Ryan Klachko (University of Nebraska photo)
Aug. 15, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced on Wednesday that offensive lineman Ryan Klachko (Sacred Heart-Griffin HS/Springfield, Ill.) has transferred to Illinois after spending last season at the University of Nebraska. Klachko has begun practicing with the Illini, but will not be able to play in 2012 due to NCAA transfer rules. He will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2013.
"Ryan was one of the top players in the state coming out of high school," Beckman said of Klachko. "We're happy to welcome Ryan back to Illinois, where he'll be closer to his family and friends. After practicing with us this season, I look forward to him competing for playing time and providing depth on the offensive line starting in 2013."
Klachko redshirted last year at Nebraska during his freshman season. Coming out of high school, Klachko was a four-star recruit and was ranked among the top 15 offensive guards in the country by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. Rivals.com listed him among the top 10 players in the state of Illinois and among the top 250 overall prospects in the nation.
The 6-4, 290-pound Klachko was a standout for Coach Ken Leonard at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield, Ill. As a senior, Klachko earned Chicago Tribune all-state and Central State Eight all-conference honors after helping the team average 44.6 points per game en route to an 8-2 record and a trip to the Class 5A state playoffs. As a junior, Klachko's play helped Sacred Heart-Griffin to a perfect regular season, an 11-1 overall record and a trip to the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Klachko joins former Northern Illinois defensive back Tommy Davis and former Penn State offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki as incoming transfers for this season. Both Davis and Nowicki are immediately eligible to play in 2012, Davis as a fifth-year graduate student and Nowicki due to a special exception, while Klachko must sit out 2012 due to normal NCAA transfer rules.