Zook has Fans Feeling Good Again

New Fighting Illini head football Ron Zook welcomed 20 signees to the program on Wednesday as the official signing period for the 2005 season began. Zook will welcome 20 newcomers to the program from a variety of locales across the country.

Eight athletes hail from the state of Illinois, headlined by Rashard Mendenhall, who is from Skokie and attended Niles East Hish School. He will join brother Walter on the team. Rashard is considered to be one of the top 10 running backs in the country. Another key recruit for Zook is Derrick McPhearson from Hyatsville, Maryland. McPhearson originally signed with Zook at Florida, but followed the coach north to Illinois. He is regarded as one of the top receivers of the recruiting class.

"I am really excited about the group we have signed this year", Zook said. Amongst a group of reporters at the press conference, Zook fielded questions about the last few weeks on the recruiting trail. Excitement is once again on the upswing at Illinois as Zook assembles his first recruiting class. He still has a couple of positions to fill on his coaching staff, but he says that everything will fall into place and they are looking forward to spring football and the start of a new era at the University of Illinois.

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