Thursday, February 02, 2006

Illinois Football has "JUICE"

Illinois football coach Ron Zook proved his recruiting reputation true yesterday as Illinois came away with a haul of strong athletes on national signing day.

Many experts rate Illinois' recruiting class as 4th in the Big Ten and among the top 30 in the country. This is welcome news for a program that I recall even Zook saying during the season lacked serious talent to field a competitive team.

There seems to be little doubt the star in this class is Chicago quarterback Isiah "Juice" Williams. Juice was recruited by a number of top programs across the country including Ohio State, Penn State and Tennessee. I don't expect Williams to come in and tear up the Big Ten right away but everyone who has seen him play says he has a rocket for an arm and will have an impact...possibly even starting next fall.

What excites me the most about Williams is the "Dee Brown Effect." Williams has a winning personality and that could be contagious on the field as he steps into a position where he is automatically expected to lead. His enthusiasm should help off the field as well when Zook looks to continue and build on his recruiting success.

I wouldn't be surprised if Juice becomes the face of Illini football. Let's hope he has reason to be proud.

You may want to check out Mark Tupper's story about the recruiting class today and pay attention to his take on Oklahoma transfer Akim Millington. Yeah--you heard me right. We got an OK FOOTBALL transfer. I could think of a lot of cynical comments to insert here but I'll refrain as it's been a tough football year for Ron Guenther, Zook and the players.

Anyway, Tupper seems a little less optimistic on his blog but still gives props to Zook and his staff.

The Chicago papers gave Zook good reviews as well....Tribune lists Williams as the Illini's "best prospect" and Millington as "instant impact." Sun-Times says Juice could start.

Finally, Illiniboard has the list of Illinois commits here and a very in-depth analysis here.

<< Home |

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?