Wheelwright Has Offer, Wants To Learn More

The Fighting Illini football team figures to hit the state of Ohio hard since new head coach Tim Beckman has many recruiting ties there. He has already offered several Ohio juniors, including Columbus receiver Rob Wheelwright. The talented youngster will be be heavily recruited.

Rob Wheelwright is a wide receiver from Columbus, Ohio. The 2013 prospect attends Walnut Ridge High School. Wheelwright addressed his junior season.

"For me, I felt it went pretty well. For the team, we didn't do so well. We went 5-5 and didn't make the playoffs."

Although Walnut Ridge did not have a successful season, Wheelwright is already looking forward to next season and has raised his expectations.

"It should be pretty good. We get a lot of the players back because we had a lot of juniors, sophomores, and freshman playing. Next year we will get a lot of them back, so we should be pretty good. I just want to make playoffs and make my team better and help us to the playoffs because last time we made it, I was a freshman."

In the meantime, he is in the middle of basketball season, a sport he has played the majority of his life. He admits he has some skills on the basketball court and believes it's good for football.

"I'm a starter, so I am pretty decent. The first game I started playing was basketball, so I will always like basketball. But, I started to like football more as I got older. Basketball keeps me conditioned. It's a little different and helps keep me in shape and active."

Wheelwright would like to visit Illinois to see what the university has to offer.

"I will probably not end up taking an unofficial visit, but I will probably go take a look at the school because it's not too far from home."

Wheelwright has not gotten heavily involved with his recruiting process yet, so he doesn't have much to share about Illinois or any other programs recruiting him. However, he has watched Illinois a few times on TV and was impressed.

"I have had a little communication with the schools but really no in-person or over-the-phone talk. So I'm really just starting to look at the schools and don't know much about Illinois. But I watched them on TV, and they looked pretty good."

Wheelwright knows about the hiring of Tim Beckman but doesn't know much about the former Toledo head coach. He knows Beckman runs the spread, a style of offense Wheelwright favors.

"That would fit me pretty well since it's a pass offense. Then you get the speed backs. That's what we run at our school and it works pretty well."

At 6'-2", 170 pounds, his size is an obvious advantage. What are his other strengths?

"I am really quick off the ball, have good footwork and I run good routes."

Wheelwright has one main thing he would like to improve between now and the first time he steps on a collegiate field.

"You can always work on route running, so that is something I will work on."

Wheelwright named the schools currently involved in his recruitment and claims he has no favorites at this point.

"Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Tennessee, Iowa State, Iowa, Norte Dame, Cincinnati, Indiana, Northwestern, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Boston College, and a couple more. I have offers from Nebraska, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Boston College."

Wheelwright also discussed what he will look for when choosing a college, and a possible timeline for his decision.

"I want to have games that my family can make. So where the college is at, if it's the best fit for me education-wise, how the football is, the coaching, what offense they run, and things like that (are important). I want to make my decision by midseason or after the season—sometime around then."

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