adding 3 rushing touchdowns. The repeat All-Area pick was unanimous Upstate Eight Valley offensive player of the year. "He's the best receiver I've ever seen," coach Bill Ellinghaus said.
John Duvic, Benet
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior kicker was always accurate, but this season he added distance. Duvic made 17 of 21 field goals, including a school record 54-yarder. He set a state record with 5 field goals, including a 50-yarder, against Crete-Monee. "Every time we got inside the 35 we knew we'd get some points," coach Pat New said.
Chris Edwards, Glenbard North
The offensive lineman of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference simply dominated wherever the Panthers put him. The 6-foot, 285-pound senior, who also played some defensive line, shifted side to side from tackle to guard depending on the need. "Wherever he was, that's where we ran behind," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Curtwan Evans, Lake Park
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior, a state-qualifying thrower in track and field, quickly earned the respect of DuPage Valley Conference opponents with his explosive play at linebacker and running back. Evans had 20 tackles for loss and rushed for 375 yards. "His first move is low, it's strong and it's through people," coach Chris Roll said.
Michael Ferrante, Lake Park
The defensive lineman of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference disrupted everything opponents tried up front. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound senior had 33 tackles, including 12 solos, 8.5 for loss and 5 sacks. Ferrante's disruption also came through his 8 batted balls. "He was driven to be a force on the field," coach Chris Roll said.
Anthony Ferraro, Montini
Montini sought to solidify its defensive line and shifted the 5-foot-11, 230-pound senior to defensive tackle after he started at offensive guard as a junior. The move worked wonders. Ferraro, a 195-pound state wrestling champion, used leverage and toughness to record 74 tackles, including 23 for loss with 6 sacks. The team co-captain could clog the middle or pursue off tackle. "He's just ferocious," said Broncos coach Chris Andriano.
Jon Fizer, Waubonsie Valley
The 5-foot-9, 190-pound senior tailback's desire earned him the Warriors' award for effort and mental toughness. That translated to 1,372 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns with consecutive games of 297 and 219 yards against Metea Valley and Naperville North, respectively. Hitting the hole hard on dives and off-tackle, Fizer earned all-Upstate Eight Valley honors. "Jon was like the heart and soul of our offense," coach Paul Murphy said.
Grant Greeno, Glenbard West
Greeno showed his immense value to the Hilltoppers when injuries hit the defense. The athletic 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior linebacker, who will play baseball at Brown, notched 85 tackles, including 9.5 sacks, and forced 3 fumbles. "He's so big and physical, he's hard for teams to match up with," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Hugh Griffin, Waubonsie Valley
This three-year starting linebacker is the top tackler in Paul Murphy's nine years coaching Waubonsie. The 6-foot, 200-pound Griffin's instincts and open-field athleticism created 117 tackles, 8 for loss with 3 sacks. Griffin hit Naperville North with 18 tackles in the Class 8A playoffs. The repeat All-Area and all-conference pick was the Upstate Eight Valley's defensive MVP and honorable-mention all-state. "He's got a great nose for the football," Murphy said.
Jordan Hassan, Glenbard West
Hassan was a natural in the Hilltoppers' defense. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound senior linebacker grew to be a tremendous team leader in his two years on varsity, this season leading the Hilltoppers with 111 tackles, including 7.5 sacks. "We were so good against the run because of how physical he was," coach Chad Hetlet said.
Jon Harris, Waubonsie Valley
At left tackle this two-year starter graded out at 95 percent and didn't allow a sack until Week 11. Footwork and long levers provided strong pass coverage. The repeat all-Upstate Eight Valley pick made Class 8A All-State. At 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, Harris looks to have a big college upside. Nice off the field, Harris had a nasty streak on it. "He's quiet, but he carries a big stick," Murphy said.
Joe Hill, Downers North
For three varsity seasons, Hill was solid as a rock in the trenches for Downers North. After playing offensive guard as a sophomore out of necessity, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior settled in at defensive tackle the last two years. Hill had 30 tackles, including 3.5 sacks. "Probably our steadiest guy throughout the year," coach John Wander said.
