As Crete-Monee's Laquon Treadwell left for Oxford, Miss. in late May, he knew it would be tough to leave family and friends.
The top prep wide receiver in the nation will play his college football at Mississippi and hopefully will play on Sundays after that.
Among those he had to leave included his then 8-month-old daughter Madison.
"I will miss her a lot, but I will be home whenever I can," Treadwell said. "She is the pride of my life and I want to give her the best."
Madison was born in September and Treadwell said being a parent, especially a teen one, is a big responsibility.
"I had a lot of help from my mom (Tami) and Madison's mom," Treadwell said. "It was certainly quite a life change."
Treadwell did not wish to name his daughter's mother.
Treadwell dominated on the football field in leading the Warriors to the Class 6A state title. For the second straight year he was The Times Offensive Player of the Year. In basketball, he made a difference once he joined the Warriors. He took over his first game in leading Crete past Thornridge.
For his outstanding season, Treadwell is The Times Male Co-Athlete of the Year. He shares the honor with Beecher's Grant Nykaza, who won the Class 1A boys cross country state title and the Class 1A 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in track.
In football, Treadwell was a Parade All-American. He caught 81 passes for 1,424 yards and 16 touchdowns. He had 23 total 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. In basketball, he averaged 12.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
His prep football coach Jerry Verde, who is now Marian Catholic's football coach, said Treadwell is the most gifted athlete he has ever been around.
"He probably could have been the best at any sport he would have attempted," Verde said. "I fully expect Laquon to be successful in college. Once he gets used to the game speed at the next level, he will likely dominate the way he did in high school."
Treadwell said it is important to him to be there for his daughter as he was raised in a one-parent house and knows how tough his mom Tami had it with six kids. Laquon said he never had a relationship with his dad, but said that makes it more important he is there for Madison.
There was a situation in November when the Warriors were preparing for Lemont and instead of hanging out with his friends after practice, Madison was sick and Treadwell had a responsibility.
"That is where I had to be," Treadwell said. "As a parent, I can't do things the other kids do, but that's OK. I have a responsibility.
"Being a (teen) parent, you have to realize that your child is now your focus. My goal is to get that diploma and do what I can to give my daughter a good life. That is a great motivator. I will be there for Madison."
He credits his mom and the Crete coaches for being an influence in his life.
"I had great coaches and they make you into a man," Treadwell said. "We all kept our focus on winning state and they made sure we stayed focus on football."
Part of the distractions were the attention Treadwell drew. He had his own twitter account and tweeted a picture of him being kissed by two Ole Miss coeds. Another picture appeared which allegedly showed Treadwell with a bunch of $100 bills. He said it was not his money and that he learned about social media the hard way.
"You got to be careful and sometimes not everyone has your best interests," Treadwell said. "You got to be careful what you put out there."
He has changed his phone number several times.
His next chapter is being part of an up-and-coming program.
"I wanted to go where I could be a part of something big," Treadwell said. "The SEC is the best conference and Coach (Hugh) Freeze is building a top program and I want to be a part of it."