Land Of Lincoln Alert: EIU snares WL Western QB Zach Trainor, ISU scoops up Southfield A&T WR Jeff Bowens
The state of Illinois just got maybe the MHSAA’s best senior quarterback and a genuine sleeper out of the slot to come play their college football there.
High-wattage Walled Lake Western senior field general Zach Trainor committed to Eastern Illinois last week and Southfield A&T’s slippery senior receiver Jeff Bowens committed to Illinois State over the weekend.
Eastern Illinois and Illinois State are Division I FCS schools. EIU plays in the Ohio Valley Conference and ISU competes out of the Missouri Valley Conference. The two schools are considered traditional rivals.
Trainor (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) torched secondaries and scorched stat sheets in 2019 for 3,845 yards and 44 touchdowns, completing 76 percent of his passes despite missing nearly three games with a shoulder bruise and a concussion. He only threw four interceptions the whole season and spread the ball around to multiple targets. He ended the season as a finalist for the STATE CHAMPS! Mr. Football award.
Western advanced into the D2 final four and lost a 57-56 heartbreaker to eventual state champion Muskegon Mona Shores. Some scouts think Trainor is a better signal-calling prospect Brendan Sullivan, the senior Davidson gunslinger committed to Northwestern. Those scouts believe Trainor compares favorably to EIU great Tony Romo, who went on to a Pro-Bowl career in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys.
Bowens (5-9, 160) has blazing speed as a slot receiver and isn’t afraid to go across the middle. He picked ISU over Western Michigan and Miami (OH). ISU went 10-5 last fall and lost in the FCS quarterfinals.
— SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN