Charleston's Cazley should 'be back soon'

Charleston's Cazley should 'be back soon'

Wearing his red No. 8 Charleston jersey, Dillan Cazley looked ready to play in Friday night's season opener against Rantoul.

One small problem, however, lingered for the senior defensive back from Charleston (Ill.) High School who committed to Illinois in late February.
With crutches under both arms and a black boot on his left foot, he couldn't play.

Cazley broke his ankle in late July, and has had to watch his teammates prepare for the season without him. Cazley walked out to midfield for the opening coin toss, but was left to take in Charleston's 49-6 win without contributing on the field.

"It's one of the worst feelings being on the sidelines watching the team play," he said. "I just hope for the best."

Cazley said he knew instantly when he landed wrong during a Trojans' football camp session on July 24 that something was not right with his ankle.

"I actually walked on it two days after that, hoping it was just a bad ankle sprain," he said. "It's healing up nice, so I should be back soon."

He said he hopes to return in a few weeks, but didn't have a firm timeline.

Cazley said he plans to graduate from Charleston at semester, which will have him arrive at Illinois in January as an early enrollee. He hopes that decision will give him an extra edge as he considers the defensive secondary a strong aspect of Illinois' Class of 2013.

"As you see now, Illinois has recruited heavily in that," Cazley said. "It's not going to be a cakewalk. It's going to be a competition. I can't complain that they're bringing in guys just as good as me and some better than me. I'm just blessed to have a role on that team."

Cazley said he plans on attending Illinois' season opener on Saturday against Western Michigan, along with a few other games this fall in Champaign. He said schools are still contacting him, but he said he is firmly committed to Illinois.

"I like the attention," he said, "but I'm not budging."

Cazley was Illinois' first commit for the squad's 2013 class. He said he is starting to acclimate himself better to some of the attention he is receiving.

"To people in Central Illinois, Illinois football is heaven," he said. "They look at it as something bigger than what I thought. When I committed, people were going crazy. Now that it's all settled in, I'm getting used to it."

Just like he's getting used to questions about his left ankle. The two most common ones are 'When will you be back?' and 'How's it feeling?'
"I'm prepared for it when people ask it," Cazley said with a laugh. "At first it was irritating, but now it feels normal. It's like a schedule."

Dillan isn't the only Cazley who stars on the Trojans' squad.

Younger brother Josh, a junior running back and defensive back, has drawn plenty of attention from Division I schools, Illinois included.

The younger Cazley had 186 rushing yards on only seven carries in the win against Rantoul.


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