DePietro Visits UI, Earns Scholarship Offer

Among those who participated in the Illini summer camp Tuesday was a rugged offensive lineman from Pennsylvania. Adam DePietro was making the rounds of Big 10 teams. After working out briefly, DePietro was rewarded with a scholarship offer.

Adam DePietro didn't expect to work out at Illinois Tuesday. He had been on the road four straight days, eating burgers and hot dogs, and he wasn't in the best condition to run around. But after watching Illini offensive line coach Joe Gilbert work out another prospect, he joined in.

For his efforts, DePietro was offered a scholarship by Illinois. He was excited.

"The day was great! The camp went well, and I loved working with Coach Gilbert. They did offer me after I worked out."

DePietro had been communicating with his recruiting coach Chip Long and hoped to be rewarded with a scholarship once he made it to campus. But the chance to get some hands-on training was too much to pass up. He did well despite all his travels.

"I was at Northwestern two days ago, Michigan State yesterday, Illinois today and Wisconsin tomorrow. Then I go back home for awhile. I will probably do a couple more trips right away, to Vanderbilt, NC State and Cincinnati.

"All those schools have offered me except Wisconsin, but hopefully I will pick that up also."

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, athlete surprised by saying he had no special interest in Penn State for football despite living an hour West of Philadelphia.

"Not at all. I was pretty much a basketball fan growing up. I just enjoyed watching whatever team was on TV; I never had a specific favorite team."

He does have a favorite conference, one of several factors that are positives for Illinois.

"I like it a lot. Obviously, academics are very strong here. That's what I'm looking for. And it's Big 10."

The future Business major describes the criteria he seeks in a college.

"I want a good mix between high academics, and also I want to play for the best. I want a competitive team, one that's winning championships, playing in bowl games. And Big 10."

DePietro may or may not play his current position once he arrives at college.

"I play left tackle. Some places are recruiting me as a tackle, and some places as a guard. It just depends on the kind of offense. It doesn't matter to me."

The 6'-4", 270 pounder feels he has the ability to play anywhere on the line.

"Probably athleticism is the best part of my game. My good technique and good footwork help me out a lot."

Of course, he knows there is much to learn.

"I want to continue to get stronger, improve my power and just keep getting better, keep working."

DePietro wishes more people realized how complex offensive line play really is.

"A lot of people don't understand, a lot of work goes into playing offensive line. Blocking looks simple, but there's a lot more technique involved with it."

Lancaster Catholic High School is a powerhouse in Pennsylvania.

"We were pretty good last year. We were 11-1. We were undefeated going into the playoffs and lost a heartbreaker. The year before, we won a state championship.

"Hopefully we can get back to that this year. We have a good team returning, and some young guys are looking good. We could have a special team."

Schools interested in DePietro's commitment won't have long to wait. It appears Illinois has placed itself firmly in the mix for his services.

"I hope to make a decision in the next couple weeks. That would be ideal for me."


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