Kevin Earl Looks To Pass Camp Tests

In this day of specialization, playing two or three sports can be a detriment for athletes who want to be recruited. College coaches compare them with players who devote all their time to one sport. Those who enjoy multiple sports like Kevin Earl must find a way to make a good impression in a short amount of time, like attending summer camps.

Kevin Earl is a three sport star at Lincolnshire Stevenson. The upcoming senior plays basketball in the winter and throws the discus in the spring. But his likely college sport will be football. Stevenson coach Bill McNamara is excited to have Earl leading his offense this fall.

"Kevin Earl is going to be our returning quarterback. He's 6'-5", 200 pounds. He's a great student, he's a great leader and he's a great football player. He had a 60% completion percentage last year. He threw for 1600 yards with an average of 19 yards per catch. We're throwing the ball down the field."

What are his best assets?

"He's a big, strong kid. He's a very accurate thrower, he can throw the ball downfield, and he moves really well. He can throw on the run, he moves really well in the pocket and has good pocket savvy.

"Those are his football skills, but he leads our offense. He's a good leader, he's in control, he knows the game and sees what we're trying to do. So he wins football games. He's our point guard, he runs the show for us."

Earl is humble about his abilities but cites similar assets.

"I think I'm athletic, especially for how tall I am and my size. I like to make a lot of plays on the field. I can throw the ball from several positions, off my back foot and other things. I am pretty good at tucking the ball and running. I don't have the strongest arm, but I'm pretty accurate throwing the ball."

What things does he want to improve?

"My main focus is being more of a threat running the ball, to give my receivers more of a chance. Also, I want to improve my arm strength. I think that's important."

The son of former Chicago Bear Robin Earl admits he has precious little time to develop skills or increase his strength and size.

"Yeah, especially in the off season to be a team leader and get stronger. I try to make as much time for football as I can. I'm always throwing the ball around with my buddies and keeping my arm fresh throughout the year."

Earl didn't qualify for the state track meet, needing six feet more than his personal best. But he still had a good spring season.

"I'm doing pretty good with the discus, but not as well as I hoped to coming in. I needed to throw a PR to qualify for state. My best is 150'."

Earl is still awaiting his first official scholarship offer according to McNamara.

"Not offers, but a lot of visits. From the Big 10, it's been Illinois and Purdue. And then Western Michigan has been in, all the MAC schools like Miami of Ohio, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois. So really all the small schools around here have been in to look at him."

While some interest may be due to the notoriety of his surname, McNamara believes he is attracting interest on his own merit. Earl sees upcoming summer camps as a way of earning a scholarship.

"I made it down to Illinois for one of the spring practices. I'm planning on doing one of their one-day camps too. I'll most likely go to a Northwestern one, and some other schools too. I haven't really planned it all out yet. A lot of coaches are stressing the importance of coming to the camps. They say it's the best way to evaluate me."

McNamara's team had a great season last fall, and he believes with the future business major leading the way, 2010 should be a banner year as well.

"This past year we were 11-1. We lost in the second round of the playoffs to (Chicago) Mt. Carmel. It was disappointing to lose, but we had a very good football team. We have a good amount coming back this year."

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