Football
Illinois Signs 29 To National Letters Of Intent

 
Coach Ron Zook pulled the first faxed Letter of Intent off the machine shortly after 6 this morning.
Coach Ron Zook pulled the first faxed Letter of Intent off the machine shortly after 6 this morning.
 

Feb. 6, 2008

Coach Ron Zook formally introduced 29 new Illinois football recruits to the news media this afternoon:


PLAYER POS.HT. WT. HOME TOWN PREVIOUS SCHOOL
Click on player's name for BIO and VIDEO links

Jeff Allen Line6-4 320 Chicago, Ill. King HS
Jacob Charest Back6-4 200 Matthews, N.C. Butler HS
London Davis Back6-4 255 Cahokia, Ill. Cahokia HS
Russell Ellington Back6-2 203 Homewood, Ill. Homewood-Flossmoor HS
Reggie Ellis Line6-2 278 Washington, D.C. Dunbar HS
Jarred Fayson Back6-0 202 Tampa, Fla. Hillsborough HS/Univ. of Florida
Jason Ford Back6-0 209 Belleville, Ill. Althoff HS
Glenn Foster Line6-4 223 Chicago, Ill. Mt. Carmel HS
Evan Frierson Back6-2 217 Washington, D.C. H.D. Woodson HS
Hubie Graham Back6-4 240 Scranton, Pa. West Scranton HS
Donsay Hardeman Back6-2 220 Jacksonville, Fla. Raines HS/Georgia Military Col.
A.J. Jenkins Back6-0 175 Jacksonville, Fla. Terry Parker HS
Corey Lewis Line6-6 278 Cresco, Pa. East Stroudsburg South HS
Mikel LeShoure Back6-0 220 Champaign, Ill. Centennial HS
Corey Liuget Line6-3 260 Hialeah, Fla. Hialeah HS
Whitney Mercilus Line6-3 225 Akron, Ohio Garfield HS
Patrick Nixon Back5-10 180 Jacksonville, Fla. Middleburg HS
Nate Palmer Back6-3 228 Chicago, Ill. Simeon HS
Graham Pocic Line6-7 316 Lemont, Ill. Lemont HS
Jack Ramsey Back5-11 182 Chicago, Ill. Simeon HS
Tyler Sands Line6-5 290 Boyertown, Pa. Boyertown Area HS
Supo Sanni Back6-3 197 Homewood, Ill. Homewood-Flossmoor HS
Cordale Scott Back6-3 200 Cleveland, Ohio Glenville HS
Ryan Sedlacek Line6-4 292 Westport, Conn. Staples HS
Justin Staples Back6-4 215 Lakewood, Ohio St. Edward HS
Fred Sykes Back6-0 175 Tampa, Fla. Chamberlain HS
Ugochukwu Uzodinma Line6-4 240 Washington, D.C. Dunbar HS
Ashante Williams Back5-10 191 Mayfield, Ohio Mayfield HS
Tavon Wilson Back6-0 179 Washington, D.C. H.D. Woodson HS

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Jeff Allen
LINE
6-4, 320
Chicago, Ill.
King HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... Named to 2007 Chicago Sun Times All-Public League Team ... Named to the Champaign News-Gazette Special Mention All-State team ... PrepStar All-Region ... Ranked among the top-30 players in Illinois by Rivals.com ... Four-year starter on varsity ... Recorded 97 tackles, two sacks as a senior ... Also blocked punt for a touchdown, the only score of his career ... Chose Illinois over N.C. State ... High school coach was Lonnie Williams ... Son of Lalibala Allen ... Would like to major in business ... Cousin, Shon Williams, played football at Miami.

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Jacob Charest
BACK
6-4, 200
Matthews, N.C.
Butler HS


Named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Super Southern 100, rated the No. 2 quarterback ... Threw for 7,683 yards and 73 touchdowns during his prep career ... Ranked the 20th best player in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com ... Passed for 3,100 yards, completed 67 percent of his passes and threw 39 touchdowns as a senior ... Named the Soutwestern 4A Conference Player of the Year ... Threw for 392 yards and six touchdowns vs. Vance to earn WFNZ-AM Athlete of the Week honors ... Earned first-team all-conference ... Ranked No. 23 nationally at quarterback by Scout.com ... Named to the Southeast Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Rated among the top-30 pro-style quarterbacks by Rivals.com ... Is a state qualifier in wrestling ... Passed for 3,011 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior ... PrepStar Magazine All-Region ... Chose Illinois over California, Louisville, Iowa, Boston College and Auburn ... High school coach was Mike Newsome ... Son of Cindy and Scott Charest.

