Bettendorf quarterback Nick Hughes runs onto the field carrying the Bettendorf Hammer along with teammates Nate Shaw (41) and DeAdrian King on Friday before their game against Muscatine. (John Schultz / Quad-City Times)

John Schultz

Most of them already have made up their minds where they are going and at least five are going to play Division-I college football somewhere.

But there still may a little bit of intrigue in these last few days as Quad-City high school football stars prepare to sign their letters of intent Wednesday.

For example, Mississippi Athletic Conference defensive heroes Nate Shaw and Tim Kilfoy both readily concede that if Iowa finds a scholarship for them, their stated commitments to Northern Iowa will be null and void.

Then there is the matter of where hulking linemen Brad Steger of Rock Island and Joe Carber of Central DeWitt will land. And there's the question of whether or not the reigning MAC rushing leader, Tyvis Smith, will find a home.

As football signing date nears, take a look at the 11 most coveted prospects in the area:

Mitch Keppy, OT, Riverdale

Size: 6-5, 287 rating: 5.6

Where he is going: He has been committed to Iowa for nearly 10 months. According to, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin all were interested in him, but he chose the Hawkeyes without even visiting any of those schools.

Why they want him: He is rated the 23rd best player in Illinois and is the only three-star prospect in the area, according to Rivals and His combination of size and athleticism and his ability as a wrestler make him a promising developmental prospect. The fact that he is the son of former Hawkeyes defensive tackle Myron Keppy doesn't hurt, either.

Tim Kilfoy, DB, Assumption

Size: 6-1, 190 rating: 5.3

Where he is going: He has verbally committed to Northern Iowa but admits that if Iowa were to come through with a late scholarship offer, he probably would become a Hawkeye. Illinois State and South Dakota also were interested and listed such schools as Iowa State, Indiana, Air Force, Harvard, Ball State and Northern Illinois in connection with him.

Why they want him: He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.56 seconds and always seems to be where the ball is. He had 16 career interceptions - one short of the state record - and last fall returned all four of his interceptions for touchdowns.

Nate Shaw, LB, Bettendorf

Size: 6-1, 205 rating: 5.3

Where he is going: Like Kilfoy, he is committed to Northern Iowa pending a possible late scholarship offer from Iowa. He also got long looks from Illinois State and South Dakota along with some attention from Iowa State, Northwestern and Eastern Illinois.

Why they want him: He's a relentless defender who broke Pat Angerer's school record for tackles in a career. While it's premature to think he'll end up playing linebacker in the NFL, as Angerer does, he is comparable to his Bulldogs predecessor in terms of size, quickness and on-field demeanor.

Griffin Gaeta, TE, Muscatine

Size: 6-6, 215

Where he is going: He is verbally committed to Northern Iowa but also had offers from Western Illinois, Illinois State, Winona State, Wayne State and Northwest Missouri State.

Why they want him: He has great hands and is athletic enough to have played wide receiver in high school, catching 85 passes for 1,258 yards and 13 touchdowns over the past three years. He would appear to have the frame to handle another 30 or 40 pounds. If he can do that without losing speed, the future is very bright.

Brad Steger, OT, Rock Island

Size: 6-7, 305

Where he is going: A few Big Ten schools reportedly took a look at him, but he is reportedly choosing now between Northern Illinois and Western Illinois.

Why they want him: He's huge. There aren't many kids coming out of the high school ranks who already possess the size needed to play the line in big-time college football. It's just a matter of redistributing some of that weight, getting stronger and learning the techniques necessary to succeed at a higher level.

J.P. Flynn, OL, Bettendorf

Size: 6-3, 285

Where he is going: He committed to play at Montana State, an FCS program, in December.

Why they want him: He has great size, great bloodlines and he comes from one of Iowa's elite large-school programs. He was a co-captain on the Bettendorf team that reached the Class 4A championship game last season. His older brother, Steve, just completed his career as a three-year starter at Drake, and his father, Patrick, played at Purdue.

Ben Trewyn, K, Pleasant Valley

Size: 5-11, 195

Where he is going: He has committed to sign with NCAA Division-II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State. He previously had been committed to Wayne State and also got looks from Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

Why they want him: He's as accurate a high school place-kicker as you'll find. He was 11 for 11 on field goals last fall with a long of 48 yards, and he's a good enough athlete to have started at linebacker. He routinely kicks field goals from beyond 50 yards in practice.

Joe Carber, DT, Central DeWitt

Size: 6-5, 280 rating: 5.2

Where he is going: He has visited Army and been offered a chance to play there, but also is still under consideration by Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa.

Why they want him: He has great size and is agile enough to be a contributor on the basketball court for the Sabers. He more than held his own in competition against players from larger schools in summer camps.

DeShawn Johnson, RB, Moline

Size: 5-10, 220

Where he is going: After getting the once-over from some Big Ten scouts, he plans to play at Iowa Central Community College and then hopefully transfer to Iowa or another FBS school.

Why they want him: He has battled injuries throughout his high school career - he played in just one game as a junior - so scouts have seen only brief glimpses of what he can do. But those glimpses have been enough to make many think his best football is ahead of him. He rushed for 1,334 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.

Tanner Bohling, RB, Muscatine

Size: 5-11, 200

Where he is going: He has committed to sign with Division-II Wayne State (Neb.). He also visited Winona State and William Penn, and had a chance to walk on at Northern Iowa and Western Illinois.

Why they want him: He is Muscatine's career rushing leader and finished with 1,360 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior. He is especially effective running from a spread formation and is a capable receiver as well.

Tyvis Smith, RB-DB, Davenport Central

Size: 6-1, 190

Where he is going: He has had contact with UNI and many other schools, but it's very possible he could join Johnson at Iowa Central.

Why they want him: He had a breakout senior season, rushing for 1,710 yards and 25 touchdowns, and is viewed by some as an even better defensive prospect. Anyone who saw him leap over a defender in a game against Davenport West can attest to what sort of athleticism he has.

Others who have been hotly recruited:

Tyler Blondell, LB, North Scott: Has an offer from Wayne State and is considering other options.

DeAdrian King, DL, Bettendorf: Will play at Iowa Western CC.

Justin VanHoutan, DL, Bettendorf: Will play at Iowa Western CC.

Nick Hughes, WR-DB, Bettendorf: Is committed to Missouri Western.

Chris Lubben, DB, Central DeWitt: Has gotten looks from Iowa, UNI and Illinois State, and is visiting Iowa Central this weekend.

Dylan Petersen, OL, Central DeWitt: Likely to go to Iowa Central.