Played in all 11 games, mainly on special teams, registering four tackles ... Contributed to 106 special teams plays on the kickoff, onside kick, kickoff return, punt and punt block units.
Played in the season opener on the kickoff coverage team … Sprained ankle in season opener against Arkansas State.
Played in six games on kickoff team, returning two kickoffs for 19 yards vs. Wisconsin.
Redshirted the 1997 season.
High School Highlights
Earned All-SICA honors twice … Named an all-area selection by Star Newspapers, the Chicago Sun Times, the Joliet Herald and the Daily Southtown . . . Chosen a first-team all-state selection by the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette and the IHSA Coaches Association . . . Named an All-Midwest selection by SuperPrep magazine . . . A preseason "Top 30" Chicagoland pick of Tom Lemming, as well as a postseason All-Midwest team selection … Played wide receiver, defensive back and running back … Helped lead Lincoln Way to 1996 IHSA Class 6A runner-up, 13-1 record and S.I.C.A. Blue Conference title . . . Three-year team record was 25-8 . . . High school coach was Rob Glielmi, who played for Illinois from 1982-85 . . . Caught 130 passes for 2,016 yards (15.5 yards/catch) and 18 touchdowns during his career, including 82 receptions for 1,165 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior . . . Carried the ball 251 times for 1,422 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and 23 touchdowns for his career (110 times for 663 yards (6.0) and eight touchdowns as a junior and 141 carries for 759 yards (5.4) and 15 touchdowns as a senior) … Scored 41 touchdowns in his career . . . Also picked off six passes as a defensive back . . . Set six single-season and six career school receiving and scoring records . . . Earned three letters in football, one in basketball and four in track … Qualified for state track meet in 400 meters (49.8) and mile relay … Earned high honor roll honors all four years at Lincoln Way and was a two-time National Honor Society selection . . . Named to the IHSA Football Coaches Association all-state academic team.
Named to Who's Who Among American High School Students in 1995 and 1996 . . . Illinois Merit Scholar . . . Member of Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honorary Society) . . . Teachers aide, student leader and special recreation volunteer in high school . . . Lists playing for state championship in 1996 as biggest thrill in sports . . . Grandfather, Sam Piazza, was a running back for Ray Eliot from 1948-50 at Illinois . . . Father, John, played football at Northern Illinois from 1969-73 and uncle, Tom, played baseball at Illinois State … Parents are John and Donna Piazza … Majoring in finance . . . Favorite athlete is former Chicago Bears receiver Tom Waddle.
Kickoff Return Statistics