Edwardsville High School Tigers All-American defensive end A.J. Epenesa signed with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, one of four Tigers to sign NCAA Division I college football letters of intent at the high school in Edwardsville, Illinois near St. Louis, MO. The others were linemen Tate Rujawitz and Lucas Davis, who signed with Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and University of Memphis kicker and punter recruit Riley Patterson. Iowa Hawkeyes college football coach Kirk Ferentz praised Epenesa for his off-the-chart talent and humble approach, which began in southern Illinois.
East St. Louis quarterback Reyondous Estes announced Tuesday that he will continue his college player career for P.J. Fleck and the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Estes has given previous verbal commitments to Western Michigan and Missouri Tigers before electing to use the National Letter of Intent Day to sign with Minnesota in Minneapolis. Estes led the East St. Louis Flyers to their eighth IHSA Illinois championship.
The Althoff Catholic High School Crusaders football team in Belleville, IL near southern Illinois sent 10 players to attend the National Football Foundation’s college football signing day breakfast Wednesday at Norwood Hills Country Club in St. Louis, MO. Althoff had players signing with the University of Wyoming, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Miami -Ohio and Eastern Illinois University.
Following is a list of southern Illinois and metro-east high school football and college recruits, along with their college football decisions. Among the top football recruits are University of Iowa recruit and All-American defensive end A.J. Epenesa from Edwardsville HIgh School in Edwardsville, IL near St. Louis, MO., East St. Louis Senior High All-American receiver Jeff Thomas, East St. Louis Senior High quarterback and University of Minnesota quarterback recruit Reyondous Estes and East St. Louis Senior High linebacker and University of Illinois Fighting Illini recruit James Knight.
Seven players from the East St. Louis Senior High School IHSA state football champion Flyers made their college selections during an all-school assembly on National Letter of Intent Day. With ESPN, Sports Illustrated and other media outlets in attendence, Under Armour All-American wide receiver Jeff Thomas, quarterback Reyondous Estes and others made their college commitments.
The St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame will honor 13 former professional athletes and sports figures ats annual inductions Feb. 2 at Gateway Classic Cars, St. Louis showroom in O’Fallon, Illinois. Inductees include Dave Butz, of the NFL Washington Redskins, former Major League Baseball player Gary Gaetti, NFL kicker Craig Hentrich, Southern Illinois University Carbondale head men’s basketball coach Rich Herrin, Stanford University volleyball standout Marnie Triefenbach, University of Illinois and NFL linebacker Dana Howard, Harlem Globetrotters owner Mannie Jackson, MLB pitcher Kirk Rueter of the San Francisco Giants and Montreal Expos, PGA star Tom Wargo, Olympic powerlifter Tom Stock, and others.
Edwardsville High School Tigers high school football player, senior All-American and University of Iowa Hawkeyes college football recruit A.J. Epenesa was named MVP at the inaugural Polynesian Bowl for high school football players at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI. Epenesa is from Glen Carbon, IL in southern Illinois near St. Louis, MO.
University of Missouri at Columbia lost one of the St. Louis metro-east’s top high school football recruits when East St. Louis Senior High School Flyers senior quarterback Reyondous Estes did an about face on his verbal commitment to the Missouri Tigers and announced he will instead play NCAA football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Estes led the East St. Louis Flyers to the IHSA Class 7A Illinois state championship.
Edwardsville, Illinois, High School Tigers senior defensive end AJ Epenesa had two tackles at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas Saturday. The Edwardsville Tigers’ three-sport standout has committed to continue his football career in the NCAA at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where some believe, as a true freshman, he could possible start for the Hawkeyes.
East St. Louis Senior High School Flyers high school football all-American receiver Jeff Thomas, of East St. Louis, Illinois, and Edwardsville High School Tigers all-American and University of Iowa high school football player A.J. Epenesa of Edwardsville, Illinois, will play in the Under Armour All-America game in Orlando, Florida, and the U.S. Army All-American Game in San Antonio, Texas.