Barrington Tackle Impressed With Butkus, UI

The state of Illinois has an abundant number of talented offensive linemen in the 2013 class, and the Fighting Illini football team is looking to recruit a special group. Among those with Illini offers is Barrington tackle Jack Keeler, who visited campus recently. His popularity is increasing, but the Illini have made a good start with his recruitment.

Jack Keeler attended Junior Day at Illinois February 26th. He had seen the Illini campus only for a state high school football game. The trip opened his eyes.

"I was impressed by Illinois. It seems like a great campus. It was pretty cool. There was a sense of hope there. It opened my eyes a little bit."

He hit it off with Illini offensive line coach Luke Butkus.

"Coach Butkus seems like a really great guy. I went with my mom and another friend who's an Illinois prospect. We were both very impressed. I think me and Coach Butkus have a pretty good relationship starting."

Keeler was given a tour on his visit.

"We didn't stay for the basketball game. They showed us all around the facilities. We heard from the players and coaches. I didn't meet Coach (Tim) Beckman, but he seems like a pretty good guy."

His offer list is increasing rapidly. Recent offers include Illinois and Nebraska.

"I have eleven offers total, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Toledo, NIU, Western Kentucky and Wyoming."

The 6'-7", 275 pounder has the traits necessary to be a tackle at the major college level.

"I feel like I run my feet pretty well, I stay low and I finish. I'd like to work on driving my hips through and finishing a little better than I do. I feel like I finish pretty well, but I could still work on that. I prefer run blocking of course. I just like running over guys."

Illinois offers a family atmosphere, something that is important to Keeler.

"I'm looking for a place I can call home, one that I'm really comfortable with. I want to find a family within the football team."

The future Kinesiology major followed Michigan growing up, but he is keeping an open mind on his college choice. He is just beginning to evaluate potential schools.

"I have no idea at all when I might wish to make a commitment to a school."

Keeler has a couple more visits and one summer camp lined up.

"In a few weeks, I'm headed to the University of South Florida. And I might go to Vanderbilt. Right now, I'm planning only to go to the Wisconsin summer camp."

Barrington had a solid season in 2011. Keeler hopes for something better this fall.

"We lost in the first round of the playoffs. We will have five starting linemen back next year, so that will be pretty cool. Our running game will be pretty solid. I'm hoping for a better record than last year.

"I might play defensive line if they need me on short yardage situations. But they'll probably want to keep me fresh for offense."

Keeler has yet to narrow his school focus.

"Illinois is definitely still in the picture for me. Honestly, I have no idea where I'm leaning right now."

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