Justin Jackson, Glenbard North
The 6-foot, 185-pound senior running back is the Honorary Captain of the 2013 DuPage All-Area Team. Jackson rushed for 3,171 yards, second in IHSA history, and 38 touchdowns. The Northwestern recruit finishes his three years on varsity with 6,514 yards and 84 scores. "He rewrote the record books," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Alex Jeske, Glenbard South
The Raiders knew they had a good one when Jeske started and won an opening-round playoff game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior quarterback was a Class 5A all-stater who completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,262 yards and 22 touchdowns. "Every day he kept working to get better," coach Jeremy Cordell said.
Brian Johnson, Willowbrook
The West Suburban Gold's player of the year set the IHSA record for passing yards in a game with 675 against Lyons Twp. Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior, completed 64 percent of his passes while throwing for 3,344 yards and 32 touchdowns. "His abilities let us run things I never dreamed we could," coach Nick Hildreth said.
James Kalfas, St. Francis
A three-year starter, the 6-2, 250-pound left tackle supported St. Francis' best passing game in years and helped the Spartans run for more than 2,200 yards. St. Francis' co-captain and offensive line MVP also made 35 tackles starting at defensive end. He earned Suburban Christian Blue all-conference honors. When pulling around end the senior did "what he does best," coach Greg Purnell said, "lead blocker on our sweeps."
Jake Kolbe, Naperville Central
Committed to Illinois State, Kolbe was the force behind the Redhawks' drive to the Class 8A title. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior quarterback threw for 2,246 yards and 18 touchdowns against 3 interceptions and ran for 495 yards and 11 scores. "I've never had a player with leadership skills like his," coach Mike Stine said.
Michael Kolzow, Naperville Central
The 6-foot-2, 175-pound junior played quarterback until this season, shifting to receiver for the first time. Kolzow responded with 61 catches for 757 yards and 9 scores. He became a two-way player midway through the season and snared 3 interceptions. "He's just a natural out there," coach Mike Stine said.
Mike Maduko, Montini
This Class 5A all-state middle linebacker was the heart and soul of Montini's defense, leading in tackles a second straight season with 120, 16 for loss. An all-Suburban Christian Blue pick, the senior made 16 tackles against Marian Central and Joliet Catholic. His athleticism, intelligence and hard hitting made up for lack of size at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds. "This kid played like he was 6-foot-4," coach Chris Andriano said.
Cyris Parker, Glenbard North
By bringing sprinter's speed to the defensive line, Parker made the most of his only starting season. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior had 51 tackles, including 11 for loss and 7.5 sacks. Parker's ability to pressure the quarterback allowed the Panthers to hold back on blitzing. "He was relentless to the ball," coach Ryan Wilkens said.
Jay Parker, Metea Valley
Metea Valley's offensive player of the year pounded the ball downhill. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound senior running back gained 1,032 yards with 7 touchdowns on 149 carries, 6.9 yards a pop. Parker ran for 178 yards to seal the Bartlett game and hit Geneva with 156 yards. All-conference in the Upstate Eight Valley. Parker delivered power, speed, explosion and consistency. "Everything he did was moving forward," coach Ben Kleinhans said.
Anthony Riskus, Hinsdale South
Still growing at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, it'll be interesting to see him progress at Air Force. The two-year starting senior defensive lineman used experience in three sports to control the line of scrimmage. Riskus had 31 tackles including 5.5 sacks and 13 batted passes. "His best football is ahead of him," coach Mike Barry said.
Broc Rutter, Neuqua Valley
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior quarterback established single-season program records for completion percentage (62.2), passing yards (2,167) and touchdown passes (30). Using a strong arm and quick release Rutter surpassed 300 yards passing twice and threw 3 or more touchdowns 5 times. He was voted all-Upstate Eight Valley. "He's a tremendous leader on and off the field," coach Bill Ellinghaus said. "As a junior that's not an easy task."
