Kendall County recruiting notebook: Oswego junior linebacker Carson Cooney racking up Big Ten offers

Oswego’s Carson Cooney hits Plainfield North's Robert Tota in the backfield for a loss during a football game at Plainfield North High School on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023.

Carson Cooney has always pictured and imagined himself playing big-time college football in the Big Ten or another power conference.

His dreams appear to be close to reality now.

The Oswego junior linebacker, son of Panthers’ head coach Brian Cooney, has seen his recruitment take off since the conclusion of the season. Cooney since the end of October has received scholarship offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Iowa State and most recently Wisconsin. A three-star prospect rated by 247Sports as the No. 16 recruit in Illinois’ Class of 2025, Cooney is up to seven offers also including Illinois, Central Michigan and Ohio.

“It’s a lot to take in. Some big-time schools,” Cooney said. “The process is going great. Obviously it’s a really active time of year. Coaches are constantly stopping in.”

Cooney, who first played varsity football as a sophomore, was a standout this past season for an Oswego defense that allowed only 70 points during the regular season. Cooney had 71 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two pass breakups, one interception, one sack, one fumble recovery and one blocked field goal.

Cooney said his recruitment really started moving forward during the summer. He got invited to multiple college football camps. He earned an offer from Illinois in early June and made an unofficial visit to Champaign later that month.

“That is when my eyes were opened that I could really do this,” Cooney said. “Once one came they all started flooding in. That was a big moment, after the Illinois camp.”

Cooney certainly looks the part of a next-level linebacker. He’s 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, and can run the 40-yard dash in 4.7 flat.

“Coaches like my length as a linebacker, speed for my height, height and body frame and my vision,” Cooney said. “That’s what I see and what I have been told.”

He’s also had the benefit of being told a good piece of advice from his dad, and coach.

“He tells me to just work harder than others. If someone else is at your skill level, work harder. That is what I am doing,” Cooney said. “I have plenty of height and weight, but the hard work is what drives me forward. I’m thankful to my dad and my linebackers coach [John] Hugunin. They were in there every day with us lifting. Coach Hugunin does a great job.”

Cooney attended multiple game day visits during the fall, and while those are over he is seeing coaches in person or is on the phone with them. He’ll soon be attending bowl practices at Iowa and Northwestern.

“I haven’t seen one of those yet, but I am expecting what it sounds like – big-time football practice,” Cooney said. “It will be great to get a feel of what it will look like. I was at a spring practice at Iowa before this all happened. I am expecting it to be how I imagine it will be.”

Yorkville's Josh Gettemy (4) carries the ball against Oswego East during a football game at Yorkville High School on Friday, Oct. 13, 2023.

Yorkville’s Josh Gettemy commits to Illinois State

To Josh Gettemy, it wasn’t difficult to establish good chemistry with the Illinois State coaching staff.

The Yorkville senior running back/linebacker had been talking to the Redbirds for some time. His brother-in-law, Jason Lewan, was a three-year starting defensive lineman at Illinois State before signing with the Packers as an undrafted free agent last summer. On Dec. 7, Gettemy made his verbal commitment to Illinois State.

“He got me in contact with them early, we built a good relationship and stuff,” Gettemy said. “I love the school and I’m comfortable there. It was an easy decision.”

Gettemy, recruited by Illinois State as a linebacker, had been talking to the Redbirds’ coaching staff for a couple years. He visited his junior year, and attended a camp over the summer. He took another visit to the campus in Normal during football season and waited until after the season concluded to make his decision, what he called “is best for me.”

He will join former Yorkville quarterback Nate Kraus, now playing linebacker for the Redbirds, at Illinois State.

“It sounds like they see me fitting in as an inside linebacker, kind of playing the run, getting downhill and stuff,” Gettemy said. “I still know a couple guys down there. I’m excited to get down there with a couple dudes I’ve known through Jason. It makes it a lot easier for sure.”