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London Davis
BACK
6-4, 255
Cahokia, Ill.
Cahokia HS


Named to the Champaign News-Gazette Special Mention All-State team ... Ranked the 19th-best recruit in the state of Illinois and the 32nd tight end nationally by Rivals.com ... Posted seven catches for 160 yards and four touchdowns as senior facing double coverage ... Ranked among the top-50 tight ends nationally by Scout.com ... Defensively, he had 24 tackles and one sack ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... During his junior year, he recorded 10 receptions for 238 yards and three touchdowns ... Also a letterwinner in basketball ... Chose Illinois over Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State ... High school coach was Antwyne Golliday ... Son of Claudie Curtis.

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Russell Ellington
BACK
6-2, 203
Homewood, Ill.
Homewood-Flossmoor HS


Ranked among the top-30 recruits in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Rushed for 360 yards on 87 carries and scored four touchdowns as a senior, while passing for 833 yards and eight touchdowns ... Also returned one punt for 17 yards and two kickoffs for 47 yards ... Earned All-Area honors by the Southtown Star ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Caught 53 passes for 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior ... Earned special mention All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... Named to the Champaign News-Gazette Special Mention All-State team ... Named to the Chicago Sun Times All-Area team ... Ranked among the top-80 wide receivers nationally by Scout.com ... Played wide receiver, strong safety and quarterback in high school ... Took Homewood-Flossmoor to the state semifinals in 2007 ... High school teammate of fellow Illini, Supo Sanni ... Chose Illinois over Iowa and Iowa State ... High school coach was Kenneth Smith ... Member of the 2007 Homewood-Flossmoor basketball team which is ranked 17th in the nation by USA Today ... Son of Angela and Russell Ellington.

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Reggie Ellis
LINE
6-2, 278
Washington, D.C.
Dunbar HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... Rated the No. 1 player in the Washington, D.C. area by Rivals.com ... Earned second-team All-Metro by the Washington Post ... Also ranked the fourth-quickest defensive tackle nationally and among the top-30 tackles in the nation by Rivals.com ... Recorded 50 tackles and six sacks during an injury-shortened senior year ... Washington Post All-District first-team ... Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Posted 48 tackles and seven sacks as a junior ... PrepStar Magazine Dream Team ... SuperPrep All-American ... Named to the East Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Earned first-team All-District honors as a junior ... Named to the All-DCSportsfan first-team ... Chose Illinois over Maryland and Penn State ... High school coach was Craig Jeffries ... High school teammates of fellow Illini, Ugo Uzodinma, Vontae Davis, Arrelious Benn and Nate Bussey ... Full name is Reginald Terrell Ellis ... Son of Angela Ellis and Chamarko Amin.

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Jarred Fayson
BACK
6-0, 202
Tampa, Fla.
Hillsborough HS/Univ. of Florida


Enrolled in the University of Illinois in January, 2008.

At Florida (2006-07): Lined up at running back, wide receiver and was on both punt and kick return units in 2007 ... Played in 11 of 13 games, recording 12 catches for 148 yards and catching three touchdown passes ... Also rushed for 89 yards on 19 carries ... Was second on the Florida team with eight punt returns for a 7.6 average per return ... As a freshman, had one reception for one yard and carried the ball 14 times for 126 yards (9.0 avg.) in 13 games ... Carried a career-best seven times for a personal-high 77 yards and scored his first career touchdown against Western Carolina with an eight-yard scamper to pay-dirt ... Also set a career standard with a 27-yard run versus the Catamounts...Had three rushing attempts and gained 11 yards against LSU ... Dressed but did not see action in Florida's win at Tennessee ... Carried three times for 28 yards and caught one pass for nine yards against UCF ... Was one of 14 freshmen to make his collegiate debut in the season opener with Southern Miss.