Danny Schertz, Naperville North
A two-time unanimous all-DuPage Valley Conference pick, Schertz led Naperville North with 69 tackles, 4 interceptions and 9 pass breakups. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior safety was a physical force in the secondary. "He's a ball hawk," coach Sean Drendel said. "He's right up there with the best safeties we've had here."
Jake Schultz, WW South
Schultz didn't have gaudy interception numbers but only because quarterbacks rarely threw his way. The two-year starting cornerback, a 6-foot, 175-pound senior, had 43 tackles and 7 pass breakups while returning one of his interceptions for a touchdown. "I think he's the best coverage corner in the area," coach Ron Muhitch said.
Zach Smith, Glenbard South
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior running back scored 29 touchdowns while piling up 1,700 all-purpose yards. Smith rushed for 977 yards while snaring 36 catches for 563 yards. Lost in the shuffle was Smith's tremendous blocking ability. "We took advantage of every time he touched the ball," coach Jeremy Cordell said.
Nick Surges, Benet
In two years on varsity, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior spent time at tight end, receiver, linebacker and defensive end. His biggest impact came on defense, where Surges was effective as a pass rusher and in coverage. Surges had 54 tackles, including 17 for loss. "He was the core of our senior class," coach Pat New said.
Nile Sykes, Montini
As coach Chris Andriano said, what an addition to Montini's defense. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker with 13 scholarship offers transferred from Oak Park to add a different dimension. Roving at strongside linebacker Sykes made 80 tackles, 22 for loss with 12 sacks -- 2 sacks in four different games. He added 3 touchdown runs. Sykes was picked for the U.S. Under-19 National Football Team. "He's a difference maker," Andriano said.
Sam Symeonides, IC Catholic
A 5-foot-11, 195-pound defensive tackle, this senior made an astounding 115 tackles with 26 for loss, including 16 sacks. Accordingly, he was the Suburban Christian Gold defensive player of the year. Symeonides dominated with 16 tackles against Aurora Central and matched that against St. Edward. He was tough against bigger teams, with 12 tackles and 3 sacks against Marian Central. "All effort, all the time," coach Bill Krefft said.
Dylan Thompson, Montini
Coach Chris Andriano called the 6-foot-5, 280-pound defensive end the biggest, strongest, fastest lineman he's had. The Suburban Christian Blue lineman of the year, of Thompson's 59 tackles 24 went for loss. The team co-captain led Montini with 13 sacks. The Ohio State recruit is the Champaign News-Gazette player of the year and on the U.S. Under-19 National Team. "He may be playing on Sundays, he's that good," Andriano said.
Clayton Thorson, Wheaton North
Before he even started a varsity game behind center, Thorson verbally committed to Northwestern. This season the 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior showed he's a Big Ten-caliber quarterback. The two-time unanimous all-DuPage Valley Conference honoree threw for 2,809 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for 567 yards and 12 scores.
Tyler Tumpane, Montini
For Montini's spread passing game to work it needs a player like Tumpane. The 6-foot, 185-pound senior worked the bubble screen sideline to sideline and caught passes over the middle and downfield. All-Suburban Christian Blue and Class 5A All-State, Tumpane caught 85 passes for 1,001 yards and 10 touchdowns. Smart, competitive, great hands, and also ran the Wildcat. "He was the glue to our offense," coach Chris Andriano said.
Javon Turner, Downers South
After starting three games as a freshman, Turner rarely came off the field as a starting receiver and cornerback. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior punted and returned punts and kickoffs. Turner grabbed 38 passes for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns. "I thought he was the most explosive player in the conference," coach Mark Molinari said.
Mocha Uchiyama, WW South
The prototypical nose guard in the Tigers' defensive scheme, Uchiyama was among the area's most disruptive players. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound senior defensive lineman was pound-for-pound the team's strongest player. Among Uchiyama's 80 tackles were 11 sacks. "He was just so difficult for teams to block," coach Ron Muhitch said.
