Illini target Megginson sees offer list grow

Illini target Megginson sees offer list grow

Gabe Megginson spouts off key recruiting dates like he's gone through the process for years.

The Class of 2015 left tackle from Jacksonville probably feels like it with all the recruiting attention he has received lately.

"I felt I knew a lot about recruiting until last week happened," Megginson said with a laugh. "It was crazy, and one just after another. I didn't even know what to do. Right now it's a quiet period, so until April 15, nobody can come to the school. But until that started, Indiana and Illinois probably came here three or four times each."

Last week is a week Megginson will remember for quite some time.

It's when offers from Ohio State, Miami, California and others floated in.

It seems Illinois is throwing quite the fullcourt press at Megginson, though.

Megginson — a three-star recruit listed at 6 feet, 5 inches and 290 pounds — said he hears most frequently from Illinois coach Tim Beckman, recruiting coordinator Alex Golesh, offensive line coach A.J. Ricker and defensive line coach Greg Colby.

"They definitely recruit me the hardest," said Megginson, who was in Champaign-Urbana the first weekend of February for a junior day event. "It's great to know that they're wanting you that much. I can talk to them about anything. They're just good people. They are always going to be in the discussion. I really like it there."

Megginson had seven offers — Illinois is included in that batch — when Jacksonville's season ended on Nov. 9 with a 35-27 loss to Normal U-High in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.

The list has now ballooned to 21 offers.

"It's been great experience," Megginson said. "My parents and my family are really loving it as well as I am. It's been a good time for all of us."

Granted, one of the offers is from FCS school Illinois State, and three are from Mid-American Conference schools (Akron, Northern Illinois and Toledo).

But his offer list boasts multiple ones from the Big Ten (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin), multiple ones from the SEC (Mississippi, Mississippi State and Missouri), multiple ones from the ACC (North Carolina State and Miami) and multiple ones from the Pac-12 (California and Utah), along with an offer from the Big 12 (Iowa State).

So schools from all the power conferences have indicated a strong desire in having Megginson on board.

"Every night you're busy talking to someone, but I love it," Megginson said. "It's a great problem to have, but it's not too overwhelming."

Megginson has lived in Jacksonville his whole life.

But he said proximity to home doesn't factor into his recruiting.

Neither does recent success of a program.

"Success is great, but that's not going to be a reason why I don't pick someone or don't pick someone," Megginson said. "It's good if a program is successful, but it's not going to determine it all for me."

Jacksonville has produced noteworthy recruits recently.

Offensive lineman Blake Hance signed with Northwestern three weeks ago, and Dalton Keene, a Class of 2013 recruit, is now a defensive lineman at Illinois State.

"Blake has helped me out a bunch with a lot of questions I have," Megginson said. "We talk about it nearly every day."

The recruiting process will keep Megginson busy the rest of winter and into the spring.

By the time Jacksonville starts its 2014 season in late August, it's likely he'll have made up his mind about college.

"I'd like to decide by the end of May, but it might be a little quicker, though," Megginson said. "I'll probably trim my list down in my head and not put it out there publicly."


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