(While I am on hiatus for the next month, I am leaving behind six articles--(July 1) an analysis of Illinois' recruiting class of 2007, (July 2) Illinois' recruiting for 2011, (July 3) Notre Dame's recruiting for 2011, (July 4) Iowa's recruiting for 2011, (July 5) Wisconsin's recruiting for 2011 and (July 6) Northwestern's recruiting for 2011. Please archive past articles. And enjoy the summer)
Because of lack of success on the field, Illinois coach Ron Zook has stepped up his national recruiting but also has opted to stay around his home state more than anyone else. The Illini have offered more scholarships, more than 200, than any other school in the Big 10. They aren't sitting on their hands. They are going after a lot of big-time prospects nationally. But they must address a big need at quarterback and they don't seem to be in on anybody at the moment.
Illinois has commitments from quarterback Reilly O'Toole of Wheaton Warrenville South, 6-6, 280-pound offensive tackle Hunter Wells of Canton, 6-5, 235-pound defensive end Chris O'Connor of Andrew and safety Seph Grimes of Bamburg, S.C.
In Illinois, they have offered running back/linebacker Rodney Coe of Edwardsville, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels of Vernon Hills, 6-3, 260-pound offensive lineman Tony Durkin of Andrew, 6-7, 260-pound offensive lineman Patrick Flavin of Benet, 6-7, 220-pound defensive end Riley McMinn of Rochester, 6-4, 262-pound tight end Jack Konopka of Fremd, 6-3, 280-pound offensive lineman Jordan Walsh of Glenbard West, running back Mikail McCall of Thornridge, 6-3, 230-pound defensive end James Adeyanju of Curie, 6-4, 240-pound defensive lineman Zach Colvin of Minooka, 6-5, 320-pound offensive lineman Chris Bryant of Simeon and 6-3, 290-pound offensive lineman Mason Fuller of Urban Prep.
Nationally, the Illini are in the mix for cornerback Doran Grant of Akron, Ohio, 6-5, 240-pound defensive end Ray Drew of Thomasville, Ga., linebacker Lamar Dawson from Kentucky, 6-4, 260-pound defensive lineman Anthony Zettel of West Branch, Mich., defensive back Wayne Lyons of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 6-6, 260-pound defensive end Stephon Tuitt of Monroe, Ga., 6-6, 260-pound defensive end Giorgio Newberry of Fort Pierce, Fla., defensive back Nick Waisome of Groveland, Fla., defensive back Sheldon Royster of Jersey City, N.J., and running back Shavon Huggins of Jersey City, N.J.
Drew ranks as the No. 14 player in the nation. Zettel is the best defensive lineman in Michigan. Lyons, who plays in one of the nation's most successful high school programs, is one of the top-rated safeties in the country. Newberry, Grant, Tuitt and Huggins also are top 100 players.
It is interesting to note that Zook and his staff are going after big-name players in football-rich Florida that Florida, Florida State and Miami are going after. But the top five quarterbacks on their priority list committed elsewhere so they might have to wait until next year to fill their need.