Preview: Core 6 Showcase

The 2013 Core 6 Athletes Showcase camp will take place on Monday, January 21st from 1-4PM at the Westmont Yard Sports Plex in Westmont, Illinois. This invite only event will feature several of the top prospects from the State of Illinois including several underclassmen prospect to watch. The Core 6 Showcase has quickly become one of the elite recruiting events in the state, drawing several top prospects from across the state each year. Make sure to check back after this event for full coverage from along with Below is a list of some of the prospects who are planning to be in attendance on January 21st. Here is an early preview and breakdown of the event.
Confirmed Class of 2014 Top Prospects
LB Clifton Garrett Plainfield South
TE Ian Bunting Hinsdale Central
OG Brian Allen Hinsdale Central
TE Denzel Tolliver Proviso West
QB Jake Kolbe Naperville Central
DE Nile Sykes Oak Park-River Forest
LB Colton Moskal Lake Zurich
LB Trent Williams Lake Forest
DE Dylan Thompson Montini Catholic
LB/FB Robert Spillane Fenwick
WR Jacquet McClendon Evergreen Park
DE Vontae Diggs Downers Grove North
LB Bryce Holm Oswego
LB Kyron Watson East St. Louis
RB Jarvion Franklin Andrew
WR Juwan Wesley Thornton Township
LB Matt Morrissey Stevenson
LB Tori Millender Belleville West
RB James Butler St. Francis
OG JB Butler Joliet Catholic
OT Chase Gianacakos St. Charles North
DE Chris Slayton Crete-Monee
ATH Trent Sherfield Danville
The Top Dog? So who's the top prospect expected at the Core 6 Showcase? Plainfield South junior linebacker Clifton Garrett (6-foot-3, 220 pounds)- Garrett, who was discovered at last year's Core 6 Showcase has all of the makings of being a standout college linebacker. Garrett reminds me physically of former Chicago Hubbard linebacker Chris Patterson who was a five star prospect coming out of Hubbard. Garrett on the hoof has the same physical attributes and tools that Patterson also possessed at the high school level. I'm looking for Garrett to take his game to another level starting at this event.
Top position to Watch at the Core 6 Showcase? The linebackers. Core 6 founder and linebacker coach Paul Szczesny will have no question the top group talent-wise on the 21st. Besides standout LB Clifton Garrett, Crete-Monee LB Nyles Morgan (tentatively schedules) the remaining linebackers are very strong as a group. 2014 LB Bryce Holm from Oswego, Lake Zurich LB Colton Moskal, East St. Louis OLB Kyron Watson plus Fenwick junior Robert Spillane will give everyone plenty to check out here.
Prospects who could break out at the Core 6 Showcase? I like a few in particular who have yet to really hit the recruiting radar screens much but who's stock will no doubt rise. Wheaton St. Francis junior running back James Butler (5-foot-9, 195 pounds) was ruled ineligible by the IHSA last fall and sat out the year after transferring from Batavia. Butler showed some serious flashes as a sophomore and looks to have speed and power.
Defensive end is always a position in high demand and look for Crete-Monee junior defensive end Chris Slayton (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) along with Downers Grove North junior DE Vontae Diggs (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) to have a a chance to impress here. Slayton as a junior already looked physically like a NFL caliber linemen while Diggs has terrific junior tape and plays with a high motor at all times.
One position that could be lacking in depth? Offensive tackles. While others will wave their out of state Illinois pom pons and tell you this is a great recruiting class in Illinois, the reality for the Core 6 Showcase along with the Class of 2014 in Illinois in general is that the overall depth at the tackle position is way down. DeLaSalle's Jamarco Jones (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) is ranked at the top tackle prospect and is still tentatively scheduled to attend this event. St. Charles North junior OT Chase Gianacakos (6-foot-6, 280 pounds) is set to attend and has begun to draw recruiting looks. The guards and center group is much deeper and keep an eye on 2014 OC/OG Brian Allen (6-foot-1, 270 pounds) from HInsdale Central along with Joliet Catholic junior JB Butler (6-foot-3, 270 pounds). Stevenson junior OL Zach Novoselsky (6-foot-5, 260 pounds) is a another name to watch here.
Young pups. Underclassmen to watch? DeKalb sophomore running back Dre Brown (5-foot-11, 185 pounds) is a top athlete who could also play defensive back at the next level. Brown already has a few early offers. Benet Academy sophomore QB Jack Beneventi (6-foot-6, 190 pounds) had a serious breakout season in 2012 and Beneventi has the makings of being a major D-1 prospect in the Class of 2015. Downers Grove South freshman Erik Swenson (6-foot-7, 280 pounds) might just be the state's top offensive tackle prospect regardless of class. Swenson already has a handful of major offers and could wind up being a potential five star ranked prospect down the road in the Class of 2016.
You might not know him yet...but you will Evergreen Park junior wide receiver Jacquet McClendon (6-foot-2, 220 pounds). McClendon is a big and strong kid with very good speed. McClendon plays receiver for the Mustangs yet has the physical tools and makeup to be moved all over the field at the next level.