Top offensive football players in Springfield, IL area
The high school football season begins this Friday and here are the Springfield area’s top offensive football players. The list is largely based on last spring season and organized alphabetically.
Here’s a glance at the area’s top offensive players:
Hank Beatty, Rochester
The University of Illinois commit can produce from anywhere. The senior quarterback and receiver was named Class 4A all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and threw for 738 yards and 12 TDs with no interceptions at QB. He also caught 30 passes for 389 yards and six TDs and ran for 502 yards.
Connor Breazeale, Athens
The senior tight end returns as one of coach Ryan Knox’s key starters this season. During Week 5 against North Mac, he caught a 15-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter to give Athens a 18-13 advantage before falling 21-18. He was also all-Sangamo Conference second team as a punter.
Kaleb Brown and Brenden Pupillo, Auburn
The bulk of Auburn’s experience rests on the offensive and defensive line, according to new coach Ryan Gardner. That includes senior two-way linemen Brown and Pupillo, the latter was named all-Sangamo Conference honorable mention last season.
Jeffery Elms, Springfield High
The senior running back and defensive back showed flashes of speed during the spring. He ran for 372 yards and six TDs in six games.
Landon Engelman, Nokomis
Named the most valuable offensive player in the Cahokia Conference small-school division, the senior running back totaled 82 carries for 711 yards and added four catches for 72 yards. He finished with 10 total touchdowns. He also nabbed six interceptions at defensive back.
Logan Gorenz, Pana
The senior offensive lineman, listed at 5-foot-8 and 200 pounds on Maxpreps.com, was named to the all-South Central Conference first team as an offensive lineman.
Gavin Griffith and Josh Ranger, Gillespie
Coach Jacob Bilbruck listed these senior two-way linemen among his key returning starters after the Miners ended the season 3-3 following an upset over Vandalia. Griffith was second-team all-South Central Conference on the offensive line, while Ranger was all-SCC third team on the defensive front.
Austin Henschen, Pana
The senior running back led the Panthers last season with 314 rushing yards and five TDs in five games, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. He was named to the all-South Central Conference first team.
Dustin Johnson, Williamsville
The senior offensive lineman was all-Sangamo first team as a guard. The Bullets lost three of his linemates, in all-conference picks Caleb Thompson, Tyler Rapp and Ty Reeter.
Mitchell Logan, Springfield High
The 6-foot-4 senior wide receiver was the top target for Rutgers commit SHS quarterback Rashad Rochelle, with 15 catches for 379 yards and seven TDs. Logan missed the end of the season because of an injury.
Joey Meisemen, New Berlin
The senior returns as a starting quarterback after leading the Pretzels to a 3-3 mark. He went 41-for-79 for 809 yards and seven TDs with two INTs. He also ran for 195 yards.
Elijah Owens, Jacksonville
The all-CS8 pick completed 66 of 96 passing attempts for 860 yards and two TDs with two interceptions, according to Maxpreps.com. The junior quarterback was ranked during the offseason as the seventh best QB in the state’s Class of 2023 by Prepredzone.com.
Seth Parkinson, Rochester
The senior is the team’s second top returning receiver behind Beatty with 17 catches for 211 yards and two TDs. He also plays defensive back.
Zach Reiniesch, Gillespie
The all-South Central Conference first-team quarterback completed 43 of 108 passing attempts for 685 yards and ran for another 349 yards. The senior totaled 17 touchdowns as a junior.
Rashad Rochelle, Springfield High
The Rutgers commit and senior quarterback passed for 1,069 yards, 11 TDs and six INTs. The all-CS8 pick also led the Senators with 591 rushing yards and 12 TDs.
KeShon Singleton, Sacred Heart-Griffin
The all-CS8 special mention had eight catches for 177 yards and three TDs as a sophomore. The junior also plays defensive back.
Jamarion Smith, Chatham Glenwood
The senior running back and linebacker ran for 292 yards and one TD, averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Junior Galashky Blaise added 67 rushing yards and one TD. Both were named all-CS8 special mention.
Cooper Starks, North Mac
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound junior offensive tackle is ranked among the best offensive linemen in the state’s Class of 2023 recruiting class by Prepredzone.com. He was named 3A all-state by the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association.
Jacob Tedrow, Chatham Glenwood
The senior all-CS8 pick was the Titans’ second-leading receiver with seven catches for 168 yards and three TDs at tight end. He also totaled 30 tackles at linebacker.
Ayden Tiburzi, Carlinville
The senior returns as the starting QB after leading the Cavaliers to a share of the South Central Conference title. He completed 68 of 112 passing attempts for 787 yards and five TDs with one INT. He will certainly be the top offensive weapon after the departure of running back Bobby Seal, who ran for 1,064 yards in the six-game season. Tiburzi’s top targets include all-conference players Carson Wiser, Mason Duckels and Ethen Siglock.
Contact Bill Welt: [email protected], Twitter.com/BillWelt