Adam Pankey Has Illini In Final Four

The Fighting Illini football team hosted a large number of excellent football prospects Saturday. Among them was good-looking Ohio lineman Adam Pankey, who has a final four schools that includes Illinois. He will make another visit in November before making his college choice.

Adam Pankey made the trip to Illinois from Hamilton, Ohio, to watch Illinois battle Ohio State Saturday. He found the trip shorter than anticipated.

"I left around 7:00 am and got here around 10:00 am, so I was here earlier than most other recruits."

He was already familiar with Jeff Brohm, his recruiting coach. But he found time to get better acquainted with Illini line coach Joe Gilbert.

"I talked to him a lot today, and I've been with Coach Zook already. They're really good people, really nice people. Real homey. Coach Zook's from Ohio, so he's an Ohio guy. I like that. He coached one of my former coaches, so it's a real good fit."

Pankey has a final four of Illinois, North Carolina State, Pitt and West Virginia. He feels all four schools have what he seeks.

"There's a lot of early playing time. There's an opportunity."

The 6'-5.5", 315 pounder looks like a college tackle already, but he says the Illini feel he can play either tackle or guard.

"Pitt sees me as a tackle-type guy, and so does West Virginia and the Big East. Here, they gave me either one."

Pankey didn't hesitate when stating his best asset as an offensive lineman.

"Run blocking, and I'm very physical. That's what I'm best at."

The nature of his high school's offense has limited his experience with pass offense.

"I probably need to work on pass blocking. Coming from the veer, we don't pass block a lot. So that's an area I can get better in."

He says he hopes to make a decision by the beginning of next month, but he will not have completed his official visits until later.

"I'm gonna try to visit all four schools. By mid November, I will have taken officials to all those schools. I took an official to NC State last week. I have an official planned for next week at Pittsburgh, and I plan an official here for the Wisconsin game."

Speaking before the Illinois-Ohio State game, which ended with the Illini's first loss of the season, Pankey gave hope the Illini were in a strong position with him.

"6-0, you can't really beat that. It's a real good showing. It's a real intriguing prospect."

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