Indiana commit named Illlinois’ player of the year

I just woke up from the customary post-turkey nap to see an article on the World-Wide Leader’s Chicago Web site about one of Bill Lynch’s commitments.’s preps reporter, Scott Powers, agrees with The Chicago Sun-Times that Matt Perez is Illinois’ high school player of the year.

Maine South is in Illinois’ largest class but have been a level above their competition all year and now prepare for the 8A State Championship on Saturday. And Perez is a large part of that.

As Powers points out, the running back’s numbers are redonkulous and area coaches have been mighty impressed:

Going into the Class 8A state championship game on Saturday, Perez has rushed for 1,930 yards and 29 touchdowns on 181 carries. He has averaged 10.7 yards per run. He has caught 30 passes for 391 yards and two touchdowns. He has returned two punts for touchdowns. He also has 59 tackles, 19 of them going for a loss. Twice this season, he ran for 300-plus yards and four touchdowns against Glenbrook South. Next season, he will play at Indiana.

And as the Sun-Times’ Taylor Bell writes, these numbers have come predominately while battling injury:

Maine South’s dynamic 5-11, 205-pound running back/defensive end plays five games with a broken hand and rushes for more than 300 yards in two of them. He is stricken with the flu, missing classes and practice, but plays both ways on game day. And, unbeknownst to his coaches, he’s playing with a broken toe.

Both articles are well-worth the read and indicative Indiana is getting a good player and proven winner.

Here’s a video ESPN has of Perez:


  1. I see this guy in two ways. Either he’s a Morgan Newton (Carmel HS ’09) – the best player in a state but going to a weak football school (Newton went to UK).
    Or he’s the next Jibreel Black and will be decommiting as soon as a better school gives him a look.

  2. Bob-

    That’s my fear as well. What is IU’s main selling point for a kid like this? That they “can build a first half lead against anyone in the Big 10?” That they “try hard”?

    It’s so frustrating to think of what just one win – one win out of all those disappointing blown leads could have done for recruiting.

  3. Husky, the recruitment of this kid for IU is easy. Once Darius Willis has done his thing, which could be as soon as two years from now, Matt Perez could be BMOC. We’ll sell to him that Ed Wright-Baker is a smart QB who is a threat to run or pass well, which will take pressure off Perez and allow him the chance to break the big run. Feed the kid’s ego a bit and we could just get him.

    Also, they should probably take a walk with him past the sorority houses when the weather turns nice in April/May…just sayin, that stuff sells to recruits too.

  4. HB- I love it. Yes, that stuff does help for recruiting, I’m sure.

    Needless to say, IU must be the only Big 10 school that has to recruit players that have already committed.

  5. Actually, the football recruiting process does not stop until the LOI comes across the fax in February. The coach in charge of recruiting a particular recruit will keep up on team and indiviudal successes and stay in contact. It is very possible that an IU coach will be in Champaign Friday and Saturday, not only to watch Perez but other recruits commited or potential recruits. Not only IU but every university conducts recruiting in this fashion and have for many years.

  6. This kid could be a great building block in recruiting o-linemen who want to look good. But,we’ll see what happens if he gets an offer from Florida or somewhere else with palm trees and girls in bikinis in November.

  7. “walk with him past the sorority houses”… “palm trees and girls in bikinis”…

    These methods sound excessively desperate..We need solutions that will work and can’t be considered recruiting violations/gifts…I have a better idea.

    Maybe we should replace the Scoop/Hoosier Hype journalists with Hooters girls? ….What recruits wouldn’t be enticed to attend a college where they’re constantly being chased around by cute, buxom HT/IDS reporters? It’s a win-win. We get falsely enlarged stories by boobs….and boobs.

    Or, we could always just dress Korman up real pretty.

  8. Hot of the presses,

    What strategy should IU use to get a recruit from Notre Dame, Ohio State, or even Purdue?

    I think walking by the sorority houses should be involved in every visit.

  9. While totally agree that IU needs a better coach it also sounds like you guys don’t want a good player. Are you worried that Lynch won’t get fired?? I totally am not a Lynch fan and I think he should go as soon as possible but I do not understand all this negative stuff because IU got a great player. I thought we wanted to win and
    getting good players will help when we do get a new coach. Tell me I am confused by your comments please?

  10. ronb-

    we are pretty much worried because IU hasn’t really ‘got’ this player yet.*

    *see Jibreel Black

  11. Scout has him rated as a two-star player, so he’s not Jibreel Black. I’m more worried about Andre Kates leaving since DB is IU’s biggest weakness.

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