High School: Rated as the No. 3 wide receiver prospect in the country according to Scout.com ... Selected to participate in the 2005 U.S. Army All-Star game ... Also competed in the CaliFlorida Bowl ... Was a team captain and helped lead Hillsborough to an undefeated regular season and a regional semifinal appearance ... Passed for 883 yards and ran for 936 yards and 22 touchdowns ... A three-year starter ... Led Hillsborough to a 21-20 win over Armwood High School as a senior to end the Hawks' 29-game win streak ... Threw for 900 yards with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions as a junior...Scored the game-winning two-point conversion on a quarterback roll-out draw in the Terriers' 29-28 win over Jefferson to cap an undefeated regular season ... Also rushed for 800 yards with 24 touchdowns, giving him 35 total touchdowns as a junior ... Full given name is Jarred Michael Fayson ... Born Oct. 13, 1987 ... Son of Carla Powell.

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Jason Ford
BACK
6-0, 209
Belleville, Ill.
Althoff HS


Ranked the No. 14 recruit in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Rated among the top-30 running backs nationally by Rivals ... First-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette ... Earned second-team All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... Rushed for a St. Louis metro area career record 6,415 yards ... Scored 75 rushing touchdowns in his career ... Ran for 1,773 yards as a senior, including five consecutive over 215 yards ... Scored 22 touchdowns as a senior, while averaging 9.1 yards per carry ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... PrepStar All-Region ... Averaged 8.2 yards per rush as a junior, posting 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns ... Ranked among the top-60 running backs nationally by Scout.com ... Recorded a 39-inch vertical jump ... Chose Illinois over Iowa ... High school coach was Glenn Schott ... Son of Jacqueline and Jason Ford.

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Glenn Foster
LINE
6-4, 223
Chicago, Ill.
Mt. Carmel HS


Ranked the 12th-best recruit in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Named to the Champaign News-Gazette Special Mention All-State team ... Rated the No. 14 weakside defensive end in the nation by Rivals.com ... PrepStar Magazine All-American ... SuperPrep All-American ... Recorded 44 tackles, including six for a loss of 43 yards, despite an injury-shortened senior season ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Listed as the No. 47 defensive end in the country by Scout.com ... High school coach was Frank Lenti ... Chose Illinois over Nebraska, Michigan State and Colorado ... Son of Sabrina and Glenn Foster.

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Evan Frierson
BACK
6-2, 217
Washington, D.C.
H.D. Woodson HS


As a senior, recorded 79 eight sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles ... Posted 78 tackles, 11 sacks and three fumble recoveries as a junior ... Rated among the top-50 strongside linebackers nationally, according to Scout.com ... High school teammate of fellow Illini, Tavon Wilson and Eddie McGee ... Chose Illinois over North Carolina and Tennessee ... High school coach was Gregory Fuller.

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Hubie Graham
BACK
6-4, 240
Scranton, Pa.
West Scranton HS


Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Ranked the No. 13 recruit in the state of Pennsylvania by Rivals.com ... Four-star recruit by Scout.com ... Rated the No. 12 tight end in the nation by Scout.com ... Also the 13th-best tight end nationally by Rivals.com ... Caught 30 passes for 720 yards and scored four touchdowns as a senior ... PrepStar Magazine Dream Team ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rated the No. 14 tight end nationally by ESPN.com ... Named to the East Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Named to the Harrisburg Patriot News "Platinum 33" team ... Picked for the Big 33 All-Star game (featuring the best Pennsylvania and Ohio seniors) ... Caught 35 passes for over 600 yards and scored seven touchdowns in 2006 ... Named second-team All-State by the Associated Press as a junior ... Earned first-team all-conference honors ... Recorded 158 tackles, including 84 solo stops, 10 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and three fumble recoveries as a junior ... Had more than 20 scholarship offers ... Chose Illinois over UCLA, Iowa and Pittsburgh ... High school coach was Mike DeAntona ... Son of Janet and Hubert Graham.

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Donsay Hardeman
BACK
6-2, 220
Jacksonville, Fla.
Raines HS/Georgia Military Col.


Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Rated the No. 7 junior college prospect nationally by Rivals.com ... Four-star recruit by Scout.com ... Helped lead Georgia Military College to a 9-2 record and a No. 9 national junior college ranking in 2007 ... Team's defense ranked fourth in total defense and No. 1 against the rush ... Earned honorable mention All-America honors by JC Gridwire ... Posted 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, four interceptions, including an 85-yard touchdown, and five pass breakups ... Had five interceptions, including a 84-yard return for a touchdown, and a 95-yard fumble recovery for a score in his first year of junior college ... Posted 15 catches for 300 yards and five touchdowns, while recording 80 tackles and seven interceptions as a high school senior in 2005 ... Was one of the top-10 players in the state of Florida in the Class of 2006 by Rivals.com ... Chose Illinois over Alabama, Miami and South Carolina ... Junior college coach was Bert Williams.

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A.J. Jenkins
BACK
6-0, 170
Jacksonville, Fla.
Terry Parker HS


Four-star recruit according to Scout.com ... Named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Super Southern 100 as the 10th-best wide receiver ... PrepStar Magazine All-Region ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rated the No. 36 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Caught 41 passes for 515 yards, scoring four touchdowns as a senior ... Also rushed for another 251 yards on 40 carries in 2007 ... Florida Times Union Super 24 ... Named to Scout's Florida Top-50 team ... Ranked the 59th best recruit in the state of Florida by Rivals.com ... Rated the No. 53 wide receiver nationally by Rivals.com ... Finished his junior year with 32 catches for 500 yards ... Has a 38-inch vertical leap ... Chose Illinois over Florida, South Carolina, Miami, Georgia Tech and Florida State ... High school coach was Greg Stanton ... Son of Sandra Brice and Alfred Jenkins, Jr.

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Corey Lewis
LINE
6-6, 278
Cresco, Pa.
East Stroudsburg South HS


Named to the Associated Press' All-State team ... Earned first-team Class AAAA All-State honors ... Aided his team in averaging 6.5 yards per carry rushing and scoring 27 rushing touchdowns as a senior ... Team averaged 182 yards rushing per game posting over 2,200 yards for the season ... Ranks among the top-40 players in the state of Pennsylvania by Rivals.com ... Rates as the No. 78 offensive tackle nationally by Rivals ... Bench presses 300 pounds and squats 450 pounds ... High school coach was Ed Christian ... Also a starter on the basketball team ... Chose Illinois over Virginia and Penn State ... Would like to pursue a degree in business ... Son of Lisa and Steven Lewis.

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Mikel LeShoure
BACK
6-0, 220
Champaign, Ill.
Centennial HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... Rushed for career 4,652 yards on 681 carries for a career 6.8 yards-per-carry average and scored 52 rushing touchdowns ... Also had 32 career receptions for 557 yards and five touchdowns and a 17.4 yards-per-catch average ... First-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette ... Earned special mention All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... Rated the No. 28 running back nationally by Rivals.com ... Ranked as the 10th-best player in the state of Illinois ... PrepStar Magazine All-American ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rushed for 1,060 yards on 169 carries and scored 10 touchdowns during an injury-shortened senior season ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Listed as the No. 51 running back nationally by Scout.com ... Rushed for 2,474 yards, averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored 30 touchdowns as a junior ... Earned first-team all-area, all-conference and all-state honors in 2006 ... Rushed for more than 1,400 yards as a sophomore ... Chose Illinois over Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin ... High school coach was Mike McDonnell ... High school teammate of fellow Illini, Mike Locksley, Jr. ... Son of Jacqueline Frazier-Jones.

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Corey Liuget
LINE
6-3, 260
Hialeah, Fla.
Hialeah HS


Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Rated No. 80 on Rivals' Top-100 list ... Four-star recruit by Scout.com ... Ranked as the 25th-best recruit in the state of Florida and the seventh-best defensive end by Rivals.com ... Listed as the No. 8 defensive end nationally by Scout.com ... Listed among Florida's Top-25 by the Miami Herald ... Named to Scout's Florida Top-50 team ... Rated the No. 17 defensive end by ESPN.com ... Earned first-team 6A All-State honors ... First-team All-Area by the Miami Herald ... Registered 59 tackles and 11 sacks in 2007 ... Named to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's Super Southern 100 as the seventh-best defensive end ... SuperPrep All-American ... Recorded 55 tackles and six sacks as a junior and 59 tackles and 11 sacks as a sophomore ... Also a member of the wrestling team ... Chose Illinois over Miami, LSU and Florida State ... High school coach was Marc Berman.

