CRETE | Crete-Monee's Laquon Treadwell will play his college football at University of Mississippi, he announced Thursday at Crete-Monee High School.
Treadwell is considered one of the nation's top prep wide receivers. He is a two-time Times Offensive Player of the Year. He led Crete-Monee past Cary-Grove for the Class 6A state title — the school's first team state title in any sport. He will officially sign on Feb. 6.
Treadwell stepped to the podium Thursday at the school's Milton Payton Auditorium and appeared to have a hard time getting a podium door open in which he had Rebels memorabilia. He got it open and held up a T-shirt which had "Ole Miss" across the front, then spoke to the crowd which included his family as well as Crete teammates and classmates.
"There was one school that built a great relationship with me and my mother," he said. "This fall I will be playing my football at the University of Ole Miss."
He said he had decided on the Southeastern Conference school after the Under Armour game on Jan. 4, but kept it a secret.
Unlike other star athletes who commit early, Treadwell said he wanted to make sure everything was in order.
"The recruiting process was something I took very seriously, but had a lot of fun with," he said. "I took my time in the process so I could make the right choice for myself."
He said based on the fact the Rebels are an up-and-coming program and his good friend and Crete-Monee grad Anthony Standifer plays for Ole Miss, he loved his decision. He said he also learned from Standifer, who committed early in 2011 to Michigan, then decommmitted.
"Anthony was a big part of me choosing Ole Miss," Treadwell said. "I also saw last year when he thought he found the right school (Michigan) and then decided it wasn't for him.
"I wanted to make sure I didn't announce too soon."
Treadwell chose Ole Miss over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. He said it was hard because his uncle, Ricky Young, a Bloom Trail grad, was an All-American football player at Oklahoma State, and Warriors assistant coach Greg Murray played at Oklahoma.
He said Rebels coach Hugh Freeze and the coaching staff made him and his mother feel comfortable. He also said he likes the idea of being a part of Ole Miss' rise.
"I wanted to be a part of something special," Treadwell said. "The program is on the rise with the new coaching staff. (Freeze) is changing the culture, and I want to be a part of changing the Rebel culture."
The idea of teaming with Rebels wide receiver Donte Moncrief also intrigued Treadwell.
"With us, they cannot double-team," Treadwell said. "I thought a lot about that too."
This year, he caught 81 passes for 1,424 yards and 16 touchdowns. In the state championship game, he had six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 93 yards and a score.
For his career, Treadwell caught 210 passes for 3,563 yards and 41 touchdowns. He finished with 50 touchdowns overall.
In the Illinois High School Association record books, he is No. 2 in career reception yards, and fifth in career receptions and career touchdown receptions.