Buffalo Grove, Illinois linebacker Eric Andino was invited and participated in the Army All-American junior combine this past January. Its no secret, the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder, ran a 5.2 40-yard dash at that combine. Definitely not good for a middle linebacker but the fact that he's not a track star won't bother college recruiters, because this kid can play football.
Who knows what the conditions in San Antonio were on that particular day? Did Andino work with a sprint coach for a couple of months before the combine? Probably not, but I say again, what Andino lacks in straight-line speed, he makes up for in size, strength and quickness.
Eric Andino had one of the most impressive films that I've watched so far this year. He has everything college recruiters will be looking for in an inside linebacker. Eric stops the run between the tackles, he slips blocks, reads and reacts and is a terrific tackler. Andino is explosive, he plays sideline to sideline and he stays low, square, and explodes his hips through the opposing ball carriers numbers on every tackle.
There were several plays where Eric shows his athletic ability, chasing and sacking the quarterback as well as getting in his back pedal defending the pass. The trend in college football these days is to have inside linebackers that can stay on the field on passing downs and defend the pass. Andino will need to have a little more explosion out of his back pedal and a little better hip turn to be an every down inside backer at the next level, however, he does have very good hands and intercepted a few balls last year.
On a few plays, Andino made some terrific plays at defensive end and looked like a natural putting his hand on the ground. He has the size and frame to add weight and could also be a super defensive end at the next level. In conclusion, Eric Andino will be a "Midwest Hot 100" member and he'll be a candidate for The Insiders.com national "Hot 100" as well.
Ohio State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa are Andino's current favorites.
Illini LB Target - Eric Andino
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