OL Doug Kramer commits to Illini as grayshirt

Hinsdale Central center will grayshirt before joining the Illini for spring 2017 semester

Hinsdale Central offensive lineman Doug Kramer told himself at the beginning of the recruiting process that once he was committed to a Division I program, that'd be the end of his recruitment.

Those plans changed on Friday night. The Florida Atlantic commit flipped to Illinois.

"Once I committed, I wanted that to be it," said Kramer, whose parents attended Illinois. "I really thought I was going to go there. But obviously, I just couldn't pass up the Illinois offer.

"Ever since they offered me this, which was a week or two weeks ago, it hasn't really left my head. It was my dream to play at Illinois, so it was hard to keep my mind off of it."

Kramer, a two-star prospect, will grayshirt this fall before earning a scholarship starting with the spring 2017 semester.

Illini head coach Bill Cubit and new Illini tight ends coach Jeff Hecklinski visited Kramer on Friday afternoon and swayed him to Illinois.

"I talked to Coach Heck, he's an awesome guy," Kramer said. "Then Coach Cubit he kind of just stressed recruiting the state and that I kind of belonged to Illinois. I just bought in completely. It's really what I've been thinking this whole time to be honest."

The Illini are trying to add depth and strength to the interior. Kramer played center as a sophomore but moved to left tackle as a junior and senior. He projects to play center at Illinois.

Kramer comes from a program that has produced several Big Ten offensive linemen, including Michigan State's Jack and Brian Allen. Kramer played with Brian Allen as a sophomore.

"I try to model my game like him and play like him," Kramer said.

Kramer won't join his Illini teammates for another year, but he's already putting in the work to get ready for Big Ten ball.

"I'm pretty excited to be honest," Kramer said. "The first semester of next year I'll have off. I'll be working out and lifting and getting ready to go. I'm definitely pretty pumped to get ready to go. I've actually started my lifting program with my coach. We're doing a morning thing at like 5:30 in the morning four times a week. I started that the Monday after we lost in the playoffs, so that was before Thanksgiving."


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