Illini Ready To Offer Ohio Defender

The Fighting Illini football team continues to recruit the state of Ohio hard. It is a talent-rich state not far from Champaign. While recruiting for the 2012 class is just beginning, the Illini have already made inroads with several Ohio prospects. Among them is safety/linebacker Allen Gant.

Allen Gant is a three-sport star at Southview High School in Sylvania, Ohio, a township outside Toledo. He expects to receive a verbal scholarship offer from Illinois when he visits for Junior Day.

"I talked to Coach (Joe) Gilbert. I'll be coming down to Illinois the 26th, and he told me they would offer me then. So when I get to Illinois it will be official."

The 6'-1", 205 pounder has a couple offers already, and he is hearing from some big-time schools in addition to Illinois.

"I've been offered by Toledo and Bowling Green, and I'm hearing from Cincinnati, Boston College, West Virginia and Stanford."

Southview is a powerhouse in its league and expects to continue its dominance next season.

"The season went really well actually. We won the league for the fourth year in a row. We fell short in the first round of the playoffs. Next year, we're reloading again. We've got 8 guys coming back on both sides of the ball. So we should have a pretty good team again."

Gant played on both sides of the ball and had personal success as well.

"Individually, I had a real good season. I had 56 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. On offense I had 21 catches for around 400 yards and one touchdown as a receiver."

He leaves no doubt what side of the ball he hopes to play in college.

"I prefer mainly defense. I play strong safety and outside linebacker. In a zone, I play strong safety. When we go man-to-man I play outside linebacker. But it doesn't matter to me either way, as long as I'm playing."

Gant uses his intelligence to help him on the field.

"I know how to read my keys on whether it's a run or a pass. I'll always be around where the ball is at. That's my biggest attribute. Besides my speed, I know exactly what's gonna happen because I watch a lot of film."

He has his priorities straight regarding what he is looking for in a school.

"My number one thing is education. My second would be athletics. Third is the type of atmosphere and how well I fit in at the college."

Gant already knows what course of study he wishes to pursue.

"I want to major in Psychology. I'm taking a Psychology class in school right now, and I'm really interested in learning more about it."

Besides keeping up with his studies, Gant stays busy with sports the year around.

"I'm in basketball right now, and I run track. In basketball, we're having an up and down season. I'm the only returning starter from last year; everybody else is real new. The positive thing is we're three games above .500 right now, and we've got three games left in the regular season. I play small forward."

He has a unique athleticism that allows him to excel both in speed events and strength events in track.

"In track, I run the 4 X 100 and 4 X 200, and I also throw the shot and discus. It is a rare combination. Last year was my first year doing it. My coach said I was big and strong and could do it. Last year in the league I won the shot put and was second in the discus."

With 4.55 forty yard dash speed, strength and intelligence, Gant has a bright future in college football.

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