Josh Augusta is a hugely talented athlete. Heavily recruited as a football player capable of multiple positions on both offense and defense, he won the Class 2-A shot put title in April with a heave of 61'-5.75". The distance came as a surprise to him.
"I expected it to be farther, but it was even farther than that. My other throws were around 57'."
He was excited to discover untapped potential.
"I don't know where it came from. I guess I'm good under pressure."
There's a difference between producing one great throw and repeating it frequently. But his goals for his senior year have expanded greatly as a result.
"I'm gonna try to get 65' next year."
Augusta was planning to play tight end with his Peoria team in the Illinois 7-on-7 camp Saturday, but he was forced to observe from the sideline.
"I got a hamstring in practice last week. I'll be healthy by fall."
It gave him an opportunity to update Illini fans on his football recruitment.
"It's going good so far. I'm just staying cool, no pressure."
Many top schools are vying for his services. He appreciates all the choices at his disposal. There are several that are pushing the hardest.
"They're all keeping in touch, but mostly U of I, Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska and Mizzou."
Augusta has visited some schools already.
"Besides Illinois, I've seen Michigan State and Notre Dame."
While fans at his leading schools may be getting antsy to discover his college preference, the 6'-5", 275 pounder is in no hurry.
"Right now, I'm thinking closer to the middle of the season."
Speaking for his entire Peoria school, Augusta is thrilled with how well his various sports teams have done. He is excited about the upcoming school year as well.
"We look real good right now. We've got a lot of talent. We've done real well lately, and we're real excited about that."
To make the wait for his commitment a little more tolerable, Augusta offers encouraging words for Illini fans.
"I love Illinois. I really love it."