Montini Offensive Lineman Visits Illini

Lombard Montini always seems to field outstanding football teams. They won Class 5A state championships the last two years and are looking to repeat in 2012. The Illini invited one of their top linemen to campus for a Junior Day. Tate Briggs has good things to say about the program and new coaching staff.

Lombard Montini Catholic High School junior offensive lineman Tate Briggs recently attended an Illinois Junior Day. He talked about the experience.

"We went on a tour of the weight room, went through the locker room, went to the press box and got to talk to the coaches, and then went and watched the Illinois vs. Wisconsin basketball game.

"I think the visit went pretty well. I would say they are highly interested."

The Illini's recruitment of Briggs started taking form after his junior season. Briggs had a major role in helping Montini repeat as IHSA Class 5A state champions.

"I had a pretty good season and started every game. Our o-line only gave up one sack, so that's very good accomplishment. And our offense was very explosive."

Briggs has high expectations for his final season.

"I think we will have a good team because we have great coaching, and all of the players in the program believe in the coaches, which is why we are so good. So we should be pretty good next year and go far."

Offensive line coach Luke Butkus has been his main recruiter for the Illini and spent time with him on his visit. Briggs also had the opportunity to talk with head coach Time Beckman. He is eager to see what the new coaching staff can accomplish.

"I'm really excited to see what they do with the program this year. They seem like great coaches, but I will have to see how the season goes. That will influence my decision a lot."

The 6'-5", 280 pounder prefers left tackle but has been recruited to play center, guard and tackle in college. What does he believe are his main attributes as an offensive lineman? "My assets are my strength and my run blocking. I'm pretty good at pass blocking because that's mainly what I do with the spread offense. And I can get to the second level."

He also discussed what needs improvement in order to reach his highest potential.

"This offseason, I want to work on my speed a little bit. I think if I work on that, I can be a top recruit in the country. I'm not slow; I can get to linebackers and stuff, but I would like to get out there faster."

Briggs has already heard from several colleges.

"Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan State, Western Michigan, Illinois, Bowling Green, and Vanderbilt are talking to me. And Ohio State has tape on me. I don't have any offers yet, but I hopefully should in the next couple weeks."

Briggs already has several visits planned in the future.

"I'd like to visit Michigan State. I'll probably end up going back to Illinois for a spring practice, and I may visit Minnesota and Iowa. That's it for now, and I'll have to see what other schools start to show interest."

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