Annan Was On Hand

Wes Annan is a future division one football player, but he plans on being so much more than that when all is said and done. We caught up with him at Illinois' Maine South Satellite Camp to get the latest.

The state of Illinois 2015 recruiting class is loaded on the offensive side of the ball, but one prospect on the defensive side who is quickly making a name for himself is 2015 DT Wes Annan of Lake Forest Academy.

Annan wasn't a big name until recently, but several schools jumped in on his recruitment in a hurry, one of which was Illinois. He came out to the Illini's satellite camp at Maine South to see the coaches and some of his friends and teammates in action.

"I was looking to see how the coaches coach," Annan said. "I have a lot of my friends out here working hard so I wanted to support them too. I wanted to see if the family aspect of the University of Illinois is here."

The coaches at Illinois have been diligently building a relationship with Annan already. He appreciates the fact that the coaches have been up front and honest with him throughout the process so far.

"It's been good," he said of the relationship with the Illinois coaches. "They've been showing me a lot of love. They're great open guys. They tell me straight up how it is, no BS. They work hard and they're busy, but they make time for me."

Annan's recruitment rapidly took off just in the last couple of months, so it's been a little overwhelming. But Annan isn't letting it get to his head, and he's doing the same things he's always done when it comes to bettering himself.

It kind of came out of nowhere," he said. "It feels good getting recognized. I need to keep staying humble and keep working hard like I don't have any offers."

Annan listed Maryland, Rutgers, Illinois, Syracuse, Duke, some FCS and MAC schools like Bowling Green, Toledo, Ball State as offers he holds as of this spring.

But one thing in particular will be a significant factor when it comes to really separating the schools he is considering.

"Academics are huge to me and my family," Annan said. "I want to make sure when I graduate that I graduate with a degree that has weight to it. I know in college sports that can get pushed to the side a bit, but I want to make sure I have a good degree at the end of the day."

Annan plans to major in pre-med, not an easy course of study for a division one athlete. But events in his life, some close to home, have inspired him to pursue that goal and pay it forward, just like someone else did for him.

"I was actually born premature at 4 pounds 6 ounces," Annan said. "For the first couple months of my life, I owe the doctors at Six Kids Hospital and Toronto General Hospital my life. My little brother was born with a defective heart valve. The profession has been a lifesaver. The satisfaction of what the job gives to you as a person is what I'm into. Every kid deserves the opportunity to live a healthy life."

Annan is certainly passionate about football, but he is just as dedicated to his dream of going into the medical field and making his mark both on and off the field.

"Giving back through that profession is huge to me," he said. "I just want to be a difference maker in someone's life. Everyone wants to make a legacy in some way. Football will be huge, but doing it through medicine will mean a lot to me and my family."

Following Illinois, Annan has a handful of visits already planned out for the next few weeks.

"I'm looking to go to Northwestern on the 12th. Then I'll be at Iowa's camp at Lake Forest College," he said. "After that I'll go to Notre Dame's camp, which will be a huge camp for me. Then I plan on going out to Harvard and Boston College and see a couple schools out there."

Annan isn't the first Canada native on the defensive line at Lake Forest Academy to go to a division one school. Former teammate Faith Ekakite, now at Iowa, has provided guidance and counsel to Annan.

"Faith's like a big brother to me," he said. "I actually met Faith before I got to LFA. I got a chance to meet with his family and talk to him about LFA. He was huge then and he's huge now. I still talk to him now and then."

While many guys are looking to decide before their senior season, Annan isn't in any hurry to make his pick. He wants to make sure he finds the right balance of qualities in a school.

"I don't have much of a timeline," he said. "I just want to see the places I think will be the best fit athletically and academically."

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