Illinois arguably can be considered one of the top 25 college football programs in the nation. So why has coach Ron Zook landed a commitment from only one top 100 prospect for the class of 2009?
Not to worry.
Zook's track record is to get the best players at the end of the recruiting cycle, like Martez Martin and Arrelious Benn. His philosophy is to put pressure on kids at the end, not in the beginning, the way Florida, LSU, Alabama and other great southern programs do.
Zook recently obtained a commitment from one top 100 player, quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase of Kansas City.
On Sunday, he landed another good prospect, 6-5, 265-pound offensive lineman Andrew Carter of Tallahassee, Fla. It is a weak year for offensive linemen nationally but Carter, who is very athletic and very flexible, is a keeper. He isn't a top 100 player but he he ranks among the top 250 in the country. He could be a guard in college.
Remember, Illinois came on strong last year, wooing running back Jason Ford of Belleville Althoff away from Iowa in the closing days of the recruiting process. Ford, a true freshman, could be Rashard Mendenhall's heir apparent.
Zook also has offered Charlie Goro of Maine South, one of the top 25 passing quarterbacks in the nation.