FNL Kickoff: East St. Louis vs. Simeon

Battle of talented teams at Soldier Field under the lights set for Saturday evening where Division One talent abounds.

High school football is underway in the Land of Lincoln, and capping off an exciting week one is a premier matchup between two of the state's most explosive public schools under the lights at Soldier Field.

East St. Louis makes the trek up to the Windy City to take on local team Simeon in the annual Prep Bowl in Chicago. Let's take a closer look at the matchup, which is bursting at the edges with talent, starting with the Flyers of East St. Louis.

Att a glance..

East St. Louis has put out their fair share of division one talent over the years, and that tradition continues again this year. Up front for the Flyers, it starts with Illinois commit Tre'Vour Simms.

Simms is a big, big dude. At 6'5" tall and pushing close to 325 pounds, he is surprisingly nimble for his stature. He will often pull block on run plays, and when he does, it's a bad idea to be in his way. This will be one of the few games this season (outside of a huge matchup with Edwardsville and star 2017 prospect A.J. Epenesa) where the linemen across from him will be comparable in size, so we'll be watching to see how he handles those matchups.

But the most electrifying guy on the field Saturday evening may be one of the smallest in elite 2017 WR Jeff Thomas.

Thomas is a playmaker in every sense of the word. His explosiveness and agility in the open field make him extremely elusive, and if he gets behind the defense, it's over. Simeon will need to be physical with him at the line of scrimmage to try to disrupt the timing of his routes and hope that he doesn't break anything deep.

Defensively, East St. Louis has been up and down the last couple years, but linebacker/defensive end Terez Lagrone, a 2017 prospect who holds an Illinois offer, is looking to make a statement on the field this year.

Lagrone, like Simms, will be facing what is likely his most formidable line on the opponent's side all year. But if he can penetrate the defense and get some pressure on the quarterback, East St. Louis' ball-hawking secondary will have a chance to force some turnovers.

But that won't be as easy as it sounds. Simeon is huge across the offensive line. With prospects like Terrell Maclin-Dupree, Keevin Agee, Demar Holmes, and Meckah Lester, all pushing 250+ pounds each, the point of attack for Simeon will be stout.

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