Jacob White, Hinsdale Central
White contributed everywhere to help the Red Devils reach the playoffs. The three-year starter was MVP of the defense at linebacker, but the 6-foot-1, 208-pound senior also saw time at quarterback and running back. He led the team with 69 tackles. "He's the kind of player you can put pretty much anywhere," coach Rich Tarka said.
Extremely physical, Willis also flashed deceptive speed while contributing in all three phases. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior, the defensive player of the year in the Metro Suburban Conference, was pivotal as a linebacker and tight end. Willis had 98 tackles, including 8 sacks. "He's all business out there," coach Jeremy Cordell said.
Alex Wills, Montini
The Suburban Christian Blue player of the year completed 61 percent of his passes for 3,039 yards, 33 touchdowns, 8 interceptions -- a 4-to-1 ratio. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior ranks among Montini's top two quarterbacks in seven categories, No. 1 in varsity touchdown passes with 56. Class 5A All-State honorable-mention, this gutty leader vastly improved from junior to senior seasons. "He really understood our offense," coach Chris Andriano said.
Jack Wooldridge, Naperville Central
The defensive player of the year in the DuPage Valley Conference played with an extra sense of urgency when his brother Cole went down with a season-ending injury in Week 2. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior inside linebacker led the Redhawks with 99 solo tackles, including 21 for loss. "He's relentless on defense," coach Mike Stine said.
Kendall Anderson (Wheaton North, sr., OL), Jeremy Barnes (Willowbrook, sr., RB), Jake Bashaw (Naperville North, jr., OL), Brett Boddy (Metea Valley, jr., OL), Jon Callaway (WW South, sr., OL), Isaiah Campos (WW South, sr., RB), Mike Cerone (Wheaton North, sr., DB), Devin Childress (Willowbrook, sr., WR), Kevin Coppin (Lisle, sr., RB-LB), Alex Cowan (Fenton, sr., RB), Sharad Crosby (Naperville North, sr., DB-RB), Niko Daniello (Lake Park, sr., LB), Dan Delgrosso (Naperville Central, jr., LB), Nick Dodson (Metea Valley, jr., WR), Jack Eddy (Waubonsie Valley, sr., QB), J.P. Forcucci (Wheaton North, jr., WR), Clark Gary (Glenbard South, sr., WR), Liam Gaughan (York, sr., OL), John Gemmel (Wheaton Academy, sr., RB-LB), Christian Gibbs (Waubonsie Valley, sr., WR-DB), Matt Gontarek (Addison Trail, jr., DB), Eric Graham (Glenbard North, sr., OL); Dillon Grooss (Naperville Central, sr., DB), Evan Jakubowski (WW South, sr., K), Joe Kazar (WW South, sr., LB), Ryan Kuhl (Neuqua Valley, sr., TE), Danny Lazzerini (West Chicago, jr., RB), Joe Leland (Glenbard West, sr., OL), Randy Leslie (IC Catholic, sr., RB-DB), Jon Lubanza (Naperville Central, sr., DB), Emmett McCoy (York, sr., LB), Bobby McMillen (Naperville Central, jr., LB), Anthony Napolitano (Waubonsie Valley, sr., OL-DL), Ryan Parks (Benet, sr., DB), Alex Peterson (Naperville Central, sr., OL), Edwin Phillips (Downers North, jr., DL), Edgar Ruano (Montini, sr., DL), T.J. Scruggs (Neuqua Valley, sr., RB), Antonio Shenault (Lake Park, jr., DB); Alex Starkey (West Chicago, sr., OL), Ben Stefani (Hinsdale Central, sr., RB); Ben Sullivan (Glenbard East, jr., OL), Erik Swenson (Downers South, so., OL), Nate Teske (Naperville Central, sr., DL), Leon Thornton III (Montini, jr., WR), Jacob VanDyke (Wheaton North, sr., LB), Drew Vogg (Glenbard West, sr., QB), Derrek Warkenthien (Neuqua Valley, jr., LB), Dillon Warnecke (Glenbard North, jr., FB), Chris Zhang (Naperville North, jr., DL).