Danville coach B.J. Luke discusses new Illini commit Julian Pearl

Former Danville coach B.J. Luke, who recently stepped down as the coach of the Vikings, discusses new Illini commit Julian Pearl's game, his next step as a player and his personality

What do you think of Julian Pearl as a Big Ten prospect?

B.J. Luke: "He's 6-7, 245 now. He can run. He plays basketball for us, and he's very athletic. He's one of those kids when he gets away to school and is able to put weight on in a college atmosphere, he's just going to end up getting better and better. He's going to end up 6-7, 315 pound kid who can run. His upside is just huge."

I know he played both sides of the ball for you but Illinois likes him as an offensive tackle...

Luke: "So do I. That's what I've said from the get go. I've had a couple kids similar to him. I had the Chris Ziemann kid at Waubonsie Valley who played at Michigan and wound up playing for the (New York) Giants in the NFL. He was a big kid, similar, 6-6 and weighed 245. I see a lot of similarities between the two of them. (Ziemann) was a good defensie player for us in high school, but Julian's length is similar to Chris. He'd be better on that side of the ball."

What are his next steps as a player?

Luke: "I just think he ends up just getting better, moves inside. He goes from a tight end to a tackle and ends up being an outstanding player in the Big Ten. He's going to be a good football player down the road here.:

What kind of kid is he? What's his personality?

Luke: "Good kid. Very nice kid. Very polite. He has a mom that has done a nice job of raising him. People like him. He's a good kid."

Illini Inquirer Top Stories