Signing day notes: Maine South's Stacy to walk on at Illinois, more (Sean Stanton)

4 minute read

By Steve Sadin
Pioneer Press


Come the fall, Cam Stacy will be living a dream.

Stacy, a Maine South senior, said he has been an Illinois football fan since middle school and a Chicago Bears fan "forever."

A 6-foot, 190-pound receiver and safety, Stacy has accepted a preferred walk-on spot at Illinois, which is coached by former Bears coach Lovie Smith.

Stacy was offered the chance to be a preferred walk-on during the second week of the Class 8A playoffs. The games were played the first weekend in November that round. He also had offers from Drake and Morehead State and was in discussions with Dayton and Miami (Ohio). Later that month, Stacy saw Smith and Illinois offensive line coach Luke Butkus, the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, at Maine South.

"I was standing across the hall and they called me over," said Stacy, a Park Ridge resident. "It took me three to four minutes to collect my thoughts and take it all in. I watched (Smith) coach in the Super Bowl in (2007) and it was something to see him there."

Stacy said he did not say yes immediately, but the other schools fell way down on his list and the Fighting Illini "rocketed to the top."

Just as Stacy played offense and defense for the Hawks, he said that remains a possibility at Illinois, but he expects "most of my reps will be at slot receiver."
Sean Stanton

Illinois finished the 2017 season with a 2-10 record in Smith's second season at the helm.

Hinsdale Central's Stanton chooses San Diego

While playing his entire senior season on the Hinsdale Central football team with a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee, Sean Stanton said he never lost sight of where he wanted to be the following season — on a college football team.

Stanton, a 6-4, 275-pound offensive tackle for the Red Devils, is on track to achieve his goal. He has committed to play for San Diego and took part in a signing day ceremony at the Hinsdale school Wednesday.

San Diego is an FCS program, but as a member of the Pioneer Football League it does not award athletic scholarships.

Between now and July when Stanton is scheduled to report to school, he said he will concentrate on building his strength and rehabbing his knee. He had surgery to repair his knee in November.

After suffering the injury while making a cut at a football camp last summer, Stanton said he worked with his doctor and trainer so he could play his senior season.

Stanton did not have any college offers at the time of his injury.

A Clarendon Hills resident, Stanton wore a brace when he played that prevented his knee from turning, which reduced the pain.

"The ACL was completely torn so there wasn't much pain," Stanton said. "I used lots of ice and slept with an electro stimulation machine to make my muscles keep firing."

In addition to doing strength training and conditioning, Stanton said he will be using electrical muscle stimulation to help with his recovery. He said his doctor told him he can expect to recover from the surgery in six months.

Stanton said he chose the Toreros because the program gives him the best opportunity to improve in a winning environment. His meeting with coaches during his official visit sealed his choice.

"I realized they could mold you into the best player you can be," said Stanton, who expects to play guard in college.

Under coach Dale Lindsey, San Diego won the Pioneer Football League title in 2017 with an 8-0 record in league games. The Toreros finished 10-3 overall. San Diego lost to eventual national champion North Dakota State in the second round of the FCS playoffs.


Steve Sadin is a freelance reporter for Pioneer Press.

Twitter @Pioneer_Press

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