The 2010 Illinois football recruiting class just grew by one.
Fritz Rock, a safety from Plymouth (Minn.) Wayzata, will join the team next week.
Rock was a senior at Wayzata in 2008, helping his school to a 13-0 record and a state championship. He had scholarship offers from Minnesota, Cincinnati, Indiana and others. But he decided to sit out the 2009 college season because of academic and personal reasons.
Rock’s father suffered a stroke and died during his senior year of high school. Rock also had issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse.
He spent the year off training and working on his academics. He retook a class and is now in good standing academically.
“I was good to go in the spring, but I really wanted to start the recruiting process over again,” Rock said.
Rock had been recruited by then-Arkansas assistant Paul Petrino. The connection helped Rock’s interest in Illinois.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” Rock said. “I was fortunate I was able to find a great school like the University of Illinois. It’s a great fit. I’m playing in the Big Ten, so it’s great.”
Rock already knows two of the current Illini: quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and defensive tackle Corey Liuget. He ran into Scheelhaase during a campus visit earlier this week.
“We hugged and he said ‘The Rock is in the house,’ ” Rock said.