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Whitney Mercilus
LINE
6-3, 225
Akron, Ohio
Garfield HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... Rated No. 36 defensive end by ESPN.com ... Ranks as the No. 28 weakside defensive end by Rivals.com ... Listed as the 22nd-best recruit in the state of Ohio by Rivals ... Posted 36 solo tackles, six for loss, two sacks and four fumble recoveries, including one for a 36-yard touchdown, in 2007 ... Also caught 24 passes for 417 yards and eight touchdowns ... Earned Northeast Ohio Inland All-Star team ... Named to the Cleveland Plain Dealer Defensive All-Star team ... Earned district all-star honors ... PrepStar All-Region ... Graduated high school with over a 3.0 GPA ... Chose Illinois over Cincinnati, Kansas, Michigan State and Purdue ... High school coach was Bob Sax ... Son of Yvrose and Wilner Mercilus ... Parents are originally from Haiti.

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Patrick Nixon
BACK
5-10, 180
Jacksonville, Fla.
Middleburg HS


Named to ESPN.com's Top-150 ... Named to the Florida Times Union Super 11 list ... Posted 84 solo tackles, two interceptions and two defensive touchdowns in 2007 ... Ranked as the 34th-best recruit in the state of Florida by Rivals.com ... Rated among the top-40 athletes in the nation by Rivals ... Florida Times Union Super 24 ... Listed as the No. 53 cornerback nationally by Scout.com ... Recorded 71 tackles and seven interceptions as a junior ... Chose Illinois over Florida, South Florida, LSU and West Virginia ... High school coach was Rob Justino ... Son of Joyce Murphy and Patrick Nixon, Sr.

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Nate Palmer
BACK
6-3, 228
Chicago, Ill.
Simeon HS


Named to 2007 Chicago Sun Times All-Public League Team ... PrepStar Magazine All-American ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rated among the top-20 players in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Listed as the No. 39 strongside linebacker by Scout.com ... Ranked No. 55 among outside linebackers according to Rivals ... Named to the Champaign News-Gazette Special Mention All-State team ... Recorded 128 tackles and 18 tackles as a senior, while catching 10 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown on offense ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Posted 30 tackles and seven sacks as a junior, while playing in only four games due to injury ... High school teammate of fellow Illini, Jack Ramsey and Martez Wilson ... Chose Illinois over Notre Dame, Northwestern and Kansas State ... High school coach was Jesse Chick ... Son of Rhonda Carr and Nathan Palmer.

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Graham Pocic
LINE
6-7, 316
Lemont
Lemont HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... PrepStar Magazine Dream Team ... Named to the Chicago Sun Times All-Area team ... Earned first-team All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Named to the Rivals250 team ... First-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette ... Four-star recruit by Scout.com ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Team broke 6A record for rushing yards in a playoff game vs. Highland Park ... Also broke school records for points per game (35), points in a season (490), total offense in a season (4,863) and rushing yards per game (295.2) ... Listed as the 16th-best offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com ... Ranked the fifth-best player in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Rated No. 23 among offensive linemen nationally by Rivals.com ... SuperPrep All-American ... Led Lemont team to the school's first appearance in the Illinois state finals in 2007 ... Named team captain ... Had 26 scholarship offers ... Played in the Offense-Defense All-Star game in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., after his senior season ... Bench presses over 350 pounds and squats 450 ... Chose Illinois over Michigan, Florida, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin ... Full given name is Graham Patrick Pocic ... High school coach was Eric Michaelsen ... Son of Kim and Gary Pocic.

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Jack Ramsey
BACK
5-11, 182
Chicago, Ill.
Simeon HS


Earned special mention All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... Named to 2007 Chicago Sun Times All-Public League Team ... Rated the No. 16 athlete nationally by ESPN.com ... First-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette ... Passed for over 1,500 yards, threw 20 touchdown passes and rushed for another 250 yards on offense in 2007 ... Also recorded 25 tackles and five interceptions, defensively ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Ranked the 11th-best recruit in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... PrepStar Magazine All-American ... SuperPrep All-American ...Listed as the 36th-best cornerback recruit in the nation by Scout.com ... Rated the No. 37 athlete nationally by Rivals.com ... Passed for over 2,200 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior ... High school teammate of fellow Illini, Nate Palmer and Martez Wilson ... Also a member of the track team, running the 100 meters and relay events ... Chose Illinois over Michigan State, Cincinnati and Kansas State ... High school coach was Jesse Chick ... Son of Carol Ramsey and Jackyl Smith.

