Signing Day: NIU-bound Trey Urwiler, Arizona recruit Matt Weerts among four Batavia seniors signing

Four pillars of Batavia football’s senior class formally took steps to the next level Wednesday.

Wideout Trey Urwiler, who signed with Northern Illinois, linebacker Matt Weerts (Arizona) and llinemen Jackson Heeringa (Northern Iowa) and Jack Valente (Eastern Illinois) signed their national letters of intent in a small ceremony livestreamed on Google meet.

Several teammates and family joined in.

Urwiler announced his commitment to the Huskies back in March, and it appears Huskie Nation is ready for the multi-purpose weapon on offense and special teams.

“Trey is just a football player,” NIU head coach Thomas Hammock said Wednesday. Sometimes in the evaluation process you don’t want to recruit to the exception. Trey is not the biggest but he is extremely tough, he is extremely competitive, and he’s a young man I think can help us in a variety of roles.

“He can play running back, he can play wide receiver, he’s a punt returner, he can be a kickoff returner. He’s a guy that’s very dynamic with the ball in his hands. He’s a guy that reminds me of guys that have played here before.”

Weerts was the first of the Wildcats’ class to sign. At 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Weerts had 86 tackles with eight of them for loss in 2019.

Heeringa, 6-foot-8, 270-pound senior, is likely to redshirt.

“The thing that sold me the most is really the success rate with the offensive line and that I would be welcomed there. [Hopefully], I’d have great success there,” Heeringa said back in July.

For Valente, “everything lined up perfectly” to be a fit at EIU.

“It was the football [program], the coaches and also the education,” Valente said back in October.

“When I was talking with the coaches [and they] were asking me trying to see if I would be a good for for them, they asked me what I look for in a team,” Valente said. “I obviously was very into that family-type component that Batavia is. We have that Bulldog culture that I really look for.”

Bastone represents St. Charles North at Blue-Grey All-American Bowl

St. Charles North senior defensive lineman Carmine Bastone achieved a career-first during his appearance at the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Dec. 14.

“The most memorable thing for me was getting an interception [at the end of the second quarter],” Bastone said by text Wednesday. “That was my first-ever in my high school career.”

Bastone, who verbally committed to Cornell University in October, played on the East Team roster– one of just two recruits from Illinois. The game was played at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Bastone plans to sign his National Letter of Intent at a later date because he is supposed to receive his formal acceptance letter later this week.

“It was great to finally get back out and play,” Bastone said. “And, it was amazing to play [at] AT&T Stadium.”

Bastone joins an impressive group of B/G alumni from the Kane County area including former teammate Ben Furtney, Batavia’s Quinn Urwiler and Burlington Central’s James Estes in recent years.

Blue-Grey attendees are among the country’s top recruits. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (Class of 2014) is one of several highly-regarded former attendees.

“I thought I did pretty well against the competition, but there is always more work to be done,” Bastone said. “I feel that I can do better.”

In year’s past, players for the game were chosen out of nearly 7,000 potential candidates who either competed at B-G’s regional or super combines or they were nominated by the B-G staff.

In 2019, Bastone had 29 tackles, five for loss and two sacks in nine games for the North Stars.

Here is a list of local football players from the Class of 2021 who have signed their NLI for early national signing day. This list is compiled from Twitter announcements and coaches.

Burlington Central

No football signees for this class.

Batavia

OL Jackson Heeringa, Northern Iowa

WR Trey Urwiler, Northern Illinois

LB Matt Weerts, Arizona

OL/LS Jack Valente, Eastern Illinois

Geneva

No early signees

* OL Josh Zaccanti (Northern State University) will sign at a later date

Kaneland

No early signees

*WR Colby Metcalf (University of Wisconsin-Plattville) will sign at a later date

*OL Sam Pryor (North Central College) will sign at a later date.

Marmion

No early signees

St. Charles North

OL Ian Erickson, St. Thomas

*WR Steven Hein (Wisconsin-Whitewater) will sign at a later date

*DL Carmine Bastone (Cornell) will sign at a later date.

St. Charles East

No early signees

St. Francis

DB Tyler Duzansky, Penn State University

QB Tommy Rittenhouse, Illinois State