Andrean players making D-I choices

- BY MIKE HUTTON 613-0141 or

It’s been a crazy last-minute signing day push for Andrean football coach Phil Mason.

Andrean’s state title has helped two of its best players, Matt DeSomer and Tylor Petkovich, earn scholarshi­ps to Southern Illinois and Illinois State, respective­ly, Mason confirmed Tuesday. Both will talk about their decision at a 9 a.m. news conference at the school Wednesday. Petkovich had previously verbally committed to play at SIU.

Josh Barajas, a 6-3 210 pound junior outside linebacker, has also kept Mason hopping. Barajas has received a number of Big Ten offers in the last week. Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State have all offered scholarshi­ps. Illinois, Indiana and Purdue had already extended offers and Mason expects Notre Dame to make Barajas an offer when he visits South Bend on March 1 for Junior Day.

DeSomer told SIU on Monday that he would play there.

Mason said he decided to join the Salukis because he wanted to play quarterbac­k. No other college was willing to guarantee him a spot at that position. DeSomer was the PostTribun­e Player of the Year. He rushed for 1,484 yards (11 yards per carry) and passed for 2,230 yards.

“They wanted him at running back, outside linebacker, safety,” Mason said. “He always felt he was a Division I quarterbac­k. It’s pretty simple.”

Mason said DeSomer, who originally enrolled at Andrean to play baseball, won’t play both sports at SIU.

Many people believed DeSomer would pursue baseball instead of football after high school though he had not indicated what he would do.

The Barajas recruitmen­t has exploded since a standout state final game when he finished with eight tackles, 2.5 tackles for losses and four pass breakups.

Mason said the fact that he originally attended Mount Carmel in Chicago has helped.

“He comes from a good program,” Mason said. “Once we won state, things just shot up for him.”

Other players expected to sign letters of intent include West Side’s Jon Vea’ Johnson (Toledo) and Lonnie Johnson (Western Michigan). Martayveus Carter of East Chicago will sign with Northern Illinois while Ryan Neal of Merrillvil­le is going to make it official with Southern Illinois.

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