A few Monday recruiting notes

A few Monday recruiting notes

Marcus Berry is adamant about getting the chance to leave campus for football recruiting purposes.

Tim Beckman backs up the stance from his director of player personnel.

Current NCAA rules prohibit Berry from leaving campus to help with recruiting.

"I would like for him to be able to go out because then he could be utilized like they do with NFL personnel," Beckman said. "I would like for him to be able to call recruits. I'd like for those positions to be more involved maybe like in the NFL where you're scouting, you're watching film and you're evaluating film. You're doing things that are necessary for your program to go. It's tough."

Beckman has nine assistants who divvy up the recruiting responsibilities among the staff.

Determining who will go out on the road and who stays on campus is a task Beckman is in charge of. It not only comes into play during the busy recruiting month of May, but also during the season.

"You always think about quality of life for your assistant coaches," Beckman said. "I think that's one area. When you pick your days to go out during the season, there's those coaches that are out on the road watching football games and evaluating by going to different schools. They're not with their current players. You have to make those decisions as a head coach about who you want out and who you want to be with your players as far as Friday night walk-throughs and Friday night meetings."

Staying on top of the players in the Class of 2014 and 2015 is a goal of Beckman's.

Especially with recruiting seeming to pick up earlier and earlier each season.

"Honestly, I get concerned about (the assistants) watching a football game until 10:30 at night and getting in the car from Chicago and driving back," Beckman said. "That's why we're trying to do as much of the evaluation process and as much of the academic evaluation process right now. That's why I think things are speeding up quicker."

List dwindling. Top in-state prospects in the Class of 2014 are still available.

Beckman has stated on numerous occasions he wants the top players to remain in Illinois and call Memorial Stadium home.

But the number of players to choose from isn't as big as it was last week.

Northwestern and the recruiting reach of Pat Fitzgerald's staff is a key reason why.

The Wildcats received verbal commitments from Glenbard North running back Justin Jackson and Jacksonville offensive lineman/tight end Blake Hance last week.

Add in East St. Louis linebacker Kyron Watson picking Kansas (former Illinois assistant Reggie Mitchell was key with Watson's pledge), and three top players in the Class of 2014 are off the board.

Of course, if Illinois is able to land former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt (which, in a sense, would benefit the Class of 2014 since that's when Lunt would be eligible to play) if the Rochester native transfers to Illinois, that would give the Illini a player who would start right away in 2014.


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