Will Douglas Follow Famous Dad To Illinois?

Next year is looking like good for in-state football recruiting for Illinois. A number of top prospects in the junior class either have connections to the UI or have followed them growing up. Among the top defensive lineman is Bryce Douglas, son of former Illini basketball great Bruce Douglas. He visited the Illini for a football game this fall and provides this update.

Bryce Douglas is a good-looking nose guard from Plainfield Central who also punts. His high school team didn't make the playoffs this year, but it has high hopes for 2012.

"Our season went pretty good. We went 5-4 this year. We didn't have enough playoff points to get in. We consider it a success because we went 2-7 last year. We expect everyone to work hard for next season so we can be 6-3 or 7-2 so we can make the playoffs."

The 6'-2", 315 pounder feels he did well despite new concepts.

"I had a pretty good season. This is my first year learning the 3-4 defense. I led the team with 10 sacks. I was double and triple-teamed all the time, but it was a great experience.

"I can take on a double-team, and I can also beat it by working hard. That's one of my biggest strengths right now."

Of course, he can always get better.

"I have to work hard to improve my explosion off the ball and be aggressive on every play. And I want to work on my cardiovascular so I can really get my motor going for a full 48 minutes. Right now, I feel a half-second really costs me."

It will help once he focuses solely on football.

"I also play basketball and baseball. I'm the starting center in basketball and the starting first baseman in baseball. It takes time away from football, but after practice I lift and focus on my studies.

"Next year, I'll probably limit my options and focus on football, train for that."

The well-spoken Douglas takes his academics seriously.

"I've got a 3.7 GPA. My coach really stresses that, so I'm really focused on keeping those up. I'm thinking about a career in Criminal Justice."

Former Illini basketball great Bruce Douglas is his father. Does he push his son toward Illinois?

"A little bit, but he just wants me to go wherever I can enjoy playing football and get a scholarship. I'm working hard for it."

Several schools are already in touch with the younger Douglas.

"Illinois, Purdue, Northern (Illinois), Indiana, Valparaiso, Tennessee, schools like that."

What is he looking for in a school?

"I'm looking for tradition. My dad went here, so U of I is number one on my list. I'm looking also for playing time."

With the Illini always in need of talented defensive linemen, if Douglas continues to develop his game, he just might be hearing good news from Illini coaches soon.

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