One of the most popular cell phone numbers in the metro-east these days belongs to O'Fallon High football coach Brandon Joggerst.
That's because Joggerst is the main conduit between some of the nation's top college football programs and O'Fallon senior defensive end Dewayne Hendrix, one of the top recruits in Illinois.
"It's definitely time-consuming because everybody wants a piece of him," Joggerst said Monday. "When you have 30 schools trying to call to get him on campus, everything goes through you. I look at my job as the coach as to give him as many options as possible and in the end help make it a great decision for him."
As an example, Hendrix made an unofficial visit to Missouri last weekend. Joggerst said Hendrix had barely left to return home when his phone began blowing up with calls from recruiting services and other Internet recruiting "insiders."
"He goes to Missouri and when he's back in the car there's probably five people calling him to see how it went," Joggerst said.
Rated a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and several other recruiting services, Hendrix continues to improve his status among the nation's top defensive ends.
Also rocketing up the charts is East St. Louis junior defensive lineman Terry Beckner, Jr. (6-foot-4, 270 pounds). Despite the fact he just finished his sophomore year with the Flyers, Rivals.com lists Beckner with 14 major scholarship offers from schools that include Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri.
"He's been at a lot of the camps I've been," Hendrix said. "I can remember when I wasn't even on the Internet, so having my name out there is just another blessing from God. I know I've got to keep working hard."
Hendrix runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash despite standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 265 pounds. Scout.com ranks him as the 13th best senior defensive end recruit in the nation and his more than 25 scholarship offers, include Ohio State, Tennessee, Florida Illinois, Michigan State, USC, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Syracuse, Mississippi and Mississippi State, among others.
"I think as far as the amount of offers and the level of offers from these types of programs, he's probably the biggest recruit we've had," said Joggerst, who has sent several other players into the Division I ranks including Darius Mosely (Illinois) and Duane Bennett (Minnesota). "Once his junior tape was sent out, that's when it really took off. Obviously he's got the measurables that people look for as far as height and weight, and that definitely helps the process.
"He's also 6-5, 265 with long arms and can hit out of sight. He's very physical at the point of attack and I think they see more room and potential to grow because of his size."
Hendrix was among the elite recruits invited to the Rivals Five-Star Challenge presented by UnderArmour held June 7-9 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
"They pay to fly you up there and put you up in a hotel, all that," Joggerst said. "There's no need for him to go to (summer) camp at schools with all the offers he already has. He may go to more schools to check them out and meet with the coaches and counselors and try to get a good fit."
Asked to rate some of his early favorites, Hendrix mentioned Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio State and Florida. He's taken early unofficial visits to several schools, including Missouri, Illinois and twice to Tennessee.
"Some of the colleges I've been going to I just get the feeling I should be there," Hendrix said. "That's going to be important for me to feel comfortable there and also where I'm going to be at on the depth chart. I want to be patient.
Hendrix said he liked Tennessee because "It's just such tradition there, it's like no other really -- and they're so big."
As far as Mizzou, Hendrix said "I didn't think it was going to be as big to me as it was. It turned out to be even better than what I thought and it's the only college I can really see comparing with Tennessee right now."
The key words there are "right now."
Hendrix plans on taking unofficial visits to Iowa and Iowa State this weekend, with upcoming trips planned to Indiana and potentially Florida and USC.
Hendrix said he likely won't make an early college commitment this summer. He wants to take his official visits and blue-chip programs Ohio State and Florida will do their best to gain his attention.
"I'm going to take my officials visits," he said.
"I think he'll be one that's probably going to wait," Joggerst said. "He has a lot of offers. That being said, if he finds somewhere that he really enjoys he might do it early."
Hendrix had 65 tackles and four sacks as a junior, but is considered a rarity among defensive ends because his run-stopping ability is as strong or stronger than his pass rushing.
Joggerst said Hendrix is handling all the recruiting hype about as well as can be expected.
"He's a very humble kid and very polite," Joggerst said. "You wouldn't know that he has that going with what's happening and with all that (attention). It's hard because of all the attention and everybody's telling him things all the time."
Joggerst said O'Fallon senior defensive back Micquell Cotton could make his college choice before the weekend. He has offers from Iowa State, Indiana, Michigan State and Syracuse.
Joggerst said O'Fallon senior lineman Dan Ryan (6-4, 270) is considering Tulsa, Western Kentucky; Kent State and Massachusetts, among others.
Wide receiver Tae'mon Franklin and defensive lineman Kory Poelker are also receiving Division I interest from Iowa State and other schools.