Illini To Battle Childhood Fav For Morrison?

Illinois hosted some top in-state prospects for their Junior Day at Memorial Stadium Saturday. One of those prospects is a physical inside linebacker from the Chicago area. He had positive remarks regarding his visit.

Antonio Morrison is one of the top linebackers in the state of Illinois in the class of 2012. Bolingbrook has a strong defense, and Morrison is the anchor of that unit. He checked out Illinois and had great things to say about his visit and the coaches.

"I'm really liking it down here. I'm liking the coaching staff. Coach (Ron) Zook and I had a little one-on-one, and we talked about where they're trying to take the program and get it in the right direction."

Morrison got to talk to both coordinators, one of which would be his position coach should he come to Illinois.

"Coach (Paul) Petrino is my recruiting coach, but Coach Vic (Koenning) , the linebacker coach, we talk a lot. He said I have a good chance of coming down here and playing early."

Morrison had never seen the Illinois campus before, but he was impressed right away with the facilities and the way the Illini practiced.

"This is my first visit here. As soon as I came in, I really liked it. I saw the weight room and really liked the weight room. I saw the field, and it was all a good impression."

Illinois isn't Morrison's only spring visit so far. He's seen two schools who have changed coaches this offseason.

"I've also been to Minnesota and NIU."

Morrison wants a college program that isn't going through constant change.

"I'm just looking at program stability and what direction the program is heading. I want a good atmosphere too."

Morrison's size makes him a versatile defender and physical player in the middle.

"Minnesota actually runs the same defense as me, but I can learn any defense. If I had to choose, I'd say I'd be best in some sort of 4-3."

Morrison has an impressive offer list so far, and it is bound to continue growing as he gets noticed and gets around this spring.

"Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, CMU, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Vanderbilt. I have 11 in total."

One offer that could come as soon as next weekend would be from another Big Ten school that Morrison grew up following closely.

"Michigan is talking about offering really soon. The coaches really like me, and I'm taking a visit up there next weekend."

A Michigan offer would definitely change things for Morrison, but he says that it won't put an end to his recruitment.

"I grew up loving the whole program up there and cheering for them. I'm still open to any school and I want to find the right school for me. It's a little edge for Michigan, but it won't mean I commit right away.

"I'm going to take the process slow and see what's best for me, then give that school my commitment."

With a talent-laden roster returning in the fall, including super sophomore QB Aaron Bailey, Bolingbrook is looking to improve on last year's effort and regain its prominence on the field.

"Aaron Bailey is the real deal. Next year we're looking to take it game by game. Normally we go undefeated, but that didn't happen last year. This year we're looking to get it back."

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