When it came to his college path, Jared Badie took the easy way.
The Oswego East senior is one of the state’s premier two-way athletes. He’s a three-star linebacker in football, ranked 14th in the state in the 247Sports.com composite ratings. He’s also a combo guard who plays AAU basketball for Team Rose.
The 6-5, 220-pounder knew he’d have to choose one or the other for college. He went with football, and last week became Illinois coach Bret Bielema’s seventh in-state recruit in the class of 2022.
Why football? That’s the sport that’s been showing Badie the most love.
“The thing that sold it for me was when the recruiting for basketball was slowed and stopped due to COVID and my injury, football seemed to pick up and keep growing,” Badie said via text message. “That’s when I realized that football would be the one that could take me to places that I wanted to go.”
He noticed another difference between the sports as well.
“I find that everything I do in football to be incredibly natural,” Badie said. “Everything is instincts. I started playing football and basketball in kindergarten and I wasn’t always good at basketball. I really had to work for it.
“With football, from the minute I picked up the ball I can remember being one of the better kids in my area.”
Oswego East coach Tyson LeBlanc expects Badie to shift to defensive end in college and to fit in well with the Illini.
“Their scheme is very similar to what we’ve run,” LeBlanc said.
Badie’s rare combination of size and speed — he’s run a 4.5 40, according to LeBlanc — means he could have a future beyond college.
“Of the guys that I’ve coached that have had the opportunity to play on Sundays, athletically he’s right there with them,” LeBlanc said.
In the meantime, Badie will be seeing double duty for the Wolves this fall.
“I originally started off playing offense and I grew up an offense-based player,” said Badie, who can line up at tight end or H-back. “So getting back to my roots is definitely going to be fun.”
Warren’s Maurice Edwards heading to SEC
Warren running back Maurice Edwards announced on Twitter he’s committed to Vanderbilt.
Edwards, a 6-foot, 198-pounder, is No. 16 among Illinois seniors in the 247Sports composite rankings. He’s also the No. 60 back in the country in his class.
“His upside as a running back is phenomenal,” Warren coach Bryan McNulty said. “If Maurice had a regular junior year in the fall, he would have had 15 offers in the summer.”
Edwards showcases an intriguing blend of speed — he’s run a 4.41 40 — and power.
“He can run away from you, and he’s stronger than he looks,” McNulty said.
Marist’s Carnell Tate narrows his list
Carnell Tate, who played one year at Marist before transferring to IMG Academy in Florida before his sophomore season, is one of the elite players in the class of 2023. The 6-2, 185-pound wide receiver is No. 8 among wide receivers and No. 51 among all juniors nationally.
Last week, Tate announced his final 10 schools on Twitter, and the list includes Illinois and Notre Dame. The others still in the running, in alphabetical order, are Florida State, Louisiana State, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas.