Illinois Football Announces 2011 Recruiting Class



University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook announced Wednesday the signing of 27 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football for the Fighting Illini in 2011. The class is made up of 15 skill players, 11 linemen and a punter. Twelve of the 27 players rank in their state’s Top 30, including five of the top 26 from Illinois. The group features players from 11 different states: Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The Illini haul does not include any 5-star recruits, but there are three 4-star, twenty 3-star and three 2-star. But before you get too excited, let me remind (because if yuo watched ESPNU at all today, you heard this a million times) former #1 overall draft pick Alex Smith had only one scholarship offer; and Green Bay Packers Super Bowl QB Aaron Rodgers had zero offers entering college.

2011 University of Illinois Football Signees. Names in bold are 4-star, italics denote 3-star

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School

Willie Beavers Line 6-5 310 Southfield, Mich./Southfield-Lathrup

Chris Boles Line 6-5 315 Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic

Darrius Caldwell Line 6-5 210 Atlanta, Ga./Mays

Ralph Cooper Back 6-1 222 Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central

Valdon Cooper Back 5-10 170 Elberton, Ga./Elbert County

Jon Davis Back 6-3 230 Louisville, Ky./Middletown Eastern

Henry Dickinson Back 6-4 210 Memphis, Tenn./Memphis University HS

Tony Durkin Line 6-3 260 Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew

Justin DuVernois P 6-1 190 Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas

Josh Ferguson Back 5-10 180 Naperville, Ill./Joliet Catholic

Pat Flavin Line 6-7 260 Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy

Jordan Frysinger Back 6-0 175 Corning, N.Y./Corning

Zeph Grimes Back 5-11 212 Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt

Chris Jones Line 6-5 305 Jacksonville, Fla./Raines

Ted Karras Line 6-3 292 Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral

Dondi Kirby Back 6-3 190 Monroeville, Penn./Gateway

Kenny Knight Back 6-4 190 Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day

Matt LaCosse Back 6-6 220 Naperville, Ill./North

Scott McDowell Line 6-5 280 Hinsdale, Ill./Central

Kenny Nelson Line 6-6 245 Detroit, Mich./Cass Tech

Nick North Back 6-1 195 Hollywood, Fla./McArthur

Chris O’Connor Line 6-5 240 Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew

Reilly O’Toole Back 6-4 215 Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South

Eaton Spence Back 6-0 175 Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day

Clint Tucker Line 6-2 285 East St. Louis, Ill./East St. Louis

Jeremy Whitlow Back 6-2 190 Cleveland, Ohio/Central Catholic

Donovonn Young Back 5-11 215 Houston, Texas/Katy

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

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