5 O'Clock Shadow: Ron Zook's recruiting

5 O'Clock Shadow: Ron Zook's recruiting

News you can't leave work without: Ron Zook has 10 commitments for the class of 2012 (see list below). The latest to pick the school is Ryan Frain, a kicker from Indianapolis. Illinois is losing senior kicker Derek Dimke.

The current Illinois class is ranked 72nd nationally and last in the Big Ten according to Scout.com. Rivals.com ranks the Illinois class 11th in the Big Ten, ahead of Minnesota.


Taylor Barton WR Orlando (Fla.) Lake Highland Prep

Elliott Faerber WR Shawnee Mission (Kan.) East

Ryan Frain K Indianapolis Scecina Memorial

Tajarvis Fuller LB Fort Myers (Fla.) Dunbar

Zach Jackson DB Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood

Cody Quinn DB Middletown (Ohio)

J.J. Robertson WR Lincoln-Way East

Joseph Spencer OL Mason (Ohio)

Joe Warburg OL Louisville (Ky.) Trinity

Vontrell Williams DT Mount Carmel

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Moonpie wrote on November 07, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Zook's not getting the best talent and the ones he does get won't be getting the best coaching. I guess that means time for Saint Tate to do yet another condescending column about how no one can actually judge talent -- except him, of course -- and so we have to just, you know -- shut our ungrateful fan yaps and stop criticizing -- unless he agrees with us, of course. Zook ought to just accept he's headed back to an assistant's life in the NFL, which is a a good gig, and then we'll get a new coaching regime and Saint Tate and his accomplices will instruct us  how to think and remind us to never disagree with them.

illini82 wrote on November 07, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Most recruits are in a wait and see approach. Zook's seat is hot and every loss that mounts adds to the uncertainty. It seemed that with a 6-0 start recruiting would be on the upswing but 3 straight losses have stalled momentum big time.

Illinois NEEDS a marquee win against Michigan or Wisconsin AND a win against Minnesota. Minnesota is no longer a given the way they are improving. Zook in my opinion really needs to have 8 regular season wins just to keep the pitchforks away from the FB and DIA offices and even then it'll take a bowl win as well to suppress the desire for a coaching change down to a mild roar.

Thomas needs to make a decision one way or the other to fire or extend Ron Zook within a few days after the Minnesota game. Recruiting will take a step back if Thomas waits until after the bowl game. Unless Zook can muster 8 regular season wins with this squad he is "dead-man-walking" or at least that's what the perception will be among most fans, season ticket buyers, donors, the media and most importantly recruits.

Even a 1-5 finish will be seen as an epic failure by most fans and the media after a 6-0 start. And if Thomas DOES decide to extend Zook he'll need extend him for at least 3 years to sell stability to the recruits. But the fans won't be buying into a continuation of the Zook era at least in my opinion short of at least 8 regular season wins. Even with 8 wins many will want a change. And even if Zook is extended his seat will remain hot and instability will remain. I'm not sure I've seen such a negative karma surround a program since the last year of RT and Tepper and we have 6 wins! But, the negativity is there.

kjwalker@charter.net wrote on November 07, 2011 at 4:11 pm


I'm as disappointed as any other Illini fan, and I can't say I'm feeling good about the future of Illinois football, but I can say you seem to have a problem with reading comprehension. Tate ALWAYS says NOBODY can accurately predict how a high school kid will perform once he gets to college; Tate never claims to be better than anyone else at evaluating the quality of a recruiting class, and he ALWAYS says everybody is entitled to their opinion. You'll know how they perform in college when (if) they get to college and do or don't perform in college, period. He also ALWAYS says the primary reason Illinois does not win as much as we would like is that the other guys have better players. One (YOU) might reasonably conclude from this that Tate is actually critical of Illinois recruiting. He just waits to see the results on the playing field, rather than making predictions years in advance, possibly condemning a bunch of 18 year old kids to failure, or annointing them as saviors, before they have a chance to show what they can do.

 If you need to rip on somebody, can you make a case that makes sense?

unimaroon wrote on November 07, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Moonpie - That was really inane. I hope, for your sake, you're just having an exceptionally bad day.

BaytownILLINI wrote on November 07, 2011 at 8:11 pm


Tate didn't even write that listing and second who kicked your dog?

Good Lord!

Little early to hit the bottle friend!