Kansas Receiver First Illini FB Commitment

When a high school football player knows what he wants, why wait? That is the situation Kansas receiver Elliot Faerber found himself in as he contemplated his college choice. A recent visit to the Illinois campus convinced him to commit to the school.

Elliot Faerber made an early decision to attend Illinois. The junior at Shawnee Mission East High School in Kansas is a rarity, an out-of-stater who has long been drawn to the UI.

"I've always been a fan of Illinois growing up. I've always followed them on TV and was rooting for them. I've just sort of always liked them. And then when they offered me and I went to visit there, it was great. I was trying to find things I didn't like about it, but it was the place for me."

He found everything he needed in a college.

"It's not too far away from where I live. It's only about a 6 hour drive. I want to branch out from my home state. I've always wanted to go to a bigger state school, and Illinois is definitely that. It's a good school with good academics. I just like it. Illinois is a good fit."

Faerber's positive impression of the school was enhanced by a close relationship with an Illini coach.

"Vic Koenning is my primary recruiting coach. He actually played at K-State with my dad. Vic contacted my dad; that's how it all got started."

Of course, Faerber met receiver coach Paul Petrino when he visited campus last Monday. Petrino made a big impression as well.

"He's a hard ass, but he's a great guy and good coach. I've been talking to him maybe the last month and a half. He is tough. When I met with him, he tried to tell me some general stuff about receivers. There's no doubt he knew what he was talking about."

Fortunately for Illinois, Faerber likes tough coaches who want to push him to improve. Of course, the 6'-4", 190 pounder has a lot going for him already.

"I think my best attribute is my size. I can go up after the ball. I'm bigger, so on deep passes I can track the ball well. I have adequate quickness. Since I'm one of the biggest guys on the team, I get a lot of screen passes. So I'd say I'm a natural deep threat with a little bit of quickness."

Petrino likely appreciates the young man's strong work ethic.

"I want to improve my footwork because you can always get quicker and faster. I'd like to work on getting off of press coverage, and fine-tuning my blocking. I like to always have things to work on."

Other schools were beginning to check him out, but only one school stood out.

"I had a couple other schools asking about me. But once Illinois came into the picture, I kind of set the others to the side. I was going to go down to Texas State this weekend, but we cancelled that trip. Some others wanted me to come visit like K-State, Tulsa, Indiana and Minnesota too."

Faerber helped his team have great success this last year, and he hopes that continues for his senior season.

"We lost in the first round of the playoffs, but we had the best year in our school's history. We were 8-2. It was a great year; we did really well as a team. We lost a lot of seniors and lost our quarterback, but we have some guys who can step up. I don't see much of a drop off."

The Kansan hopes to make a couple more trips to Illinois before school starts in the fall.

"I might be coming out for a one-day camp, and I might be coming up for the quarterback/receiver camp. And I plan to come up for the spring game."

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