MIKE NIETO: And the winner of Laquon Treadwell is? ...

2013-01-16T19:00:00Z 2014-03-21T23:37:10Z MIKE NIETO: And the winner of Laquon Treadwell is? ...Mike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
January 16, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

Amidst all the tweets and just plain old gossip, Crete-Monee football star Laquon Treadwell will make his announcement at 5 p.m. today as to where he will play his college football.

Where?

We will have to wait and see, but whichever school he picks, it is getting a quality person as well as a great athlete.

If you want to see what a Division I football player looks like, check out No. 6 on Crete-Monee. There is a Division I player — hands down. A prep All-America, an all-state pick, two-time Times Offensive Player of the Year, Treadwell also is ranked as the top prep wide receiver in the country.

The fact that Treadwell is announcing at the school shows what kind of person he is. He knows this brings good publicity to the school and the communities that feed into Crete-Monee High School. When he signs in February, he will probably do so at the school where any of his teammates who are also signing can do it together as a team.

Having the opportunity to cover Treadwell's prep career gave me and others a chance to see him behind the scenes, so to speak. You get to know these kids — and they are still kids — not just for a 10-second blurb after the game, but at practice and find out what they are about.

Treadwell comes across as sort of a super hero action figure, from his nickname "Quon" to his ability to turn a game and that photogenic smile. Witness the Peoria Richwoods game in the second round of the playoffs. Crete was losing and it looked like its dream season was over. Treadwell intercepted a pass and returned it for a score. Then he went in at quarterback and scored the game-winner.  He was a big part of the Warriors' fourth-quarter, two score comeback semifinal win against Lemont. in the semifinals. Teams don't usually come back against the Indians.

What also impressed me about Treadwell is that he made sure people knew about his teammates. He told college coaches he had a good quarterback in Marcus Terrell. "Someone has to get me the passes," he would say. He would mention wide receiver Lance Lenoir, who had a pretty nice year.

In all the recruiting and the pressure, he always kept his head and remained humble. He credits his mom Tami for keeping him that way. Treadwell didn't turn this into a circus, but took his trips and is making an educated choice.

I still remember the skinny sophomore who was bashful, but was confident of himself. Former Crete coach Jerry Verde and I used to kid him about how can he leap when he is afraid of heights. Quon replied that he is not afraid to leap, but when he goes to Lincoln Mall, he cannot walk on the inside on the second level. I still recall him sitting on the curb outside the Warriors' locker room and looking like he was pouting, saying:"Show me some love," then kind of smiling as to say "Gotcha!"

You sit and talk with Treadwell about a lot of things, and then you realize he is not only one of the best football players in the country, but he's not full of himself. He is a kid who likes movies, sports and texting, and is friendly. This is the stuff that doesn't show up in the box score or in a game story, but Treadwell is more than just No. 6 on the field.

 

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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