Getting to Know Jimmy Fitzgerald

Centennial quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald knows all about Illinois and holds an offer from the Illini.

CHAMPAIGN - It wasn't hard for Jimmy Fitzgerald to make it to both days of Illinois' final recruiting camp in June.

After all, the 2015 Centennial High quarterback grew up less than two miles from Memorial Stadium.

So the campus and football facilities are as natural a hangout as any other place could be.

"I've been coming to Illinois games all my life," Fitzgerald said.

Still a work in progress with plenty of upside to fulfill, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Fitzgerald picked up offers from the Illini and Yale in early summer.

He's hearing from the likes of Stanford, Northwestern and others, but you probably see the trend. He's a coveted quarterback and student.

The Illinois staff has been stressing both parts of the student-athlete label.

"The academics and football, they're telling me it's about both," Fitzgerald said. "They recruit me with a lot of intensity and a lot of energy."

First-year Illini offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has been a prominent figure in Fitzgerald's recruitment.

"He's a great coach," Fitzgerald said. "He knows what he's doing. There are guys who say they know what they're doing -- he knows what he's doing."

Fitzgerald clearly knows the ins and outs involved with Illinois. With plenty of time remaining to both get better as a player and look for a home at the next level, he says he'll check out any and every school that expresses interest. He says he has no hesitation for leaving the state or sticking around and playing for the "neighborhood" university.

"I think once I find the right place for me, that will be the place," Fitzgerald said. "It doesn't matter if it's near or far."

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