Cincy DT Visits for Cincy Game

A Cincinnati native, St. Xavier junior defensive tackle Simeon Lane traveled to Illinois to see the Illini take on his hometown team. See what he has to say about the Illini.

Cincinnati St. Xavier high school isn't a school that Illinois has historically recruited well, but they might be able to buck that trend with junior defensive tackle Simeon Lane, who already holds an offer from the Illini.

St. Xavier is the alma mater of several great defensive players, most notably Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. So the tradition of defense at the school is a rich one.

"I enjoy it because we're always playing competition and it's intense," Lane said of the tradition at St. X. "It's always exciting and hype and we can't really take any plays off, so I like that. We don't take breaks. I think it helps playing tough schools. A lot of the linemen I go against are D1 linemen, so by the time I get to college I might actually know the guy I'm going against."

Playing such tough competition all year has spurred Lane to work twice as hard in the offseason, and just two games in, he's already seeing the fruit of all of his hard work.

"I've definitely noticed that my work on my quickness and hand fighting are paying off," he said. "Ive also gained close to 35 pounds since last year. I think right now I just want to keep working on getting off of chop blocks since I see that a lot with teams we scrimmage and play."

But living up to the tradition at St. X won't always be easy. And the recruiting process can get hectic at times, but Lane has leaned on the advice and guidance of his coaches and former teammates to help him through the process.

"The guys before me have taught me a lot about coaches that reach out to you and talk to you a lot," he said. "Illinois is one of those. They tell me about the schools that only talk to you and aren't really interested."

He continued, "I was actually talking to Pat Muldoon a couple months ago. He was teaching me things about how to handle double teams. He went to St. Xavier too, and said just to call him up if I ever needed advice. He helps me out a lot."

Illinois is really pursuing Lane hard early on in the recruiting process, and he had his eye on a few specific things at the game.

"From what the coaches are saying, they're a lot more intense and have good tradition," he said. "They have a young defense so I wanted to see what the defense is all about. I wanted to see how the defensive line runs and everything like that."

Following the game, Lane admitted that he saw just that from the Illini.

He said, "The defense was aggressive and they played spirited. I loved the atmosphere."

In addition to the program, Lane had other incentive to trip to Illinois. With family close by, he has an additional comfort level in Champaign.

"It meant a lot because I come to Illinois a lot to visit my family," he said. "It was definitely a big offer for me. It was exciting to get my first offer from the Big Ten."

Illinois recruiting coordinator and Ohio recruiter Alex Golesh has been leading the way for Lane's recruitment. Lane appreciates how Golesh has put in the effort to make him feel wanted.

"I talk to Coach Golesh the most," he said. "He's the recruiting guy for my area. We probably talk every week about what's going on and he tells me good luck in the game and all that. It feels good to know that people are noticing my hard work."

Recruiting continues to heat up for Lane. Several other schools have been in contact and a few more are likely keep tabs on him this season.

"The schools other than Illinois recruiting me the most right now are Michigan State, Vanderbilt, Duke, and I've talked to Northwestern a bit," he said. "I can't really say who might offer soon. A couple coaches have told me they'll probably be coming to games soon, so I'm looking forward to that."

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