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Tyler Sands
LINE
6-5, 290
Boyertown, Pa.
Boyertown Area HS


PrepStar Magazine All-American ... Earned first-team AAAA All-State honors from the Associated Press and PAFootballnews.com ... Recorded 69 tackles, two forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles and four passes broken up as a senior ... Rated the No. 20 player in the state of Pennsylvania by Rivals.com ... First-team all-county as an offensive lineman and second-team as a defensive lineman ... Earned first-team all-league honors as an offensive lineman, defensive lineman and punter ... Ranked the 33rd-best offensive tackle nationally by Rivals ... Named to the East Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Garnered first-team all-area accolades for offensive line and punter and second-team as a defensive lineman ... Named to the Harrisburg Patriot News "Platinum 33" team ... Ranked the No. 43 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com ... Picked for the Big 33 All-Star game (featuring the best Pennsylvania and Ohio seniors) ... Bench presses 350 pounds and squats over 500 ... Earned first-team all-league and all-county academic team honors ... Chose Illinois over Nebraska and Boston College ... High school coach was Ron Zeiber ... Son of Dawne von Czoernig and Jeff Sands.

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Supo Sanni
LINE
6-3, 197
Homewood, Ill.
Homewood-Flossmoor HS


Earned special mention All-State honors by the Chicago Tribune ... First-team All-State by the Champaign News-Gazette ... PrepStar Magazine All-Region ... Led team in receiving in 2007 with 25 catches for 601 yards and six touchdowns ... Defensively, he recorded 94 tackles, 74 which were solo stops, four interceptions and one forced fumble ... Earned All-Area honors by the Southtown Star ... Rated among the top 15 recruits in the state of Illinois by Rivals.com ... Ranked the No. 51 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Listed as the No. 53 outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com ... Took Homewood-Flossmoor to the state semifinals in football in 2007 ... As a junior, recorded 417 yards receiving and posted 53 solo tackles and two interceptions ... Chose Illinois over Iowa and West Virginia ... High school coach was Kenneth Smith ... Member of the 2007 Homewood-Flossmoor basketball team which is ranked 17th in the nation by USA Today ... Family hails from Nigeria ... Son of Sesis and Olarunji Sanni.

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Cordale Scott
BACK
6-3, 200
Cleveland, Ohio
Glenville HS


Four-star recruit by Rivals.com ... Named the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Player of the Year for 2007 ... Listed on Rivals' Top-250 team ... Caught 31 passes for over 300 yards and scored four touchdowns as a senior ... Also retured three kickoffs for touchdowns ... Four-star recruit by Scout.com ... Ranked as the ninth-best recruit in the state of Ohio and the No. 31 wide receiver nationally by Rivals.com ... Made the Detroit Free Press' Best of the Midwest list ... Earned first-team all-state honors ... ... PrepStar Magazine Dream Team ... SuperPrep All-American ... Rated the No. 37 wide receiver nationally by Scout.com ... Caught 27 passes for 380 yards and scored four touchdowns as a junior ... Has a 31-inch vertical jump ... High school coach was Ted Ginn, Sr. ... Chose Illinois over Ohio State ... Son of Charlene Scott and Eric Smith.

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Ryan Sedlacek
LINE
6-4, 292
Westport, Conn.
Staples HS


Named a Connecticut High School Coaches Association's first-team All-State selection as a junior and senior ... Also earned first-team All-State honors from the Hartford Courant in 2007 and second-team honors in 2006 ... Selected by Parade Magazine as "One to Watch" ... Twice earned first-team FCIAC All-Conference honors in 2007 and 2006 ... Garnered first-team CT Post All-Star honors in 2007 and second-team in 2006 ... Two-team Norwalk Hour All-Area team member ... PrepStar Magazine All-Region ... Plans to pursue a degree in business ... Boasts a 3.5 high school GPA ... High school coach was Marcellino Pelroccio ... Son of Maura and Verne Sedlacek.

