From Moe to Mo.: Seeking talent in Illinois and Missouri

Updated: May 31, 2002, 12:41 PM ET
By By Tom Lemming, college football recruiting analyst |
ST. LOUIS, March 27 -- On the first leg of my 2002 road trip, I left home in suburban Chicago and headed south to Springfield, Ill., where I saw two very good players. LB Zach Kettelcamp (6-3, 235) of Griffin H.S. made 117 tackles as a junior, has good quickness and could grow into a DL in college. One of his teammates could be one of the best RBs in Midwest: Kenni Burns (6-0, 190), who had a broken foot during part of last season and still had a productive campaign. He's a big-time player and has heard from a lot of schools already.

I next traveled east to Decatur to see probably the top DL in the Midwest, Moe Dampeer (6-5, 275) of McArthur H.S. Unfortunately, a big snowstorm hit the area Monday night and closed all the schools in the city, but I was still able to get together with Dampeer's coach and parents and watch his film. He's a terrific inside player with All-American potential who was double-teamed on every play last season and still had 12½ sacks. He'll be one of the most recruited interior DL prospects nationally and already has 11 offers.

Then it was on to St. Louis, where I escaped the snow but not the cold; I had to do several interviews outside in 30-degree weather because some of the schools were closed. But I was able to see most of the top players in the area. RB Gerald Davis (6-0, 212) of Pattonville H.S. is a big-time player, and a teammate, Corey Henley (5-8, 165), is an explosive TB/CB. QB Jamiah Wade (6-0, 150) of Riverview Gardens H.S. is a perpetual winner who could play CB in college and is a definite D-I player. I liked his explosiveness; he's one of the better skill-position players in the state.