Illinois strikes it big

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The recent announcement that tight end C.J. Fedorowicz of Johnsburg will attend the University of Illinois and join coach Ron Zook's football parade is bigger than most Illini fans think. Fedorowicz is the No. 1 tight end in the nation and doesn't get as much credit or respect as he deserves.

In fact, I'm not sure Illini coaches realize what they have in the 6-7, 245-pounder with 4.6 speed. Until recently, Zook hadn't been too excited about Fedorowicz' recruitment and Rivals, which is associated with Illinois' Orange and Blue website, didn't rank him among the top 200 players in the nation.

But Fedorowicz is Illinois' biggest catch since Arrelious Benn. He is one of the nation's premier athletes and should have a major impact as a freshman.

Zook apparently told Fedorowicz that Illinois will throw the ball more to the tight end than has been its practice during the Zook era, something Fedorowicz was waiting to hear but apparently didn't from Ohio State coach Jim Tressel. If Zook fulfills his promise, Fedorowicz will become a big weapon.

He is capable of being a big-time receiver as soon as he arrives on campus. He could magnify the tight end position more than it has been in recent years. You don't find kids that big and fast and athletic. Imagine Fedorowicz with the wide receivers that Illinois has. He is a high school version of Jeremy Shockey.

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"In fact, I'm not sure Illini coaches realize what they have in the 6-7, 245-pounder with 4.6 speed. Until recently, Zook hadn't been too excited about Fedorowicz' recruitment..."

I know you were all frothing at the mouth while typing this, eager to get a shot in against Zook & Co. and the Illinois Rivals website, but:

(1) how do you know what Zook's level of excitement was towards CJ's recruitment? did you actually talk to Zook himself about it?

also:

"...and Rivals, which is associated with Illinois' Orange and Blue website, didn't rank him among the top 200 players in the nation."

(2) http://illinois.rivals.com/viewrank.asp?ra_key=2303 - look at prospect #108

just a little surprised that it only took you 2 weeks to come up with this article....

Agreed, he will be a huge player for ILLINOIS. Did it hurt a lot to write that?

Lemming:
I agree that C.J. is a great catch for the Illini.

If we can now land Prater, we can put Benn, Fayson, Prater and C.J. on the field at one time and we will have as good if not a better receiving corps than any team inthe nation

GO ILLINI!

One of the admins on O & B has been saying for a while now that C.J. is one of the best players to come out of Illinois in quite some time. Also, the fans on there are ECSTATIC to have landed him, so don't lump in that site with the rivals rankings or not being excited. I think Zook may know what he is getting :).

Congratulations to CJ and the Illini! I have seen him play and he is a beast of a player. He is one of those guys that just stand out from warm-ups throughout the game.

For the record, Rivals had CJ at 108 in the country.

From various media sources, it certainly appears the coaches are very high on CJ (I think you used the word excited) - but there was a stop and go recruitment due to turnover on the staff earlier in the year.

Well Mr. lemming I was actually excited to see you try to do a positive article for the U of I but some how, some way you had to put a negative comment in there with and I quote " In fact, I'm not sure Illini coaches realize what they have in the 6-7, 245-pounder with 4.6 speed. Until recently, Zook hadn't been too excited about Fedorowicz' recruitment and Rivals, which is associated with Illinois' Orange and Blue website, didn't rank him among the top 200 players in the nation. "

Now, do you honestly think one of the best recruiters in the nation doesn't know what he is getting in a player? Also there are alot of players that are ranked by scout,rivals, whoever that are really low to start out with then get bumped up.

Tom -
Illini Nation can't wait to see CJ on the field in 2010.

1.) O&B News has no control over rankings from Rivals...admin on O&B 100% agrees with you: biggest Zook commitment in a long, long time

2.) Zook passed to the TE a TON while head coach at Florida. Check the stats. It has taken Juice awhile to develop over the years, which has limited the touch pass - and subsequently passes to the TE. Hopefully Juice will be better this year. Regardless, CJ will be catching passes from Scheelhaase or Whitmer.


3.) I guarantee you Zook is PUMPED to have CJ join the team.

Tom - I'm not sure what you are getting at with the Rivals ranking reference. Coach Zook and the staff do not have influence over where Rivals ranks prospects - it's not the same as the level of influence the ND staff has on your rankings. Some sites just do it differently.

Mr. Lemming, one thing we do know is that you have a financial incentive to see ND do well and and the Illini not do well. Your intentions are obvious.

You are right. Ignore my above comment. I am mistaken. There does appear favoritism but I don't know the source of it. Tom does a good job. I just wish he'd be more supportive of the UofI.

Sounds like C.J. is looking at the HawkeyeNation.
Zook is a disease. Kids can tell when they're being BS'd.
Throw more to the tight ends..my arse.First you have to find a QB.

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This page contains a single entry by Second Season published on July 23, 2009 9:22 AM.

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