Football: Bolingbrook QB Aaron Bailey commits to IllinoisBolingbrook’s Aaron Bailey runs for a first down in the Class 8A final vs. Loyola. | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 26, 2012 10:00PM
The two top prep quarterbacks in Illinois’ Class of 2013 are both staying close to home.
Days after Maine South’s Matt Alviti said he would attend Northwestern, Bolingbrook’s Aaron Bailey committed to Illinois and new coach Tim Beckman on Thursday.
Bailey, a 6-2, 215-pounder, led the Raiders to the Class 8A championship last fall and is ranked as the state’s No. 5 prospect in the Class of 2013 by CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
Landing Bailey could jump-start the Illini recruiting in what looks like the state’s most talented senior class in decades.
“It’s their biggest catch since Martez Wilson came out of Chicago and Juice Williams,” Lemming said, referring to the standouts from Simeon and Vocational, respectively.
Though Lemming expects the Illini will give Bailey, a talented passer and runner, the chance to play quarterback, the Bolingbrook star could excel at other positions as well.
“He’s a kid that I have very high on my All-American team,” Lemming said. “He could be an All-American quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker or defensive back.
“Anyone who saw him in the state championship game understands what an elite player he is.”
In a game played in a driving rain, Bolingbrook beat Loyola 21-17 as Bailey ran 34 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns and was 8-for-13 passing for 140 yards. For the season, he ran for 1,973 yards and 30 touchdowns and passed for 1,039 yards and 10 scores.
Bailey could help Beckman’s efforts to bring in other stars in the Class of 2013. “More important than him being an elite player ... he can recruit other players,” Lemming said.