Westerkamp Relives Pleasant Memories

The Fighting Illini football team continues to receive visitors to its spring practices. Jordan Westerkamp, a top-rated receiver prospect, watched practice Friday with his dad Bob, a former Illini standout. Westerkamp is making the rounds of numerous campuses in his quest to find the best school for his college ball.

Jordan Westerkamp made a name for himself last November as he helped lead Lombard Montini to another 5-A Illinois State championship.

"Yeah, I loved it," Westerkamp admitted. "I'm 2-0 so far here. Two state champions back-to-back. We're gonna have a good team this year too. We're pretty good every year, so our chances are pretty good."

Westerkamp caught 7 passes for 146 yards and touchdowns of 13, 23 and 51 yards to help subdue Chatham Glenwood in Memorial Stadium. He was already considered an outstanding receiver prospect, but his performance set that notion in cement.

"It was awesome. Playing as big a role as I did in the second championship was great."

Westerkamp hopes to play in Memorial Stadium again this November as he seeks a third championship. As an encouraging note to Illinois fans, he has great memories playing on Zuppke Field.

"I love it here. I love playing on this field. It was a great experience."

Westerkamp was accompanied on his visit to campus by his dad Bob. The former Illini star receiver saw a promising career ended early when he blew out his knee in a practice. He is now a coach at Montini.

"We came in Thursday afternoon, and we met with Coach (Ron) West, Coach (Paul) Petrino and Coach (Ron) Zook at Houlihan's and had dinner there. Then Nathan Scheelhaase and receiver Spencer Harris showed up,and they gave me a tour of the campus.

"Today we got here about 7:00 am and went to meetings. We sat in on the receiver meetings. I'm happy to be here today. I was here last year for the game against Ohio State, but it's the first time seeing a practice."

He paid close attention to Petrino, the receiver coach. Speaking before practice began, Westerkamp was eager to watch him coach.

"I like him. He's a good coach, he's a fiery coach. I'm looking forward to seeing him practice."

The 6'-2", 190 pounder described his best attributes as a receiver.

"My quickness, my ability to attack the ball at its highest point, my field knowledge. I'm a playmaker; I like to have the ball in my hands."

As for what he wants to improve, no one thing stands out.

"I want to work on everything. My dad tells me you'll never be satisfied. There's always things to improve on. These next four years, I'm gonna be working hard and trying my hardest to get better."

Westerkamp has 16 offers, and he is trying to give them all a fair chance.

"I've been about 9 places so far. I've been making a big circle around the Midwest. I'm hoping to get out to some farther places. It's been exciting so far. I love it."

Memories begin to blend together after seeing so many campuses and meeting so many people. But Westerkamp is determined to continue his push to learn everything he can before choosing a college.

"It's gonna be tough to make a decision. These next two months will be my busiest months, so after that I'm gonna try to narrow it down and make a decision. It makes your decision harder, but it's better to have more options than less options. I'm gonna try to make my decision by the end of summer."

What is he looking for in a school?

"I'm looking for a place where I'll be able to see myself in the program, to fit in not just with football but the campus and the people here for the four years I'm here. So that's the biggest thing."

Does his dad encourage him toward his alma mater?

"He just tells you whatever is best for you. He's not gonna force me to come here. He just wants me to make the best decision for myself."

Westerkamp has academic goals in addition to football goals.

"I might major in Business or maybe Sports Medicine. My older brother is in Sports Medicine at Northern Illinois, so I might want to follow his footsteps. But I'm not sure."

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