Cvijanovic Legacy to Continue at Illinois

It took some time to earn the offer he'd always wanted from Illinois, but Peter Cvijanovic, younger brother of Simon Cvijanovic, earned an offer from Illinois and jumped on the opportunity to join his brother in college. He talks about the decision here.

For offensive tackle Peter Cvijanovic, the opportunity to play alongside his brother is something he's waited on for a long time. And on Monday night, he seized the opportunity, committing to the University of Illinois.

"It's going to be pretty cool," Cvijanovic said. "I never got to play with him so it'll be a first time experience."

Cvijanovic camped at Illinois numerous times and attended several games to see his brother. He knew for a while that Illinois is where he wanted to be, but the offer made it official, and after receiving the offer, Cvijanovic made it official.

"I was excited at first," he said, "and I was just thinking about how my brother and I used to play together. I've been to so many games and knew so much about Illinois. I just needed the offer and I finally got it."

After attending Cleveland's Benedictine High School, the same as his older brother and current Illini Simon Cvijanovic, Peter headed out to East Coast Prep to continue his career and prepare for college. It's a very different environment than what he was used to.

"This prep school is different," he said. "There's more freedom for football players. It's a different experience from high school. I'm actually out in the woods living in a cabin with 9 other guys. It's manageable, but you come here to focus and get a job done."

Cvijanovic has a great frame that can carry the weight he'll need in college, and since arriving at prep school, his main focus has been adding the right weight to be ready for Big Ten football.

"I came into the prep school around 271 or 272 and I've tried to put weight on to get bigger," he said. "I think I'm about 276 now. It's been a big deal to put weight on for me. I just need to maintain strength and put more weight now."

Now that he knows where he's headed for college, Cvijanovic says that he plans to enroll at Illinois for the spring semester so that he can get right to work and compete next fall.

"I plan on being there this spring for spring semester," he said. "It will get me used to living there instead of just visiting. I'll be a teammate and not just a brother of a player."

Other than Illinois, Cvijanovic wasn't really aware of who all else was recruiting him. With his prep school coach handling most of the recruiting details, it allowed him to focus on his progression.

"I really don't know too much about who all else I'd been hearing from because my prep school coach had been handling a lot of our recruitment," he said.

At Illinois, he has the unique opportunity to both follow in his brother's footsteps and blaze his own trail.

"I'm looking forward to playing with my brother," he said. "As soon as I get there, I want to put on weight and get to 295 and hopefully compete for a spot at tackle."

Cvijanovic's time at East Coast Prep has kept him away from a lot of things, namely his brother and the University of Illinois, but he has plans to visit this fall when he gets some time away.

"Actually, we have a thanksgiving break, and I believe there's a game November 30th," he said. "I'd be taking a visit to the school and to see my brother since I haven't seen him since the summer."

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