High School Football: Marquise Lightfoot makes visits, Andre Crews reclassifies, Loyola hires Desherow
Like most children, Marquise Lightfoot tried all kinds of sports: baseball, swimming, basketball.
But when the Kenwood junior started playing football as an 8-year-old, something clicked.
“That’s when I started loving it because it suited me,” Lightfoot said. “I always found basketball too soft of a sport. Football allowed me to be aggressive and be who I am.”
And that’s even more true for defense. Always “the tallest on the team,” he played linebacker before sliding to the sidelines. That fits with his mindset: “I can hit people and I can stop them from doing what they love to do.”
Who he is is one of the nation’s fastest rising recruits in his class. Long and athletic at 6-5 and 215 pounds, Lightfoot is a four-star contender who sits 4th in the Illinois junior class, 9th nationally for edge rushers, and 106th overall on 247Sports.
He has more than three dozen offers, including college football blues like the two-time champion from Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee.
He’s proof that even at a time when college programs rely heavily on the transfer portal for recruitment, elite high school talent can still be seen and pursued.
It’s a busy time for Lightfoot, who recently visited Illinois and is targeting Michigan State, USC, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oregon, among others, for upcoming campus trips.
The goal of the hectic schedule is to get a feel for the top contenders for his services. He has no plans to prolong the process.
“I wanted to be committed by the start of the season,” he said. “I want to go into the season as a defensive end or an edge at varsity or whatever.”
Lightfoot is the latest in a line of Power Five prospects for the Broncos, which is one of the state’s burgeoning programs. Two of the first were Lewis Bond and Dante Reynolds, who are now redshirt sophomores at Boston College. He appreciates the way they have supported him on his journey.
“I got my first offer for their graduation night, so they dropped everything and congratulated me,” Lightfoot said. “That was probably one of the greatest nights of my life.”
Given his recruiting prospects, there are likely to be even bigger ones coming soon.
Andre Crews reorders
Simeon running back Andre Crews, who rushed for 2,385 yards and 41 touchdowns en route to being named Public League Player of the Year last season, announced on Twitter that he would be reclassified to the Class of 2024.
The 5-9, 185-pounder plans to attend Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut for a year after graduation. The crews had offers from the Air Force and several FCS schools during the 2023 recruitment cycle.
Loyola hires Beau Desherow
Loyola stayed in the building to find a replacement for John Holecek, who resigned last fall after leading the Ramblers to three state titles, seven trips to the championship game and 185 wins in 17 seasons.
He will be succeeded by Beau Desherow, a 1993 Loyola graduate who played as a linebacker on the 1992 vice-state team and spent 16 seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater. Desherow has also served as an administrator at Loyola since 2004, most recently as vice president of admissions and enrollment.
“This program means everything to me,” Desherow said in a statement. “I understand the history and tradition I am stepping into and look forward to working with our outstanding student-athletes and coaches to write the next chapter.”