While attending Michigan's spring game a week ago, I learned that several visitors from Michigan and Ohio have been offered scholarships by Illinois coach Ron Zook--and they rate among the leading prospects in the country.
For example, Zook has offered 6-7, 240-pound defensive end/tight end William Gholston of Detroit Southeastern, who ranks as the No. 1 player in Michigan along with quarterback Devin Gardner of Inkster, who already has committed to Michigan. Gholston has been offered by every school in the Big 10.
Zook also has offered 6-5, 195-pound wide receiver Dan Easterly of Detroit, 6-0, 190-pund running back Austin White of Livonia and 5-9, 170-pound cornerback Dior Mathis of Detroit.
Mathis is one of the best cornerbacks in the Midwest and has been offered by every Big 10 school. He has exceptional cover skills and has been timed in 10.4 seconds for 100 meters.
Zook also has offered several Ohio standouts--5-11, 175-pound wide receiver Christian Bryant from former Ohio State star Ted Ginn's high school in Cleveland, 6-4, 230-pound defensive end Derrick Bryant of Columbus Brookhaven, 6-5, 230-pound tight end Alex Welch of Cincinnati Elder and 6-2, 230-pound linebacker Jewone Snow of Canton McKinley.
Bryant is the best player in central Ohio. He has six Big 10 offers, including Illinois and Michigan, but hasn't been offered by Ohio State.
Meanwhile, at Notre Dame's spring game last weekend, I learned that the Irish have offered quarterback Nick Montana, son of NFL legend Joe Montana, cornerback Spencer Boyd of Cape Coral, Fla., cornerback Tony Riggs of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and defensive back Lo Wood of Apopka, Fla. Montana, one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, might be leaning to Georgia or Ohio State.
Also present were three Chicago area products who have been offered by Notre Dame--tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz of Johnsburg, defensive back Corey Cooper of Proviso East and wide receiver Kyle Prater of Proviso West. Prater and Cooper, who committed to Illinois as a sophomore but continues to make campus visits, are very close friends and indicated they would like to go to school together.
Offensive lineman Christian Lombard of Fremd, who committed to Notre Dame last January, also attended. Missing was defensive end Chance Carter of Loyola, who was visiting Nebraska. Carter has been offered by Notre Dame. Also present was running back Cameron Roberson of Newberry Park, Calif., one of the leading prospects in the Los Angeles area. But he hasn't been offered by Notre Dame.