Georgia Safety Pondering Illini Offer

The Fighting Illini football staff has enjoyed success recruiting Georgia in recent years, and they continue to mine that state for talent. Among those with an offer is safety Donte Beckham. He hasn't had much chance to contemplate his recruitment yet, but the Illini are in the picture.

Donte Beckham received good news from Illinois coaches last winter.

"I was offered by Illinois back in February. They're looking at me as a safety."

Since then, several other schools have joined the mix for his services.

"I also have offers from Georgia, Michigan State and Middle Tennessee. That's the only ones I can remember right now."

The Milledgeville, Georgia, star hasn't had much opportunity to visit schools or make his name known in college recruiting circles.

"I made a visit to Georgia, but I haven't visited any other schools yet. I will soon make a visit to South Alabama. They're becoming Division 1 this year."

As a result of limited exposure, the recruitment process is somewhat confusing to him.

"It's still kind of new to me right now. I need to go through the process. Right now, I don't know what I'm looking for."

Illinois assistant coach Ron West has made a favorable impression on Beckham, but that relationship is still developing.

"From what I've seen so far, Coach West is cool. I like his attitude."

A man of few words, Beckman speaks in generalities about the strengths of his game at safety.

"I make big plays. My strength and my speed are assets, and I can hit."

Baldwin High School was successful on the football field last fall.

"We had a good season. We were 10-2. We lost in the second round of the playoffs. Overall, I had a good season."

He expects even more in 2011.

"We have another safety coming back, and another one is one of the top cornerbacks in the southeast. And we have a strong quarterback and a set of wide receivers coming back."

The 6'-0", 190 pounder will play both ways his senior season.

"I didn't play offense last year, but this year they moved me to wide receiver."

Beckham is uncertain about a possible college major.

"I did have a major, but I need to think more about it. I may go into Business."

It appears Beckham may need to wait until his official visits to know what he wants in a college. But at this point, the UI is definitely under consideration.

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