Mount Carmel's Michael Kennedy understands the importance of tradition.
A senior running back for the Catholic League powerhouse, Kennedy plans to join another program with a history of success. Kennedy gave a verbal commitment last month to play at Northern Illinois.
"I took a visit to their campus and liked their coaches and I knew a couple of players on their team that I was close to," Kennedy said. "I'm really excited about it."
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Kennedy joins a long line of Caravan players to commit to the Huskies, including 2013 Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch. The Huskies, who have advanced to six straight Mid-American Conference championship games and made eighth consecutive bowl appearances, have produced a long line of talented running backs.
Kennedy said Lynch helped show him the commitment level required to be successful in college. Northern Illinois was his only offer.
"I worked out with Jordan Lynch during the offseason and I had a good relationship with him," he said. " We worked out on Sundays. I learned that you have to keep working harder than other athletes."
Diehl picks Colgate: Lincoln-Way East's Sam Diehl also decided his first offer would be the ideal place to play in college. Diehl committed to Football Championship Subdivision member Colgate last month.
A two-year starter at left guard, Diehl is the latest Lincoln-Way East offensive lineman pledging to play at the next level.
Former Lincoln-Way East standout Nick Allegretti is a redshirt sophomore at Illinois and Kurt Gavin is an Illini freshman.
"(Colgate) is a great academic school, one of the top in the nation, and they play great football," Diehl said. "Colgate has one of the best recruiting classes this year, and they have a top-tier academic program. Nobody stacked up like Colgate. It feels great to follow our (linemen) tradition."
Griffin to IMG: Earlier this month, Mount Carmel suffered a big loss when junior Houston Griffith announced via Twitter that he accepted an offer to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Griffith, a defensive back, is considered a consensus top 100 player in the country for the Class of 2018. The son of former Illinois running back Howard Griffith, Houston has offers from Notre Dame, Michigan State, Florida State, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia.
Kennedy said the Caravan will miss the impact that Griffith has.
"I understand his decision and am glad he made it," Kennedy said. "I wish him the best of luck. He's really explosive, has nice footwork and makes good decisions on the field."