Aug. 12 Cody Westerlund recruiting chat

Aug. 12 Cody Westerlund recruiting chat

Friday, August 12, 2011 - 12:30pm

Talk to IlliniHQ recruiting expert Cody Westerlund

dennis bialas wrote on August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

Seems like we have gone through alot of disappointing D-line recruits over the last 2-3 years. From Lendell Buckner and Josh Brent to now Tucker,Beavers,and Jones from this last class. Obviously this has thinned out the depth in this area. Any recruits commiting in this area for the next class? Will we wait and try and get a highly rated player later on this year? What are the chances of this? We seem to recruit alot of O-lineman, are we going to have to switch some positions like this past year?

Jim Rossow wrote on August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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There are no defensive tackle recruits committed yet. But I assure you that's a priority. Several names to keep an eye on: Vontrell Williams of Mt. Carmel; Vincent Valentine of Edwardsville; and Christian Brown of Fort Myers. Fla. Dunbar.

Those are the the three biggest names for now. I've talked to Williams quite a bit, and he seems set on Illinois unless he gets an offer from and is blown away on his visit to any of the following: Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State. They haven't offered, but he wants to follow up there.

Brown is teammates with Illini verbal commit TaJarvis Fuller, and they'd like to play together, Fuller said previously when he came to Champaign for a visit.

Valentine seems more of a long shot, but he visited for an Illinois camp this summer and has kept the Illini in the picture. Problem is he has a Nebraska offer and really likes the Cornhuskers.

You can't put your money on waiting for a highly rated player late. If that was the case, such a player probably would have fell off the map of bigger programs because of academic problems. And we see how that worked out with the 2011 class at DT. So chances are slim.

Ron Zook doesn't seem like he's going to switch anyone from OL to DL this year. He was asked the other day at practice about position switches and didn't mention any in that regard.

I'd expect the Illini to go for a couple DTs in this 2012 class. More offers will likely go out when coaches see more senior film in the early weeks of the fall.

Jim Rossow wrote on August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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Well folks, I'm wrapping it up today. Didn't have many questions, so fire away next week. I'll be here at the same time. Have a good weekend.

Jim Rossow wrote on August 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm
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Welcome all to another Friday afternoon recruiting chat. Again, this is Cody Westerlund, not sports editor Jim Rossow. Evidently I don't yet have chat admin capabilities. We'll stop confusing you here soon. Also, we're light on questions today, so send them my way if you can.

On to Dan's first question...

To my knowledge, Illinois has offered seven 2014 guys:
- C/F Jahlil Okafor, F Paul White, wing Paul Turner, wing Malik Yarbrough, wing Jaquan Lyle, PG Johnnie Vassar and C/F Cliff Alexander

I might be missing someone, but I don't think so. Illinois would love to get one of the big guys -- Okafor or Alexander -- into the fold, as well as a couple wings. That would be a solid class if they did. I'm high on both the big men, as well as Jaquan Lyle. I saw Lyle play and really like his game. He's got a great knack for seeing the floor.

As for Peyton Allen? I talked to him a couple days ago, and the feedback he's received is that the Illini staff will continue to monitor him during his high school season and then go from there. If Illinois was going to offer Allen based off his AAU season, I would have thought they'd already done that by now -- especially with the alumni game and players on campus last week. So I wouldn't expect anything new on that front until winter maybe. He's definitely still a target, but I think the 2013 situation is one thing holding the Illinois coaches back. This is me hypothesizing here, but I think the coaches might want to see what comes of Malcolm Hill's situation. He's a priority and where he goes will affect the 2014 class.

RazorbackIllini wrote on August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Haven't they offered Archie Goodwin down here in Arkansas? Also, do you know of any Arkansas football H.S. players they are after?

Jim Rossow wrote on August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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RazorbackIllini,

I don't know anything about Archie Goodwin. I see that rivals.com lists him with an Illinois offer. But I haven't heard anything of the staff focusing on him. I don't get the sense that he's a priority in any way. He doesn't fit the Illini's need at all -- he's a shooting guard in the 2012 class. Bruce Weber has said multiple times that point guard would be the focus if the staff takes another in the 2012 class. He's concerned about too much pressure on Tracy Abrams in the 2012-'13 season. So I highly doubt they'd take Goodwin. Then again, I don't know anything more than you do about his recruitment.

As for football players in Arkansas, I don't know of any that Illinois is after. Interesting you bring that up too, because Paul Petrino was the offensive coordinator there a few years back. If there was talent there, you'd think he'd have inroads. I'm not sure what the talent level is in the state of Arkansas, but a quick scroll of the rivals.com database shows only about 10 kids who will go to BCS schools. That's a low number, so I assume the talent there isn't the same as other southern schools. And Arkansas already has commits from four of those 10 or so kids, so looks like they might kind of have a stranglehold on the little high-major talent there is.