Vin Ascolese Grateful For Illini Offer

Fighting Illini football coaches are searching far and wide for hard-nosed players. They have likely found one in Vin Ascolese. The New Jersey linebacker laments having to wait until July before he can hit someone again. He is excited by the Illini offer.

Illinois made Vin Ascolese happy recently.

"Getting an offer from Illinois was a big day for me and my family. That was my first offer. I now have one from Buffalo and Temple also."

Illini coach Mike Gillhamer was the one who shared the good news with the North Bergen, New Jersey, linebacker.

"Coach Gillhamer called me and gave me the good news. He had come by my school and talked to my coach that week. He sounds like he is a straight-forward, real tough guy."

Ascolese likes tough. He misses the contact in the off season.

"We don't have spring ball here. We can't put on pads until July 1st, so I'm really looking forward to hit somebody already. It's frustrating the South has spring ball and we don't."

Ascolese is confident of his play-making abilities.

"I'm a very fast, athletic outside linebacker. I control the edge, and I'm fast coming off the edge."

The 6'-2", 215 pounder has the athleticism to play both ways.

"This year I'm playing fullback and tight end also. Sophomore year I played running back. I'll get in real good shape in the off season, so there should be no problem playing both sides of the ball."

He knows what he wants in a college.

"Great coaching staff, tradition, a good atmosphere and good academics. I was thinking about majoring in Business Administration or Econ."

While he only has three offers to date, Ascolese has no shortage of interest from a variety of schools.

"Just about all the Big 10, half the Big 12 schools, some SEC, a lot of ACC and some Big East schools are showing interest."

Still, Illinois has as good a chance as any.

"I haven't visited any schools this spring. It was kind of difficult to get rides. I'm gonna do most of my visiting in the summer. I'm definitely coming out to visit Illinois this summer, probably July or June."

North Bergen had a great 2010 season, and this fall could be a duplicate.

"We should have won state, but we lost in double overtime in the semifinals of the public school championships. We have seven coming back on defense and seven coming back on offense. We'll be real good this fall."

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