NIU 7-on-7 Standouts

Some of the top high school teams in the state of Illinois and some impressive out-of-state teams all gathered at Northern Illinois' Huskie Stadium for a 7-on-7 tournament. PurpleWildcats.com Publisher Chris Emma was on hand. Here's a look at some of Saturday's standouts.

On Saturday, some of the elite high school teams in Illinois and from across the country gathered at Northern Illinois' Huskie Stadium for a 7-on-7 tournament. A number of prospects put out a strong performance.

Of the talented group of players, some are prospects who hold multiple offers, others are commits, and some are up-and-comers that drew some attention. Here's a look at Saturday's top performers.

The quarterbacks

For those unaware, a 7-on-7 is a football game without offensive guards and tackles, and is a pass-only game. Simply put—it's all about the quarterbacks. On Saturday, a group of elite quarterbacks showcased their stuff on the turf of Huskie Stadium. Here's a look at the best of the bunch.

Ryan Bartels- The name Ryan Bartels isn't a well-known name at this point, but his stock could be very much on the rise. The Sycamore (IL) Spartans' standout quarterback made vast improvement in the offseason, which are a credit to his great work ethic.

In the offseason, Bartels changed his throwing motion to a straight over-the-top release, and it has made him into a much better quarterback. Bartels now throws a sharp line drive to his receivers. The thing that makes Bartels standout is his accuracy. He is a great fit to a west coast offense.

Bartels does not have any offers, but has picked up interest from a number of Big Ten and MAC schools.

Drew Hare- One of the talented out-of-state prospects, Fort Zumwalt (MO) High School quarterback Drew Hare showcased his skills at NIU. Hare was consistent throughout the day. Simply put, he's got a very accurate arm and puts some good zip on the ball.

Hare does not hold any offers, but is high on many school's radar, including Northwestern's. He will be in Evanston for camp in two weeks, and will visit a number of other schools during the summer.

Wes Lunt- Coming off a state championship season, Rochester (IL) High School has high aspirations for this season. The Rockets run a spread attack on offense, and the leader of that system is 6-5, 205-lb. quarterback Wes Lunt.

On Saturday, Lunt showcased his stuff with a fantastic performance. He was able to make all kind of throws and caused problems for all opposing defenses. Lunt has 11 offers on the table, and showed why he's getting plenty of division-one looks.

Anthony Maddie- After his first year at Aurora Christian High School, Anthony Maddie made great strides under the tutelage of head coach and former NFL wide receiver Don Beebe.

Maddie has a very strong arm, and is accurate for the most part, but struggled at times. All together, he was very impressive. During the offseason, added some muscle to his 6-3 frame, and has gotten faster as well. With the help of Beebe—a part-time trainer—Maddie is vastly improved. He currently holds four MAC offers, and is likely in line for a Big Ten offer soon. On Saturday, he proved he's worthy.

Matt Williams - For Geneva (IL) High School quarterback Matt Williams, Saturday was a homecoming. The talented gunslinger was one of the few commits on the field, and he was committed to the host school, Northern Illinois.

While throwing in front of new NIU head coach Dave Doeren and his staff, Williams had his highs and lows. He struggled with accuracy at times, but also had his share of head-turning passes. All in all, Geneva's senior-to-be put out an impressive showing for his future coaches.

The up-and-comer: Johnny Daniels

At 6-3, Wheaton North (IL) High School wide receiver Johnny Daniels has the size to be a big-time possession receiver at the college level. On Saturday, Daniels showed his stuff to those in attendance at NIU.

Daniels was very impressive all day long. He uses his height and great vertical to make plays on any ball thrown to him. He currently holds one offer—Ball State—and is picking up interest from a number of division-one schools.

The sleeper: Zach Grant

It's hard to be in a better situation than that of Rochester wide receiver Zach Grant. He is the go-to wideout for the heralded quarterback Wes Lunt. While Lunt draws interest from a number of schools, Grant is along for the ride with every pass. Grant proved that he doesn't deserve to go unnoticed.

On paper, Grant isn't too impressive. He's just 6-1, 185-lbs. But on the field, Grant plays like he's much taller. Grant is a talented possession receiver that makes plays on the other end of Lunt's passes.

As a junior, Grant was a big part of Rochester's state championship. This season, he is bigger and stronger. Thus far, Grant has gone largely unnoticed. As time goes on, that may change.

MVP: Wes Lunt

Wes Lunt was the talk of the tournament at Huskie Stadium. Rochester's standout quarterback was by far the most impressive player at the event. He seemingly was on a different level.

Lunt showcased his gun throughout the day by making all the throws he needed to make. His most impressive moment of the day came on a 40-yard bullet to the corner of the endzone. Rochester's star quarterback is drawing plenty of division-one interest, and on Saturday, proved he's worthy.

Video: Wes Lunt

Video: Drew Hare

Video: Anthony Maddie


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