A quick review of the rules before we get into the third round:
• We're using a standard snake draft with a quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers and a flex position.
• The player pool goes back to 2000, but a player must have played their final high school game to be eligible. So sadly, no, we weren't allowed to just draft East St. Louis' starting offense from this year.
• I left the criteria for how we would judge the best team extremely vague. I didn't want everyone to simply pull up the IHSA record books.
• We will post results round by round. Once completed, we'll compile the rosters and set up a poll so readers can vote for who they believe drafted the best team.
15. John Sahly: A.J. Henning, Flex, Lincoln-Way East. The Michigan recruit can do it all and will be a perfect fit for this team. He finished in the top 3 in voting for Friday Night Drive’s first Offensive Player of the Year. State champ. Enough said.
16. J.T. Pedelty: Tyler Hutchinson, QB, Greenville. Third round, I have my RB1 and WR1, and the IHSA’s all-time leader in passing yardage and touchdown passes (tie) is still available? Yes, please! The 2014 USA Today Illinois Offensive Player of the Year was the first Illinois high school player to throw for more than 10,000 career yards despite tallying just four his freshman season. Welcome aboard, Tyler!
17. Steve Soucie: Jeff Thomas, WR, East St. Louis. Guys, you are making this too easy for me. I already have one wideout that was nearly impossible to cover and now you’re leaving me another to snag this late? Thanks. I’ll skip the next few picks if you want me to so we can try to level the playing field a bit. Or maybe you could just limit me to taking East St. Louis players, I’m fine with that, too.
18. Josh Welge: Tim Brasic, QB, Riverside-Brookfield. The Fantasy owner in me suggests it’s too early to take a quarterback in Round 3 – but I can’t believe this guy is available. Plus he is a dual-threat at quarterback, and I like my quarterbacks who can get me points through the air and on the ground. All Brasic did in 2001 was throw for what was, at the time, a state record 4,644 yards with 58 touchdowns. Just for fun, he also ran for 727 yards and six touchdowns.
19. Kyle Nabors: Kenny Golladay, WR, St. Rita. I had every intention of taking Jeff Thomas with this pick, but Souc had to go and ruin my fun. That’s OK, I’ll “settle” for Golladay. It’s incredible Golladay, now a star receiver for the Detroit Lions, didn’t receive more college interest coming out of high school. The stats weren’t incredible, but the measurables were certainly there. He started his college career at North Dakota before playing two years at Northern Illinois. I attended his pro day in DeKalb, and I left amazed that Big Ten programs had managed to overlook him.
20. Eddie Carifio: Caleb Pratt, RB, Westville. Yeah, gloat all you want, Steve, about your wide receivers. Me and my boys will run right over you. I’ve already got the state’s all-time leader rusher, now I’ve got the guy he surpassed, and is still third all-time with 8,477 career rushing yards. He’s also third in rushing touchdowns. So even though I may be light in the receiver department, and Joe is probably about to pluck one or two, I can’t pass up having two of the top three running backs, numerically at least, in the state’s history.
21: Joe Stevenson: Sean Price, QB, Maine South. I need a QB and there were still some great ones out there. Thought about going a couple different ways, but Price’s 2003 season made him too good to pass up. It was the most prolific passing season in IHSA history with 342 completions (first), 4,751 yards (first) and 55 touchdowns (fifth). Fantasy is a numbers game and Price would give you huge numbers.