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Justin Staples
BACK
6-4, 215
Lakewood, Ohio
St. Edward HS


PrepStar Magazine All-American ... Rated the 19th-best recruit in the state of Ohio by Rivals.com ... Ranked No. 30 among outside linebackers nationally according to Rivals.com ... Named to the Cleveland Plain Dealer All-State team ... Recorded 92 tackles, seven sacks, one interception, 11 pass breakups, six forced fumbles and two recovered fumbles as a senior ... Listed as the No. 33 weakside linebacker nationally by Scout.com ... Named to the Midwest Hot100 list by Scout.com ... Picked for the Big 33 All-Star game (featuring the best Pennsylvania and Ohio seniors) ... Posted 52 tackles, four sacks and four fumble recoveries as a junior and 28 tackles and two sacks as a sophomore ... Chose Illinois over Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan State ... High school coach was Scot Niedzwiecki ... Son of Shelly and Lenson Staples.

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Fred Sykes
BACK
6-0, 175
Tampa, Fla.
Chamberlain HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... PrepStar Magazine All-Region ... Rated among the top-100 players in the state of Florida ... Earned first-team all-conference honors ... Led the team with 25 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns as a senior, while averaging 14.2 yards per catch ... Also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown vs. Land O'Lakes in the season finale ... Caught 36 passes for 556 yards and three touchdowns as a junior ... Chose Illinois over Kentucky and South Florida ... High school coach was Billy Turner ... Son of Lashon Thomas.

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Ugochukwu Uzodinma
LINE
6-4, 240
Washington, D.C.
Dunbar HS


Earned honorable mention All-Metro honors from the Washington Post ... Recorded 72 tackles, including 12.5 quarterback sacks ... Posted an additional 5.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries as a senior, helping Dunbar to a 7-2 record ... Recorded his best game, seven tackles and two for loss, vs. Archbiship Carroll ... Washington Post All-District first-team ... Named to the All-DCSportsfan second-team ... Chose Illinois over Virginia ... Posted eight sacks as a junior ... Goes by "Ugo" ... High school teammates of fellow Illini, Reggie Ellis, Vontae Davis, Arrelious Benn and Nate Bussey ... Family hails from Nigeria ... High school coach was Craig Jeffries ... Son of Florence and Joel Uzodinma.

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Ashante Williams
BACK
5-10, 191
Mayfield, Ohio
Mayfield HS


Enrolled at the University of Illinois in January, 2008 ... Totaled 99 tackles, including 62 solos, six tackles for loss, two sacks, 10 passes defended and two forced fumbles in 2007 ... Returned his only interception of the season 41 yards for a touchdown ... Named the NEOC-River Division Offensive Player of the Year ... Earned first-team All-Northeast Ohio Conference honors ... Rushed for 1,574 yards on 276 carries and score 17 touchdowns as a senior ... Also added 337 receiving yards and two touchdowns, averaging 18.7 yards per catch ... Returned punts and kickoffs, averaging 9.6 yards per punt return and 25.8 per kickoff return ... PrepStar All-Region ... Named the Cleveland Touchdown Club's Cuyahoga County Offensive Player of the Year ... Named to the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Northeast Ohio News Herald's "Best of the Best" list ... Mayfield High School team Most Valuable Player in 2007 ... Chose Illinois over Pittsburgh, Indiana and Syracuse ... Full given name is Ashante Raphael Williams ... Graduated high school with a 3.12 GPA ... High school coach was Larry Pinto ... Son of Andrekia and Chris Williams.

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Tavon Wilson
BACK
6-0, 179
Washington, D.C.
H.D. Woodson HS


Earned first-team All-Metro honors by the Washington Post ... Ranked as the fifth-best recruit in the Washington D.C area by Rivals.com ... Washington Post District Player of the Year ... Rated the No. 28 cornerback by ESPN.com ... Caught 48 passes for 958 yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the offensive side, while recording nine interceptions, including two for touchdowns as a senior ... Ranked as the 59th-best cornerback by Rivals.com ... Named to the All-DCSportsfan first-team ... High school teammate of fellow Illini Evan Frierson and Eddie McGee ... Chose Illinois over Maryland, Boston College and Michigan State ... High school coach was Gregory Fuller ... Son of Darlene Williams.

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