Carsello catches on with wild­cats

GLENBROOK NORTH ol lat­est re­cruit in class of ’21 to join north­west­ern

Chicago Sun-Times - - CENTER OF ATTENTION - BY MIKE CLARK @mikeclarkp­reps

Two years ago, Glenbrook North’s Jack­son Carsello was a sopho­more dreaming of play­ing col­lege foot­ball. As a 6-2, 195-pound of­fen­sive line­man, he knew it would take some work — and some food — to make that dream a re­al­ity.

“I put on 30 pounds from end of ju­nior [sea­son] to Jan­uary,” Carsello said. “Same thing from sopho­more sea­son to ju­nior year.”

Now, Carsello is a 6-4, 270-pound line­man and North­west­ern’s new­est re­cruit for the Class of 2021.

Carsello an­nounced his com­mit­ment last week on Twitter, mak­ing him the Wild­cats’ sec­ond local player in that class. Lake For­est line­backer Mac Uih­lein is the other.

Carsello’s body trans­for­ma­tion helped put him on re­cruiters’ radar. It was over­seen by his dad, Timm, who was a line­man for Western Michi­gan’s Mid-Amer­i­can Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship team in 1988.

An­other men­tor for Carsello is Glenbrook North coach Matt Purdy, a for­mer col­lege line­man who played in three bowl games for Iowa.

“I lifted five or six days a week, [ate] a lot of food,” Carsello said.

His fa­ther even used a ref­er­ence from Ru­dolph the Red-Nosed Rein­deer to drive his point home: “My dad was like, ‘Keep eat­ing, keep eat­ing. No one likes a skinny Santa.’ ”

Carsello isn’t skinny, but he isn’t fat, ei­ther. “I prob­a­bly put on about 70 pounds of mus­cle,” he said.

That helped jump-start his re­cruit­ing ear­lier this year. Carsello had more than 20 of­fers, in­clud­ing Illi­nois, In­di­ana and four Ivy League schools: Dart­mouth, Har­vard, Prince­ton and Yale.

North­west­ern showed in­ter­est early on, and he was able to make a visit and see one of the Wild­cats’ last spring work­outs be­fore the coron­avirus lock­down in March.

“I was able to cre­ate a great re­la­tion­ship with [of­fen­sive line] coach [Kurt] An­der­son,” Carsello said.

Grow­ing up on the North Shore, he was plenty fa­mil­iar with the Wild­cats, hav­ing gone to mul­ti­ple games at Ryan Field with his Ju­nior Spar­tans youth team­mates.

So the chance to play for a team in a Power Five con­fer­ence close to home at a pres­ti­gious aca­demic in­sti­tu­tion made NU an easy sell for Carsello.

He has been happy to be able to nav­i­gate the col­lege se­lec­tion process so smoothly dur­ing the coron­avirus pan­demic.

“These have been to­tally un­prece­dented times,” he said. “This is prob­a­bly the only re­cruit­ing class that will have to make a de­ci­sion in a world­wide pan­demic.”

New faces on North Side

Two Pub­lic League teams will have new coaches this fall.

Craig Knoche takes over at Pay­ton for Ge­orge Klupchak, who is the new coach at Maine West.

Knoche had been an as­sis­tant at Oak Park and be­fore that at Per­spec­tives. He also has col­lege coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at North Park, Stan­ford, Wis­con­sin, the Univer­sity of Chicago and Wabash, serv­ing as of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor at the lat­ter two.

Dedrick De­walt, a Simeon grad who played at Bos­ton Col­lege and in the NFL for the Ti­tans and Rams, is the new coach at Lane. He re­places Tony Faltin, who re­signed.

Syra­cuse re­cruit leaves Nazareth

Ris­ing se­nior re­ceiver Lan­don Mor­ris, who com­mit­ted to Syra­cuse in May, an­nounced on Twitter last month he is trans­fer­ring to Fish­ers (In­di­ana). Mor­ris cited the un­cer­tainty of fall sports in Illi­nois as a fac­tor in his de­ci­sion and thanked Nazareth coach Tim Racki: “You’ve taught me lessons not just on the foot­ball field but off the field as a man!”

Michi­gan-bound quar­ter­back J.J. Mc­Carthy, who had been the state’s top-ranked prospect in the Class of 2021, pre­vi­ously an­nounced he was leav­ing Nazareth to play at IMG Academy in Florida this fall. ✶

“this is prob­a­bly the only re­cruit­ing class that will have to make a de­ci­sion in a world­wide pan­demic.” jack­son carsello

PRO­VIDED

Glenbrook North of­fen­sive line­man Jack­son Carsello was high on the re­cruit­ing radar af­ter adding around 70 pounds of mus­cle the last few sea­sons.

PRO­VIDED

Jack­son Carsello (52) had of­fers from more than 20 schools, in­clud­ing Illi­nois, In­di­ana and four in the Ivy League.

Lan­don Mor­ris ALLEN CUNNINGHAM/ SUN-TIMES

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