Geronimo!

In Apache, "Geronimo" means "one who yawns." But Iowa Western receiver Geronimo Allison is the last guy you want to sleep on, and he's bringing his talents to Illinois.

Illinois picked up their second big junior college receiver in three days on Thursday when Iowa Western's Geronimo Allison informed the Illinois coaches that he had committed.

After visiting just a few days prior, Allison felt that the time and situation were both right.

"I wanted to take care of the process," he said. "When I went on the visit I felt comfortable. The coaches showed me a lot of love, and the situation is ideal."

The coaches, especially his future position coach, played a large role in his choice.

"I love the coaches there," Allison said. "They speak highly of me. I saw a great atmosphere at the school and the facilities are great. The opportunity in front of me gives me a great chance to be successful.

He continued, "Coach Golesh and Coach Bellamy were the ones recruiting me. My relationship with Coach Bellamy is good. He's ready for me to come in and work hard."

Committing to Illinois also means reuniting with fellow receiver and former teammate Martize Barr, who often found himself paired with Allison at Iowa Western last year.

"Hopefully Martize and I can operate on the same side of the field," he said. "We lined up on the same side at Iowa Western and it worked out great."

Now that he's no longer the recruit, Allison might begin doing a little recruiting himself.

"I'm looking at trying to bring a middle linebacker Devonte Snyder," he said. "He was recruited by Illinois out of high school too."

Allison is has a rare blend of size and speed. He believes that that will allow him to not only see the field early, but also be used in a variety of ways at Illinois.

"I'm going to bring energy and my versatility," he said. "I can be the big tall receiver during jump ball situations but I can also match up and cause mismatches with linebackers. But I want to improve the mental part of the game and read schemes and coverage better."

Allison went on: "They want to use me in a lot of ways. I can play in the slot or play outside as well. I'll be more than ready to make an impact as soon as I get there."

And having some of his former teammates in Dallas Hinkhouse and Barr sell him on the program really went a long way toward his decision.

"It was good talking to them," he said. "They really like Illinois and they were able to show me a lot of the in's and out's and spoke highly of the program. Looking at it from my eyes, I feel like it is great too."

Making the jump from the JUCO level to the Big Ten won't be a problem for Allison, at least when it comes to playing in big games. Iowa Western won the junior college National Championship last year, and Allison steps up when it matters most.

"I really get up for a big game," he said. "I don't always show a lot of emotions, but I'll be prepared going into big games since I've already been through some of those. I know all the hard work was paying off. I just have to be ready when those opportunities are in front of me and I'll be ready."

Now with his commitment to Illinois in the books, he's getting himself ready for a title defense, and a repeat would be not only a good end to his JUCO career, but a great start for his Illinois career.

"I really want to repeat, stay healthy, and finish strong," he said. "It'll really help me get a good start toward the next part of my college career if we do repeat."


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