Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit visited Centennial on Monday and watched Chargers quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald work out.
By Tuesday night, the sophomore had a scholarship offer. From his hometown school.
“It’s kind of surreal getting the first Division I offer,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s awesome. It’s what I’ve dreamed about, especially because I’ve lived two miles away from the stadium my whole life.”
The Class of 2015 prospect has a ways to go before determining a college. But with his first offer in tow, expect to see other schools possibly follow suit with the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Fitzgerald.
Mississippi State was at Centennial last Friday watching him work out in P.E. class and Fitzgerald said Stanford is expected to come to Champaign on May 14 to watch him throw.
Fitzgerald also said Duke, North Carolina and Northwestern have been in touch, and he plans to attend camps at the above-mentioned schools this summer.
“I just try and stay humble,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t want to get my head too filled up. I remember I can’t do it by myself at all. I have to give a lot of thanks to my coaches and teammates. There’s no chance I’d be here without them.”
Fitzgerald threw for 1,300 yards last season, completing 96 of 195 passes. He had 14 touchdowns compared to 11 interceptions for a Centennial team that went 2-7 in his first full year of starting with the Chargers after he transferred from St. Thomas More following his freshman year.
“I’m definitely a pass-first guy, but I’d say I’m athletic enough to get outside the pocket,” Fitzgerald said. “I definitely want to focus on getting Centennial football back on track before I start thinking about anything down the road.”