Christian DiLauro Commits To Illinois

The Fighting Illini football team landed another commitment Friday evening. Ohio lineman Christian DiLauro visited campus today and has decided to make Illinois his future home. The Illini want to convert him from tight end to tackle, and they feel he can have an outstanding college career at that position.

Christian DiLauro came to Illinois early Friday, and he plans to leave Sunday as a member of the Fighting Illini. He committed to Coach Tim Beckman Friday evening.

"We left my house about 3:00 am. We were figuring to get up here earlier to look around. I came up here one time for a Junior Day earlier this year, and then I got an offer from them.

"So we decided to come back up to talk to the coaches more, get to know them more and see if this is where I want to go. We figured we'd drive around a little bit."

He is enjoying himself.

"I like it. I can see myself coming here. I've only had two offers so far, this school and Akron. You don't get much bigger than Big 10. There's really not much out there much bigger. Size-wise, it would be perfect for me. And I would have a good chance of playing.

"You come to this school, you get an education, are able to play in the Big 10 and have a good chance to win a Big 10 championship. You go to a bowl game almost every year here. There is good tradition, so it doesn't get much better."

He committed Friday evening

"I can definitely see myself being here."

DiLauro has been a tight end, but the Illini are recruiting him as a tackle. He is warming up to the idea.

"I'm all right with it. It was kind of hard at first because I never thought I would be in this situation where I'd have to play some spot that I'd played my whole life, and then have to switch over. But I'm perfectly okay with that. I talked with my dad, and I realized that is probably the best spot for me to play anyway."

The Illini have let him know they believe he can be a standout college tackle.

"I will need to be redshirted and learn the position and give myself more time to mature. I get all that. The Illini say they can see me being a four year starter. So I was pretty stoked about that. It's always nice to have someone believe in you. It gives you confidence to try harder."

He shares his assets as a football player.

"Executing my assignments the best I can. Always giving the best effort I possibly can. I'm always looking for ways to help my teammates out and find ways for me to make more plays. I guess you could say I have quick feet. I can move pretty good."

A lack of experience appears to be his main limitation at this point.

"Last year was my first season playing varsity football. It was a weird experience at first. Towards the end of the year, it was a fun experience. We didn't really end up as well as we thought we'd be, but for my first year I did pretty good.

"There's a lot of things I can always improve on, and a lot of things I know I need to improve on. I want to work on being able to prepare better, know my assignments better and not have to think as much on the field, so there's more reacting and less thinking."

Illinois fits what he seeks in a school.

"One, I'm looking for how I feel, my comfort level and the relationship I have with the coaches. But academics is important also. I'm not really sure yet what I want to go into. I kind of know it will be either Engineering or Business."

DiLauro was familiar with Coach Beckman and some of his staff before he was hired by the Illini.

"I knew Coach Beckman when he was at Toledo, as well as Coach (Alex) Golesh. I kind of got a good bond with Coach Golesh because me being a tight end, I worked out with tight ends at the Toledo camp last year. I have a relationship with him and talk with him frequently.

"Coach Beckman is a good guy. He's a winning coach, and he's always going to play the best people he can get."

He has also made an effort to get acquainted with offensive line coach Luke Butkus, with whom he might be working the next four or five years of his life.

"I talked to him twice, once on the phone, and I talked to him here when I came to the Junior Day. The family name, it's pretty amazing to have a coach that has such good ties to his name.

"He's another reason I wanted to come here. I will spend a lot of time with him, so I figured this would probably be the best chance I'd get to get to know him better."

DiLauro has family connections to Toledo, which has provided another reason for attraction to the new Illinois staff.

"My uncle played at Toledo; he played tackle there. And my dad was either a guard or tackle at Toledo."

DiLauro lives in Green, which is a suburb of Akron, Ohio. Not many people have heard about it outside his home state, but he attends a good-sized school.

"We have about 1200 students, and my class has about 300 kids."

DiLauro becomes the fourth commitment for the new Illini staff.

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