This evening, Alex Loukas and the Deerfield (Ill.) High School Warriors travel to rival Highland Park for a conference game and the opportunity to run their 2005 record to a perfect 6-0. Thus far, Deerfield has outscored its opponents by a combined 136-53, though they did have a scare in their season opener back in August. Against middling Zion-Benton, the Warriors led 15-0 but squandered their advantage and found themselves suddenly trailing 15-16 with 30 seconds to go in the game. Loukas led his team 70 yards to score and close a 23-16 win after the two-point conversion. The go-ahead touchdown came with just 0:04 left on the clock, incredibly with Loukas running a quarterback sneak after the Warriors had burned their final timeout.
"I told Coach that I had confidence in myself," says the senior signal caller of the bold final playcall.
That is Loukas in a nutshell: a winner and a double-threat with both his arm and his legs. Through five games he has six touchdowns on the ground and a net of 300 rushing yards, to go along with six passing scores and another 830 yards. Loukas has thrown just one interception on the year, which came on the first play of his last game versus Niles North.
"I had too much and the other team dropped back in coverage," he explains. "I got too greedy. I should have run."
Loukas may have big eyes on the football field, but he has not been greedy in the handling of his recruitment thus far this fall. New schools have extended scholarship offers after seeing him play in the early going of his senior season, but he has maintained his stance of a final three schools in his purview: Stanford, Northwestern and Purdue.
Tomorrow marks Loukas' first official visit, which he will take to West Lafayette (Ind.). The Illinoisan will be treated Saturday to the biggest in-state Indiana battle of the year, when #22 Purdue (2-1) hosts #13 Notre Dame (3-1). Loukas is mindful of what his three favorites have done on the field this fall, but he has other factors he wants to explore on his official visits.
"I'm looking forward to spending more time with the coaches and players," he says of this weekend. "I just want to see the coaches actually coach and get a feeling of their new offense. Also I want to experience the campus on game day. Finally, I want to meet with the academic advisors and see the campus during school."
Loukas has tripped unofficially to all three schools, but those visits came during the summer. The experience for both students and football during the school year is a key area he says that he wants to investigate on his official visits. His second paid trip will bring him a short 15-mile drive to Evanston on October 29, when Northwestern hosts Michigan. Stanford will be his third official visit, though the precise weekend is still undetermined. Loukas might trip to The Farm at the end of November for either the California or Notre Dame game, or he could come the first weekend of December when the Cardinal typically host a group of official visitors.
While we await the date when Loukas will come to Stanford, the Cardinal recently came to him. Wide receivers coach and Midwest region recruiter Tucker Waugh visited Deerfield last Tuesday during Stanford's bye week.
"He talked to my coaches and counselors. Nothing special - just checking up on my grades and how I'm doing on the field," Loukas reports.
As strong as his team's 5-0 record, the Deerfield High School senior is also scoring high marks in the classroom. He is taking an ambitious course load with three AP classes. Loukas reports that he is scoring "A's and B's so far" during his first quarter, which ends October 28.
College coaches and fans will have to wait a while longer to read a report card of how he scores his three final schools. Loukas maintains that he needs all three official visits before he can come to any conclusions about his college future, though he does still hold high interest in the Cardinal.
"I really haven't changed the interest in any school. They're all equal, and I am taking officials to finalize my decision," he declares. "Stanford has a lot to offer athletically and academically, and taking my official to Palo Alto will give me a better understanding of the students and campus on game day."
Alex Loukas, a three-star prospect ranked #12 in the state of Illinois by Scout.com, remains the only quarterback with a scholarship offer from the Cardinal in this 2006 recruiting class, which keeps him squarely in our crosshairs. We will continue to keep our finger on the pulse of his recruitment, including the anticipated news of his scheduled Stanford official visit. Stay tuned.
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