Andrew Laurich had opportunities to play college football close to home, in a league many local players gravitate toward.
He wanted a different challenge. And so he’s headed west.
Yorkville’s rising senior defensive lineman on Monday made his verbal commitment to Colorado State. Laurich, a Record Newspapers All-Area selection in 2021, chose the Rams from 17 offers, seven of them coming from the Mid-American Conference including Western Michigan and Ball State. Air Force, North Dakota State and Navy were other offers.
“A lot of them were MAC schools and nothing against MAC schools but I thought that the Mountain West in my opinion was a better ballgame,” Laurich said. “I really had limited it down to Colorado State and North Dakota State.”
Laurich made an official visit to Colorado State last weekend, and had a visit to North Dakota State scheduled for this coming weekend. Ultimately, that wasn’t necessary with Colorado State checking all the boxes.
Laurich is the first defensive commit in the Class of 2023 for Colorado State and first-year head coach Jay Norvell, a former Chicago Bear hired in December.
“It felt like home there,” Laurich said. “The coaches are great, they’re going to do some big things there, I believe in it and I want to be a part of it.”
Laurich comes from good football stock.
His dad played collegiately at Iowa State. His grandfather started Waubonsie Valley High School’s football program.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound, Laurich, leader of a strong Yorkville defensive line last fall that led the Foxes to their third consecutive playoff appearance, had 41 tackles, 18 of them solos, and 17 tackles for loss with five sacks and four quarterback hurries. He forced two fumbles, recovered one and had one interception.
He doesn’t mind a bit the prospect of playing a little further away from home than some of his other opportunities afforded.
“The distance aspect, being farther away, really didn’t matter to me. Playing football full-time, I’m not going to be able to make it home that much either way,” he said. “Coming out of Illinois, the environment out there is absolutely beautiful. I just felt like I fit right in with the players there, what their coaches are about, the defenses they run, they expect to do big things. They recruit defensive tackles and defensive ends, and they play everywhere. Which I’m fine with.”
Laurich can reflect with gratitude and relief at how far he’s come in the process. He is currently ranked the No. 33 prospect in Illinois’ Class of 2023 by the recruiting service 247Sports.
“It’s awesome now knowing that I’ll be playing at the next level,” he said. “I remember sophomore year, first year playing on varsity, getting my butt kicked. I knew I needed to put some weight on, and I put in the work. I’m super excited now. Just seeing some of the practices and some of the spring game and stuff like that, I really feel like I can fit in with those guys.”
Oswego East’s Odior picks up offers
The wait is over for Oshobi Odior.
Oswego East’s rising senior linebacker/running back picked up his first two scholarship offers this past week. Carthage College offered the 6-foot-2, 244-pound Odior on June 10 and Western Illinois offered him on Monday. Both are recruiting Odior as a linebacker.
“Getting those offers really relieves a lot of stress from my shoulders,” Odior said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this, put in a lot of hard work and my hard work paid off a little bit. I’m hoping for some more and then before the end of the summer find what college I’m going to commit to.”
Odior, an all-conference and Record Newspapers all-area pick last fall, had a team-high 77 tackles for the Wolves, 55 of them solos, with nine tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. On offense he ran for 223 yards and two TDs, and caught 13 passes.
He’s been busy getting his name out.
Odior has attended four camps already, and is headed for Kent State’s camp this weekend. The following week he’ll be at South Dakota State and then Kansas State.
“I’ve been wanting to showcase what I have improved on and how competitive I am, show I can move even thought I am the size that I am at the linebacker position,” Odior said. “I have to show that I am versatile and can do some things and that I have good footwork and movement running-wise.”
That skill development is an ongoing process.
“Definitely working on getting faster and just getting more explosive,” Odior said. “Me and my dad have been doing hill workouts, explosive workouts, parachute workouts and stuff like that. [Oswego East] coach [Tyson] LeBlanc has us doing a lot of power movements, getting us ready for camps that we are going to, trying to make us better.”