A total of 20 players from the Chicago Fire and Indiana Fire Academies and 53 total with ties to the Fire Juniors system made their next steps official on Wednesday, inking letters of intent to join some of the top collegiate programs across the country.
The Academy’s ties to the Big Ten will remain strong in 2017. From the Chicago Fire Academy, both Brayden Callipari and David Portugal are headed to the University of Wisconsin, while Mihaljo Miskovic will remain in the area at Northwestern. On the Indiana Fire side, Jake Gruber and Thomas Warr will join a handful of Academy alums at Indiana, and Will Hirschman will head to Ohio State.
Other Chicago Fire Academy signees include: Adrian Ortega (University of Illinois-Springfield), Jamison Yoder (UW Green Bay), and Djordje Mihailovic, who inked a homegrown contract with the Chicago Fire first team last Friday.
A trio of Indiana Fire members will suit up for Xavier in the fall, as Taylor Crull, Khalid Hunter, and Ben Weber will take their talents to the Big East. Joining them in the conference will be Joel Harvey, who is headed to Butler. Rounding out the Indiana Fire signees are: Hunter Bartholomew (College of Holy Cross), Brady Bell (Valparaiso), Tyler Gainer (IUPUI), Thompson Hall (Univ. of Indianapolis), Justin Ingram (Virginia), Brad Kurtz (Virginia), Brendan Stangel (IPFW), and Parker Washburn (Appalachian State).
PHOTOS: National Signing Day 2017
On the women’s side, the Indiana Fire Juniors ECNL side doubled up their number of 2016 commitments by sending 12 members to D-I programs this year. They are: Ryanne Brown (Wake Forest), Julia Calvert (Butler), Taylor Crowe (Butler), Mackenzie Kincaid (Dayton), Lexi Marks (Purdue), Alia Martin (Michigan), Samantha Nosler (Drake), Lauren Rice (Wisconsin), Emily Roberts (Miami (OH)), Sofia Rossi (Wake Forest), and Hope van Wagner (Florida Gulf Coast).
Additionally the Fire Juniors network saw 21 other student-athletes make their collegiate commitments on National Signing Day. For the complete list of commitments announced Wednesday from around the Chicago Fire Juniors, visit ChicagoFireJuniorsCity.com/collegecommitments and follow @firejrs on Twitter.